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Russia’s offensive in Ukraine: Day 11

Here we follow all developments on the military offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine.

10:58 pm – US does not consider attack on Odesa imminent

A senior US defense official told Reuters the White House did not consider an attack on Odessa imminent.

22:42 – Netflix suspends operations in Russia

Netflix will suspend all its operations in Russia following the war in Ukraine, a spokesman for the film and series streaming company said today in statements to the American magazine Variety. Netflix thus joins a vast list of companies that have announced in recent days the suspension of activities in Russia, such as the technology companies Apple and Microsoft, the clothing groups Inditex and Tendam or the financial transaction platforms Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

“Due to circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety, in statements quoted by Spanish agency EFE.

Netflix launched the Russian-language local service just over a year ago and has more than one million subscribers in the country, a very small percentage of the more than 222 million subscribers it has worldwide. The company announced a few days ago that it has decided to suspend all production and content acquisition activity in Russia, due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The company had four original Russian-language projects in the pipeline.

10:36 pm – More than a million refugees have arrived in Poland

The AFP states that more than one million Ukrainians have arrived in Poland since the beginning of the conflict.

10:30 pm – Kharkiv radio and television stations attacked by Russians

Television and radio stations in the city of Kharkiv were attacked by Russia, according to the regional administration, quoted by CNN.

“Areas around the technical building were destroyed, and we are assessing the extent of the damage,” it said in a statement.

This attack comes after, on March 1, the Kiev television tower was also the target of an attack.

10:13 pm – The French president also spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart this Sunday

French President Emmanuel Macron made a phone call on Sunday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Macron told Zelensky about his previous conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a statement from Macron’s office.

In a message on Twitter, the French head of state confirmed that he had spoken with Putin and, later, with Zelensky.

“We work to preserve the integrity of Ukraine’s civilian nuclear facilities, in addition to the priority demands brought to Russia: ceasefire and protection of civilians,” he adds.

22:00 – Heads of the US and Israeli diplomacy meet Monday to discuss conflict

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will travel to Latvia on Monday to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the latest developments in the war in Ukraine.

Yair Lapid “will leave tomorrow for a diplomatic meeting” with Antony Blinken in the Latvian capital Riga, said a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who did not elaborate on the meeting.

20:03 – “Putin must fail”, says Boris Johnson

In a video message released this Sunday, Boris Johnson said that “Putin must fail”.

19:50 – Denmark goes to a referendum to join EU defense policy

Faced with tensions with Russia, the Danish government wants to adhere to the European Union’s defense policy and will organize a national referendum to that effect on June 1, the prime minister announced this Sunday.

“We hope that all Danes will support” the lifting of this clause, which historically keeps the Scandinavian country – a member of NATO – away from the European Union’s military policy.

“Historical times demand historic decisions”, justified the prime minister, Mette Frederiksen.

This referendum is part of an agreement reached on Sunday with most parties in Parliament.

19:42 – IAEA cannot contact the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

The International Atomic Energy Agency announced that it is unable to contact the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The fact that communications with the plant are not operational represents a serious breach of the rules and procedures to which all nuclear plants are obliged.

19:30 – New sanctions against oligarchs who “profited from Putin” in the sights of the G7

The new sanctions by the G7, the group of the world’s seven largest economies, against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine should above all “hit the oligarchs”, who “profited from Putin”, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said today.

“We are working on other sanctions,” he told public television ARD, asked about the action of the G7, currently chaired by Germany, adding that these measures are intended to particularly affect the oligarchs.

“Those who profited from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and who stole the wealth of the Russian people, mainly through corruption, cannot profit from their wealth in our Western democracies,” he added.

19:25 – TikTok suspends live streaming and new content in Russia

The TikTok app has suspended live streaming and new content from the video service in Russia as it analyzes the security implications of a new law that threatens to arrest anyone the authorities believe has spread “fake” news about the military. The platform says, however, that the in-app messaging service will not be affected.

“We will continue to assess evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we can fully resume our services with security as our top priority,” the company clarified.

19:13 – American Express suspends all operations in Russia and Belarus

After Visa and Mastercard, American Express also decided to suspend all operations in Russia. According to the company’s statement, which speaks of an “unjustified attack on the people of Ukraine”, the cards will stop working at Russian ATMs.

In addition, and in the opposite direction, cards issued in Russia will no longer work on American Express’ global network. The company also ends all operations in Belarus.

19:00 – Nearly 20,000 foreigners apply to fight for Ukraine

Nearly 20,000 foreign nationals have signed up to go to Ukraine to fight, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, quoted by local media.

