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Foreign policy. The NATO Summit issued a statement promising to provide Ukraine with equipment and training to deal with the fallout from a possible Russian attack with chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons. The alliance is going to increase its own preparedness, as well, for any such event. It will continue to have the ‘open door’ policy for countries that want to join NATO. The alliance does not intend to send troops to Ukraine.
European Council Summit. Following the European Council Summit, the EU leaders stated that they continue supporting Ukraine, as previously stipulated in the Versailles Summit. However, the official statement has no assurance on the fast-track EU integration of Ukraine. The EU leaders proclaimed their commitment to create a ‘Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund’ and to work with international partners to raise money ‘for the reconstruction of democratic Ukraine’ — although this does not seem to be a near future project considering Russia’s continuing bombardment of cities and relentless attacks. Bloomberg reports that European Union officials suspect that China may be ready to supply semiconductors and other tech hardware to Russia as part of the effort to soften the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
US. The US informed it would accept 100 000 Ukrainian refugees, as well as provide a new round of weapons shipments for Ukraine, although not the fighter jets. 1 bln US dollars of humanitarian aid will be provided to Ukraine. The US President suggested excluding Russia from G20, however, there’s a lack of a consistent position among other participants to back this idea.
UN. The UN General Assembly adopted a ‘Humanitarian Consequences of Aggression against Ukraine’ resolution: 140 countries voted in favor of it, and 5 countries that regularly vote in such a way — against. This document calls on Russia to immediately cease shelling of civilians and civilian infrastructure, to end the siege of cities and to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian personnel and for delivery of humanitarian aid. The resolution calls for protection of civilians leaving the war zone.
Speakers of the Parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia visited Kyiv to meet the country’s top officials. As a result, these countries signed a joint statement that calls on the international community to immediately close the sky over Ukraine.
Check out the support matrix for Ukraine among Western countries.
Cities under attack. Two Russian missiles struck a military base in Dnipro. In Chernihiv, more than 200 civilians have died since the beginning of the war. Parts of the city remain still without gas, water, and electricity. In Kharkiv, Russians fired long-range missiles at one of the post office departments, where people were receiving humanitarian aid. Luhansk region is again under fire. 30 objects of infrastructure were damaged or destroyed in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Rubizhne, Kreminna, et al., injuring 15 civilians. The Kharkiv region was shelled 240 times within the last 24 hours with BM21 and BM27.
Deportations. Cases of deportations and kidnapping continue to frequent in the occupied territories. Russian troops keep capturing and deporting Mariupol residents to Russia en masse: the Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) is driving around the city and announcing on loudspeakers, that an evacuation to Zaporizhia is now impossible. About 15,000 Mariupol residents were deported illegally. The invaders take people to the ‘filtration’ camps, take away all their documents and later send them to Russia. Allegedly, people are sent to unknown Russian destinations with the guarantees that they will have a place of work there, but the price of this is they won’t be able to leave the country for 2 years.
Children. During this month of Russia’s war against Ukraine, 128 children were killed and more than 172 were wounded. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, 1.5 million children fled Ukraine as refugees, according to UNICEF. More than 500 unaccompanied children were identified crossing the border from Ukraine into Romania between 24 February and 17 March. The true number of unaccompanied children who have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries is likely much higher. Unaccompanied children are especially vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. Therefore, international organizations are warning about potential child trafficking cases, as well as call for support from the children’s rights services and advocates.
Education. In temporarily occupied Melitopol, the invaders are forcing teachers to start the educational process in Russian, informs the city’s mayor. Russian troops confiscate and burn Ukrainian literature and history books on the temporarily occupied territories. The main targets are books that contradict the Kremlin propaganda. The Military police takes away all the books related to the Maidan revolutions, war in Donbas, books with any mention of the Ukrainian historic figures – Ivan Mazepa, Symon Petliura, Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych, Viacheslav Chornovil, et al.
Captive exchange. Russia and Ukraine carried out their first captives’ exchange since the beginning of the war. 10 Ukrainian soldiers were exchanged for 10 Russian ones. Also, 11 Russian mariners were sent out in exchange for 19 civilians from the rescue ship ‘Sapphires’ on the condition that the ship itself will also be returned to Ukraine.
Rebuilding. Latest survey conducted by the Sociological Group ‘Rating’ shows that 51% of citizens of Ukraine hope that it will be possible to rebuild Ukraine’s infrastructure and economy in less than five years after the war, while 10% are more skeptical, saying it will take more than 10 years. 90% are convinced that Russia must recompence all the expenses for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.
Media. Institute of Public Information reports Russia has committed 148 crimes against journalists and the media in Ukraine during this month of the war. Five journalists were killed, seven were injured, and one journalist went missing. At least six cases of kidnapping and inhuman treatment of journalists by Russians have been reported. Over the month, the invaders fired at 10 civilian TV towers which led to the complete or temporary interruption of television and radio broadcasting in eight regions of Ukraine.
Sanctions. The United Kingdom has imposed new sanctions on Russia and Belarus. 59 individuals, enterprises and ministries went under restrictions. Particularly, sanctions are imposed on Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Alfa-Bank, SMP Bank, Russian Railways, Sovcomflot, RusHydro and defense companies. Sberbank’s chairman Herman Gref and billionaire Oleg Tinkov have got personal ones. The United States has imposed a new package of sanctions against companies of Russia’s defense industry and the CEO of Sberbank. Switzerland has frozen around 5.75 billion Swiss francs ($6.17 billion) worth of Russian assets which are covered by sanctions, and that amount is likely to rise, a government official said on Thursday.
Gas and energy. Russia called on its ‘unfriendly’ countries, namely EU and US, to pay for Russian gas in rubles. However, Poland and Germany immediately declined the demand. Meanwhile, Russia is spreading a fake that Ukraine has taken Russian nuclear specialists hostage at Rivne NPP. IAEA informs that Russian forces have shelled Ukrainian checkpoints in Slavutych where many people working at the nearby Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant live, putting them at risk and preventing further rotation of personnel.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 6 a.m., March 25, 2022: personnel – around 16,100, tanks ‒ 561, APV ‒ 1,625, artillery systems – 291, MLRS – 90, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 49, fixed-wing aircraft – 115, helicopters – 125, soft-skinned vehicles – 1,089, light speed boats – 5, fuel tankers – 72, operational-tactical level UAV – 53, special equipment – 18.
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