Following the Crisis in Ukraine, Week's 10 & 11 (Month Three)
For the days, weeks and years prior to this visit "Ukraine".
It has been reported that around six million people have fled Ukraine to escape the invasion while a further eight million are internally displaced. These numbers are incomprehensible for a country of around 44 million people.
As the war continues I am still trying to understand is transpiring with these quick summaries. These are just meant to act as a starting point to help keep up to date with was is happening. There are some great news sources out there that provides much more in depth information, see the sources section noted below.
Summing up the last two weeks of the war in Ukraine, 4th - 16 May 2022.
Day 70. Wednesday 4th May 2022
Despite saying they wouldn’t breach the Azovstal iron and steel works, Russian troops are said to have stormed the Mariupol precinct
Day 71. Thursday 5th May 2022
Russia made the announcement that Ukrainian soldiers should surrender so that those civilians sheltering in the Mariupol steelworks could evacuate safely. The result of this would play out over the coming days.
The Belarussian leader made the public admission that the invasion has not gone as planned and has lasted much longer than they expected.
Day 72. Friday 6th May 2022
The Kharkiv region continued to be heavily shelled with one of the major losses a local Museum. Shelling in Skovorodynivka caused a fire to start and spread to the Hryhoriy Skovoroda Literary Memorial Museum which subsequently destroyed it. The Museum, which was founded 50 years ago this year, was dedicated to the life and works of Ukrainian Cossack philosopher and poet Hryhoriy Skovoroda who lived during the eighteenth century, (3 December 1722 – 9 November 1794). Earlier in the war the valuable items are said to have been removed however the entire building and what was left inside was destroyed. One custodian was also injured.
In response Ukrainian President Zelensky said:
“Every day of this war the Russian army does something that leaves me speechless. But then the next day it does something else that makes you feel the same way again. Targeted strikes against museums: not even terrorists would think of this. But this is the kind of army we are fighting against.”
Pictured here: The aftermath of the fire (Photo Left: sourced from State Emergency Service of Ukraine, Kharkiv Oblast and Photo Right: “The aftermath”, 7 May 2022 (Reuters/Ricardo Moraes)
Another Russian ship was damaged by Ukrainian missiles in the Black Sea. The Admiral Makarov was said to have been hit with crew needing to be airlifted to safety. These claims were not verified, and later reports suggest it was a smaller vessel that was damaged.
Day 73. Saturday 7th May 2022
In the Luhansk region a bomb was dropped on a school in the village of Bilohorivka killing at least two people however up to 60 people are feared to have been inside.
Day 74. Sunday 8th May 2022
Ukrainian troops withdrew from the town of Popasna in the Luhansk People’s Republic held area.
Day 75. Monday 9th May 2022
In Russia President Putin delivered his annual “Victory Day” address in which he interpreted history as well as current events in a manner not accepted by the west as he compared the invasion of Ukraine with the country’s victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two.
Day 76. Tuesday 10th May 2022
Shelling and the bombardment of the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol continued.
Day 77. Wednesday 11th May 2022
For the second time in 24 hours, it was reported that Russia suffered heavy losses while trying to cross the Siverskyi Donets River.
Day 78. Thursday 12th May 2022
Russian forces were reported to have seized the city of Rubizhne in the Luhansk Oblast.
Day 79. Friday 13th May 2022
One of the main news stories was the decision by Finland to seek membership of NATO. This was not met well by Finland’s neighbour, Russia. The two share a 1,300km border. Sweden has also voiced intention to join NATO. Both countries have maintained a neutral stance since the end of World War Two.
Day 80. Saturday 14th May 2022
In a day of PR for both sides Ukraine claimed that Russian troops were withdrawing from Kharkiv to focus on protecting their supply routes while Russia claimed that Ukraine did not damage the ship the Admiral Makarov in the Black Sea earlier in the month, (the ship has been seen still operating so it appears this is correct).
It has since been verified that Russian troops have indeed left Ukraine’s second largest city after two months of bombardment.
Day 81. Sunday 15th May 2022
The breaking news, however, I think many would argue it was never in doubt, was Ukraine winning Eurovision 2022 in Turin, Italy! The band Kalush Orchestra received special permission to leave Russia to attend the event however one member did stay back in Ukraine to fight.
Despite warnings from Moscow both Finland and Sweden took their first steps towards NATO membership. The irony of this cannot be ignored given one of the main reasons behind Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was to stop Ukraine becoming a member of NATO.
Day 82. Monday 16th May 2022.
Turkey vowed to block Sweden and Finland’s applications to join NATO on the rounds that they harboured Kurdish militants. Turkey is a key player in NATO.
McDonald’s finally made the call to pull out of Russia completely after closing the stores earlier in the conflict.
As always, the best way to understand the extent of the Russian invasion and land grab, as it now stands, is by maps. The below map shows Russia having now connected the mainland to Crimea.