18:53 – Belarus hands over army leadership to Putin, denounces opposition

The Belarusian opposition claims that Alexander Lukashenko handed over control of the country’s army to Vladimir Putin.

The statements are from Svetlana Tijanovskaya, an opponent who is in exile, and who says that control of the Belarusian army is in the hands of Russia.

“We see signs of military occupation in Belarus,” she told the Guardian.

6:47 pm – Guterres calls for a break from fighting to create humanitarian corridors

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today called it “absolutely essential” to have a “pause in the fighting” to allow the evacuation of civilians in cities attacked by the Russian army and the establishment of humanitarian corridors.

“It is absolutely essential that there is a pause in the fighting in Ukraine to allow the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumi, as well as the other places involved in the conflicts, and to ensure that life-saving humanitarian supplies can enter whoever stays.” wrote the UN secretary-general in a message on Twitter.

18:40 – Russia warns that countries that provide airfields to Ukraine are in conflict

Any country that offers airfields to Ukraine for attacks on Russia can be considered to have entered the conflict, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman announced Sunday.

“The use of these countries’ airfield networks to base Ukrainian military aircraft and subsequent use against the Russian Armed Forces can be considered as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict,” said a spokesman for the Interfax news agency, quoted by the spokesman. voice Igor Konashenkov.

18:36 – French food group Danone suspends investments in Russia

French food group Danone announced in a statement that it would suspend investments in Russia and that one of the two factories in Ukraine closed after the Russian invasion.

“We have decided to suspend all investment projects in Russia, but we currently maintain our production and distribution of fresh dairy and infant nutrition, in order to still meet the essential food needs of the local population,” Danone said.

In Russia, Danone manages the dairy brand Prostokvashino.

6:30 pm – Putin assures Macron he has “no intention” to attack nuclear plants

President Emmanuel Macron spoke today with Vladimir Putin to “guarantee” the safety of nuclear power plants in Ukraine and also to demand an end to the conflict, reminding the Russian leader of the rules for the treatment of civilians during armed conflicts.

“President Emmanuel Macron’s call to Vladimir Putin had the main objective, which was to guarantee the safety of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. In addition, it was important to convey to President Putin your concerns and demands in humanitarian and political terms so that he finally commits to a negotiation that puts an end to Russian operations,” a source from Elisha told reporters.

Vladimir Putin replied that he “has no intention” to attack Russian nuclear power plants, having shown himself willing to continue to comply with the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency and rejecting that Russian forces attacked the Zaporizhia nuclear plant this week. The Russian leader said he accepted closer cooperation with the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi. The head of this nuclear energy organization this week urgently met with Emmanuel Macron.

6:15 pm – US and allies discuss a possible ban on Russian oil and gas imports

Antony Blinken also revealed that Washington is in talks with its allies in Europe to ban Russian oil imports in retaliation for the war in Ukraine. Blinken, who is based in Moldova, explained in the CNN interview that on Saturday he spoke on the phone about this issue with US President Joe Biden and other members of the government.

“We are now in talks with our European allies to analyze, in a coordinated way, the possibility of banning the import of Russian oil and ensuring that there is a sufficient supply of oil in global markets,” said Blinken, adding that “the talks are very active”.

A ban on oil imports would deprive the Russian presidency (Kremlin) of an important source of revenue but could harm the world economy by raising already high energy prices, which is why Western governments have been reluctant to take such a step. However, US lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, have been pressing Biden in recent days to get Washington to stop buying oil and its derivatives from Russia, arguing that the revenue from these imports is used by the Kremlin to finance the war in Ukraine.

18:06 – German Chancellor says “EU is extremely united” on refugees

The German chancellor assured today that “Europe is extremely united” on the issue of welcoming Ukrainian refugees, after having met in Berlin with the president of the European Commission, Efe said. According to the Spanish news agency, Olaf Scholz and Úrsula von der Leyen met today in Berlin, after the leader of the European Union (EU) visited Spain on Saturday, where she met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and discussed the crisis in Ukraine resulting from the invasion of Russia and especially the reception of refugees.

“In this war, Europe is closely united”, wrote the German leader on his Twitter account after meeting von der Leyen, quoting Efe.

Cohesion on the issue of the reception of Ukrainian refugees, Scholz stressed, is not something “that has been taken for granted”, alluding to the divergent positions with which the EU’s partners responded to previous migration crises.

“It is clear that all EU partners will now welcome children, women and men seeking protection in a quick and unbureaucratic way,” added Scholz.

17:54 – Russia’s war crimes information is “very credible”

The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, today considered “very credible” the information that Russia committed “war crimes” in Ukraine.

