3 months into the Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (May 24)
It's been three months since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. As Tuesday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments:
Signs are growing that the war could become a protracted stalemate. Militarily, on almost every front, Russia has underachieved, while Ukraine has overachieved over the three months of war. Yet both sides are now digging in, and neither appears capable of delivering a decisive blow.
The prospect of a major Russian advance appears less likely, but the Russians now control an unbroken swath of Ukrainian territory from the Donbas region in the east, to Crimea in the south. Russian troops have captured two important southern cities of Mariupol and Kherson, cutting Ukraine off the Sea of Azov. Heavy fighting continues in the Donbas as Russian troops push to capture Severodonetsk and the area around it.
Almost 6.6 million people fled Ukraine during the war, but also more than 2 million Ukrainians have crossed into Ukraine. Queues have stretched for miles to get into the country from Poland, the biggest hub of Ukrainian refugees. Some Ukrainians are going back and forth to visit family who fled, some return to cities that withstood Russia's attacks, including the capital of Kyiv.
Fears of a global food crisis are growing as the shock from the war added to climate change and rising inflation concerns. Ukraine and Russia combined produce 25% of the world's wheat in addition to other grains and cooking oil. Disrupted exports are exacerbating food insecurity in Afghanistan, Somalia, Kenya and many other countries. The United Nations has warned of "the specter of a global food shortage in the coming months" without urgent international action.
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