Russia invasion of Ukraine latest news and live updates
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that his country’s vastly outnumbered defense forces are still holding their lines against the Russian invasion after another night of punitive airstrikes.
“They wanted to destroy us so many times. They couldn’t. We’ve been through so much!and it has nothing to do with Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in his recent video message. “We have nothing to lose but our own freedom.”
Zelenskyi said his country is receiving more weapons and other supplies from its international allies every day. While the Biden administration is unwilling to send US troops or planes to directly aid non-NATO Ukraine, it is supplying many of those weapons. A US official confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday that 200 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles were among the items shipped to Ukraine and hundreds more were being sent — all part of a $350 million package of military assistance.
But the US and NATO have declined to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as the Ukrainian leadership has called for, believing the prospect of direct fire between NATO and Russian planes is too risky. Ukraine is thus enduring Russia’s devastating airstrike, and as a second round of direct talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations began Thursday, America’s ambassador to the UN has warned that Russia appears to be “preparing to increase the brutality of its campaign.”
Already more than 1 million people have fled the country and another million are considered internally displaced. The UN human rights office said on Thursday that 249 civilians had been killed and 553 others injured by the previous evening. Ukrainian officials put the civilian death toll at over 2,000, including 21 children. Russia finally confirmed military casualties on Wednesday, saying nearly 500 of its troops had died, but Zelenskyy says Putin’s forces lost more than 9,000. Ukraine has not disclosed its own military casualty figures.