Breaking News – The Ukrainian Crisis
March 22, 2022
“Hell on Earth. Hell is when you don’t know if you will be able to take your next breath. Hell is when everything is burning, not just the buildings but the ground.”
The Ukrainian crisis continues to be a fast-moving series of events. Here is an up-to-date summary of key developments taking place on and off the battlefields:
Day 27 of a 3-day operation
Putin believed the Russian army would march into Ukraine, decapitate its “Nazi” leadership, and then watch as the whole country fell into Russia’s waiting arms. That hasn’t happened. Instead, Russia has run into unanticipated, stiff Ukrainian resistance and punitive economic sanctions from NATO countries. As a result, the Russian war machine is now entering Day 27 of a “special military operation” intended to take Ukraine in 3 days.
Russian ground forces massed outside Kyiv and other major cities in the western half of Ukraine are making little progress. Sustained Ukrainian resistance is inflicting severe losses on the Russian army. Military experts in the United States estimate that Russian forces have lost 7,000 dead and 14,000 wounded. In addition, Javelin missiles and armed drones have destroyed 1,500 vehicles including over 250 tanks.
Unable to advance on the ground, Putin’s generals have adopted a brutal war of attrition. Long-range Russian artillery and guided missiles are now bombarding Ukrainian civilians. This deliberate indiscriminate shelling has destroyed hospitals, schools, apartments, shopping centers, and shelters housing children.
Mariupol – “Hell on Earth”
Russia’s vicious bombardment is inflicting severe damage on Mariupol. Located on the Sea of Azov, the strategic city of 400,000 people is now 90 percent destroyed. The city’s heroic defenders rejected a Russian ultimatum to surrender. One defiant survivor described Mariupol as, “Hell on Earth. Hell is when you don’t know if you will be able to take your next breath. Hell is when everything is burning, not just the buildings but the ground.”
A Mounting Refugee Crisis
Russia’s brutal and barbaric scorched-earth tactics are creating an escalating refugee crisis. Over 3.4 million women and children have now fled to Poland and other neighboring countries. In addition, 6.5 million Ukrainians are displaced within their own country. Putin is apparently hoping the refugee crisis will create a severe economic burden that will force NATO countries to press the Zelensky government to accept a settlement favorable to Russia.
Amellia Anisouych provides a ray of hope
A few days ago, 7-year old Amellia Anisouych was trapped inside a bomb shelter in Kyiv. But Amellia refused to surrender to darkness and fear. She lifted hopes in the shelter by singing “Let It Go” from Frozen.
Millions saw a video clip of Amellia singing. Fortunately, she was able to escape and is now living with her grandmother in Poland. On Sunday evening she opened a special “Together With Ukraine” concert by singing her country’s national anthem. The concert raised $650,000 in one night. Even more importantly, it displayed a young girl’s proud and unbroken spirit. Today’s picture features Amellia. Watching her sing reminds us that good will eventually conquer evil.
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