Russia has begun a large-scale military operation to seize the Donbas region and other parts of eastern Ukraine. Earlier today, Ukraine’s military withdrew from the city of Kreminna, which was home to about 18,000 people before Russia’s invasion. A regional governor said fighting has largely flattened the city and killed more than 200 civilians.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian soldiers in the besieged city of Mariupol holed up in a vast steel plant and were staging a last stand against Russian forces. Drone video shows thick clouds of smoke rising from the factory complex, which has been heavily damaged by Russian bombs. Mariupol city officials said over 1,000 civilians were hiding in underground shelters below the steel plant. Other Mariupol residents say Russian troops won’t allow them to evacuate, despite weeks-long shortages of food, water and medicine.
Olga: “To be honest, we are not well. I have mental problems after airstrikes. That’s for sure. I’m really scared. When I hear a plane, I just run away. … We can’t do the laundry, because we don’t have water. We don’t have electricity. Now we have to carry water from far away. I don’t have the health to carry it.”
Russia continues to carry out strikes across Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry says missile and artillery forces struck over 1,200 targets overnight. In the western city of Lviv, seven civilians were killed and 12 others injured Monday in Russian missile attacks. After headlines, we’ll go to Ukraine for the latest.