Timeline of the war

Our editorial team's timeline tracking events during the war

In a pre-recorded speech, Russian president Vladimir Putin recognises Luhansk and Donetsk, separatist regions in the east of Ukraine, as independent states and orders what he calls Russian “peacekeeping” troops into the region. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urges people to remain calm, saying, “We are on our land. We are not afraid of anything and anyone.”

21 February

The Russian parliament allows Putin to use military force outside of Russia. 

Germany halts the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2, a Russian-owned pipeline that is meant to pump gas to the country.

Zelensky announces that reservists are called up for military training.

22 February

Ukraine declares a nationwide state of emergency.

The European Union freezes the assets of 351 Duma (Russia’s lower house of parliament) members, barring them from loans and travel, and calls an emergency summit. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tells the General Assembly the world is “facing a moment of peril.” 

23 February

Russia launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by air, land and sea.

Several Ukrainian cities are hit by Russian missiles, including Kyiv. The country reports columns of troops moving across borders into the eastern Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, as well as arriving by sea in the south, to Mariupol and Odesa. 

Zelensky orders a general mobilisation, calling on all Ukrainians who are able to defend their country to come forward. 

Moscow’s stock exchange plummets by an unprecedented 45% in the wake of mounting economic sanctions.

The European Council holds an emergency session to condemn Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified military aggression.”

Thousands of people protest Putin’s attacks on Ukraine in cities across Russia.

24 February

The Russian attacks continue with shelling on Kyiv. A residential building is damaged.

The United Nations says more than 50,000 people have fled the country since the start of the invasion.

The European Union agrees to place Putin and Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, on its list of sanctioned individuals.

Russia vetoes a UN Security Council resolution demanding that it unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

25 February

The Ukrainian government urges all of its citizens to take up arms. Civilians in Kyiv make molotov cocktails. In Kharkiv, people line up to volunteer to fight. Residents of Lviv use tires, concrete and sandbags to block roads the Russians might take.

Poland says about 100,000 people have crossed into the country from Ukraine.

Zelensky refuses a US offer to evacuate, saying that “the fight is here.”

Amid Russian reports that he fled the capital, Zelensky posts a video of himself with senior cabinet members on the streets of Kyiv, refuting the claim and saying that they are joining the fight for their country.

The EU says it will adopt measures to stop Russia’s central bank from using its estimated $630bn in reserves to undermine the impact of sanctions, as well as financing the war.

26 February

According to the UN refugee agency, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have crossed into neighbouring countries. They primarily flee to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova, waiting in lines as long as 36 hours.

Russian troops continue to advance towards three cities in Ukraine: Kyiv, Kharkiv and Kherson. The resistance they face slows them down considerably. According to the Ukrain defence ministry, an estimated 4,500 Russian soldiers have been killed, 150 tanks and 700 armoured personnel carriers destroyed, as well as seven fighter jets and 26 helicopters brought down.

Russian state-owned media are banned from EU airwaves and EU citizens online. Russian aircraft are banned from the EU’s airspace.

Russian banks are blocked from accessing the SWIFT interbank transaction system, which cuts them out of the global financial system.

Norway pulls out of all 47 of its Russian investments, valued at €2.5bn.

27 February

Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, is bombed by Russian shelling. Residential districts are hit, killing at least 11 people.

Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Security Council denies that Russian troops are targeting civilians, saying that “the Russian army does not threaten civilians in Ukraine; it does not shell civilian infrastructure.”

Ukraine applies to join the EU.

Russia and Ukraine hold a first round of ceasefire talks at the Belarusian border. They disband after five hours without an agreement.

The UN General Assembly begins its first emergency meeting in decades to discuss Russia’s invasion, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying the path to diplomacy must remain open.

More than 500,000 Ukrainians have fled the country.

The rouble plunges by 30%. Putin issues a decree imposing capital controls while Russians queue outside banks to withdraw cash.

28 February

A 65km-long Russian convoy builds up on the outskirts of Kyiv. Shelling of residential areas appears to become more frequent. Kyiv’s television tower is hit.

Attacks also intensify in Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson. A missile strikes Kharkiv’s freedom square and blows the roof off of an administrative building, destroying the inside.

Human Rights Watch reports that Russians are using cluster bombs against civilians.

