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Russia’s early morning attack on February 24 has caused deaths, a refugee crisis, and global economic turmoil. The end remains out of sight.
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It has been just over 100 days since Russia first launched artillery strikes on Ukraine, under the guise of “demilitarising” and “de-Nazifying” the former Soviet state. In just three months, Russia has managed to leave the country cratered, dilapidated and desolate. Experts and political heads say that what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” is set to become a long-drawn-out war. Russian forces were quick to encircle Kyiv, but failed to capture the capital. By the end of March, Putin was forced to change his strategy and move troops away from Kyiv and Kharkiv, the second largest city, and focus instead on the Donbas region. The war has killed thousands of civilians, seen several war crimes at the hands of Russian troops, caused a refugee emergency and wreaked havoc on global economies, leading to inflation and food shortages. The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and Canada, among others, have imposed sanctions on Russia, and are lending financial or military aid to Ukraine. But as Russian forces continue to move deeper into the southeastern Donbas region, and restart efforts to destabilise Kharkiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his allies need to do more. Meanwhile, people across the world face the threat of starvation, as idle grains in Ukrainian ports are forcing global food prices to skyrocket.
Here are the main events of the first 100 days of the war in Ukraine:
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the total number of civilian casualties for Ukraine is 9,585.
However, the OHCHR believes that the actual figures are “considerably higher,”, largely due to delays in reporting, with many reports “pending corroboration,” especially in places facing intense fighting like Iziun in the Kharkiv region, and Popasna and Mariupol in the Donbas region.
Notably, extensive reporting and satellite imagery shows that Russian forces are relentlessly bombing the country, turning neighborhoods into piles of debris. Beyond that, places such as the port city of Mariupol and the small town of Bucha near Kyiv allegedly saw rampant war crimes, including mass civilian executions, strikes on hospitals and rape.
During the month-long Russian occupation of Bucha in March, the Human Rights Watch documented several cases of war crimes, reported by 10 people who witnessed, endured or resided in the town. Despite satellite imagery showing bodies scattered across the town, Russia denied the massacre, claiming that the photos were “fake.” Ukraine’s mayor said over 300 residents were killed during that month. In May, the BBC reported that over 1,000 bodies had been found there.
Reliable data for the number of troop casualties on either side are unavailable.
After just the first month of the war, over 3.7 million people became refugees, fleeing Ukraine in what an analysis by the Pew Research Center found to be the sixth-largest refugee outflow over the past 60-plus years. Three months later, that number has risen to over 4.7 million. Neighbouring countries have seen the highest inflow, with Poland on top of the list with over 3.6 million. The UN’s International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM) May 3 Internal Displacement Report found that over eight million people are internally displaced, of which over 60% are women.
However, as the fighting moves to southeastern Ukraine, many are returning to cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv, where a ‘new normal’ has set in. About 1.5 million people left Poland to return home.
In April, Russian forces moved into parts of Donetsk and Luhansk in southeastern Ukraine, collectively known as the Donbas. Since parts of the Donbas were already controlled by Russian-backed separatists, the launch of the full-scale invasion allowed Russia to advance further into the region. Severodonetsk, one of the only remaining cities in Luhansk, is under relentless Russian bombardment. But Ukraine is holding on. If Russia succeeds in capturing Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, Luhansk’s other standing city, it will have access to the highway currently being used to supply the Ukrainian military and evacuate civilians.
“The city is essentially being destroyed ruthlessly block by block,” said Severodonetsk’s mayor Oleksandr Striuk.He said artillery bombardments threaten the lives of the estimated 13,000 civilians, who are sheltering in the ruined city that was once home to more than 1,00,000 people. He estimates that about 15,000 residents have died of various causes since February.
Russia and Ukraine make up about a third of the world’s supply of wheat, exporting about 51 million tonnes of grain in the eight months before the war, according to the UN World Food Programme. While western sanctions are inhibiting Russia’s ability to export not just grain, but essential fertilisers, Ukraine’s grains are unable to leave ports. Ukraine lost control of several ports when Russia captured Mariupol, Kherson and Berdyansk. Those ports still under Ukrainian control are littered with underwater mines, acting as a deterrent against Russia, but also effectively blocking out commercial ships. Russia has also imposed a naval blockade in the Black Sea. This leaves thousands without access to food, especially threatening people in countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, which the WFP says could face “catastrophic conditions.”
Chart of the week: Number of precautionary COVID-19 doses administered
95,600 Indian children below the age of 14 currently have Type 1 Diabetes mellitus (T1DM), with 15,900 children in this age group getting diagnosed with it every year, according to a recent ICMR report.
$122.01 was the price per barrel of Brent crude oil on June 10, nearly double the amount it was trading at a year ago.
3.2 lakh is the seven-day average number of daily COVID-19 tests being conducted in India, as of June 11. During the Omicron wave in January-February 2022, an average of 16-18 lakh tests were being conducted.
43% less rainfall was recorded in the first 11 days of the monsoon this year, when compared to the Long Period Average, which says India should have received 40.1mm of rainfall by now.
21 lakh precautionary COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered per day between June 4 and June 10, following rising infection rates. Between February and March, 2022, only 5 lakh precautionary doses were administered.
Flashback: a look back at how we got here
It’s been 52 years since the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) became effective. The treaty is meant to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, with the final goal being total disarmament. But with war in Ukraine raging on, with no end in sight, heightened tensions pose a major risk to the NPT’s goals.
The rupee fell by 36 paise today, setting a record low of 78.29 against the US dollar in early trade. The value of the rupee has been on a declining trend for over a decade. Data shows the recent fall is attributed to factors like foreign outflows and elevated oil prices.
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