Burying the fallen
Postscript: A Ukrainian retreat amid a diplomatic quake
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Ukrainian soldiers prepared to bury Volodymyr Losev, a fellow soldier who was killed when his military vehicle hit a mine in the Odesa region in early May (above). Farther south, Ukrainian soldiers in mid-May began a retreat from Mariupol, a city in the Donbas region that has been a focus of worldwide attention during a three-month siege by the Russian army. “83 days of Mariupol defense will go down in history as the Thermopylae of the XXI century,” tweeted Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. Ukrainian sources say Russian airstrikes killed more than 20,000 civilians in Mariupol during the siege, including almost 600 who had taken shelter in a theater. Meanwhile, Russian aggression in Ukraine was having momentous diplomatic effects in the region, as Sweden and Finland announced plans to apply for NATO membership due to concerns about Russia. The two countries had chosen to remain separate from NATO for more than 70 years. Sweden has not been part of any military alliance for more than 200 years.
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