1 March

More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

The UN General Assembly votes to approve a non-binding resolution condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demanding an immediate withdrawal. The resolution is supported by 141 of the assembly’s 193 members. Thirty-five member states, including China, abstain from the vote.

Russia announces that it has captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. Local authorities deny that the city has fallen, but say Russian troops have encircled it.

2 March

The radio station, Echo of Moscow, one of only a few critical news outlets still in Russia, is dissolved. 

Russian foreign minister Sergey Larov says the country aims to stop Ukraine from joining NATO. He cites preventing Ukraine from joining NATO as a reason for the outbreak of the invasion.

According to Ukraine’s emergency services, 22 people were killed in a Russian air raid in Chernihiv.

3 March

Fighting breaks out at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and a fire breaks out as Russian troops take control of the site. According to Rafael Mariano Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the safety systems of reactors were not affected and no radioactive material was released.

Access to Facebook is blocked in Russia, in retaliation to the social media platform’s restrictions on Russian state-owned media. Twitter access is also blocked, according to a Russian state communications regulator.

4 March

Civilian evacuations from Mariupol and Volnovakha are paused as Russia resumes its military offensive amid a ceasefire meant to allow for the opening of humanitarian corridors out of the besieged cities.

Having seized two nuclear power plants in Ukraine, Russian military forces now advance to a third nuclear facility.

Ukraine demands stronger sanctions against Russia. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calls on the country’s international allies to help protect it, citing the commonly used phrase “never again.”

Italian police seizes over €143 million in villas, houses and yachts from Russian oligarchs.

Zelensky urges Ukrainians to keep fighting for their country in a video posted to Facebook.

Visa and Mastercard suspended all operations, including transactions, in Russia.

5 March

According to the United Nations, 364 Ukrainians have died since the beginning of the invasion. At least 759 people are reported as injusted but the actual tolls are believed to be “considerably higher.”

Another cease-fire attempt fails. A ceasefire is broken for the second day in a row when Russian soldiers fire on Mariupol, halting the evacuation of civilians.

An estimated 5,000 people from 65 different cities across Russia are detained for protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to an independent monitoring group.

Western nations hold talks regarding Russian oil and gas imports, discussing possible bans while ensuring an adequate oil supply for the rest of the world. The bans would deprive Russia of a large revenue source.

6 March

The third round of talks between Ukraine and Russia end without agreement, but both parties agree to meet again. The discussion lies with the creation of humanitarian corridors in the wake of failed ceasefires. Kyiv rejects Moscow’s proposal to route Ukrainian evacuees through Belarus and Russia.

Hearings on the war begin at the UN’s International Court of Justice in The Hague. Ukraine asks for an order to halt the Russian invasion of the country, accusing Russia of “grave and widespread violations of the human rights of Ukrainian people.”

7 March

Ukraine and Russia continue to struggle to establish humanitarian corridors. Moscow sets a new deadline for Ukraine to agree to route their civilians through Belarus and Russia, which Kyiv brands as a “publicity stunt”.

In the 12 days since Russia began invading Ukraine, 2 million Ukrainians have fled the country, according to a tracker from the United Nations.

8 March
Ukraine warns of radiation risk after power outage at Chernobyl

Ukraine warns of radiation risk at Chernobyl, which is under the control of Russian troops. A power cut is stopping workers from cooling the nuclear fuel, risking the release of radioactive substances.

Companies including McDonalds, L’Oreal, Starbucks, Coca Cola and Pepsi temporarily suspend operations in Russia. They join other corporations who have imposed sanctions against Russia.

A temporary ceasefire in Enerhodar, the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, has been called to allow for civilian evacuation.

According to the city council of Bucha, north of Kyiv, Russian forces block an agreed-upon civilian evacuation corridor.

Mariupol authorities accuse Russia of bombing a maternity hospital and children’s ward.

9 March

Three people are dead and 17 more wounded after the Russian attack on a Mariupol maternity hospital. Russian authorities claim the hospital was attacked because it was being used as a paramilitary base.

Goldman Sachs pulls out of Russia, the first Wall Street bank to exit.

10 March

Russian airstrikes target Ukrainian air fields in the west, but Russia’s military makes no further moves toward Kyiv. Mariupol remains under siege.

The Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Federov, is abducted by Russian troops, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry calls the incident a war crime.

The G-7 and EU move to revoke Russia’s “most favoured nation” status. Canada has already done this.

Russian authorities call for Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, to be labelled as an extremist organisation. Russia plans to restrict access to Instagram after the app makes a policy exception that temporarily allows for calls to violence against Russian soldiers. Facebook is already banned in Russia.

11 March

Russian attacks outside of Kyiv continue on. Russian forces target health care sites, disrupting the work of humanitarian groups.

About 2,000 people gather in front of Melitopol’s city hall to call for the release of Mayor Ivan Federov, abducted a couple of days prior by Russian forces.

Zelensky records a video making a direct appeal to Russian mothers, asking them not to send their children “to fight in a foreign land.”

Further sanctions are placed on Russian oligarchs. The Premier League board orders Roman Abramovich to give up his ownership of the Chelsea Football Club, following the UK’s decision to sanction Russian businessmen.

12 March
Journalist is killed outside of Kyiv

An American journalist, Brent Renaud, is killed in Irpin when Russian troops open fire on the car he is in. Another journalist in the vehicle is injured and hospitalised. The mayor of Irpin orders journalists not to enter the city due to these attacks.

The number of Ukrainian civilian deaths reaches 600, according to the United Nations.

Russia attacks the Yavoriv military training facility in western Ukraine, only 15 miles from the Polish border. 35 people are killed in the attack and over 100 are wounded.

13 March

Access to Instagram is blocked in Russia, joining Facebook and Twitter, in a bid to control what information its citizens can access about its invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine continues to receive weapons from NATO. The United Nations announces it will allocate $40 million in additional funds to Ukraine.

14 March

Leaders from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia meet with Zelensky in Kyiv to demonstrate their “unequivocal support” for Ukraine’s independence. They are the first foreign leaders to travel to Ukraine’s capital since the start of the Russian invasion.

Kviv braces for an increase in bombardments, as more frequent attacks take place in the city’s residential areas.

The number of Ukrainians who have fled the country has reached 3 million.

Two members of the Fox News team are killed outside Kyiv. Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova die after their vehicle is struck by incoming fire. Their colleague, Benjamin Hall, is hospitalised.

15 March

A theatre being used as shelter by cilivians is bombed in Mariupol. Russia denies the airstrike while Mariupol’s city council shares pictures of the destroyed building. The number of casualties is unknown.

The mayor of Melitopol is freed from captivity by the Russian forces who had abducted him.

The UN court in The Hague orders Russia to stop all military operations in Ukraine. According to the International Court of Justice, the evidence does not support Moscow’s justification for the invasion.

16 March

The bomb shelter beneath the bombed theatre in Mariupol holds. The number of casualties remains unclear as rescue efforts are underway.

Zelensky, in a speech to Germany’ parliament during an emergency meeting to discuss Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, says that Germany is “dragging [its] feet on Ukraine’s admission to the EU.”

17 March

A missile strike hits a plant on the outskirts of Lviv. Meanwhile, a visual installation with 109 empty strollers is set up on the city’s historic square, representing children killed in the war.

At least 130 people are rescued from the rubble of the Mariupol theatre that was sheltering civilians. Hundreds more remain trapped, according to Ukrainian officials.

A quarter of Ukraine’s population is now displaced due to the war, according to the United Nations.

18 March

Zelensky says that Russian forces are blocking humanitarian aid into besieged cities, claiming that food and medicine isn’t reaching the citizens who need it due to Russian interference.

A munitions warehouse in western Ukraine is struck by a Russian missile. Russia declares that the missile used was a hypersonic missile, which has not been confirmed by Ukrainian officials. If this is the case, it will be the first time this type of weapon is used in this conflict.

19 March

Russian forces bomb an art school in Mariupol that was sheltering 400 people.

Australia bans the export of some types of ore to Russia in an attempt to diminish Russia’s ability to make aluminium, an important component of ammunition. Until recently, Russia relied on Australia for 20% of its aluminium production.

20 March

Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, imposes a new curfew on the city after Russian strikes on a shopping centre and residential buildings.

Ukraine rejects Russia’s call for the surrender of Mariupol. Russia claims that if the city is surrendered, they will allow civilians to leave and humanitarian aid to enter.

