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Russian invasion of Ukraine: latest developments

Russia on Saturday ordered its troops to advance “from all directions” toward Ukraine as it continues to shell the country’s military with cruise missiles.

Ukraine under siege

‘Stiff resistance’

The Pentagon says half of the Russian invasion force is already in Ukraine, but is frustrated by unexpectedly stiff Ukrainian resistance, with President Volodymyr Zelensky claiming his forces have “derailed” Russia’s master plan.

Battle for Kiev

Ukrainian soldiers repulsed a Russian attack in the capital Kiev just hours after Zelensky warned that Moscow would try to take the city before dawn.

Civilians – some of whom have never held a weapon before – engage in battle with Russian tanks.

Russians kill 10 Greeks

Greece calls on Russia to stop bombing Ukrainian villages after it blames Moscow for the “murder” of at least 10 ethnic Greek civilians in airstrikes near the southern city of Mariupol.

“We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease air strikes and all actions against civilians,” the Greek foreign ministry said in a statement.

Bodies on the street

AFP sees a dead civilian sprawled on the sidewalk in central Kiev as nearby medics help another man whose car was crushed by an armored vehicle.

Others are feared dead after artillery blasts a five-story hole in a high-rise apartment building.

198 civilians dead

Ukraine’s health minister says 198 civilians, including three children, have been killed and 1,115 injured since Russia invaded.

ALSO READ: No, these SANDF soldiers are not going to Ukraine or Russia

‘I am here’: Zelensky

A rebellious Zelensky publishes a self-shot video from the center of Kiev, saying: “I am here… this is our country, our country, our children and we will protect all of this.”

250,000 refugees

Poland says 100,000 refugees have crossed the border into Ukraine since Russia invaded, and the UN estimates a similar number are internally displaced. About 50,000 have also flown into Hungary and Romania, while thousands of others are entering Moldova.

US military aid

The United States says it will provide Ukraine with $350 million in additional military aid to fend off the Russian invasion.

Europe sends weapons

Germany sends 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 “Stinger” surface-to-air missiles to help Ukraine. France is also rushing there with military equipment and fuel, while Prague supplies small arms and ammunition.

Danish reporters shot

Two Danish journalists are shot and injured when their car comes under fire near the northeastern town of Okhtyrka, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Russian border.

Germany bows to SWIFT ban

Germany says it is working on excluding Russia from the SWIFT interbank system after it faced heavy criticism from Poland for opposing EU efforts to impose sanctions on Moscow’s trade with most of the world would paralyze.

France intercepts Russian ship

French naval forces intercept a cargo ship in the Channel, loaded with cars, en route to Saint Petersburg, after the EU imposed sanctions on Moscow.

ALSO READ: Russian troops ordered to resume offensive ‘from all sides’

Kremlin bans ‘war’, ‘invasion’

Russia is ordering its media to remove posts describing the attack on Ukraine as an “attack, invasion or declaration of war”, or be blocked and fined.

NATO uses violence

NATO deploys its 40,000-strong Rapid Reaction Forces for the first time to bolster the defenses on the eastern flank. No details have been given as to where the troops will be sent.

Worldwide ‘Russia Out!’ protests

Pro-Ukraine protests erupt around the world as thousands take to the streets from London to Athens and from Argentina to Canada to denounce the Russian attack on its neighbor.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 Russians have been arrested since Thursday for protesting the invasion.

In Switzerland, thousands of people gathered across the country, including about 1,000 outside the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva.

British royals support Ukraine

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate tweeted a message of support for “the entire Ukrainian people” in a rare geopolitical intervention.

The British Foreign Secretary also canceled a diplomatic reception on Saturday that Queen Elizabeth II was due to attend.

Despite the monarch being forced to cancel virtual events in recent days due to symptoms of the coronavirus, it is clear that the postponement is related to the current crisis in Ukraine.

Abramovich hands Chelsea over

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich hands over the English Premier League club to his charity as football fans across Europe turn on Russia with banners like “Stop it, Putin!” and gestures of solidarity with Ukraine.

© Agence France Presse

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