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Conflict in Ukraine: from invasion to annexation

PARIS: Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24, sparking the worst battle in Europe in many years.
1000’s of civilians have been killed within the struggle, which took a dramatic activate Friday after President Vladimir Putin introduced the annexation of 4 Russian-occupied Ukrainian areas — Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
February: invasion – Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaims a “particular navy operation” in Ukraine on February 24.
He says that is to guard the Russian-speaking, self-declared separatist republics of Lugansk and Donetsk within the east of Ukraine, whose independence he has simply recognised.
He says he desires to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, and calls for a assure it can by no means be a part of the NATO navy alliance.
A full-scale invasion begins, with air and missile strikes on a number of Ukrainian cities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledges to remain within the capital, Kyiv, to guide the resistance.
The West imposes unprecedented sanctions on Russia. The European Union and United States ship weapons to Ukraine. The help pledged by Washington rises into the billions because the months go.
March: advances in south however Kyiv holds – Russian troops assault Ukraine’s south coast, seizing a lot of the southern area of Kherson, near the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.
Russian forces additionally try and encompass Kyiv and take Ukraine’s second metropolis Kharkiv within the northeast however meet fierce resistance and main logistical difficulties.
A month into the preventing, Russia withdraws from the Kyiv space and the north to concentrate on the japanese industrial Donbas area (Lugansk and Donetsk), partly held by separatists, together with the south.
April: struggle crimes revealed – In early April, scores of corpses of murdered civilians are found in Kyiv suburbs and northern cities that Russian forces had occupied.
The discoveries spark a global outcry.
Might: Mariupol falls – On Might 21, Russia proclaims the autumn of the strategic southeastern port metropolis of Mariupol, which had been relentlessly bombed because the begin of the struggle.
Ukrainian troops, who had held out for weeks at a steelworks within the metropolis, give up.
Sweden and Finland finish their decades-long coverage of wartime neutrality to request membership of NATO, fearing they might be future targets of Russian aggression.
June: Donbas battle rages – In June, Russia takes the Donbas metropolis of Severodonetsk after one of many bloodiest battles of the struggle, adopted quickly after by the neighbouring metropolis of Lysychansk.
Ukraine pleads for extra heavy weapons from the West.
July: grain unblocked, gasoline provides minimize – On July 22, Kyiv and Moscow signal a deal to renew grain exports from Ukraine, Europe’s breadbasket, in a bid to alleviate a world meals disaster brought on by Russia’s blockade of the nation’s ports.
Ten days later, the primary official cargo of grain because the invasion leaves Odessa with 26,000 tonnes of maize on board.
Because the power struggle between Russia and the West escalates, Russian gasoline big Gazprom slashes its provide to Europe by way of the Nord Stream pipeline earlier than turning off the faucet altogether, fuelling fears of gasoline shortages in Europe this winter.
August: nuclear fears – Ukraine and Russia blame one another for shelling across the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant, amid fears of a potential nuclear catastrophe.
Because the US and EU step up their provides of heavy weapons, Kyiv launches a significant offensive to retake the town of Kherson within the south.
September: annexation – UN inspectors go to the Zaporizhzhia plant and name for a safety zone to be arrange round it.
Ukraine retakes a whole bunch of cities and villages in a lightning counter-offensive round Kharkiv, together with the important thing metropolis of Izyum, the place greater than 440 graves are found in a forest.
In a sudden transfer on September 20, 4 Moscow-held areas say they are going to maintain “referendums” on becoming a member of Russia.
A day later, Putin calls up 300,000 reservists and vows to make use of “all obtainable means” to guard Russian territory. That is seen as a risk to make use of nuclear weapons if Ukraine makes an attempt to take again the annexed territories.
The draft sparks an exodus of Russian males of navy age to neighbouring international locations.
Between September 23 and 27, Kremlin-backed authorities go door-to-door in Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to gather ballots in votes dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a “sham”. On September 27, the Kremlin claims victory within the “referendums”.
On September 30, Putin indicators treaties to annex the 4 areas at a grand ceremony on the Kremlin. He calls for that Kyiv lay down its arms and negotiate an finish to the struggle.

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