Ukrainian Soldiers Take Control Of Key City From Russian Forces

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According to an early Saturday report from the Ukrainian news source known as The Kyiv Independent, Ukrainian forces have taken control of the city of Mykolaiv, which has been targeted by Russian military personnel participating in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The report added that Ukrainian forces had taken possession of equipment left behind by retreating Russian soldiers. The Kyiv Independent explained that “[according] to Mykolaiv Oblast Governor Vitaly Kim, there are casualties among civilians, but their number is yet to be determined.” The Guardian reported Friday that “Russian ground forces began their long expected push west towards the key port of Odesa in the south of Ukraine with an assault of the shipbuilding centre of Mykolaiv.”

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Russian military personnel have so far been repelled from taking over the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, but devastation that the Russian army is inflicting is immense, and thousands of Ukrainian civilians have already died, according to authorities in the targeted country. In addition, well over a million refugees and counting have already fled Ukraine, and the damage that has been dealt to the country’s infrastructure will pose substantial challenges in returning to some semblance of safety whenever the fighting may stop. Russian and Ukrainian personnel agreed on the establishment of so-called humanitarian corridors to allow for evacuations of citizens in certain areas, but Russian forces failed to abide by the limited ceasefire agreements that were meant to provide for the hoped for evacuations, forcing these plans to be abandoned and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in further danger. The Kyiv Independent posted early Saturday in Eastern Time that “Civilians’ evacuation in Mariupol [was] postponed as Russian forces fail the temporary ceasefire agreement. Evacuation was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. but Russian forces didn’t stop shelling the area. Authorities were hoping to evacuate up to 200,000 people from the city.”

A huge Russian military convoy, which has been a target of Ukrainian military strikes, continues to threaten Kyiv, although any recent movements on its part have been negligible — as of Saturday, at least. A third round of negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian teams about potentially ending the conflict is slated for this Monday, March 7, although past talks have yet to produce substantial draw-downs in Russian violence against Ukraine. In the meantime, members of Congress are preparing to vote on substantial amounts of additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, alongside the total of $1 billion in military assistance that the Biden administration has granted Ukraine over the past year. In addition, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — who has reportedly been targeted by Russian assassination attempts — is advocating for sharp restrictions on Russian energy exports, which have so far been shielded from the brunt of sanctions imposed in response to Putin’s aggression due to concerns about energy prices.