Two Weeks of War – The New York Times

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Good evening. This is your Russia-Ukraine war briefing, an overnight guide to the latest news and analysis on the conflict.


The Russian military and outside experts once expected its forces to quickly take Kiev. But as the war enters its third week, Russia is making only slow and relentless advances. All but one major city in the country – Kherson, which fell on March 2 – remains under Ukrainian control.

Russian forces gradually penetrated into smaller population centers. Outside Kiev, they took control of the town of Bucha and moved southwest, trying to encircle the capital. Across the country, the destruction is mounting as Russia expands its targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure.

Analysts say Russian forces are preparing to renew assaults on Kiev and other major cities in the south and east. In the south, Ukrainian forces are currently slowing the Russian advance on the key port city of Odessa.

During the first week of the war, more than a million Ukrainian refugees fled to neighboring countries, and many more were on the move. That number has now risen to more than 2.3 million, according to the UN.

Learn more about the situation on the ground:

  • Russian forces shelled Mariupol, visible in the satellite photos above, for eight consecutive days. Some 70 people were buried there in a mass grave, according to images published by The Associated Press.

  • Russian forces have surrounded Chernihiv and are besieging the northern city, its mayor said today.

  • Russian attacks on Kharkiv, Mariupol, Chernihiv and Mykolaiv have left people short of food, water, electricity, heat and medicine.

  • A US official estimated that 5,000 to 6,000 Russian soldiers died during the war, but experts have warned that the number of casualties is difficult to assess.

  • Global markets are adjusting to a bleaker outlook as the war continues.


Since the start of the Russian invasion, Ovechkin has been mocked and booed during matches. The backlash against one of the NHL’s biggest stars comes amid broader boycotts in culture, commerce and sports.

Last night, Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammates took on the Oilers in Edmonton, Alta., home to one of Canada’s largest Ukrainian communities. A Ukrainian folk choir performed the Canadian national anthem in English and Ukrainian. Fans wore the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag and hung flags throughout the arena. Every time Ovechkin touched the puck, he was loudly booed. He didn’t score and Edmonton won 4-3.

Immediately after the start of the war, Ovechkin held a press conference intended to distance himself from Putin. “I am not into politics. Like, I’m an athlete,” he said. He added, without mentioning Putin, “Please no more war.”

But it led to serious backlash on Ovechkin’s social media accounts from Russian supporters, and he was advised not to edit his Instagram profile picture – which shows him next to Putin. because it wouldn’t go down well in Russia.

Russian and Belarusian players and teams have been banned from all international competitions by the International Ice Hockey Federation. They also face calls for sanctions from fans, some governments and even Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.

The NHL condemned the Russian invasion, but stressed that Russian players “play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL clubs, not on behalf of Russia.”

Hockey equipment maker CCM said last week it would stop using Ovechkin and other Russian players in global marketing campaigns.

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