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Each week, we round up the must-read for our coverage of the war in Ukraine, from news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinion.

“Why did they do this to us? » A Dispatch from Bucha

Monday, Daniel Boffey visited the devastated city of Buchaaddressing residents of the devastated Vokzal’na Street as they emerged from their hiding places after the withdrawal of Russian forces.

“We were in our basement all the time,” says Serhiy Savenko, 43, who lives with his mother, Larisa, 72, at No. 35. “The Russians set up their weapons and a fire in the front garden. One of them came down to the cellar and saw us. He said to shut up. He said he was a nice guy but his colleagues would kneel and shoot us. They took our phones and said ‘no fire’, as if we could emit some kind of signal.

Zinaida, 62, lives at number 31, and has been in its cellar since March 5. She faces the prospect of telling her daughter that her husband is dead, killed by soldiers after fetching items from a neighbor. “He walked just 20 meters from the house and the Russians killed him. No warning, no reason… How can I tell them?

If you want to know more about Bucha, journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk wrote about how the atrocities there have changed the way Ukrainians view war.

Russo-Ukrainian war: find the essential news and analysis of the week |  Ukraine
A woman walks among destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday. Photography: Rodrigo Abd/AP

In the ruined city of Trostianets, one of the first to fall

Shaun Walker visited the spa town of Trostianets Tuesday, one of the very first places to fall into Russian hands when Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. There he found evidence of summary executions, torture and systematic looting during a month of occupation. Still, locals described an initial sense of guilt among Russian soldiers. “We were afraid of them, but after a while we started feeling sorry for them. They had dirty faces, they stank and they looked completely lost,” says Yana Lugovets, who spent a month sleeping in the basement with her husband, daughter and friends. She said a soldier who came to search the house they were staying in left without completing the task, his eyes filled with shame as his daughter cried out in fear at the intruder.

Daria Sasina said soldiers who broke into the beauty salon she ran apologized, saying, “Listen, I’m sorry. We didn’t know it would be like this. However, after the Ukrainian army called a strike, the Russians grew increasingly angry.

Russo-Ukrainian war: find the essential news and analysis of the week |  Ukraine
Destroyed Russian military equipment in Trostianets, in the Ukrainian region of Sumy. Photograph: Anastasia Taylor-Lind/The Guardian

When rape is used as a weapon

Investigators uncover scale of sexual violence in Ukraine, including gang rape, assault at gunpoint and rape in front of children, writes Bethan McKernan in Lviv.

Rape and sexual assault are considered war crimes, and Ukraine’s attorney general and the International Criminal Court have said they will open investigations.

“Every break between curfew and shelling, I was looking for emergency contraception instead of a basic first aid kit,” said Antonina Medvedchuk in Kyiv, who woke up to the sound of shelling the day where the war broke out. “My mother tried to reassure me: ‘It’s not a war like that, they don’t exist anymore, they come from old movies.'”

Local authorities and organizations distributed medical, legal and psychological support and tried to find safe shelters for women and girls fleeing both war and domestic violence. But fighting hampered the effort. “We received several calls on our hotline from women and girls asking for help, but in most cases it was impossible to help them physically. We couldn’t reach them because of the fighting,” said Kateryna Cherepakha, president of the charity La Strada Ukraine.

Russo-Ukrainian war: find the essential news and analysis of the week |  Ukraine
A woman walks past destroyed buildings in the town of Borodyanka. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Could Putin be prosecuted for war crimes?

After Joe Biden called for the prosecution of Vladimir Putin for war crimes following the discovery in Bucha of mass graves and the bodies of bound civilians shot at close range, David Smith explained that bringing the Russian president to justice would be far from simple.

The United States, China, Russia and Ukraine are not members of the International Criminal Court, but dozens of prominent lawyers and politicians, including Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and former Prime British Minister Gordon Brown, have launched a campaign to create a special tribunal to try Russia for the crime of aggression in Ukraine.

Models include the tribunals set up to prosecute war crimes committed during the Balkan wars in the early 1990s and during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Even if this continues, prosecutions could take many years.

Russo-Ukrainian war: find the essential news and analysis of the week |  Ukraine
Residents of Sofia demonstrate holding the Ukrainian national flag during a march in support of Ukraine. Photography: Belish/Rex/Shutterstock

The man who swam to safety in Mariupol

Thusday, Luke Harding in Lviv told the extraordinary story of Dmitry Yurin, a man who witnessed the bombing of the Mariupol Drama Theater and decided he had to escape from the city by any means necessary.

“It was terrible, a massive explosion, a huge explosion. I heard screams and screams,” Yurin said. “I saw bodies and body parts. a girl, then a boy. All were injured. The boy’s legs weren’t moving. He was screaming. My hands were shaking. I was covered in blood.

Yurin’s plan was to wade through the freezing Sea of ​​Azov with four five-liter plastic bottles, to use as buoyancy aids, and swim for two and a half hours. His remarkable journey took him to the village of Melekine, where he staggered out of the sea and was rescued by an elderly couple who gave him vodka and borscht.

Russo-Ukrainian war: find the essential news and analysis of the week |  Ukraine
Dmitry Yurin escaped from Mariupol by swimming. Photograph: Luke Harding/The Guardian

Can Western weapons turn the tide?

Dan Sabbagh examines how NATO countries have gradually stepped up their arms supply to kyiv as the war in Ukraine enters a new phase and asks whether the gradual escalation of arms deliveries can avert a Russian response and turn the tide on the battlefield.

The next phase of the war – which could still be decisive – is set to unfold in Donbass next month as Russian forces seek to capture Mariupol, create a land bridge to Crimea, expand the occupation zone in the self-proclaimed republics. in Donetsk and Luhansk – and perhaps encircle the main Ukrainian fighting force opposing it. It’s a struggle that will play out over the course of April, but it’s likely not until late April that a clearer picture will emerge of the revised military balance.

Meanwhile, the West’s goals become less clear. Is the goal to allow Ukraine to coerce the Kremlin into peace talks – or to try to inflict a heavier defeat that risks provoking an unpredictable Russian president?

Our visual guide to the invasion is updated regularly and can be found here.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.