Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russian forces seized most of the besieged city of Mariupol over the weekend, according to Russian officials, as the conflict enters its second month, CNBC reported. The Russian army also told Ukrainian fighters that their lives “will be spared” if they lay down their arms. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the situation in Mariupol “inhuman,” saying further Russian war crimes would make negotiations impossible, CNN wrote.
  • Russia increased scattered strikes on Kyiv, western Ukraine, and beyond on Saturday, sending a powerful message to Ukrainians and their Western backers that the entire nation remained under threat despite Moscow’s tilt toward launching a fresh offensive in the east, the Associated Press added. As the invasion progresses, Zelenskyy asked the United States to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to NBC News.
  • The United Nations human rights agency said that nearly 2,000 civilians have died in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February, the Washington Times noted. At the same time, hundreds of Ukrainian refugees have been crossing the US-Mexico border, asking US immigration agents to let them in on humanitarian grounds, according to NPR.
  • Ukraine’s Zelenskyy said that about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have died and about 10,000 have been injured, Reuters reported. The president added that the Russian death toll was about 19,000 to 20,000. Both reports could not be independently confirmed. Meanwhile, Ukraine is employing facial recognition technology from the United States’ Clearview AI to identify deceased Russian servicemen and distribute photographs to their relatives in a bid to sway Russian public opinion against the conflict, the Hill added. The technology is also being used to identify Russian looters.
  • The Kremlin submitted a formal letter to the United States saying that shipments of sensitive weaponry from the US and NATO are increasing tensions in Ukraine and might lead to “unpredictable outcomes,” the Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, Russia banned high-ranking British officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, from entering the country, the Guardian added. Russia’s foreign ministry said the decision was made “in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the UK government.”
  • Finnish lawmaker Tytti Tuppurainen said that Finland is “highly likely” to join NATO following Moscow’s incursion in Ukraine, saying that the “people of Finland have already made up their mind” and that polls show huge support for membership in the alliance, according to Sky News.

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