From the Russian invasion to the military stagnation, the four-week war in Ukraine is summarized in four highlights.

Dramatic human casualties, indignation of the international community, sanctions and the response from the Kremlin … is tracking the events that characterize this month’s conflict in Europe.

This war scenario will interfere with predictions, especially the Kremlin’s predictions. It is hard to believe that the “military operations” launched by Vladimir Putin after the four-week conflict are being carried out “as planned” by the Russian president. The latter sees his ambitions against the resistance of Ukrainians and their presidents.

Volodymyr Zelensky has been the head of the country for a month in the war with Russia. It’s been a month since the Moscow army entered Ukrainian territory. The month when the city is bombed. According to the United Nations, since the end of February, more than 10 million people have left home, while civilians have been killed under the dreaded western gaze. Despite civilian casualties, the escape of the Ukrainian population and Russian pressure, Kyiv and its leaders are still working hard.

• Week 1: Nuclear War Invasion and Ghosts

On February 21, Vladimirputin announced on Russian television that he would recognize the independence of the “People’s Republic” of Donetsk and Lugansk. These are two areas occupied by pro-Russian separatists who have opposed Kyiv authorities for eight years. After that, a dispute that takes a whole new dimension.

Three days later, the Kremlin Master launched a “military operation” in Ukraine with the aim of not only “demilitarizing” the country, but also “demilitarizing” the country. Barely a few hours later, on the night of February 23-24, Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine. The war will be military. Later, battles were fought between Ukrainian and Russian soldiers in several parts of the country, but Moscow soon conquered several strategic locations.

The takeover of the Chernobyl power plant on the same day is one example. The site of the worst nuclear accident in history is now in the hands of Moscow, and its name again raises serious concerns. Do you anticipate another nuclear accident?

Ukrainian soldiers deployed northwest of Kyiv on February 24, 2022, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Ukrainian soldiers deployed northwest of Kyiv on February 24, 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine © Daniel LEAL © 2019 AFP

At the same time, the West is responding to this direct attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty. The speeches of diplomats and leaders are linked. They generously condemn Russia’s aggression and promise (albeit indirectly) economic sanctions and military response in favor of Ukraine. In the face of them, Vladimir Putin ordered to be wary of the “deterrence” of the Russian army. It has a nuclear element. Like a reversion to the Cold War.

In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky has imposed martial law, demanding integration into his European Union and seeking resistance. They are targeted by Russian troops with thousands and millions of Ukrainians leaving their homes. Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odessa, Chuguiv … The explosions rang in many cities of the country, causing them the first civilian casualties. Those who escape the battle try to go to areas and neighboring countries where they can still afford. Escape has begun.

The situation in Ukraine as of March 2, 2022.
The situation in Ukraine as of March 2, 2022. © BFMTV

• Week 2: Mariupol, City-Martyrdom of Conflict

In wars where civilian casualties are counted in many parts of Ukraine, it is difficult to give Mariupol the monopoly of the term “martyr city”. Surrounded by Russian troops just days after the start of the battle, this highly strategic Ukrainian city experienced many human tragedy in the coming weeks.

Mariupol and its port (adjacent to the Sea of ​​Azov), located in the southeastern part of Ukraine, provide Putin’s territorial continuity between the armies of the Crimean Peninsula and the armies of Donbas.

On March 9, 2022, fear struck maternity and pediatric hospitals in the city. Initial assessments show that there are 3 dead and 17 injured. Pregnant women die after a few days. The image of these bleeding mothers causes horror all over the world, and the international community condemns this act of war.

“Not worth it” to Emmanuel Macron, “barbaric” to Joe Biden, “immorality” to Boris Johnson … Russia said this to the hospital that housed the Azov Battalion’s ultra-nationalist soldiers. Justify the attack. Since then, other buildings containing civilians, such as urban theaters and art schools, have also been hit by Russian strikes.

