The headlines around Russia’s unprovoked attack on its neighbor Ukraine have not stopped for the last six days. Here’s a roundup of the seven key things which have happened since it all kicked off last week.
On Monday morning, Russia and Ukraine met for peace talks on the border of Belarus, Russia’s only remaining ally.
Putin stuck to his calls for Ukraine to disarm and stay out of Nato – while also persisting that Crimea should be formally recognized as part of Russia, not Ukraine.
The Russian president did not hint towards an impending peace agreement.
He also had long phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron, where he just repeated his demands, doubling down on the fresh requests over Crimea.
It’s worth noting that Putin was also bombing a Ukrainian city throughout the peace talks, undermining any suggestion that Putin is engaging in the talks in good faith. At least 11 people died in the bombings.
The Ukrainian city Kharkiv is known for its Russian links. So when Moscow bombed the city with a population of 1.5 million, it seemed to be a sign that the Kremlin was now launching indiscriminate attacks.
The bombing of the civilians has shocked people around the world, and even led some leading politicians – including deputy prime minister Dominic Raab – to warn that this could see Putin on trial for war crimes.
Kharkiv, Ukraine, has been targeted by Russian missiles
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The strength of the Ukrainian resistance appears to have stunned the Russian army, who – according to some pundits – were expecting almost immediate surrender.
Although foreign secretary Liz Truss initially endorsed the idea of Brits going to Ukraine to fight on behalf of the resistance, No.10 later knocked back the idea.
Even so the freedom fighters have won admiration from around the world. Russian forces around major cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv were deflected because of the Ukrainians.
However, this has led Russia to increase its military presence. It is now thought to have pushed 75% of its troops from around the Ukrainian border into the country, demonstrating a significant escalation.
It’s worth noting that anti-war protests have been taking place across Russia too, although they are quickly shut down by riot police.
Russia increasingly isolated
Russia is gradually being banned from participating in sports around the world, and has even been banned from the Eurovision song contest.
The country has been barred from all national and club competitions by Fifa and Uefa after growing pressure following Russian’s unprovoked attack, and until further notice.
Snake Island soldiers are still alive
A garrison of 13 Ukrainian soldiers defending Snake Island (in the Black Sea) went viral after telling a Russian warship to “go fuck yourself” on a recorded conversation just as they were under attack.
Despite initial reports to the contrary, the group are allegedly alive, even though it was widely believed these were their last words.
The group are being held captive by Russian forces according to Ukraine.
In an official statement it read: “We are very happy to know that our brothers [on Snake Island] are alive and all is well with them!”
Civilians are seen after crossing Ukrainian-Polish border due to the ongoing Russian attacks and conflict, in Medyka, Poland on March 1, 2022
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Although the home secretary Priti Patel initially rejected demands for the UK to open up its refugee scheme for Ukrainians, No.10 has since performed a U-turn.
At first, Patel wanted to stick to the points-based immigration system which is in place for anyone wanting to settle in the UK. The only exception was for anyone who was a “dependent” and who had immediate family ties to British citizens of Ukrainians who had already settled in the UK.
It seemed a particularly strong contrast when compared to the EU’s generous scheme which allowed any fleeing Ukrainian into the bloc for the next three years.
After intense backlash – including from former Tory leader William Hague – the Home Office announced on Tuesday that adult parents, grandparents, children aged over 18 and siblings of Ukrainians already in UK will be able to settle in this country.
UK citizens and companies will be able to sponsor Ukrainian refugees who want to live here.
The UN estimates around 500,000 people have fled the warzone since Russia’s invasion.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss has outlined new sanctions which would target “Putin and his cronies”.
More Russian banks are being hit by sanctions too, and there is an asset freeze on all Russian companies. Ordinary Russians are being affected as inflation soars and the value of the ruble drops dramatically.
However, the UK is unlikely to follow the sanctions with military force as Boris Johnson has confirmed that Nato troops will not fight Russia in Ukraine.