“We’ve seen very reliable information about deliberate attacks on civilians that constitute a war crime,” he said during an interview with the US channel CNN.

According to Blinken, the United States is “examining” this information.

The US Secretary of State, who was speaking from Moldova, where he is after visiting the Polish-Ukrainian border, said that the war could “last for some time”, but assured that he believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is doomed to lose” in Ukraine.

“Winning a battle is not winning the war. Conquering a city does not mean that he [Putin] conquers the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people,” Blinken claimed, adding that “the Ukrainian people have already demonstrated that they will not allow Vladimir Putin or Russia to subjugate and rule them.”

17:33 – Israel promises to continue mediation efforts between Kyiv and Moscow

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said today that his efforts to mediate the war between Russia and Ukraine are “a moral duty”, even as he recognizes little chance of success. Bennett today presented his government with a pledge to continue diplomatic efforts, following a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a trip to Berlin and three telephone conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Even if there is little chance of success, as long as there is openness and we have access to both parties and the ability (to act), I see it as a moral duty to try everything. As long as there is hope, we must make every effort. There is still time to act,” said Bennett.

17:26 – Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine, under Russian orders, says IAEA

Employees at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant continue to operate it, but the administration is now under the command of the commander of the Russian forces that seized it last week, the UN nuclear watchdog said.

“I am extremely concerned,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said in a statement quoted by the Guardian, adding that Russian forces had cut off some mobile networks and the Internet, complicating communications with the plant.

“Management and staff must be able to carry out vital functions under stable conditions, without interference or undue external pressure.”

17:17 – Boris Johnson discusses with Zelensky sending more “defensive material”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today discussed with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky the “urgent needs” of the Ukrainian army, guaranteeing that he is working with Western partners to send more “defensive material”. According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Johnson expressed during the phone conversation “that international support and admiration for President Zelensky and across Ukraine is growing day by day.”

The head of the British Government, a supporter of new measures to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT interbank system, detailed to the Ukrainian president a “six-point” plan to help Kyiv face the Russian invasion. That roadmap includes promoting an “international humanitarian coalition”, supporting Ukraine “in its efforts to ensure its self-defense” and maximizing economic pressure on the Russian executive.

The plan also contains the goals of “preventing the progressive normalization of what Russia is doing in Ukraine” and moving forward along “diplomatic paths of de-escalation”.

Johnson and Zelensky also spoke about the “growing threat of barbaric Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians”, as well as the “increasingly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in the country, caused by “indiscriminate Russian attacks and ceasefire violations”, indicated Downing Street.

The British prime minister reiterated that the UK is “committed” to efforts to get Russian President Vladimir Putin to “fail” the invasion of Ukraine.

5:10 pm – Putin accuses Kyiv of blocking humanitarian corridors in Mariupol

Vladimir Putin today accused Ukrainian authorities of thwarting humanitarian evacuation operations from Mariupol, during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. During the conversation, Putin “draws attention to the fact that Kyiv continues to fail to respect the agreements reached on humanitarian issues”, adding that “Ukrainian nationalists prevented the evacuation” of Mariupol and Volnovaja, according to the report made by Moscow.

In the conversation with Macron, Putin accused Ukrainian forces of having “used the pause in hostilities to strengthen their capabilities” in Mariupol and Volnovaja. A new attempt today to evacuate Mariupol, a city of 450,000, was also “stopped”, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Another topic raised by Macron and Putin in their telephone conversation, according to the Kremlin, was international concern about the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine, after fighting in the vicinity of the atomic power stations in Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia.

Putin accused “radicalized Ukrainians” and “saboteurs” of being behind the incidents in Zaporizhzhia, adding that “attempts to blame Russia are part of a cynical propaganda campaign”.

16:55 – Three thousand Americans will fight for Ukraine

Three thousand Americans will fight for Ukraine. The news is advanced by the Voice of America, which cites sources at the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States.

16:50 – Russia will start rationing food

Russia will start rationing food, due to sanctions imposed by the West on the country. The news is advanced by the New York Times, which quotes a source at the Ministry of Commerce.

4:38 pm – Von der Leyen calls for investigation into Russia’s alleged war crimes

In an interview with CNN International, the president of the European Commission called for a “strong investigation” into the alleged war crimes that Russia has committed in Ukraine.

“I think there has to be a strong and clear investigation into this issue,” said Ursula Von der Leyen.

16:19 – Around 3,500 people arrested following anti-war protests in Russia

About 3,500 people were arrested this Sunday in Russia following protests against the war in Ukraine, the Russian news agency TASS reports, citing the interior minister.

