Ukraine’s military and citizens continue to resist the Russian invasion. As Russia’s attacks escalate, casualties grow and the refugee situation becomes a major crisis.
Why it matters
Leaders in the US and Europe have imposed severe economic sanctions on Russia, but that may be just the start in a new era of hostility between the West and Moscow.
on Feb. 24 in a move Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called a “war against the whole of Europe.”
International leaders have joined US President Joe Biden inthe “brutal attack.” The US, EU and UK have imposed , including ones aimed directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tensions had been growing for months and were marked by angry speeches from Putin, as well as a buildup of Russian forces along Ukraine’s borders. Ukraine, which had been part of the Soviet Union for much of the 20th century, declared its independence in 1991. Since then, the country has been establishing closer ties with Western Europe and the US.
Here is breaking news on the war.
Wednesday, March 2
Russian military continues attacks on Ukraine’s major cities
The Russian military faced resistance in capital Kyiv, with its vehicles struggling to reach the city center, The Washington Post reported. Missiles struck key buildings in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, and tanks entered the Black Sea port of Kherson.
Ukraine and Russia to enter second round of talks
Delegations from Ukraine and Russia are planning to meet for their second round of talks on Wednesday, according to The New York Times, citing Zelenskyy adviser Oleksiy Arestovych.
EU bans Russian state-run news agencies in Europe
The European Union on Wednesdayfrom broadcasting and publishing within Europe.
“We are witnessing massive propaganda and disinformation over this outrageous attack on a free and independent country,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.” We will not let Kremlin apologists pour their toxic lies justifying Putin’s war or sow the seeds of division in our Union.”
Tuesday, March 1
Biden announces ban on Russian aircraft in US airspace
US President Joe Biden announced during his first State of the Union address thatin an effort to increase the pressure on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. The US joins Canada and the European Union in banning aircraft owned or registered by Russians from flying across its borders.
“Tonight, I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy,” the president said.
The ban will reportedly be enforced from 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday.
Biden and Zelenskyy discuss sanctions, defense
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden spoke again Tuesday. “Just had a conversation with @POTUS. The American leadership on anti-Russian sanctions and defense assistance to Ukraine was discussed,” Zelenskyy tweeted. “We must stop the aggressor as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!”
Apple stops selling products in Russia
Appleand exports to its Russian partners, in addition to including limiting Apple Pay transactions in the country, it said Tuesday. The company also disabled some features of Apple Maps in Ukraine to protect civilians.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” it said in an e-mailed statement. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”
DirecTV removes RT America programming
Satellite TV provider, one of Russia’s state-controlled international television networks, in the US, DirecTV said Tuesday.
“We are acceleratingand will no longer offer their programming effective immediately,” DirecTV said in a statement. “We felt it necessary to move the timeline up from mid-year following the devastating recent events in Ukraine.”
Facebook is demoting Russian state media content
Meta said Tuesday that it’s label says.shared on Facebook and Instagram by Russian state-controlled media outlets. Meta is also making the content harder to find and labeling it on both platforms. “This link is from a publisher Facebook believes may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of the Russian government,” the
Ukrainian president calls for his country to be admitted into EU
Zelenskyy implored lawmakers to grant European Union membership to Ukraine, in an emotional video conference address to the European Parliament.
“The EU will be much stronger with us. We have shown our strength and that we are equals,” he said, as previously reported by the BBC. “On your side, you can prove to us that you are by our side, that you will not give up on us.”
YouTube blocks Russian state media channels
YouTube blocked channels connected to Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik, parent company Google said.
“It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up,” Google’s European branch said in a tweet. “Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action.”
Monday, Feb. 28
Facebook to restrict some Russian state media across the EU
Meta, the parent company of Facebook,across the European Union.
“We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time,” said Nick Clegg, who oversees global affairs at Meta, in a tweet.
Clegg didn’t specify when these new restrictions would start. Facebook previously restricted access to several accounts, including from Russian state-controlled media, in Ukraine after a request from the government there.
Twitter to label tweets that link to Russian state media
Twitter on Monday began adding labels to tweets that shared links to Russian state-backed media sites and is also taking steps to reduce their spread on the social network. The label reads “This Tweet links to a Russia state-affiliated media website” and links to a Twitter help center page on government and state-affiliated media accounts.
