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Ukraine Daily Summary | 3 March 2022

03 March 2022

Major explosions continue to rock the capital city of Kyiv, although information surrounding details of targets remain limited. A massive, 40-mile-long, convoy of Russian armoured military vehicles and equipment has slowed its progress as it moves towards the capital – Western intelligence suggests the stall may be down to logistical issues, including fuel and food shortages. Meanwhile, Russian forces have seized the key port city of Kherson in the south.

The capture of Kherson comes as the Russian advance in the south continues to show the most worrying signs of progress. Reports have emerged of new rules being enforced in Kherson, including instructions to residents not to provoke Russian soldiers and to be compliant with stop and search requests. Residents have also been told not to gather in groups. The city is of key strategic importance as it could enable Russian troops to amass there to use it as a launching post to push forces further inland. Along the coast, the city of Mariupol continues to be barraged by constant heavy shelling – casualty numbers are feared to be in the hundreds, but the city is said to still be under Ukrainian control. Russia has been accused of deliberately targeting critical civilian infrastructure in Mariupol, to put pressure on the population. The city council reported on Thursday that the city is without electricity, water, or heat and are facing food supply shortages in the face of Russian blockades, which now encircle the city. Moscow has urged civilians to evacuate the city by a ‘green corridor’; however, city officials claim fleeing remains impossible for civilians amid continuous Russian strikes. Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, also remains under heavy shelling, as does the north-eastern city of Chernihiv.

Russia has admitted to having sustained heavy military casualties amid the invasion, saying almost 500 Russian troops have died and close to 1,600 others have been injured, with some 2,870 Ukrainian soldiers and ‘nationalists’ having allegedly been killed. Ukraine has claimed that Russian casualty figures are much higher – on Thursday, Ukrainian military officials claimed some 9,000 Russian personnel have been killed or wounded. Neither claim has been independently verified; however, verified satellite images have shown a convoy of large Russian military buses transporting Russian troops injured in fighting around Kyiv to a Belarus hospital near the Ukraine border. The size of the convoy indicates a significant level of Russian casualties.

The UN estimates at least 227 civilians have been killed and 525 have been wounded, and that more than a million people have now fled Ukraine since the start of the invasion – a number said to be rapidly rising. More than half of these have fled to neighbouring Poland. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has launched an investigation into allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The UN General Assembly has demanded that Russia stops its offensive, voting 141 to five, with 35 abstentions. Russia says a second round of talks with Ukraine are due to take place in Belarus on Thursday.

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