Russian invasion of Ukraine: Key developments this week

A summary of some of the main events in the conflict as it entered its second month.

Art school bombing

An art school where around 400 residents of the besieged Ukrainian port Mariupol were taking refuge became the scene of the latest atrocity carried out by Russian forces on Sunday.

Local officials said the attack, which follows the bombing of a theatre in the city where civilians were sheltering, had destroyed the building and people were feared trapped in the rubble.

President Joe Biden visits the US 82nd Airborne Division at Jasionka in Poland near the border with Ukraine on Friday. Picture: Evan Vucci/AP

With Mariupol cut off from energy, food and water, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the siege would go down in history for war crimes committed by Russian troops.

Nato summit

Nato said it was prepared for the long haul in the conflict following an emergency summit on Thursday as the body stepped up measures to protect countries in the region from attacks, including chemical or nuclear warfare.

Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said Nato would put in four additional multinational "battle groups" in the neighbouring countries of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, but insisted measures remain "preventive, proportionate, and non-escalatory".

Smoke rises after shelling near Berdyansk port in Ukraine on Thursday. Picture: AP

Boris Johnson labelled Russian President Vladimir Putin as enemy number one among Western leaders and pledged more missiles and deployments of UK troops to Bulgaria, while also doubling personnel in Poland and Estonia to boost Nato on the eastern flanks.

Ship destroyed

A Russian landing ship has been destroyed, and two others were on fire on Thursday near Mariupol, according to the Ukrainian military.

Sharing images and a video on social media, the Ukrainian military claimed the Orsk was hit in the Sea of Azov near the southern port city of Berdyansk by a ballistic missile strike.

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The other vessels reportedly hit were called the Saratov, and Zdetonuvav BC which were both reportedly on fire following the attack.

Poland praised

US President Joe Biden saluted Poland on Friday for helping more than 2 million refugees who have fled Russia's invasion as he met humanitarian experts close to the Ukraine border.

He said he wanted to visit Poland to underscore that the assistance it is providing is of "enormous consequence" as Europe experiences the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.

More than 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since invasion started on 24 February, including about 2.2 million to Poland.

Within days, the number of refugees will exceed the number of Syrians forced from their homes over years of conflict, according to Samantha Power, the US Agency for International Development administrator.

Welcome hubs

Three welcome hubs for refugees fleeing the conflict have been set up in Scotland.

Neil Gray, the minister with responsibility for refugees, has told MSPs the centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway would provide hot meals, translation services and trauma support.

The Scottish Government has also established a "super sponsor" scheme which allows Ukrainian refugees to arrive in Scotland under the UK-wide Homes for Ukraine initiative, without having been matched with a volunteer opening their home to take in a family.

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