The conflict in Ukraine has shifted to the east of the country where Ukrainian forces are battle-hardened and well-prepared.
Analysts believe Ukraine’s best units are in the east, and that they are dug into trench systems and other fortified positions.
So far, Ukrainian troops have strongly resisted the Russian advance, but they could be heavily outnumbered by Russian forces who are inching forwards in some areas.
Russian officials have said that the focus of its forces is now the “complete liberation” of the Donbas, broadly referring to Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
The terrain in the east will pose big challenges for the Russians as they attack.
With less wooded land than the north of the country, analysts say open areas may favour the Ukrainian defenders.
Eastern Ukraine’s biggest football club, Shakhtar Donetsk, have opened what they’re calling their “Football for Peace” tour with a friendly match in Greece against league leaders Olympiakos.
Each Shakhtar outfield player wore a shirt bearing the name of one of 10 cities that have been besieged by the Russian military offensive.
Shakhtar Donetsk and Olympiakos played in front of 5,000 fans at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. Olympiakos won 1-0.
In all, 176 toys were placed in the seats at the stadium in memory of the 176 children who have died since the conflict began on 24 February.
The charity tour is raising money to provide aid for people in Ukraine affected by the war.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s manager said: “We want to talk about war and peace in Ukraine in these matches. The need to end this madness and return to normal life and to rebuild the country,”
The football club will continue their tour in Gdansk, Poland, against Lehya on 14 April.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that he was “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the behaviour of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
When he was in power, Berlusconi had a close friendship with Putin, and invited him on vacation to his villa in Sardinia.
“I’ve known him about 20 years ago and he always seemed to me to be a democrat and a man of peace,” the 85-year-old billionaire said, addressing a convention of his conservative Forza Italia party in Rome.
Berlusconi, who served as head of the Italian government three times between 1994 and 2011, had previously refrained from publicly criticising Putin.
“Faced with the horror of the massacres of civilians in Bucha and other places, real war crimes, Russia can not deny its responsibilities,” he said on Saturday.
Boris Johnson has said the UK will continue to intensify pressure on Russia week by week to support Ukraine.
“Together with our partners, we are going to ratchet up the economic pressure,” the UK prime minister said after a surprise visit to Ukraune’s capital, Kyiv.
“I have no doubt at all that an independent sovereign Ukraine will rise again, thanks above all to the heroism, the courage of the people of Ukraine,” he added.