The relationship between Russia and Ukraine has soured since the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. This is sequel to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Nearly six weeks ago, the frosty plot between the duo thickened as Moscow embarked on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with the Kremlin throwing its heavyweight behind the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Republican states, stoking a war that has restively raised serious international condemnation.
Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine.
– Outrage at Russian ‘war crimes’ –
Global outrage and accusations of Russian war crimes mount after the discovery of dozens of bodies, some with their hands bound, near Kyiv.
Britain, France, Germany, the United States, NATO and the United Nations all voice horror at the reports of civilians being murdered in Bucha, North-West of the Ukrainian capital.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calls it a “deliberate massacre” while President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russian forces are committing “genocide”.
In a later address, Zelensky says Russian troops are “murderers, torturers, rapists, looters, who call themselves the army and who deserve only death after what they did”.
– Hundreds of bodies –
Ukrainian prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova says 410 civilian bodies were recovered from areas around Kyiv recently retaken from Russian forces.
AFP sees at least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, strewn across a single street in Bucha.
– Russia denies accusations, calls UNSC meeting –
Russia’s defence ministry says “not a single local resident” in Bucha suffered violence, accusing Ukraine of bombarding its Southern suburbs and falsifying images of corpses in “another production” for Western media.
Moscow calls for a special UN Security Council meeting “in the light of heinous provocation of Ukrainian radicals in Bucha”, its deputy ambassador to the United Nations says.
A senior Washington official says the move is designed to “feign outrage”.
– West calls for investigation –
Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union all call for those responsible for the Bucha killings to be brought to justice at the international tribunal in The Hague.
– EU chief vows more sanctions –
EU chief Charles Michel pledges further sanctions on Moscow as he condemns “atrocities” near Kyiv.
– Zelensky addresses Grammys –
Zelensky makes a surprise appearance at the Grammy music awards, appearing in a pre-taped video urging support for his country.
“Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos,” he says. “They sing to the wounded in hospitals – even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”
– Russia says full isolation impossible –
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says it is not possible to isolate Russia entirely, telling Russian state television that the world is “much larger than Europe”.
– Strikes in Eastern Ukraine –
Seven people die and 34 are wounded after Russian forces strike a residential area in Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv, local prosecutors say.
Russian forces also shell the nearby town of Dergachi, leaving at least three civilians dead and wounding seven, its mayor says on Facebook.
Six people were also killed and another injured in the Eastern Donetsk region by Russian strikes, the head of the regional military administration says on Telegram.
– Ukraine says Russia hit hospital –
The governor of the East Ukrainian town of Rubizhne says one person was killed and three others were injured when Russian forces targeted a local hospital.
Another local governor says one person died and 14 were injured after a Russian strike on the South Ukraine city of Mykolaiv.
Air strikes also rock Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea port Odessa.
– Russia repositioning troops –
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg cautions that Russia’s claim to be pulling troops away from Kyiv is “not a withdrawal” but Russia repositioning its troops.
– Human Rights Watch report –
Human Rights Watch says Russian troops may have committed possible war crimes against civilians in occupied areas of Chernigiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv, including rape and summary execution.
– UN official arrives in Moscow –
Top UN humanitarian envoy Martin Griffiths arrives in Moscow on Sunday before an expected visit to Kyiv to seek a halt to the fighting.
– Too soon for peace summit –
Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky says it is too early for a top-level meeting between Zelensky and Putin on ending the conflict.
He says Kyiv has become “more realistic” in its approach to issues related to the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine but a draft agreement for submission to a summit meeting is not ready.