Russian forces expanded their offensive to the west of Ukraine for the first time on Friday. Here’s what you need to know about the advancements Russian forces have made in Ukraine and the areas that have been newly impacted.
Where Russian forces have advanced: There’s growing evidence that the town of Volnovakha in eastern Ukraine has fallen to Russian forces and their allies in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic. The city of Kherson appears to have been captured accrording to US defense intelligence.
The cities of Kyiv, Kharkhiv, Mariupol, Mykolaiv and Sumy continue to experience Russian onslaught and are under pressure.
- There was substantial damage to the airport at Lutsk in northwestern Ukraine, which is only about 70 miles (about 112 kilometers) from the Polish border.
- The governor of the Volyn region said four missiles had been fired from a Russian bomber and two people were killed.
- The military airfield at Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine was struck by missiles.
- A missile strike on the outskirts of Dnipro killed one civilian and damaged a primary school building, apartment buildings and a shoe factory.
- There were also overnight airstrikes in the Brovary district just east of Kyiv and a missile strike in the town of Baryshivka, some 45 miles (about 72 kilometers) east of the capital.
- A soccer stadium and library in Chernihiv, a city in northern Ukraine, have been badly damaged by an airstrike.
An update on the more than 40-miles-long Russian convoy: The convoy that had sat for nearly two weeks outside Kyiv has now largely dispersed, according to Maxar satellite imagery from Thursday. The forces appear to be regrouping.
New actions against Russia by the United States: US President Joe Biden announced that the US, along with the G7 and EU, will call for revoking “most favored nation” status for Russia, referred to as permanent normal trade relations in the US. Additionally, he said Russian imports of seafood, vodka and diamonds will be banned. Meanwhile, the G7 is also adding sanctions to more Russian oligarchs and their families as the invasion of Ukraine continues.
Russia says it has received applications from foreigners asking to join fight: The Kremlin has said volunteers from the “Middle East and Syria” can be sent to fight for Russia in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, claiming that over 16,000 applications have been received from abroad. The US has not seen the “actual arrival” of foreign fighters from the Middle East to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine, but it does believe that Russia is moving in the direction of recruiting and using foreign fighters.
Refugee numbers keep climbing: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday that the number of people who have fled from Ukraine has now hit 2.5 million.