Negotiations. Ukrainian and Russian delegations met for another round of negotiations. Reports call it the most productive meeting since the beginning of the war as some clear positions were announced. However, prompt termination of the war is not on the table, and the negotiations continue further. At the same time, the Ukrainian expert community is very careful with the assessment, as well as certain criticism is already in the air.
Russia has made concessions and has announced the reduction of its presence near Kyiv and in the North of the country. This would mean relocating the troops to the Eastern Ukraine, namely amassing power in Donbas. However, yesterday evening, loud explosions were heard again in the Kyiv suburbs, and Chernihiv has been under heavy shelling the entire night. Experts and diplomats are carefully assessing the actual withdrawal of the troops from the region, as Russia might remove the troops temporarily only for the sake of regrouping.
Ukraine called for security guarantees and has announced the possibility of concessions. Ukraine has raised the question of neutrality — including not joining the NATO alliance or inviting Western troops — in exchange for international ‘security guarantees’. The operation security guarantees should include UN Security Council member states (UK, US, China, Russia, France), as well as Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland, and Israel. Security guarantees are temporarily not applied to the occupied Donbass and Crimea. The Crimea question should be a separate clause of the future agreement and envisages a special status, decided by Ukraine and Russia bilateral talks on the status of Crimea and Sevastopol for the next 15 years. During this time, there should be no military actions on the peninsula. Implementation of this decision and the agreement on security guarantees should include a public referendum. Concerning Ukraine’s EU accession, security guarantees should not deny Ukraine’s will to join the EU, but rather assist in its pursuit.
Foreign policy. The Polish government plans to ban coal deliveries from Russia and look instead for supplies from countries including Australia, Colombia and the US. Luxembourg has frozen assets worth 2.5 billion euros so far, as it enforces EU sanctions on Russia. Denmark is offering to increase its military presence in the three Baltic countries by sending 800 more troops under NATO command.
European countries have expelled around 100 personnel from Russian embassies since the beginning of the war. Yesterday, the Netherlands announced it was expelling 17 Russian intelligence officers, and Belgium said it would oust 21 for espionage. North Macedonia also declared 5 diplomats persona non grata for breaching diplomatic conventions. The Czech Republic, which forced out scores of Russians from the embassy in Prague last year, said on Tuesday it was demanding another one to leave. Germany is also considering expelling suspected spies as their official said on Tuesday. The Visegrad V4 meeting in Budapest was canceled as Poland and the Czech Republic pulled out of it. The reason being Hungary’s policy on Ukraine. On the one hand, it voted for the EU sanctions package, on the other hand, Hungary opposed a ban on Russian energy imports.
Cities under attack. Three missile attacks hit Khmelnytskyi region. During one of them, a missile hit the airfield in Starokostyantyniv, Khmelnytskyi region, fully destroying the oil depot. Mariupol city council reports around 70 people of staff and patients were forcibly removed from Mariupol Maternity Hospital № 2. In the Novomoskovskyi district, a rocket hit the territory of a farm, its machinery was damaged, and one person was injured. A viaduct was hit in Pavlohrad, which caused a suspension of road traffic. Heavy artillery fights continue in Kyiv, Chernigiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Missile attacks hit municipalities in Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Russian occupants keep trying to introduce rubbles at the newly occupied territories. Previously, such cases were mentioned by Kherson officials, however yesterday National Bank of Ukraine confirmed them in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
Russian troops continue abducting local leaders who are in opposition. The Mayor of Hola Prystan, Kherson region was kidnapped yesterday. This happened after local citizens had organized a peaceful rally against occupation. Zaporizhzhia journalist, Iryna Dubchenko, was abducted by Russian troops and was forcibly moved to Donetsk.
Food security. Ukraine plays a major role in global food markets being one of the key exporters of cereal crops: wheat (8.9%), maize (corn) (16%), and barley (9.7%), as well as sunflower oil (42%). Some countries in Africa and Asia rely heavily on imports of sunflower oil for domestic food supplies. The report indicates supply disruptions could lead to increasing food prices, especially significant impact could be felt by the Middle East and North Africa, that rely heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia, and also East Asia and Europe, that rely on maize. Here’s more data on Ukraine’s cereal export. The World Food Programme representative warned the UN Security Council that disruptions of the provision supply from Ukraine will have a global impact on food supply, the strongest since WWII.
Despite the Russian invasion, 11 regions of Ukraine have started sowing spring crops, as members of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy said. Sawing season in Sumy, Chernihiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Mykolayiv, in some parts of Kyiv region could be affected as land plots are often mined, not to mention that Russian missile attacks target oil depots, warehouses, agricultural machinery parkings, and engineering bases. However, the Ministry of Agriculture Policy informs that they will aim to expand the scale of the sawing in Western Ukraine in order to compensate potential losses due to the ongoing war.
Ukraine will need support from other countries to get the fertilizer and seeds needed to restore its farming output and crucial exports to the rest of the world once Russia’s invasion is over, says the head of the World Bank according to Bloomberg.
Energy security. On Tuesday, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi traveled to Ukraine for consultations over the safety and security of the country’s 15 nuclear power reactors. The month-long war has put “facilities with radioactive material in unprecedented danger,” Grossi said in a statement.
Digital security. Anonymous shut down the servers of the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency destroying about 65 terabytes of data. The data was erased without a back-up option. Russian officials do not confirm the accident, but rather inform about some malfunctioning in the data flow.
Disinformation. Thirty European countries have completely or partially switched off Russian channels from their airwaves due to the spreading of disinformation and hate speech. This, among others, targets Sputnik and Russia Today channels. The EU has previously imposed sanctions against the state media RT/Russia Today and Sputnik in the EU. Aslo, Google, Apple Inc. blocked RT and Sputnik from app stores in Europe. On the contrary, the number of countries in which radio and TV programs are broadcast in Ukrainian is constantly increasing.
Business. Ukrainian government institutions have launched an international information campaign ‘DO NOT sponsor murder’ to help businesses boycott Russian and Belarusian businesses, goods and services, as well as join online communication campaigns.
Stand Up for Ukraine. The European Commission and the Government of Canada announced the launch of a global campaign to raise funding in support of people fleeing due to the invasion of Ukraine. The campaign will conclude with an online rally on April 9. Take action and share your thoughts on why you are standing with Ukraine.
- Volodymyr Zelensky on why Ukraine must defeat Putin – The Economist
- Ukraine Must Win – The Atlantic
- Putin’s useful German idiots – POLITICO
- Nearly 4 mln people fled Ukraine. Check Reuters analysis of the situation.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., March 30, 2022: personnel – around 17,300, tanks ‒ 605, APV ‒ 1,723, artillery systems – 305, MLRS – 96, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 54, fixed-wing aircraft – 131, helicopters – 131, soft-skinned vehicles – 1,184, boats and light speed boats – 7, fuel tankers – 75, operational-tactical level UAV – 81, special equipment – 21, mobile SRBM system – 4.
Every action counts, no contribution is too small!
- Share this up-to-date information about the situation in Ukraine, either on social media, with local media or by spreading around this brief update.
- Subscribe to our daily updates on Twitter and our website.
- You can support our project with donations. More information here.