21 March

According to the United Nations, almost 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine and 6.5 million have been internally displaced.

Dmitry Muratov, Russian Nobel Peace Prize Winner, announces he will raise money for Ukrainian refugees by auctioning his medal for sale. He was recipient of the Peace Prize for his work as the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, an independent newspaper.

22 March

Nestlé removes all sales that are not essential from Russia.

The US Secretary of State announces that after careful review of information from public and intelligence sources, they have found that “members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.”

The United Nations World Food Programme says it is facing a $9 billion funding shortfall to account for the increasing food shortages that the invasion of Ukraine will cause.

23 March

Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine one month after its initial invasion on 24 February 2022.

24 March

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the US president, Joe Biden, announce the formation of a task force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas. The task force’s aim is to reduce dependency by next winter.

Russia halts advancements in Kyiv.

Russian troops increase attacks in Donbas.

25 March

Russian troops attack Lviv in western Ukraine. Three large explosions happened on Saturday evening.

Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, and foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, meet with US President Joe Biden in Warsaw, Poland.

26 March
Two humanitarian routes open

Ukraine calls on Western powers to send tanks and planes to support their fight against the Russian invasion. Zelensky criticises them for what he calls a “ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets.”

Two humanitarian routes open, allowing citizens to flee some of the hardest-hit cities in Ukraine, such as Mariupol.

The separatist region of Luhansk in Ukraine announces that it expects its citizens to vote to join Russia, who has supported the region militarily since 2014.

Russian forces damage Drobitsky Yar, a Holocaust memorial outside of Kharkiv where 15’000 Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust.

27 March

Novaya Gazeta, one of the last large independent media in Russia, suspends its publication.

Ukrainian officials announce that humanitarian corridors will not be open to civilians on Monday, as planned, due to intelligence reports warning of Russian attacks.

Ukrainian officials warn that Russia could attempt to split the country in two in “a Korean scenario.”

28 March

Moscow announces that it will sharply cut their military operations near Kharkiv after negotiations aimed at de-escalating the war, held between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey.

29 March

The number of Ukrainian refugees reaches 4 million. More than half of those have fled to Poland, while others have gone to Hungary, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia, among others. The United Nations estimates that 350,000 have gone to Russia.

Despite Russia’s pledge to stop attacks, areas of Kyiv and Chernihiv are still shelled.

Germany and Austria begin the first phase of their natural gas emergency plans. With Russia supplying half of Germany’s natural gas, the country has called on businesses and citizens to conserve gas in preparation for shortages.

30 March

A large humanitarian convoy heads to Mariupol. It includes 45 buses full of supplies and a plan to evacuate residents of the city. Tens of thousands of people remain in Mariupol without food, water or power.

Russian troops appear to move away from Chernobyl, following what seems to be part of a general retreat of Russian troops from areas around Kyiv and the north of the country.

31 March

Oil supplies are destroyed in a strike on an oil depot in Belgorod, Russia. Russian officials claim that Ukrainian helicopters attacked near the Ukrainian border with Russia. This is neither confirmed nor denied by Ukrainian authorities.

The humanitarian aid convoy is unable to reach Mariupol and evacuate citizens. The Red Cross announces that the team will make another push towards the city on Saturday.

Talks between Russia and Ukraine resume today.

1 April

Ukrainian photojournalist, Maks Levin, is found dead still wearing his press vest. He was killed by two gunshots. Levin had been missing since 13 March. An investigation is launched into Russia’s involvement in the murder.

Lithuania is the first EU country to stop using Russian gas. The coutnry plans to replace it with liquified natural gas from other nations.

2 April

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, claims that at least 11 Ukrainian mayors have been abducted by Russian troops, of whom at least one has been killed.

Human Rights Watch announces that Russia has been recorded committing multiple war crimes. Russia’s Ministry of Defence denies this.

3 April

Photos of mass graves outside of Kyiv spark global condemnation against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Local officials found 410 bodies of civilians, sparking new allegations of war crimes. Russian claims that the images and reports are fake.

Approximately two-thirds of Russian forces pull back from Kyiv and head north towards Belarus.

