As Ukraine war heads to fourth month, a timeline of events since conflict began
The war between Russia and Ukraine is now heading to the fourth month, with no signs of peace. The ferocious fighting which began on February 24 has killed thousands of civilians, flattened cities and forced more than six million Ukrainians to flee the country.Having already abandoned its move to capture capital Kyiv, Russia is now all out to capture the eastern and southern parts of the war-torn country. This offensive comes amid stringent sanctions and an equally belligerent counter by the Ukrainian army, which is armed with Western supplies.ALSO READ: Only diplomacy can end Ukraine war: Zelensky as Kyiv rules out ceasefire- top 10 pointsWith the war heading to the fourth month, here are the key events which transpired in battleground Ukraine:February 24: Vladimir Putin declares war on Ukraine, with his forces attacking Ukraine from three fronts. The Russian president calls the invasion a ‘special military operation' to ‘demilitarise and denazify’ Ukraine. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky tweets, "Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself."
February 25: Russian artillery pounds Kyiv and its suburbs as the Ukrainians battle the Russians in the northern, eastern and southern fronts.March 1: Russian forces target a TV tower in Kyiv, killing five people, and intensify the bombardment in Kharkiv in the north-eastern side. A US official says miles-long Russian armoured column advancing towards Kyiv is hit by logistical problems.
March 2: Russian forces begin the siege of Mariupol, the port city considered vital to the Russian attempts to link Donbas to Crimea. The Russian troops reach the centre of Kherson and capture the first large urban centre, this on the day the United Nations refugee agency says over one million people have fled Ukraine.March 4: The Russian forces seize Europe's biggest nuclear power plant located in Zaporizhzhia. NATO rejects Ukraine's appeal for no-fly zones fearing escalation of conflict.
March 8: Civilians flee the northeastern city of Sumy in the first successful humanitarian corridor agreed. The UN agency says the number of Ukrainians fleeing the war-torn country has spiked to two million.March 9: Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol, evoking denial by the Russians who alleged that the Ukrainian fighters had occupied the building.March 13: Russia fires missiles at base in Yavoriv near the Polish border.March 16: Ukraine alleges Russia bombed theatre in Mariupol where hundreds of civilians took shelter.
March 25: Ukrainian forces launch offensive to recapture towns outside Kyiv after Russia signals it is focusing on gains in the eastern region.
April 3: Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes following reports of mass graves and bodies of people shot at close range in Bucha. Moscow denies charges and alleges images of bodies were staged.April 8: Ukraine claims Russian missile attack on a train station in Kramatorsk killed 52 civilians trying to flee the offensive.
April 14: Moskva, Russia's lead warship in the Black Sea sinks after Ukraine claims missile strike. Moscow blames ammunition explosion.April 21: Putin delcares Mariupol as liberated, this three days after the Russian forces launched an eastern assault in what Ukraine calls it the Battle of Donbas. HundredsApril 25: Transniestria, a pro-Russian region in Moldova claims blasts hit a ministry and two radio masts, blaming Ukraine. Kyiv alleges Kremlin staged the attacks to widen the conflict.
April 28: Ukraine claims Russia fired two missiles into Kyiv during UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visit to the war-torn country. Two blasts are heard in the Russian city of BelgorodMay 1: More than 100 Ukrainian civilians evacuated from Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks.May 7: At least 60 people are feared dead after a bomb strikes a village school in Bilohorivka, eastern Ukraine.
May 9: Putin exhorts Russians to battle in a defiant Victory Day speech, but is silent about plans for any escalation in Ukraine. *May 10: The Ukrainian forces claim to have recaptured villages from Russia in Kharkiv.May 13: Ukrainian military shares video claiming it destroyed parts of Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region. A day later, Ukraine launches counter-offensive near the eastern Russian-held town of Izium.May 18: Finland and Sweden formally apply to join the NATO alliance.May 20: Ukrainian fighters defending Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks surrender to Russian forces.(With Reuters inputs)