Russian President Vladimir Putin's "special military operation” into Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with troops crossing the border from Belarus and Russia. Moscow's forces have since been met with “stiff resistance” from Ukrainians, according to U.S. officials.
Russian forces retreated last week from the Kyiv suburbs, leaving behind a trail of destruction. After graphic images emerged of civilians lying dead in the streets of Bucha, U.S. and European officials accused Russian troops of committing war crimes.
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- US sanctions Russian military shipbuilding and diamond mining companies
- Fox News' Benjamin Hall provides 1st update since being severely injured in shelling
- Situation in Borodyanka 'much worse' than other Ukrainian towns, Zelenskyy says
- Blinken shares graphic details of alleged atrocities in Ukraine
- UN votes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council
US sanctions Russian military shipbuilding and diamond mining companies
The Biden administration announced it's levying sanctions against Russia's largest military shipbuilding and diamond mining companies on Thursday night.
The move blocks their access to the U.S. financial system as the United States looks to exact more economic pain on Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine.
Alrosa is the world's largest diamond mining company and accounts for about 90% of Russia's diamond mining capacity, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Alrosa generated over $4.2 billion in revenue in 2021. Diamonds are one of Russia's top 10 non-energy exports by value.
The State Department also said it was blacklisting the United Shipbuilding Corporation, as well as its subsidiaries and board members. The moves against the two state-owned companies come a day after the U.S. announced it was targeting the two adult daughters of Putin, two of Russia's largest banks and banning new American investment in Russia.
-ABC News' Conor Finnegan
Fox News' Benjamin Hall provides 1st update since being severely injured in shelling
A Fox News reporter severely injured in a shelling in Ukraine last month that killed two other journalists tweeted for the first time Thursday to update his condition and pay tribute to his colleagues.
Fox News State Department correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured in an attack in Gorenka, outside Kyiv, on March 14. Ukrainian producer and fixer Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova and Fox News cameraperson Pierre Zakrzewski were both killed after incoming fire hit their car.
"Its (sic) been over three weeks since the attack in Ukraine and I wanted to start sharing it all," Hall said. "But first I need to pay tribute to my colleagues Pierre and Sasha who didnt (sic) make it that day. Pierre and I traveled the world together, working was his joy and his joy was infectious."
Hall also shared a Fox News segment in which a Ukrainian parliament member paid tribute to Kuvshynova.
The journalist, who was initially treated at a German hospital before being transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, detailed his injuries in another tweet.
"To sum it up, I've lost half a leg on one side and a foot on the other. One hand is being put together, one eye is no longer working, and my hearing is pretty blown… but all in all I feel pretty damn lucky to be here - and it is the people who got me here who are amazing!" he said.
-ABC News' Conor Finnegan
Situation in Borodyanka 'much worse' than other Ukrainian towns, Zelenskyy says
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situation in Borodyanka is "much worse" than what Ukrainians have found in other towns where Russian forces have departed.
In his daily address, Zelenskyy said there are "even more victims of the Russian occupiers," in Borodyanka.
Zelenskyy has warned in previous statements that they expected to find many more victims in Borodyanka than the number discovered so far in Bucha.
He also said the United Nations General Assembly's decision to suspend Russia's membership from the Human Rights Council was "quite logical, quite rightly."
"Russia has had nothing to do with the concept of human rights for a long time ... maybe someday that will change," Zelenskyy said.
-ABC News' Fidel Pavlenko
EU approves 5th round of sanctions against Russia
The European Union approved a fifth round of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, officials said.
The "substantial" package extends sanctions to "oligarchs, Russian propaganda actors, members of the security and military apparatus and entities in the industrial and technological sector linked to the Russian aggression against Ukraine," according to the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.
It also includes a ban on coal imports from Russia, an embargo on arms to Russia and a freeze on the assets of several Russian banks, among other sanctions.
-ABC News' Christine Theodorou
UN votes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council
In an unprecedented move, the U.N. General Assembly has voted to suspend Russia from the body’s Human Rights Council, marking the first time a permanent member of the U.N.’s Security Council has ever been removed from a post within the international organization.
To pass, the measure needed two-thirds approval from the voting members of the General Assembly. Ninety-three countries voted in favor of the resolution. Twenty-four voted against it and 58 abstained.
Before the vote, a chorus of countries aligned with Russia aired their grievances, including Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria and Cuba.
China's U.N. envoy Zhang Jun said it would side with Russia out of opposition to “exerting pressure on other countries in the name of human rights,” saying the measure would “deprive a country’s legitimate membership in the Human Rights Council.” Jun also expressed disapproval for the sanctions the West has levied against Russia.
Russia’s suspension is the result of a U.S.-led effort launched as a direct response to horrific images of corpses left behind in Bucha and other towns after Russian forces withdrew. While Russia has denied responsibility, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said Russia must be held accountable.
The Human Rights Council is currently investigating allegations of war crimes, though Russia voted against the inquiry, calling it a “waste of resources.”
This is only the second time that any country has had its membership revoked from the Human Rights Council. Libya was suspended in 2011 because of violence towards protestors by military forces loyal to then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.
-ABC News' Shannon Crawford