Negotiations – Round 3. Delegations from Ukraine and Russia met for the third round of negotiations on Monday. Evacuation of civilians, namely agreeing on the humanitarian corridors, remains a priority. Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and lead negotiator, concluded the results of the meeting as “there were some small positive shifts regarding logistics of humanitarian corridors.” Other agreements have not yet been achieved. Further intensive consultations will continue focusing on ceasefire, political block and security, which will be discussed later.
The Hague. “Ukraine vs Russia” case has been officially launched at the International Court of Justice. Ukrainian delegation presented its arguments on allegations of Russia defiling Genocide Convention. However, Russia boycotted the hearings and did not show up to the court. Therefore, the Ukrainian delegation called to impose temporary measures, mainly by halting immediately all military activities that started on February 24th. Though reaching the final decision will take time, launching the legal process is necessary to document the crimes committed by Russia, as well as to proceed with further isolation of Russia.
Foreign policy. Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and Russia will meet in Turkey on March 10, 2022 exactly two weeks after the start of the war. Turkey has previously announced they would be ready to mediate the meeting between countries. Therefore, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu has expressed his hope that the meeting will contribute to peace and stability.
The EU has called the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) to protect Ukrainian nuclear power plants. Currently, Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia NPP are under the control of Russian troops. Therefore, IAEA calls to ensure utmost nuclear safety in Ukraine.
The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER II) has officially started the process of assessing applications from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to join the EU.
Hungary will not allow transfer of lethal weapons across its territories. “The reason for making this decision is that such deliveries might become targets of hostile military action”, says Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. However, Hungary will continue providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Humanitarian corridors. Russia made direct orders to its soldiers to fire at the Ukrainian civilians, regardless of whether they are women or children. If the order is violated they are allowed to shoot the soldier who doesn’t want to perform their duty.
On Monday, there was an attempt to open a humanitarian corridor from Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel, Kyiv region. A total of 2000 people were evacuated. However, 30% of Irpin, Kyiv region is under Russian troops’ control. Currently there is still no water, gas or electricity supply to those cities, as well as there is a food scarcity.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Minister for the reintegration of temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, says 2046 international students from 27 countries are captive in Sumy: from India – 659 students, from China – 160, from Turkey – 144, from Nigeria – 400 students. As well as many citizens of the Middle Eastern, Central Asian, African, Northeast Asian countries, including South Africa, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. The evacuation into Ukraine is impossible as civilians do not risk leaving the city due to heavy shelling by Russian troops on the roads that lead out of the Sumy. The Russian troops are forcing foreigners to evacuate into Belarus and Russia that might be risky, due to heavily human rights violations in Russia and Belarus.
Mariupol has been under siege for 8 days in a row. The city is without electricity, heat, water or communications. For three days civilians are waiting for evacuation, however, two previous attempts have already been thwarted.
Since February 24, rescuers have evacuated about 6.4 thousand people from the settlements of Luhansk region, and about 3 thousand people from Donetsk region.
Cities under the attack. The Russian troops continue the offensive, concentrating the main efforts on the encirclement of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Mariupol, Mykolaiv. Strikes at civilian infrastructure continue. On Monday, Russian troops shelled Makariv bread factory, killing 13 people. Kharkiv supermarket was shelled, killing 6 people and injuring 15. Izyum, Kharkiv region has turned into utter ruin, says city Mayor. Constant Russian shelling has destroyed the central part of the city, also the city is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Since the beginning of the war, Russian troops have destroyed 90 houses in Melitopol and the respective district, Zaporizhzhia region as well. In Melitopol, invaders seized the TV tower and radio communication towers. Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia oblast is without gas supply, due to the damage of the gas pipeline. In Mykolayiv, a cruise missile hit the building of a military unit in the morning and shelled once again in the evening. Eight servicemen were killed, 19 injured, and eight went missing. Russian troops targeted oil depots in Zhytomyr and Chernihiv, setting them on fire. The Seaport of Olvia has been under attack. At night Sumy was under the air shelling, killing 9 people, including 2 children.
Good news! Mykolaiv airport is under the control of Ukraine! «Russian army was pushed out of the airport and several other points around Mykolaiv. Now we are looking for those invaders who fled», said Vitaliy Kim the Head of Mykolaiv Regional State Administration. Also, anti-occupation rallies continue across southern Ukraine in Mariupol, Donetsk region, Starobilsk, Luhansk region, Chaplynka, Kherson region. In Chaplynka, Russian troops fired at the protesters.
Rallies against Russian occupation. A massive rally in Mariupol has been held. Residents of Starobilsk, Luhansk region, went out for a rally against the occupation, burned the flag of LNR and raised the state flag of Ukraine. Chaplynka, Kherson region, the Russian military opened fire on protesters who are against the occupation.
Sanctions. Global sanctions are hitting hard the Russian economy and elites. 5800 sanctions have already been imposed against Russia. This is a world’s anti-record. More than a hundred giant companies have already left the Russian market. Bloomberg called the sanctions process a “financial nuclear war.” The Russian central bank on Monday more than doubled interest rates to 20% as the ruble, the country’s currency, sank to an all-time low, says Forbes. Bloomberg reports potential default of Russian economy by mid April. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament) informs that Danish energy company Ørsted will not sign new contracts with Russia, cutting off supplies of Russian coal to its power plants. All Big Four companies withdraw their business from Russia. The Singapore Exchange Regulation has stopped trading in Gazprom shares, as well as Singapore telecommunications companies StarHub and SingTel have stopped broadcasting Russian state media RT. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has suspended the purchase of titanium in Russia due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Upwork job search platform suspends work in Russia and Belarus. Educational platforms Coursera and EdX announced the termination of cooperation with Russia. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs classified Russia as a 3rd level of danger, meaning a recommendation to cancel any trips to the Russian Federation.
Women in the military sector. Since the beginning of 2021, 57,000 women were enrolled in Ukraine’s armed forces, comprising 22.8% of the total, according to Vice referring to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. This figure is far higher than those of its neighbors: Poland (7.5%) and Russia (4%), as well as the United States (16 %t) and Germany (12%).
Disinformation. Russian media states that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are shelling the infrastructure of Donbas while showing footage of objects destroyed by the Russian military in other regions. Russia continues the tactic with the accusation of Ukraine in the attack on the civilian population. Thus, there are Russian reports that «Ukrainian nationalists in Mariupol are using terrorist tactics: they place their firing points in houses on which local residents leave signs «do not shoot – children are here». In addition, Russia claims that in three hours, 172 attacks from Ukrainian troops and «nationalists» were recorded on the announced six humanitarian corridors. Russia is also actively spreading a new fake about the development of biological weapons on the territory of Ukraine. Also, the Russian media claims that the Security Service of Ukraine is preparing provocations in Kharkiv with radioactive contamination.
Media. Russian troops continue attacks at the TV tower and radio communication towers to disrupt communication channels. On Monday Melitopol city’s radio communication tower was seized by Russian troops.
- More than 1.7 million of Ukrainians already fled abroad, running away from the war
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 6 a.m., March 8, 2022: troops – more than 12 000, tanks ‒ 303, APV ‒ 1036, artillery systems – 120, MLRS – 56, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 27, aircraft – 48, helicopters – 80, vehicles – 474, light speed boats – 3, fuel tanks – 60, UAV operational-tactical level – 7.
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