Ukrainian troops are trying to hold off Russian attacks in much of Ukraine’s east. The Kremlin is seeking to capture the industrial Donbas region, but many observers say that Russian gains are smaller than expected. Ukraine has admitted heavy losses in the east, but says Russian casualties are far higher. Evidence of Russian brutality under Vladimir Putin has shocked western officials – even those with military backgrounds.
On March 4th, eight days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Russian forces took control of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The Russians have kept the Zaporizhzhia plant running – with Ukrainian staff. But there have been reports of Russian troops forcing engineers to work under extreme pressure.
There are also concerns that fighting near the plant has caused damage or could cause a nuclear accident. Ukraine says Russia sent eight specialists from its state nuclear company to the plant, where they demanded managers give them confidential data about its operation. The head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, has urged international nuclear specialists be granted access to the plant as soon as possible.
And Russia has been relentlessly bombarding Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, for weeks. Most people there have left, but many remain.
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