Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: List of key developments from Day 4

As the Russian offensive enters its fourth day, we take a look at the key events during the day.

Smoke rises after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine
Smoke rises after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last week that has already cost more than 200 civilian lives and drawn global condemnation.

Moscow says Kyiv’s forces must surrender and the country should agree to become a “neutral” territory, conditions seen widely as unacceptable by Ukraine.

Below are the key moments from Sunday, February 27, the fourth day of Russia’s invasion:

  • ‘International brigade’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urges foreigners to sign up for an “international brigade” of volunteers at Ukrainian embassies to help fight invading Russian forces.

  • Western aid and weapons

Germany says it is sending 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 “Stinger” surface-to-air missiles to help Ukraine, after the United States vows $350 million in additional military funding.

France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece are also rushing military equipment, light weapons or fuel there, while Italy gives 110 million euros in immediate aid.

  • Kyiv-Moscow talks

Ukraine agrees to hold talks with Russia at its border with Belarus – near the Chernobyl exclusion zone – after a call between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko.

  • Russians driven from Kharkiv

Ukraine claims to have expelled Russian troops from its second city Kharkiv in the east of the country after Russian armoured vehicles got through its defences.

  • Kyiv holds out

Ukraine says it is holding the line around Kyiv but was fighting Russian “sabotage groups” that had infiltrated the city.

  •  Two cities besieged

Moscow says its forces have “entirely” besieged the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and Berdyansk in the southeast on the Sea of Azov.

  • Attack on oil and gas facilities

Russia attacked Ukrainian oil and gas facilities, sparking huge explosions. A blast was heard after an air raid siren in the capital Kyiv.

  • Zelenskyy slams Russian ‘terror’

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged world powers to scrap Russia’s voting power at the United Nations Security Council, saying Russian actions in his country verged on “genocide”.

  • Putin puts nuclear forces on alert

Putin ordered his military command to put Russia’s deterrence forces – a reference to units which include nuclear arms – on high alert, citing aggressive statements by NATO leaders and economic sanctions against Moscow.

  • Negotiations

Ukraine denied that it was refusing to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia but said it was not ready to accept ultimatums or unacceptable conditions. Zelenskyy also refused to attend talks in neighbouring Belarus listing as options Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest or Baku.

  • 198 civilians dead

At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed in Russia’s invasion, the head of the Ukrainian Health Ministry was quoted as saying. A UN relief agency said at least 64 civilians were among the 240 killed.

  • Russians ‘murder’ 10 Greeks: Athens

Greece blames Moscow for the “murder” of at least 10 ethnic Greek civilians in air attacks near the southern city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, accusing Russia of bombing villages.

  •  Musk activates Starlink for Ukraine

Elon Musk orders his SpaceX’s Starlink satellite service to ensure broadband connection to Ukraine after a government minister pleaded for help when Russia blocked internet coverage.

  • 340,000 refugees

Poland says 115,000 refugees have crossed its border from Ukraine since Russia invaded, with the UN estimating 160,000 Ukrainians are internally displaced. More than 50,000 have also crossed into Hungary and Romania, with 16,000 more going into Moldova.

  • New sanctions

Western allies have announced sweeping sanctions against Russia, including blocking some key banks from the SWIFT payments system.

  • Airspace

European countries from Sweden to France said they were preparing to close their airspace to Russian planes.

  • Abramovich hands over Chelsea

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich hands over the English Premier League club to its charitable trust as football fans across Europe turn on Russia with banners such as “Stop it, Putin!” and gestures of solidarity with Ukraine.

Find the key moments from Day 3 here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies