Ukraine is reporting an uptick in the death toll as Russia’s attack on the nation continues. Meanwhile, other European countries are extending their support to Ukraine and forming a coalition against Putin.
There were 137 Ukrainians killed and 316 more wounded on the first day of the Russian attacks alone, as reported by the Associated Press. With the exception of 10 military officers, all deaths were civilian casualties.
On Friday morning, the Council of Europe — the biggest human rights organization in the continent — voted to suspend Russia’s membership with immediate effect over the assault on Ukraine.
“The decision adopted today means that the Russian Federation remains a member of the Council of Europe and party to the relevant Council of Europe conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights,” the council wrote, clarifying that the suspension is not a final measure but a temporary one, leaving channels of communication open.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy updated the public about the violent activities taking place around the country. Hostomel, a suburb in northern Kyiv, came under attack at 10:30 am EEST. The city of Chernihiv, which has a population of nearly 300,000, also saw “heavy fighting.”
Today at 10:30 am at the entrances to Chernihiv, Hostomel and Melitopol there were heavy fighting. People died. Next time I’ll try to move the war schedule to talk to #MarioDraghi at a specific time. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to fight for its people.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 25, 2022
After Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi missed his call, Zelenskyy said that next time, he will “try to move the war schedule to talk to Mario Draghi.”
Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Marco Di Maio clarified on Twitter that the call was not missed with ill intent, and Italy will “support the toughest possible sanctions to counter the criminal Russian invasion.”
#MarioDraghi mentioned the missed call with deep concern and emotion, not controversy. The government, parliament and all Italians stand by the Ukrainian people and we will support the toughest possible sanctions to counter the criminal Russian invasion.
— Marco Di Maio 🇪🇺🇮🇹 (@marcodimaio) February 25, 2022
State-backed Russian media outlet RT reported that Italy’s foreign minister also called Russia’s suspension from the Council of Europe a “necessary measure in light of Russia’s unacceptable military aggression against Ukraine.”
Zelenskyy says that he’s grateful to all the countries extending support to Ukraine in the form of military, technical, and humanitarian assistance. However, he believes that the pressure on Russia “must increase.”
After a phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine demands “the immediate imposition of additional tough sanctions against Russia” and that the country needs more concrete support. “I count on leadership of 🇨🇦 in this process!” he said.
With concern, Tel Aviv-based journalist Barak Ravid shared that two sources had told him the Ukrainian president was worried for his life.
BREAKING: In a video conference call last night Ukraine President Zelensky told EU leaders: “This might be the last time you see me alive”, two sources briefed on the call told me
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) February 25, 2022
According to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba, Russia is bombing Ukrainian hospitals.
Consider this: Putin has launched a massive war of aggression in Europe during a still raging pandemic. On top of that, Russians bomb Ukrainian hospitals now. This is beyond evil. The only moral choice any government can make now is to support Ukraine by all means.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
The country’s health minister, Viktor Lyashko, said Ukraine is preparing to repurpose health care facilities for those in need.
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Canada is imposing sanctions against Russian elites as a response to the insidious attack on Ukraine. The Canadian Armed Forces have 3,400 authorized members on standby to be deployed to aid Ukraine in the war.
If you would like to help Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, here’s a list of ways to do so.