Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took an increasingly deadly turn over the weekend, with new Russian strikes overnight close to the Polish border.
Here are the latest developments:
- Russian missiles struck a military training base in western Ukraine near the country’s border with Poland, known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, which served as a hub for Western arms shipments, and for Western forces to train Ukrainian fighters. The airstrike killed at least 35 and left more than 100 injured. Russia’s attack followed its threat to target foreign weapon shipments sent by the U.S. and other countries to assist Ukraine.
- Ukrainian officials, including Ukraine President Zelensky, reiterated calls for NATO to establish a no-fly zone following Russia’s strike. NATO has refused to impose a no-fly zone, fearing that the attacks on Russian forces necessary to enforce it could leader to a wider war with Russia.
- Another Russian airstrike targeted the southern port city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea. Authorities reported nine civilians dead from the bombings. Mykolayiv is among the heavily contested areas of the country, sitting halfway between the Russia-annexed Crimea and Odessa, Ukraine’s largest Black Sea port.
- Russia installed a new “acting mayor” of the southern city of Melitopol after Russian troops reportedly abducted its mayor, Ivan Fyodorov, who had been encouraging residents of his city to resist occupation. On Friday evening, Russian soldiers put a bag over Fyodorov’s head and dragged him from his government office, according to Ukrainian officials. The Ukrainian government believes Fyodorov is being tortured and urged the international community to call for his release. Large crowds gathered in Melitopol on Saturday to protest the alleged abduction of Fyodorov by Russian troops, which Zelensky described as a “crime against democracy.” The new, Russia-installed mayor, Galyna Danylchenko, urged residents of Melitopol not to resist.
- Turkey sent buses to evacuate a group of Turkish citizens sheltering in a mosque in Mariupol, but difficulties arose amid ongoing fighting in the city and damaged cell phone networks. Ukrainian officials’ attempts to send buses full of food and medicine into the city have also failed amid a blockade by Russian forces.