It’s been three months, two weeks and five days since Russia invaded Ukraine. The war has moved from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, to the eastern parts of the country, while authorities have found another mass grave in the Bucha region. Food insecurity looms over Ukraine and the countries dependent on it.
Here are three takeaways from the situation currently unfolding in eastern Europe.
War in Severodonetsk
In hopes of capturing the entire regions of eastern Ukraine, namely Luhansk, Moscow has been targeting Severodonetsk, one of the largest cities in the region with strategic advantages like its proximity to the Donets river and to Donbas, another key region for Russia, per CNN.
After withdrawing troops from Kyiv, all focus went into capturing Severodonetsk, where fighting has intensified. All bridges connecting the city to the western part of Ukraine are impassable, trapping more than 500 civilians.
“Russian troops are trying to storm the city, but the military is holding firm,” Sevierodonetsk Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said, per Reuters.
Investigating deaths in Bucha
Authorities in Bucha found another mass grave containing the bodies of seven Ukrainian civilians, according to CNBC.
“Shots to the knees tell us that people were tortured,” said Andriy Nebytov, head of the Kyiv regional police, per The Times of Israel.
“The hands tied behind the back with tape say that people had been held (hostage) for a long time and (enemy forces) tried to get any information from them.”
“The pre-trial investigation is being carried out by the Bucha District Department of the National Police in the Kyiv Region,” a press release on Monday read, per CNN.
Ukrainian authorities are still trying to identify the 1,200 civilian bodies.
“This is a long process, rather painstaking, because a lot of bodies are in a state of putrefactive decay,” National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko said, per the report. “We select DNA from those relatives who contacted us via the hotline, and then we compare the profiles of these relatives with the profiles of the dead, buried, shot, who could not be identified.”
Food insecurity at home and abroad
Amid the invasion, Ukraine has lost 25% of arable land in southern and eastern parts, the Taras Vysotskiy, the deputy agriculture minister, noted, reassuring the people that food insecurity isn’t a pressing threat.
“Despite the loss of 25% of arable land, crop planting this year is more than sufficient (and) the current situation of crop planting areas ... does not pose a threat to Ukraine’s food security,” she said, per The Guardian.
“Ukrainian farmers managed to prepare relatively well for sowing before the war started. In February, Ukraine had already imported about 70% of necessary fertilizers, 60% of disease control products and about a third of the required fuel.”
Another issue is Russia blocking the Ukrainian agriculture exports at the Black Sea ports, according to Axios. This means that many countries — like Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan — reliant on Ukrainian wheat, maize and sunflower oil will suffer a food crisis.