(NEW YORK) — Russian forces are continuing their attempted push through Ukraine from multiple directions, while Ukrainians, led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are putting up “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.
The attack began Feb. 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation.”
Russian forces moving from neighboring Belarus toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, have advanced closer to the city center in recent days despite the resistance, coming within about 9 miles as of Friday.
Russia has been met by sanctions from the United States, Canada and countries throughout Europe, targeting the Russian economy as well as Putin himself.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Mar 15, 5:51 am
Residents protest in Russian-occupied cities: UK military
Residents of Kherson, Melitopol and Berdyansk, cities occupied by Russian forces, have held “multiple” demonstrations protesting the occupation, the U.K. Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
Protests in Kherson came as Russia may be making plans for a “referendum” to legitimize the region as a Russian-backed “breakaway republic,” similar to Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, the Ministry said.
“Further protests were reported in the city yesterday with Russian forces reportedly firing warning shots in an attempt to disperse peaceful protesters,” the Ministry said.
Russia is likely to “make further attempts to subvert Ukrainian democracy,” the update said.
“Russia has reportedly installed its own mayor in Melitopol following the alleged abduction of his predecessor on Friday 11 March,” the update said. “Subsequently, the Mayor of Dniprorudne has also reportedly been abducted by Russian forces.”
Mar 14, 9:56 pm
Latest talks with Russia went ‘pretty good,’ will continue tomorrow, Zelenskyy says
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy updated the status of negotiations with Russia in his latest address Monday, saying the latest talks went “pretty good” and will continue tomorrow.
Zelenskyy also addressed Russian troops, telling them they would be treated “decently” should they surrender.
“On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I give you a chance — chance to survive,” Zelenskyy said. “You surrender to our forces, we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated. As people, decently.”
Zelenskyy also thanked the producer at a Russian state news channel who appeared on camera behind an anchor and held up an anti-war sign. She was later arrested.
“I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth,” he said. “To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones. And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.”
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