Update: Russia’s war on Ukraine

Tensions have surrounded Ukraine and Russia for years now. Many may disagree and have varying opinions for when an official date of the Russo-Ukrainian war began. Historically, Russia initially began its aggression with the invasion and annexation of Crimea. 


Major events, speeches, announcements and information have been released and continue being released everyday on the war happening in Ukraine. Beginning February 24, 2022 Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This further escalated tensions and the Russo-Ukrainian war that has been ongoing since 2014. This invasion marks the largest military attack on a sovereign state in Europe since World War II. 


As of March 16, 2022, the death toll has climbed to 691 civilians according to the United Nations human rights office. Reports of a Russian airstrike on a theater in Mariupol, Ukraine have begun to be released early morning March 17, 2022. Officials carried out a search for survivors in rubble from the theater struck. 


“Ukrainians across the [Ukraine] were killed in ferocious urban attacks on a school, a hostel and other sites,” said the Associated Press.


In the third week of intense fighting and threat, an estimated 3 million civilians have fled Ukraine to Poland, in hopes of finding refuge and safety as of March 16, 2022. European countries receiving refugees are helping them gain some comfort. In the United Kingdom, refugees are able to access National Health Service health care, education and other benefits as of March 17, 2022. In Germany, more than 187,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine arrived according to the German Ministry of the Interior.


Gathering secure information on numbers and unfolding updates is difficult because of the rapid advancements and lack of communication due to bombings, airstrikes and shelling. 


Recently, at 3:30 am, local time on March 17, Russian military forces shellied the Ukrainian town of Merefa. Taking the lives of 21 and wounding an additional 25 civilians. This shelling also damaged a local school and arts club. In a news conference with his Slovakian counterpart, 

U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, said “Russia [is] outright committing war crimes.”