4 April

Zelensky addresses the United Nations Security Council and calls on them to hold Russia accountable for war crimes in Ukraine. He urges for Russia to be removed from the Security Council, or that it should be dissolved if not.

Humanitarian aid is unable to reach Mariupol once more but an evacuation corridor is set up so that residents can leave using their own means of transport.

European countries increase their expulsion of Russian diplomats. Germany, Belgium, France, Lithuania and the Czech Republic have ejected dozens of diplomats.

5 April

All Russian troops leave Kyiv and Chernihiv and regroup in Belarus or Russia. The US Department of Defence believes that they will be sent back to Ukraine’s eastern regions.

Over 500 people are evacuated from Mariupol after days of failed attempts.

The EU, US and G-7 plan for new sanctions against Russia, targeting top officials and family members, including Putin’s adult children.

6 April

Ukrainian officials warn of potential new attacks in the east of the country, prompting citizen evacuations from Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv.

Russia is suspended from the Human Rights Council after a vote from the UN General Assembly. The results were 93 in favour, 24 against and 58 abstentions.

7 April

A missile strike hits a train station in Kramatorsk, a city in the east of Ukraine. 50 people, including five children, die. 98 more are injured. People converged in the thousands at train stations after authorities urged their citizens to evacuate.

The EU formalises new sanctions on Russia, additionally banning imports of coal, fertiliser and wood. The UK places new sanctions on Putin’s adult children.

Global food prices reach the highest ever recorded. International prices rose by 13% between February and March. They are 34% higher than in March 2021.

8 April

Zelensky meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Ukraine. The latter promises to send missiles and armoured vehicles to Ukraine to support the country’s fight against the invasion.

After its suspension from the Human Rights Council, Russia shuts down its Human Rights Watch offices.

9 April

NATO plans to increase its military presence along its eastern borders to prevent future attacks from Russia.

The World Bank announces that the economies of both Europe and Central Asia are expected to contract by 4.1% this year, due to the war. This would be double the recession caused by COVID-19.

10 April

Zelensky warns of thousands of Russian troops massing for a new offensive, expected in eastern Ukraine. This assessment is backed up by Western officials.

Ukrainian officials say that 1,200 Ukrainians have been killed in Kyiv. Recovery efforts continue outside of the city, with bodies found in basements and destroyed buildings.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer meets with Putin in Moscow. He is the first Western leader to have a face-to-face meeting with Putin since the war began. "This is not a friendly visit," says Nehammer in a statement. "My most important message to Putin was that this war must finally end, because in a war there are only losers on both sides."

The World Bank claims that Russia’s invasion could shrink the Ukrainian economy by 45%.

11 April

Over 1,800 Ukrainians have been killed since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

The UN has also documented nearly 2,500 injured civilians, though it says actual civilian casualty figures are estimated to be “considerably higher.”

A large Russian convoy is believed to be repositioning troops as a part of Russia’s expected offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Putin blames Kyiv for derailing peace talks in his first extended remarks on Ukraine since Russian troops withdrew from northern Ukraine.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer says he struggled to get Putin to agree to guaranteeing humanitarian corridors, let alone a cease-fire, during a meeting with the Russian president.

12 April

Russia continues to build up its military for its expected offence in eastern Ukraine.

Presidents of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia travel to Kyiv to show support.

Economists say Russia is near having to default on its foreign debt for the first time in over a century. Sanctions put in place by many countries have led Russia barely able to reach payment deadlines.

13 April

Ukraine claims missile attacks on seriously damaged Black Sea flagship.

Russia accuses Ukraine troops of attacking Russian residential buildings near the border. They claim Ukrainian helicopters struck a town in the Bryansk region.

Russia continues to silence anti-war protesters.

14 April

The Kyiv police say they’ve found over 900 dead civilians, most of whom died from gunshot wounds. The largest number of victims are found in Bucha, where several organisations are investigating allegations of war crimes.

Ukrainian officials say Russia is using long-range bombers the first time since the invasion began, using them to attack Mariupol.

The Vatican asks a Ukrainian woman and a Russian woman to carry a cross during its Good Friday service, a move denounced by Ukrainian religious leaders.

15 April

After withdrawing from Kyiv, Russian forces have returned to the capital and are striking in the southeastern part of the city.