“Since the invasion, we’ve seen more than 45,000 Tweets a day sharing links to Russian state-affiliated media outlets,” said Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, in a series of tweets explaining the company’s decision. “While we’ve labeled the accounts of hundreds of global state media outlets for years, Tweets sharing their content lacked visible context.”
Twitter said it would roll out the labels to other state-affiliated media outlets in the coming weeks.
Ukrainian and Russian delegations end initial talks
Ukraine and Russia sent delegations to neighboring Belarus to enter the first talks since the Russian invasion began, the Washington Post and New York Times reported. The talks reportedly lasted almost five hours and more are expected in the coming days.
The delegations “identified a number of priority topics on which specific solutions were outlined,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, according to the Washington Post. No specific resolution was reached and both sides will reportedly return to their countries for consultations.
Sunday, Feb. 27
Google Maps live traffic data temporarily disabled in Ukraine
Google Maps tools offering live information about traffic conditions and activity in stores and restaurants were temporarily disabled in Ukraine, the search giant confirmed to CNET via email.
The decision to disable these features was apparently made to protect local users’ safety after consultation with Ukrainian regional authorities, as previously reported by Reuters.
Meta restricts some Russian accounts in Ukraine
The giant social network said it had restricted access to some accounts in Ukraine, including some belonging to Russian state media organizations. Meta took the move at the request of the Ukrainian government. It’s also considering similar requests from other countries.
The company had previously established a center staffed with native Russian and Ukrainian speakers to monitor the platform. It also expanded its fact-checking capability and prevented Russian state media accounts from running ads, effectively demonetizing them.
Elon Musk activates Starlink in Ukraine amid internet disruption
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Saturday that the company’sand that more terminals are being sent to the country as invading Russian troops disrupt internet access. Musk’s actions were in response to a plea from a senior Ukrainian government official for him to provide more Starlink stations to the country. The satellite-based service provides an alternative to land-based systems that can often be difficult to deploy in remote areas or vulnerable to interruption by military action or natural disaster.
Saturday, Feb. 26
US, allies to expel some Russian banks from SWIFT payments system
Significantly ramping up sanctions, the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the European Commission said Saturday that they’ve committed to “ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed” from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication messaging system. Millions of financial messages and money transfer orders are sent over SWIFT by banks worldwide, including the US Federal Reserve System, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. The allies said the move will ensure that the affected Russian banks “are disconnected from the international financial system,” harming “.”
Social media sites tamp down on ads
Google-owned fact-checking capacity in Russian and Ukrainian.outlet RT and other Russian channels from making money off of ads on the video site. Facebook had made a similar move on Friday, banning Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on its platform. It followed up Saturday with a blog post about the invasion-related steps it’s taking, including expanding its third-party
Twitter, meanwhile, had said Friday that it was “temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.” On Saturday, it said “we aware that Twitter is being restricted for some people in Russia and are working to keep our service safe and accessible.”
Russian advance slows
A Pentagon official said Russian forces were “increasingly frustrated by their lack of momentum,” The New York Times reported Saturday, as outgunned Ukrainian forces held on to the capital, Kyiv, overnight amid what a number of news outlets characterized as intense street fighting.
Britain’s ministry of defense cited “strong Ukrainian resistance” and logistical troubles as the causes of the slowdown, the Times said, while the Kremlin asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a pause Friday to allow for possible negotiations with Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued his calls for the country to “stand firm” as Russian forces push in from the north, from Crimea in the south and from the east through Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Sumy.
Friday, Feb. 25
Meta halts Russian state media ads
The Facebook owner said late Friday it was “prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world.”
The move followedon access to Facebook in Russia after the country’s communications regulator claimed the social network had censored some Russian media.
US and EU personally sanction Putin
The European Union and the United States agreed to personally sanction Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.
“Following a telephone call conversation President Biden held with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and in alignment with the decision by our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing Friday afternoon.
Psaki added that the secretary of the Treasury will also impose “full blocking sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund — a state owned financial entity that functions as a sovereign wealth fund, which is supposed to attract capital into the Russian economy in high-growth sectors.”
Russian forces reach Kyiv
Russian troops reportedly reached Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, early Friday morning. CBS News reported explosions and gunfire in the city.
Zelenskyy posted a video of himself and other government officials. He said they haven’t fled the city and are defending Ukraine.
