Foreign policy. Versailles Summit. European Union leaders gathered in Versailles on March 10, 2022 to agree on a joint response to the war in Ukraine and how to navigate through differing views on further economic sanctions, how to cut Russian energy imports, and further support Ukraine’s application to become a member of the EU. The first day of the meeting concluded with a unanimous statement about the EU’s intention to help Ukraine, including political and financial assistance as well as temporary protection for refugees. There was no guarantee of the EU membership for Ukraine that Zelenskiy had requested. Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, says there is no fast-track option for joining the EU. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz previously said the EU should expand its partnership with Ukraine rather than speak of membership, which would require the unanimity of all the 27 member countries. In Turkey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba met with his Russian counterpart. The parties have not yet been able to reach a decision on a ceasefire. But Lavrov left the door open for further talks and an eventual meeting between presidents Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskiy. As Minster Kuleba stated, “Ukraine cannot stop the war if the attacking country has no desire to do so”. The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania unanimously supported a resolution calling on the EU to immediately grant Ukraine a candidate status and open membership talks.
Biological threats. U.N. Security Council is convening on Friday on Russia’s request. Russia claims the US based its chemical laboratories in Ukraine, however, they have no evidence to back up this claim. Washington called these allegations “gaslighting”. Olivia Dalton, the spokeswoman of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, calls it a false flag effort that Russia might use to justify its potential chemical attack. Security Services of Ukraine have informed Russia troops might consider the possibility of blowing up ammonia warehouses in the Kharkiv region to pin the blame on the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Humanitarian crises. Some progress has been observed in terms of evacuating people from the Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Sumy regions. More than 60,000 people were evacuated from the cities of Sumy, Trostianets, and Krasnopillia, Sumy region. About 3,000 people managed to leave the city of Izium. The Ukrainian authorities were finally able to bring the water and food supplies to the city. About 20,000 people were evacuated from Bucha, Gostomel, Irpin, Vorzel and other areas of the Kyiv region yesterday. Finally, more than 100 tons of aid were delivered to the city of Energodar.
However, the situation is further deteriorating in Mariupol. Russian troops block aid trucks, so people remain without access to water, medicine, and food while being under constant Russian fire for days. Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, after the meeting with Sergei Lavrov in Turkey said Ukraine had proposed a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol and a ceasefire regime for at least 24 hours to solve the humanitarian problems of the local civilians. However, no agreement has been reached.
Cities under attack. Mariupol remains under constant attacks. Sergei Lavrov confirmed that Russia deliberately bombed the maternity hospital in Mariupol. According to him, the building had been cleared of all the patients and medical personnel before the attack. The reason to target the hospital, Lavrov claims, was that the building was a station of the Azov battalion. He also dismissed the photographs of the injured pregnant women evacuating the hospital as “staged”. Twitter removed Russian embassy in the UK tweet on Mariupol hospital bombing – according to the post, the news about the bombing is fake.
Six air bombs were dropped on a village Slobozhanske, Kharkiv region. There was no military infrastructure around, one of the bombs fell on a two-storey apartment building. At least 5 people were killed, including 2 children. In Mykolayiv, the Russian shell fell on the territory of a kindergarten, but it didn’t explode. The Mayor of Kharkiv reports that Russian attacks have destroyed 400 apartment blocks. Russian troops shelled Nizhyn, Chernigiv region using BM-27 Uragan, reports the city mayor. 8 people were wounded and 2 killed. Two missiles hit the airport in Dnipropetrovsk region. Early in the morning explosions were heard in Dnipro, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk. During night airstrikes in Chernigiv, the occupiers damaged the water supply network such that the water supply was cut off throughout the city. Active combat action continues around Kyiv. In the morning, a missile air strike hit Baryshivka. An Iskander missile caused significant damage to infrastructure and housing, 60 apartment buildings were completely damaged, 4 apartment buildings and 10 houses were seriously damaged.
Energy security. Russian occupants mined Kakhovka Reservoir which borders occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP. Belarus claimed that they connected Chornobyl NPP to their electric system, however Energoatom denied this information as fake. In the meantime, Energoatom shared a map of radioactive cloud that formed over Europe after Chornobyl disaster in 1986 as a reminder of the scale and the deadly hazard of a nuclear disaster. Russia attacked the experimental nuclear reactor located on the premises of Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology. The shelling caused a fire in the building next to the destroyed reactor.
Business. More and more companies announce suspending their operations in Russia. China refused to supply Russian air companies with spare parts for their aircrafts.
Disinformation. Russia continues to impede the evacuation of the civilian population of Ukraine and blames the Ukrainian side for this. So, Russia claims that no one informs Ukrainians about the evacuation corridors. Those who do find out about them cannot get there. Russia also insists that the ‘nationalists’ use ceasefire in Ukraine only to improve or shift their tactical positions. The Russian Defense Ministry also noted that more than 7,000 citizens from 21 foreign countries remain held hostage by «Ukrainian neo-Nazis». In the Russian media, the attacks of the Russian military on civilian infrastructure and civilians are presented as provocations from Ukraine. Russia stated that “the alleged airstrike on the Mariupol hospital was a pre-mediated provocation to perpetuate the anti-Russian agenda among the wide public”. The ministry also noted that Russian aircraft in the Mariupol region wasn’t tasked with hitting any targets on the ground.
Digital security. Anonymous hacktivist group has successfully breached and leaked the database of Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring Russian mass media, releasing over 360,000 files for public access.
- Public opinion polls. 92% of respondents believe that Ukraine can repel Russia’s attack. 57% believe that Ukraine will be able to win the war with Russia in the coming weeks. 40% of Ukrainians believe that most Russians support the war against Ukraine.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 6 a.m., March 10, 2022: troops – more than 12,000, tanks ‒ 353, APV ‒ 1,165, artillery systems – 125, MLRS – 58, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 31, aircraft – 57, helicopters – 83, vehicles – 558, light speed boats – 3, fuel tanks – 60, UAV operational-tactical level – 7.
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