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Ukraine Daily Summary | 2 March 2022

02 March 2022

Multiple cities have been hard hit by Russian strikes over the last 24 hours, including Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Kherson. Meanwhile, the capital, Kyiv, remains the Russian’s main war focus, with a 40-mile-long convoy of Russian armoured vehicles situated about 15 miles north of the city on Wednesday. The convoy is thought to be preparing to assist an attack from the west, with Russian forces expected to simultaneously launch an assault from the east to encircle the capital.

In Kharkiv, reports have emerged of Russian paratroopers landing in the city, while a rocket attack has struck a regional police building and Karazin University, killing at least four people on Wednesday morning. Heavy shelling continues, while reports indicate a Russian aerial attack may target the city within the next 48 hours. In the south, Mariupol remains under heavy fire, while mixed reports have emerged from Kherson – where Russia claims to have taken control of the city, but local officials insist it remains in Ukrainian hands, despite numerous reports of Russian troop presence near the city centre. If reports of its capture are confirmed, it will be the biggest city to fall so far and would give the Russian advance a major advantage. Its strategic position would enable Russian troops to push further inland as well as west towards the coastal city of Odesa. As a major port city on the Black Sea, keeping control of Kherson is essential for Ukraine’s supply chain. As the situation in Kharkiv worsens, appeals for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine have intensified.

A no-fly zone would have to be enforced by military means, including surveillance, pre-emptive strikes, and defensive systems. Such a move would directly engage NATO forces with any Russian planes – risking a rapid escalation which would trigger a war across Europe.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military claims to have killed 5,840 Russian troops as the country enters its sixth day of fighting. In Russia, jailed opposition leader and notorious Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny, has released a series of statements condemning the invasion of Ukraine and calling on the Russian people to demonstrate against the war.

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