Of the 3,500 arrests, 1,700 took place in Moscow and 750 in St. Petersburg.

16:10 – Vinnytsia Airport, in the center of the country, was destroyed following a Russian attack

The president of Ukraine revealed this afternoon that the regional airport of Vinnytsia, in the center of the country, was destroyed following a Russian attack and denounces that there is an imminent attack on Odessa, in the south of the country.

16:05 – Five wounded after firing by Russian forces in anti-occupation protest in Ukraine

Russian forces opened fire on a protest against the occupation of the southern Ukrainian city of NovaKakhovka on Sunday, wounding five people, Ukrainian news agency Interfax Ukraine said.

About 2,000 people took to the streets of NovaKakhovka to show opposition to the invasion, waving Ukrainian flags and calling for Russian forces to leave, the agency said.

15:50 – Ukraine’s ambassador to the US accuses Russia of its “terrorist state”

In an interview with Fox News this Sunday, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States said that Russia is a “terrorist state”.

“This is a terrorist state and we should treat Russia like a terrorist state,” said Oksana Markarova.

3:34 pm – Moscow ally Kazakhstan authorizes pro-Ukrainian demonstration

Moscow’s ally Kazakhstan allowed a demonstration against the invasion of Ukraine on Saturday as the government seeks to distance itself from Russia, so as not to be included in Western sanctions. Kazakhstan’s regime generally bans demonstrations, but on Saturday it allowed a protest meeting that drew around 2,000 people in central Almaty, the country’s economic capital.

In recent days, after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has stressed the country’s neutrality in this conflict.

However, in January, Moscow played an important role – particularly by sending troops alongside the Kazakh government – in putting an end to a series of demonstrations that often turned into riots and which were responsible for the deaths of more than 200 people.

15:28 – Azerbaijan suspends air communication with Russia

The Azerbaijani government reported that its state aviation company, Azal, by mutual agreement suspended air communication with Russia, invoking the sanctions imposed on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine. Taking into account “the risks that arise on international flights and on the recommendation of Rosaviatsia (the Russian state entity responsible for air communication), flights by Russian companies to Azerbaijan are suspended indefinitely,” explained Azal in a statement.

In the press release, the company adds that the suspension of flights to Russia is, in particular, conditioned by “changes in the global aviation insurance market”, so Azal and its subsidiary Buta Airwaya, as well as national insurers, they need to “carefully analyze the situation and assess all the consequences, negative or positive, and possible changes in their policy”.

The world’s largest insurance companies have renounced to ensure flights to Russia due to the imposition of international sanctions on the country after the invasion of Ukraine, ordered on February 24 by President Vladimir Putin under the pretext of protecting the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

15:09 – At least 364 Ukrainian civilians killed and 759 wounded since the start of the invasion

At least 364 Ukrainian civilians died and 759 were injured following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights this Sunday.

The High Commission says it believes the actual numbers are considerably higher, “especially in the government-controlled territory and particularly in recent days.” This is because “the flow of information has been delayed due to the ongoing fighting” and “many details about the victims are still awaiting verification”.

The Ukrainian authorities presented much higher figures.

14:28 – Racism at the border: President of the European Council attributes grievances of African students to “Russian propaganda”

European Council President Charles Michel reacted to testimonies from African students, who reported racist discrimination suffered at the Polish border, accusing Russia of carrying out a propaganda operation that would allow it to gain support in the face of a UN vote.

According to a quote from Agence France Press, Michel said: “It is true that on the Ukrainian side there were very long queues at the border for several days – this is now happening less – because the Ukrainians wanted to identify people leaving the territory.”

To this, he added: “It seems that students of African origin did not understand why they had to wait in line, as they were not targeted by this procedure from Ukraine, and therefore this may have given rise to tensions. But clearly, at the origin of this Russia launched hostile propaganda at a time when the diplomatic battle was being fought at the United Nations, to try to instill suspicion and doubt in African countries”.

Michel admitted, however, that “there may be discriminatory behaviors that are unacceptable, they must be condemned”.

1:45 pm – Civilian evacuation from Mariupol city fails for the second time

Russian attacks have postponed, for the second time, plans to evacuate the civilian population from the city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, which is blocked by Russian forces, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Anton Gerashchenko said today.

“The second attempt to create a humanitarian corridor for civilians in Mariupol failed again due to bombing by the Russians,” Gerashchenko said in a message posted on the Telegram network.

The ministry aide also published a video of Kalnya, a member of the Azov national guard regiment, in which he tells “how the occupiers violated, for the second time, the agreement to open a humanitarian corridor for about 200,000 civilians”.

