Inside Ukraine’s Embattled Cities

Rachel Quester, Michael Simon Johnson and

M.J. Davis Lin and

Elisheba Ittoop and


It has been two weeks since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and Russia’s high-tech army of nearly 200,000 soldiers has not taken control of any major cities, except the southern port of Kherson. The Ukrainian resistance has been too strong.

The state of the war is eerily stalled.

The Russians’ answer has been to encircle cities and, from a distance, bomb what they can’t control. Apartment buildings, factories, universities, hospitals — Russia’s hits have been indiscriminate.

Today, we hear dispatches on two cities in Ukraine’s south that are surrounded and under attack.


Michael Schwirtz, an investigative reporter for The New York Times.

Valerie Hopkins, a Moscow correspondent for The Times, currently in Ukraine.

A woman outside a maternity hospital in Mariupol, which was damaged by shelling. The Russians are encircling cities and bombing from a distance.
Evgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press

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Michael Schwirtz and Valerie Hopkins contributed reporting.

The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens and Rowan Niemisto.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Cliff Levy, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Sofia Milan, Desiree Ibekwe, Erica Futterman, Wendy Dorr, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli and Maddy Masiello.

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