As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 31st day, we take a look at the main developments.
These are the key events so far on Saturday, March 26. Get the latest updates here.
Fighting / diplomacy
- Russia says the first phase of its military operation was mostly complete and it would focus on “liberating” Ukraine’s breakaway eastern Donbas region. Reframing his goals may make it easier for Russian President Vladimir Putin to claim a face-saving victory, analysts say.
- Putin’s forces are under great strain in many parts of the country, and the United States and other countries are accelerating their transfer of arms and supplies to Ukraine.
- Three hundred people may have been killed in the bombing of a Mariupol theater, local officials say. Russia says 1,351 of its soldiers have died since the war began on February 24, while the United Nations says it has confirmed 1,081 civilian deaths in Ukraine.
- At least 34 assaults on Ukrainian medical facilities have been carried out by Russian forces, according to The Associated Press.
- Thousands of kilometers from Ukraine, Russia is conducting military drills on islands claimed by Tokyo, Japanese media report, days after Moscow halted peace talks with Japan because of its sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The war in Ukraine has killed 136 children so far, Ukraine’s office of the prosecutor general says, and the number of wounded children stood at 199.
- The Russian attack on Ukraine has fueled allegations that Moscow is committing war crimes by killing civilians, whether deliberately or by indiscriminate fire.
- In the northern city of Chernihiv, Russian troops are deliberately targeting sites where food is being stored, a local official says. It is estimated more than 130,000 people remain in the city, which had a pre-war population of 285,000.
- About 3.7 million people have fled Ukraine, which had a prewar population of 44 million.
- The United Nations is looking into allegations that civilians were forcibly moved from the besieged southern city of Mariupol to Russia.
- US President Joe Biden is in Poland to pay tribute to a country that has taken in more than two million Ukrainian refugees who were forced to flee their homes.
- Biden meets with refugees and will deliver remarks on united efforts to support the people of Ukraine, and hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.
Energy / markets / business
- The US and the European Union have announced a move to further squeeze Russia economically – a partnership to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and dry up the billions of dollars the Kremlin gets from the sale of fuel. The US will supply Europe with more liquefied natural gas to help curb reliance on Russia.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described Western efforts to sanction Russia internationally as “total war”. He says the goal was “to destroy, break, annihilate, strangle the Russian economy, and Russia on the whole”.
- Germany’s economy minister says his country has forged contracts with new suppliers that will allow it to significantly reduce its reliance on Russian coal, gas and oil in the coming weeks.
- The war is driving commodities prices up and will likely reduce global growth prospects, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says.
- China’s state-run Sinopec group suspended talks for a major petrochemical investment and a gas marketing venture in Russia, sources told Reuters news agency, heeding a government call for bail as Western sanctions mount.