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Live Briefing: Russia Invades Ukraine


A Ukrainian soldier fires a mortar toward Russian positions at the front line near Bakhmut on March 3.
A Ukrainian soldier fires a mortar toward Russian positions at the front line near Bakhmut on March 3.

RFE/RL's Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western military aid to Kyiv, worldwide reaction, and the plight of civilians and refugees. For all of RFE/RL's coverage of the war, click here.

Latest Developments At A Glance

  • Berlin accused Russia on March 3 of trying to sow disunity following the leak of a confidential conference call between high-ranking German military staff discussing the possible use of German-made Taurus missiles by Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he is expecting a “detailed report and concrete proposals” from Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskiy, who was named chief of the General Staff on February 9, early in the coming week.
  • Russia and Ukraine exchanged apparent drone and missile attacks, with the deadliest of the latest Russian strikes hitting a high-rise residential building in Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa, killing at least eight people, regional officials said.
  • An explosion occurred on March 2 in a five-story apartment building in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, with the local media saying the blast was caused by a Ukrainian drone.
  • Zelenskiy expressed gratitude to the Netherlands on March 1 for a new package of aid signed during a visit to Kharkiv by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
  • President Vladimir Putin gave his state of the nation address to Russians on February 29, outlining his view on how the war against Ukraine is progressing and Russia's relations with the West, which he threatened with "tragic" consequences if it sent troops into Ukraine.

Does The West Need Stronger Sanctions On Russia To Help Ukraine Win The War?

Tom Keatinge from the Royal United Services Institute explains why the Western response to sanction Russia is falling short and why leaders need to make tough decisions if they want Ukraine to win the war. Read the interview by Reid Standish here.

The Coming Year May Not End The War In Ukraine. But It Could Decide The Outcome.

Russia's war against Ukraine probably won't end in 2024. But talk of a stalemate may be misleading -- and the fate of further U.S. weapons supplies will be an enormous factor. In any case, the coming year will be crucial for the war, for the West, and, above all, for Ukraine. Read the analysis by Steve Gutterman here.

Ukraine Has No Navy. But It's Hammering Russia In The Black Sea.

The landing ship that purportedly sank off Crimea last week is one of nearly two dozen Russian warships that Ukraine has seriously damaged or sunk since the full-scale invasion two years ago. It’s an extraordinary set of naval losses inflicted by a country that currently doesn’t even have a navy. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

Battlefield Woes Mounting, Ukraine Gets A New Top General. Who Is He?

Ukraine's new top commander is a Soviet-trained artillery officer known for his role in thwarting the Russian thrust to capture Kyiv in 2022. Oleksandr Syrskiy is also known for his command during the disastrous retreat in 2015 in Debaltseve, and what some say was the costly defense of Bakhmut. Read the report by Mike Eckel and Todd Prince here.

Could Disgruntled Families Of Mobilized Russians Complicate Putin's Plan For Smooth Reelection?

Relatives of Russian men mobilized to fight in Ukraine have been holding small but frequent protests to call for their return. Despite the daunting conditions in authoritarian Russia, The Way Home movement could change the narrative as Putin heads toward a fifth presidential term. Read the report by RFE/RL's North.Realities here.

Is Russia Betting It Can 'Outlast The Attention Span Of The West' To Defeat Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to waste lots of lives and money to defeat Ukraine, argues Professor Peter Roberts, a senior associate fellow at the U.K.-based Royal United Services Institute. In an interview with RFE/RL's Georgian Service, Roberts says Putin is in it for the long haul and betting on the West's short attention span to defeat Ukraine. Read the interview by Vazha Tavberidze here.

Will Ukraine's Mobilization Efforts Cause A Political Backlash?

Ukrainians aren’t rushing to sign up for military service as they did in the early days of Russia’s invasion, causing manpower issues and frustrating many on the front lines. A new bill in parliament aims to rectify the problem, but politicians and military officials seem leery of backlash. Read the report by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service here.

Interactive: Occupied, Militarized Crimea

As Ukrainian leaders vow to reclaim all territories seized by Russia, Moscow has prepared extensive defensive measures, particularly in Crimea, a region unlawfully annexed in 2014. This area, now under Russian occupation, has been heavily militarized with an array of air bases and army bases, making it one of the most fortified zones in the war. View the interactive map by Crimea.Realities, Schemes, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, and Central Newsroom here.

With Western Weapons In Doubt, How Long Can Ukraine Hold Out?

Not since the opening weeks of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, when its forces seemed poised to capture Kyiv and force the government to capitulate, has the outlook for Ukraine’s military commanders and its political leadership been so gloomy. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

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