At the same time, Vladimir Putin’s army occupied Kherson, the country’s first major city. The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is also in the hands of Russia. Bombardment and combat intensified, especially in Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Chernihiv, urging President Zelensky to demand a no-fly zone from NATO to ban Russian planes from the Ukrainian sky. The organization opposes the end of what he does not receive: the decision means NATO’s entry into the war and thus the beginning of World War III.

Twenty-seven European Union countries are meeting in Versailles to develop economic, military and humanitarian responses to Russia’s aggression. Humanitarian corridors have been created, but have not been respected for a long time, and multiple negotiation sessions between Kyiv and Moscow do not improve the situation. You can feel the beginning of the stagnation.

The situation in Ukraine as of March 8, 2022.
The situation in Ukraine as of March 8, 2022. © BFMTV

• Week 3: Information, other weapons of this war

He traveled to Ukraine himself to cover the battle there. He died there.Brent Renaud, former collaborator New York TimesIs the first foreign journalist to die in this conflict. The next day, photographer Pierre Zakrzewski, who worked on the Fox News channel, died near Kyiv. Russian journalists were also killed in the bombing in Kyiv this Wednesday. To these three deaths, the deaths of three Ukrainian journalists, Oleksandra Kuvshynova, Evgueni Sakoun and Viktor Doudar, have been added. Blood-paid war coverage.

This is because the battles taking place in Eastern Europe are also information battles. This is evidenced by the actions of Marina Ovsiannikova on the Russian television channel Pervy Kanal. On March 14, in the middle of the news, propaganda, with the help of the Kremlin, rushed into the television news set, wielding a sign blaming the Moscow media for advertising. A person who has quit her job since then has been sentenced to a simple fine, but she is still at risk of criminal prosecution and therefore may be imprisoned.

Marina Ovsyannikova shows signs of anti-war in Russian news
Marina Ovsyannikova shows signs of anti-war in Russian news © Handout / AFP

Twitter and Facebook are also committed to blocking access to Russian media RT and Sputnik. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has also decided to “indulge in the form of political expression” by not removing messages that are hostile to the military and Russian invaders.

Vladimir Putin’s Answer: Repression. As early as March 5, the President of Russia signed a law stipulating imprisonment of up to 15 years for those who publish “false information” about the war in Ukraine. The country also restricts access to Twitter. Since then, Facebook and Instagram have also been banned due to “radicalism”.

The situation in Ukraine as of March 15, 2022.
The situation in Ukraine as of March 15, 2022. © BFMTV

• Week 4: Ukraine’s power is still standing

Russia’s offensive is “deadlocked.” It is these terms that Olaf Scholz described the situation of the Russian army in Ukraine “despite all the destruction it causes every day.”

At the same time, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday that “for the first time” Russians were “slightly less than 90% of the available combat power.”However New York TimesRelies on Pentagon sources, explaining that the loss of 10% of military personnel (dead or injured) will significantly reduce their ability to fight.

Photo released by the Ukrainian military press on a Russian tank destroyed in the Kyiv region on March 20, 2022.
Photo released by the Ukrainian military press on a Russian tank destroyed in the Kyiv region on March 20, 2022 ©-© 2019 AFP

This mining does not seem to be beneficial to Moscow, as evidenced by the status quo pointed out by several Ukrainian officials. Mariupol’s and Kyiv haven’t fallen, like Odessa, who says he expects a major maritime attack from last week. The Russian tabloid also states that since the end of February, nearly 10,000 Russian soldiers have died before the final withdrawal. In addition, major Russian armor factories do not have parts for manufacturing or repairing tanks.

The situation in Ukraine as of March 23, 2022.
The situation in Ukraine as of March 23, 2022. © BFMTV

Time and money now seem to be against Moscow, perhaps at risk of encouraging Russia to rely on special weapons. US President Joe Biden warned Wednesday that Russia’s chemical weapons attack in Ukraine was a “trustworthy threat.” Faced with this horror, Volodymyr Zelensky once again calls for a dialogue with Vladimir Putin. So far, the request remains a dead letter.

AFP’s Hughes Garnier BFMTV journalist