British officials, including Boris Johnson, are now banned from entering Russia, announces Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

16 April

Humanitarian corridors in Mariupol are closed after failed discussions between Russia and Ukraine. Zelensky describes the current situation in the city as “inhuman.”

17 April

Additional Russian forces move into eastern Ukraine, preparing for an expected offensive in the east.

Officials in Lviv report seven deaths and 11 injuries from four missiles.

Zelensky completes the first step towards joining the European Union after formally submitting a questionnaire.

18 April

Russia says a new phase of Russian operations has begun. Ukraine officials dub it “the Battle for the Donbas,” referring to the eastern region that Moscow has wanted Kyiv to cede to Russian-aligned separatists.

19 April

10 million refugees have been displaced by the war, with over 5 million fleeing the country. Nearly 3 million have gone to Poland.

Fighting intensifies in the Donbas region and Kharkiv continues to be hit by shelling, with Russia claiming control over the city.

20 April

Russia claims victory in taking Mariupol while some Ukrainian soldiers shelter inside a steel mill in the city. Zelensky says around 120,000 civilians remained trapped in the city.

China maintains its stance on not criticising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Chinese leader Xi Jinping says his government opposes the “wanton use” of sanctions.

21 April

The United Nations confirms over 5,000 civilians have been killed or injured since the start of the Russian invasion.

9,000 bodies are discovered in a mass grave near Mariupol.

A Russian military official says their forces plan to take full control of southern Ukraine along with the Donbas region in the east.

22 April

An airstrike on an apartment building in Odesa kills 6 civilians, including a 3-month old baby.

Satellite images lead to the discovery of a second mass grave site near Mariupol.

23 April

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister announces plans for a new evacuation corridor from Mariupol. Women, children and the elderly would attempt to be evacuated.

Russian forces continue to try to remove the last of Ukrainian troops at the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol by calling in airstrikes. Alongside the soldiers, hundreds of civilians are holed up in the factory.

24 April

Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov says Russian forces occupying the town are forbidding men to leave and offering them to join the ranks of the Russian armed forces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claims that the risk of Ukraine triggering a third world war with nuclear weapons is “serious, real.”

25 April

Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova says 347 health facilities have been destroyed by the Russian military in the Luhansk part of Donbas.

Moscow says it is expelling 40 German diplomats as a response to Berlin sending 40 Russian diplomats out of the country earlier that month.

The International Criminal Court announces it will take part in a joint team investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine, according to the European Union’s agency for criminal justice cooperation.

According to the UN, about 5.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia launched its invasion on 24 February, but the outflow has slowed since the start of the war.

26 April

Authorities in Transnistria, the Russian-backed breakaway region in the east of Moldova, claim they have been targeted by a series of attacks coming from Ukrainian territory. Ukraine denies the attacks and accuses Russia of trying to drag Moldova into the conflict.

A Soviet-era monument in the centre of Kyiv, the People’s Friendship Arch, is dismantled as a response to Moscow’s invasion. The monument was meant to symbolise friendship between Russia and Ukraine. 

After weeks of pressure both at home and abroad, Germany announces its first delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine: Gepard tanks with anti-aircraft guns.

27 April

While Russia steps up assaults on eastern and southern Ukraine, Putin threatens lightning-fast retaliation against anyone that would intervene on Ukraine’s behalf.

The European Commission proposes suspending import duties for a year on all Ukrainian goods and exempting its steel exports from anti-dumping and safeguard measures.

Russia’s Gazprom halts gas shipments to Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to pay in roubles but the European Union steps in quickly to fulfil their energy needs.

28 April

Two Russian missiles strike Kyiv during a visit by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

NATO declares it can maintain support for Ukraine for years in their defence against Russia.

The United States claims that Russian intelligence is behind the chemical attack on Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, a Russian journalist critical of the Kremlin. 

The Kyiv police says it has recovered the bodies of 1,150 civilians after Russian forces withdrew earlier this month.

The administrator of the Russian-controlled city of Kherson in southern Ukraine says that the rouble, the Russian currency, will soon be introduced in areas under Moscow’s control.

29 April

Russian forces continue artillery and air attacks along the Luhansk-Donetsk frontline without making any advances, as well as capturing a string of suburbs around Kharkiv.

