- Over 8 million refugees expected to flew away from Ukraine.
- Russia bombs Azovstal steel plant.
- UK officials ready to increase economic pressure on Russia.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis: The U.S. pressed its allies Tuesday to move “heaven and earth” to keep Kyiv well-supplied with weapons as Russian forces rained fire on eastern and southern Ukraine amid growing new fears the war could spill over the country’s borders. The UN says that nearly 5.3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia invaded and warns that three million more could follow by the end of this year.
For the second day in a row, explosions rocked the separatist region of Trans-Dniester in neighbouring Moldova, knocking out two powerful radio antennas close to the Ukrainian border. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Ukraine all but blamed Russia. Russia calls its action a special military operation to demilitarise Ukraine and eradicate what it calls “dangerous nationalists”. The West and Kyiv accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of unprovoked aggression.
Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday dismantled a huge Soviet-era monument in the centre of Kyiv meant to symbolise friendship between Russia and Ukraine, a response to Moscow’s invasion, according to the city’s mayor. In other developments, Poland and Bulgaria said the Kremlin is cutting off natural gas supplies to the two NATO countries starting Wednesday, the first such actions of the war. Both nations had refused Russia’s demands that they pay in rubles.
Mariupol mayor said Russian forces hit the Azovstal steel plant with 35 airstrikes over the past 24 hours. The plant is the last known stronghold of Ukrainian fighters in the city. About 1,000 civilians were said to be taking shelter there with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian defenders.