Zelenskyy talks with Biden
Ukraine’s president said he spoke with Biden on Friday, tweeting that they discussed “strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an anti-war coalition.”
Earlier Friday, a Kremlin spokesperson reportedly said Putin was willing to negotiate with Ukraine, but later comments by the Russian leader cast doubt on peace talks, according to The New York Times.
Thursday, Feb. 24
Ukraine death toll reaches 137
At least 137 people were killed on the first day of Russia’s assault, Zelenskyy said.
“Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter, calling the Russian military actions “a full-scale invasion.”
“This is a war of aggression,” Kuleba said.
Russia seizes Chernobyl
Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power site by Thursday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
“This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter.
More sanctions hit Russia
Biden gave an address later Thursday, saying the US would cut off Russian banks and stop Russia’s ability to finance and build its military.
“Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will end up costing Russia dearly economically and strategically,” Biden said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said Thursday that Russian banks would face a full asset freeze, and he banned Russia’s national airline, Aeroflot, from landing in the UK. Britain extended sanctions to Belarus for assisting in the Russian invasion.
Biden, G7 condemn Russia
Following a meeting Thursday, the leaders of the Group of Seven nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US — issued a joint statement condemning Russia.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in a statement. “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring.”
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Russia’s actions are “an act of aggression against a sovereign, independent and peaceful country.” He added, “this is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion.”
Russia invades Ukraine
Russia invaded Ukraine at around 4:30 a.m. local time Thursday, with Russian forces launching attacks from the country’s eastern border with Ukraine, from the north in Belarus and from the south in Crimea.
Zelenskyy declared martial law in Ukraine.
Putin repeated discredited claims of violence against ethnic Russians in Ukraine to justify the invasion.
Countries in Central Europe, including Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, prepared to receive an influx of refugees.
Wednesday, Feb. 23
Zelenskyy appeals for peace
Zelenskyy made a plea for peace Wednesday in a last-minute effort to avoid war.
“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” Zelenskyy said. “But if we come under attack, if we face an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs.”
Ukrainian banks and government hit by suspected cyberattack
Multiple Ukrainian government websites went offline Feb. 23 as the result of a mass distributed denial of service attack, according to the head of the Eastern European nation’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. Some banking websites were down as well, Mykhailo Fedorov said on Telegram.
DDoS attacks cripple sites by overwhelming them with a flood of requests to serve up web pages.
Tuesday, Feb. 22
The European Union on Tuesday agreed to a package of sanctions against Russia, targeting banks that fund the country’s military operations and banning trade between the EU and the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, while Germany halted approval of the Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany.
Biden on Tuesday said the US will provide defensive assistance to Ukraine and reinforce NATO allies. The Pentagon put 8,500 US troops on high alert to bolster NATO’s response force.
Monday, Feb. 21
Putin recognizes breakaway regions as independent
Putin on Feb. 21 recognized two Moscow-backed regions in eastern Ukraine — Donetsk and Luhansk — as independent entities and ordered the deployment of Russian forces to “keep the peace.” In a lengthy televised address about his decision, Putin also aired historical grievances and made baseless claims of Ukrainian aggression, as reported by The New York Times.
Friday, Feb. 18
US blames Russia for cyberattacks
On Feb. 18, US officials said they believe Russia was responsible for cyberattacks againstearlier this month. They were the latest in a that’ve been blamed on Russia, including attacks that defaced government websites and planted destructive malware on Ukrainian computer networks.
“This recent spate of cyberattacks in Ukraine are consistent with what a Russian effort would look like, and laying the groundwork for more disruptive cyberattacks accompanying a potential further invasion of Ukraine sovereign territory,” said Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser, during a briefing at the White House.
Monday, Jan. 10
US pushes back on Russia’s security demands
On Jan. 10, US and Russian officials met for strategic stability talks in Geneva. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said both countries shared concerns, but the US was firm that it would “not allow anyone to slam closed NATO’s open door policy.”
The meeting came after the US and NATO in December rejected a Russian proposal that called for “a Cold War-like security arrangement,” according to The New York Times, including demands for “ironclad” guarantees that Ukraine and Georgia never become members of NATO.
NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance among two countries in North America and 28 in Europe. The admission of either Ukraine or Georgia would increase NATO’s presence along Russia’s border.