30 April

14 Ukrainians, including a pregnant soldier, are freed in a prisoner swap with Russian forces.

Russian planes continue to launch air attacks on Mariupol, Kharkiv and Odesa.

Following a conversation with Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron says he will “intensify” the supply of military and humanitarian support to Ukraine.

Russian forces have seized hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain in territory under their control, says Ukrainian Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotsky. Ukraine is a major grain producer, and the invasion has pushed up world prices and raised concerns about shortages.

1 May

According to Ukraine’s military, Russia is redeploying forces from Mariupol to the eastern Luhansk region. Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, urges people to evacuate while it is still possible.

Britain’s Foreign Office says a Russian troll factory has been spreading disinformation about the war, targeting politicians across the globe, including in Britain and South Africa.

A Russian spy plane has violated the airspace of Denmark and Sweden, their governments say.

2 May

UEFA announces a ban on all Russian football clubs from participating in the Champions League and other European competitions next season.

Pope Francis says he asked for a Moscow-based meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to stop the war in Ukraine, but has not received a response from the Kremlin.

3 May

The Belarusian defence ministry announces the start of surprise large-scale drills to test the combat readiness of Belarusian armed forces.

A convoy of buses leave Mariupol in a new attempt to evacuate civilians from the heavily impacted city, where thousands are trapped and running out of food and water.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy says air raids have damaged power stations, cutting off electricity in some districts.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declares that no one should assume that Russia would not attack other countries given its violation of international law in Ukraine. According to Scholz, Germany would support Finland and Sweden if they decided to join NATO.

4 May

The European Union proposes its toughest sanctions against Moscow to date, with a phased oil embargo.

Russia claims it has practised simulated nuclear-capable missile attacks in Kaliningrad, an exclave on the Baltic Sea located between Poland and Lithuania.

European Council President Charles Michel pledges to increase EU military aid to Moldova, Ukraine’s neighbour that has seen a series of attacks in the pro-Moscow separatist region of Transnistria.

5 May

The Kremlin accuses several NATO countries of feeding intelligence to Ukraine, adding that this would not stop Russia from achieving its military goals.

EC President Charles Michel says that the EU should confiscate and sell Russian assets it has seized and use the proceeds to rebuild Ukraine.

6 May

Fifty civilians including children are evacuated by bus from the bombed-out Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Meanwhile, Ukraine claims Russian forces continued their ground assault on the complex with air support.

Amnesty International says there is compelling evidence that Russian troops have committed war crimes in Kyiv. Moscow denied that its forces committed abuses.

The United Nations Security Council agrees to the first joint statement since the Ukraine war began, expressing “strong support” for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

7 May

Russian air attacks on a school in the Ukrainian village of Bilohorivka kill two people and 60 remain under the debris and are feared dead.

Ukraine’s general staff says that the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine aims to establish full control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and maintain the land corridor between these territories and Crimea.

The World Health Organisation says it is gathering evidence for a possible war crimes investigation, documenting 200 attacks by Russia on hospitals and clinics in Ukraine.

Britain doubles its previous commitment and pledges to provide a further €1.5 billion.

8 May

“Victory Day” is celebrated in both Ukraine and Russia, a commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously used the anniversary to boast about Moscow’s moral superiority over anyone he labels as “Nazis”. Some experts predicted Putin would declare the annexation of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine or a general triumph. But the president’s address does not mention any progress in the war. Putin does claim that the Russian operation is aimed at stopping a Western-backed invasion of Russian territory including Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

In Ukraine, President Zelensky claims they will win the war. 

The Finnish Parliament’s defence committee recommends joining NATO before an official decision on membership due in the coming days.

9 May

The Pulitzer prizes honours the journalists of Ukraine with a special citation hailing the country’s reporters for their “courage, endurance and commitment to truthful reporting.”

Fighting continues in Luhansk, Kharkiv and Dnipro, Odesa, Sievierodonetsk, Mariupol and Lysychansk.

In Odesa, air raid sirens and missiles interrupt a meeting between visiting European Council President Charles Michel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, forcing them into a bomb shelter.

The US Pentagon says it has indications of Ukrainians being forcibly removed and sent to Russia.

French president Macron says Ukraine alone can define the conditions for any peace negotiations, adding it is Europe’s “duty” to stand by Kyiv.

10 May