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This week marks two years of the Russia-Ukraine war

Updated on: 25 February,2024 06:24 AM IST  |  Kyiv
Agencies |

Officials and leaders arrive in Kyiv to mark the anniversary and express solidarity

This week marks two years of the Russia-Ukraine war

Ukrainian citizens hang up flags in memory of war victims in Kyiv. Pic/AP

Western leaders descended on Kyiv  on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travelled overnight to Kyiv by train along with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

They arrived shortly after a Russian drone attack struck a residential building in the southern city of Odessa, killing at least one person. Three women also sustained severe burns in the attack Friday evening on a residential building, regional Governor Oleh Kiper said on his social media account. Rescue services are still combing rubble looking for survivors.

The foreign leaders are in Ukraine to express solidarity as Ukrainian forces run low on ammunition and weaponry and Western aid hangs in the balance. “More than ever we stand firmly by Ukraine. Financially, economically, militarily, morally. Until the country is finally free,” von der Leyen said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, after she arrived in Kyiv.

But, at the front line in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian soldiers pleaded for ammunition. “When the enemy comes in, a lot of our guys die. We are sitting here with nothing,” said Volodymyr, 27, a senior officer in an artillery battery. “In order to protect our infantry... we need a high number of shells, which we do not have now,” said Oleksandr, 45, commander of an artillery unit.

The war has also come to Russia. Drones hit a steel plant in the Lipetsk region in southern Russia Saturday, causing a large fire, regional governor Igor Artamonov said, adding there are no casualties. Independent Russian media said the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant is the largest steel plant in Russia. Videos shared on Russian social media showed several fires burning at the plant. Independent Russian news outlet Mediazona said on Saturday that around 75,000 Russian men died in 2022 and 2023 fighting in the war.

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