With at least 2,200 civilian deaths and 5 million refugees, according to the UN, two months have passed since the war in Ukraine, which is now taking place in a second phase for the “complete liberation” of the pro-Russian Donbas, in the east of the country, the Kremlin argues.
Mariupol, by the Sea of Azov, is the last stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in this strategic port city and constitutes one of the main Russian objectives since the beginning of the war to try to achieve total control of the Donbas region and form a land corridor in the east of the country to the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014.
Since the beginning of the invasion, Russian troops have advanced from the east, through Kharkov, the second largest city in Ukraine, and from the southeast through Mariupol, to surround the Ukrainian forces, while trying to gain ground in the direction of the city. port of Odesa, another of the most coveted ports by Russia.
These are the key moments of the Ukraine war:
Start of the invasion
– At 04.00 various hours Ukrainian cities are bombed by the Russian Army in an operation in Donbas (east), after the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk were recognized three days earlier as independent republics by the Kremlin.
– The invasion begins with missile strikes on various military installations. in kyiv, Kharkov, the second largest city to the north, and Dnipro.
– A Russian landing party lands in Odessa and Russian troops cross the border near Kharkov.
February 27: Russian troops enter Kharkov to the north.
Capture of Kherson and blockade of Mariupol
March 1: The Russian Army storms Kherson, on the Black Sea, and continues the siege of Mariupol, a strategic port in Donbas.
March 3: Four Russian landing ships set sail for Odessa.
March 4: Russia attacks Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhia, to the south and five days later it goes on to control Chernobyl. At the same time, the bombings and the siege of kyiv, Kharkov and a residential area in Chernigov, to the north, continue.
Offensive against Kharkiv, Odessa and Lviv. Siege of Mariupol
March 7: Russia attacks the enclaves of Kharkov, Sumy (northeast) and Odessa (south) with missiles and artillery, while the third round of negotiations begins. The Kremlin demands a neutral Ukrainethe recognition of Donbas as independent and Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
March 9: Russian troops attack civilian targets, bombing a mother and child hospital in Mariupol.
-Eight Russian missiles hit a military base in Lviv, bordering Poland, in the largest escalation against this region.
– Russian troops launch in Irpin, on the outskirts of kyiv, more than 30 missiles against a base near the Polish border, with at least 35 dead.
March 21: Eight killed in a bombing attack on a shopping mall in kyiv, which Russia says was a warehouse with rocket launchers and was inoperative.
Recovery of Irpen and liberation of kyiv
March 28: Ukraine recovers Irpin and avoids the encirclement of Russian troops to the capital.
March 29: Russia announces that it is reducing its attacks on kyiv and Chernigov to facilitate an agreement with Ukraine, which accepts neutrality.
March 31st: NATO assures that Russian troops are not withdrawing but regrouping in the east. Meanwhile, the fighting continues near kyiv, in Chernigov and the bombing in Donbas.
April 1: Russian troops withdraw from kyiv but its inhabitants do not believe that it is the end.
Bucha massacre and possible Russian use of chemical weapons in Mariupol
April 4: More than 400 civilian bodies are discovered in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, after the withdrawal of Russian troops, which is denounced by the international community as a genocide and the Kremlin denies and describes as “unfounded”.
April 8: At least 50 dead, including 5 childrenin an attack on the Kramatorsk train station in the east, which housed thousands of people trying to leave the country.
April 11: Pro-Russian militias take the port of Mariupol, according to their leader.
April 12: Ukrainian troops denounce the possible use of chemical weapons in Mariupol by the pro-Russian militias in Donetsk, who deny this assumption.
April 14: Russia says the missile cruiser “Moskva”, its flagship in the Black Sea, has sunk while being towed in a storm, while Ukraine claims it was hit by two cruise missiles. The number of victims is unknown with certainty.
April 17th: At least 53 killed in Russian bombing of Chernigov.
April 18 – Russia bombards Lviv, while continuing its final assault on Mariupol.
April 19th: Moscow announces the second phase of its war to liberate Donbas.
April, the 21st:
– Civilian deaths are estimated at 2,200, according to the United Nations Office for Human Rights, and refugees reach 5.08 million and the internally displaced, 7.7 million.
-Russia claims to have taken Mariupol, although it admits that there is still a pocket of resistance in the Azovstal steelworks.