00 days of war: How the invasion of Ukraine unfolded and left thousands dead
One hundred days of warfare between Ukraine and Russia have now passed – a tragic milestone in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced millions from their homes, razed cities, towns and villages to the ground, and reshaped the geopolitical contours of Europe and the wider world.
The initial shockwaves that followed Vladimir Putin’s declaration of war on 24 February – described as a “special military operation” by the Russian president – have long since dissipated, with the people of Ukraine committed to carrying on with their lives under the looming spectre of warfare.
The fighting itself has shifted eastward in the country, which has become the new focus of Putin’s war machine, after attempts to overwhelm the capital, Kyiv, and topple the Ukrainian government were unsuccessful.
Ukraine’s resilience on the battlefield has proved decisive. Despite Russia’s strength in numbers, the defending forces have used their knowledge of the land and astute military tactics to chip away at Putin’s invaders, stalling and disrupting their efforts to conquer the country in one quick sweep.
Western allies of Kyiv have played their part, too, in equipping the Ukrainians with state-of-the-art military equipment to counter Russia’s superiority in the air and on the land, while the imposition of sanctions has alienated the Kremlin and its economy, turning the country into a pariah state.
Still, Ukraine’s success in resisting Putin has come at a cost. President Volodymyr Zelensky has conceded that his forces are now suffering up to 100 fatalities and 500 casualties every day, as fighting in the east becomes more concentrated and laborious. Given the slow advance of Moscow’s troops, officials fear the war could grind on to the end of the year.