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Negotiations. Negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian delegations continue in the virtual format and working subgroups. However, more information appears about a possible meeting between President Zelenskyi and the Russian President in the upcoming weeks. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kuleba says Zelenskyi is ready for the meeting “even tomorrow” – “his position is clear, it is formulated on all issues, and Ukraine is ready for this conversation”. Mykhailo Podolyak indicated that there’s a list of questions on the table that cannot be resolved without the involvement of the heads of states.
Foreign policy. German Bundestag. President Zelenskyi addressed German parliamentarians on Thursday. The Ukrainian President expressed harsh criticism that solely sanctions are not enough and now are too late, Germany needs to stop financial support of Russia. In his address, he urged not to delay Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, as to introduce harsher sanctions against Russia and to put peace before the income.
The Lithuanian Seimas unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the UN to take immediate measures to ensure a no-fly zone over Ukraine to stop the mass deaths of civilians. It is a third country whose parliament called on UN countries to immediately agree on measures to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people’s lives.
Arms business. A recently published report by Investigate Europe says that 10 EU Member states have continued arms-related business with Russia regardless of the introduced embargo on sales of arms to Russia since 2014. The analyzed data covers a period of 2015-2020 from all EU-27 official arms exports registers. The total export amount equals € 346 million worth of military equipment, according to public data analyzed by Investigate Europe. France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain – to different extents – have sold “military equipment” to Russia. The investigation shows that the term “military equipment” is broad and can include missiles, bombs, torpedoes, guns and rockets, land vehicles and ships, as well as details of the military equipment.
Cities under the attack. During the last week, every day one of Kyiv’s neighborhoods is hit by the remnants of the missile. Today another residential apartment block has been damaged. Heavy attacks continue around Kyiv in Bucha and Vyshgorod districts, as well as 4 communities of Brovary districts. Three explosions were heard in the Lviv suburbs in the early morning, targeting an aircraft repair plant. The Chernihiv region remains under active fire, while Russian troops position their machinery among civilian infrastructure. Another attack on civilians took place in Chernihiv near the store. US citizen is among the casualties. Mariupol Deputy Mayor Serhiy Orlov says there is no building without damage in the city. Around 80-90 % of infrastructure has been affected by military activities. Around 50-100 bombs are being dropped daily on the city. Around 100 people managed to leave the premises of the damaged Mariupol Drama Theatre, while the rest remained under the rubbles. Evacuation from the territory of the theater is impossible due to the constant shelling. In Severodonetsk and Rubezhne, Luhansk region, Russians destroyed more than 20 houses within the night. After shelling in Kharkiv, fire hit market Barabashovo, one of the biggest markets in Eastern Europe. After the previous night’s attack at Merefa, Kharkiv region, 21 people died and 25 were injured. The situation in Kherson remains critical as people are limited with living resources and no evacuation corridor has been agreed yet. Over the past 24 hours, 3,810 people from “hot spots” were evacuated – 2,000 Mariupol residents were able to get to Zaporizhzhia, another 1,810 residents of Vorzel, Bucha, Gostomel, Shevchenkiv, and Borodyanka have been evacuated. Follow the latest map showing the latest developments in the country.
Cost of the war. In one week, the overall cost of the damaged infrastructure in Ukraine by Russia has increased by $ 8.3 billion. Currently, an approximate total of the damages equals around $ 62,6 bln. Kyiv School of Economics together with the Office of the President and Ministry of Economy has launched a web resource to collect information about infrastructure damages.
Syria. General Stuff of Ukraine alert that Russia has recruited around 1000 Syrian mercenaries to join their army to fight in Ukraine. According to the military intelligence of Ukraine, in the near future, it is planned to move weapons, military equipment, and other resources from Syria to Russia and Belarus to support the Russian occupation forces. Allegedly, Syrian militants might undertake the opportunity in order to leave their country and to move to European countries instead of actual fighting.
Business. PayPal starts operating in Ukraine. Nestle doesn’t leave Russia and will continue its further operation. PM Shmyhal made an urgent plea to Nestle’s CEO however the company’s position remains unchanged.
Boycott. The Swedish Dockworkers Union has announced a start of a blockade of the Russian vessels and goods from their ports starting as of March 28. The European Space Agency (ESA) refuses to cooperate with Roscosmos in developing the ExoMars mission due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Public support of the war in Russia. Mykhaylo Podolyak responded to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s call «not to insult or attack ordinary Russians»: ‘Officially, 71% of Russians strongly support the war against Ukraine and the mass murder of our citizens. Keep that in mind’. In her article for VoxUkraine Ilona Sologoub says: ‘Putin personalizes Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine. But the blood of innocent Ukrainians is also on the hands of millions of Russians who support Putin’. Check out the level of public support of the war in Russia in the article.
Culture. Cultural heritage remains under attack. In Izium, Kharkiv region, the occupiers have destroyed the World War II Memorial on the Nature Monument Kremianets. One of the stelae of the monument fell due to aerial bombardments. Meanwhile, the Italian government is ready to rebuild the destroyed theater in Mariupol. The Italian Minister of Culture said on Twitter that the Cabinet of Ministers supported his proposal. In London, MyArtBroker has launched a silent charitable auction of Banksy’s artwork “CND Soldiers”. All raised money will go to Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian Civil Society Hub in Brussels. EP President Roberta Mesola has given the keys to the Station Europe building to the Ukrainian civil society organization Promote Ukraine. The space will be used to coordinate Ukrainian civil society action (organizing demonstrations, press conferences, etc.) and to provide psychological and administrative support to refugees from Ukraine now arriving in Belgium (job-seeking, registering at municipal offices).
- Since the beginning of the war, more than 320,000 citizens have returned to Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s juvenile prosecutors report that 109 children were killed and 130 injured as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 6 a.m., March 18, 2022: troops – around 14,200, tanks ‒ 450, APV ‒ 1,448, artillery systems – 205, MLRS – 72, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 43, fixed-wing aircraft – 93, rotary wing aircraft – 112, armored fighting vehicles – 879, light speed boats – 3, fuel tanks – 60, UAV operational-tactical level – 12, special equipment – 11.
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