Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Reaches 100 Day Mark

The Ukrainian president said Russia had occupied about 20% of the territory as the armed conflict reached its 100th day on Friday.

Addressing the Luxembourg parliament in a virtual speech, Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that the Ukrainian area controlled by Russian forces was comparable to the entire Netherlands.

However, he did not elaborate on how much territory Moscow has captured since the war began on February 24, as Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula has been under Russian control since 2014. Also, Russian-backed separatists had captured parts of the eastern Donbas region before the Kremlin ordered the invasion of its neighboring country.

On Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said their army had recaptured at least 20 towns and villages in the southern Kherson region.

But Russian forces have expanded further in the eastern part of the country. Moscow has intensified its attacks on Sievierodonetsk, the last major city under Ukrainian control in the Lugansk region.

Lugansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said at least 70% of the city was under Russian power, but fierce street battles between Russian soldiers and Ukrainian defenders had been reported.

Moreover, UK Defense Ministry said Moscow had managed to gain control of most of the city, achieving “steady local gains, enabled by a heavy concentration of artillery.” Ukrainian forces still hold the main road to Sievierodonetsk.

A Ukrainian official spoke about Kyiv’s strategy, saying its forces continue their push to recapture territory previously lost during the war in southern Ukraine, hoping to tie up Russian forces in the Donbas region, where the combats have escalated and intensified.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said he would send a new package to arm Ukrainian forces “with new capabilities and advanced weaponry, including HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) with battlefield munitions, to defend their territory from Russian advances.”

US Undersecretary for Defense Policy Colin Kahl said his country would send four new rocket systems to Ukrainian soldiers, who will be trained on how to use them for at least three weeks. The US official said the systems were in Europe but declined to elaborate on where the training would take place.

The US has reaffirmed its commitment to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom, saying NATO wants to see Ukraine in a position of strength when peace talks begin.