Ukrainian defenders are taking credit for wiping some 30 Russian helicopters off the map in rapid succession at an airfield around the city of Kherson, which has been captured — for now — by invading Russian forces. Journalist Michael Weiss shared remarks from an officer with Ukraine’s military intelligence service confirming the hit; as that officer put it, “Yesterday, [Russia] lost 30 helicopters in the vicinity of Kherson where our marines destroyed them. The government announced this. Frankly speaking, it’s true.” Overall, Ukrainian forces say that they’ve taken 82 Russian helicopters and counting out of commission for the invading forces, and other apparently successful hits for the Ukrainians defending their country include a Russian warship.
🇺🇦Ukraine’s Marines: 30 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground at the Kherson Airfield 🔥
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) March 7, 2022
Battlefield-related numbers are obviously difficult to conclusively confirm under current conditions, but the high totals of apparent Russian losses suggest that the invading forces may have been insufficiently prepared for the scope of Ukrainian resistance. That’s not to say that Ukrainians haven’t already suffered devastating impacts — thousands of civilians have died, and this Wednesday, Russian military personnel struck a maternity hospital in Mariupol, which had apparent patients or at least groups of people within its walls at the time. In Mariupol, hundreds of thousands of essentially trapped residents have been struggling under Russian attacks, having already lost access to utilities such as running water, and over 1,100 in the city have already died, according to the deputy mayor. Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday that “Russia continues holding hostage over 400.000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation. Indiscriminate shelling continues. Almost 3.000 newborn babies lack medicine and food.”
Russia continues holding hostage over 400.000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation. Indiscriminate shelling continues. Almost 3.000 newborn babies lack medicine and food. I urge the world to act! Force Russia to stop its barbaric war on civilians and babies!
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 9, 2022
The United States has announced a ban on Russian energy imports, further spiking the worldwide push to economically hold the country’s regime accountable for the unfolding violence in Ukraine. Over 2 million people have fled Ukraine as refugees, and efforts to secure further civilian evacuations from, for instance, Mariupol have been seriously hampered by repeated Russian violations of limited ceasefire agreements that had been set up. Negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian teams — neither of which have included the respective countries’ heads-of-state — have produced limited results, with Putin and his regime so far opting to stand by the violence, which they’re trying to gloss over with propaganda. Russian authorities have even implemented new legal provisions providing for prison sentences of up to 15 years for certain instances of spreading so-called fake news related to the war, and thousands of demonstrators in Russia against the conflict have been arrested.
Day 14 of Ukraine resistance. Russia is exacerbating humanitarianism catastrophe in Mariupol, small towns Bucha, Irpin near Kyiv. There's no electricity, heating, food and water. People melt snow to drink. Hospitals destroyed by airstrikes.The West still hesitates to provide jets
— Olga Tokariuk (@olgatokariuk) March 9, 2022