“It is necessary to understand that, due to the massacre of civilians by the occupation forces, it is not possible to guarantee security in the humanitarian corridors […]”, wrote the adviser to the Ministry of the Interior.

“The situation yesterday [Saturday] was repeated today and the militants opened fire without complying with a humanitarian ceasefire,” he said.

The municipality of Mariupol only reported that several buses left Zaporizhia for Mariupol to pick up civilians who wanted to leave the strategic city on the shores of the inland sea of ​​Azov.

Previously, the municipality had announced that it would make another attempt to evacuate civilians between 12:00 local time (10:00 in Lisbon) and 21:00 (19:00 in Lisbon), after the opening of a humanitarian corridor. agreement with Russia was suspended on Saturday due to continuous fighting in the area and failure to comply with the agreed temporary ceasefire, of which both parties accuse each other.

The removal of the city’s population, of 450 thousand inhabitants, was planned to start from three points, in municipal buses and, following the planned route and in a column, by private transport.

The planned route included the cities of Mariupol, Portovskoye, Mangush, Republic, Rozovka, Bilmak, Pologi, Orejov and Zaporijia.

13:36 – The number of anti-war protesters arrested today in Russia reaches 2,000

More than 2,000 people were arrested today in Russia taking part in protests against military intervention in Ukraine. The number is provided by a Russian NGO, which monitors demonstrations, which states that arrests took place in about 30 cities.

Also according to the same source, close to ten thousand demonstrators have already been arrested in the country since the beginning of the war, on 24 February.

Despite intimidation by the authorities and the threat of arrest, protests have taken place across Russia.

Arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny appealed to Russians to gather daily in the main square of their respective cities to demand peace in Ukraine.

13:28 – Doctors without Borders call for humanitarian aid to be a right

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) today denounced that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine are insufficient and called for “safe passage and access to humanitarian aid to be a right anywhere in the country and not a privilege”.

In a statement, the non-governmental organization urgently demanded to ensure safe passage for all those who want and can escape Mariupol and the war-affected areas of Ukraine, regardless of the existence of humanitarian corridors or ceasefires that can be temporarily agreed.

“Each situation is unique, but in our decades of experience working in war contexts, we know that unique humanitarian corridors can be helpful, but not enough,” said Stephen Cornish, Director General of MSF.

For Doctors Without Borders, which supports any ceasefire initiative that allows safer passage for those who want to flee and for medical and humanitarian assistance, the parties to the conflict must do everything in their power to “avoid harm to civilians in all times and in all places”.

13:13 – Russia announces advance on Kyiv, Zelensky vows to resist

On the eleventh day of the invasion, the Russian high command announces that the final advance on the capital is under way. Putin leaves a threat: to resist is to jeopardize the existence of Ukraine as a country. Zelensky responds that the resistance will not give up.

13:10 – Moscow announces that it already controls part of the city of Mariupol

It would be the next target in the offensive to seize the main Ukrainian ports. Moscow announces that it already controls part of the city of Mariupol. Doctors Without Borders warns that the population of the city is in a very serious emergency situation.

12:50 – Zelenskiy claims Russian missiles destroyed Vinnytsia airport

The Ukrainian President revealed that the civilian airport in the Vinnytsia region was completely destroyed after the attack by Moscow forces.

12:24 – French president has a new phone conversation with Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron is on the phone again with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Paris announced today, while Kyiv says Russian troops will bomb the port of Odessa.

11:59 am – More than a thousand Russian protesters arrested today against the invasion

At least 1,100 people were detained in around 30 Russian cities during demonstrations against the invasion of Ukraine today, according to a dispatch from Agence France Press citing the NGO specialized in monitoring the demonstrations, OVD-Info.

Today’s first arrests took place in the Far East and Siberia, where dawn breaks earlier, with 200 people detained in Novossibirsk and d’Ekaterinbourg. Meanwhile, there are also ongoing demonstrations in Moscow and an isolated St. Petersburg square surrounded by police to prevent a demonstration from taking place there.

According to the same source, arrests carried out across the country since February 24, when the invasion began, now total 10,000. Arrested dissident Alexeï Navalny this week renewed his call for anti-war protests.

11:41 am – France and UK dispute over refugee reception

The British Government responded to criticisms by the French Government about its “lack of humanity” in welcoming Ukrainian refugees, stating, in the voice of British Minister of Justice Dominic Raab: “If we simply open the doors, we will not defend the people we should defend the real refugees, but I think that we will also be undermining popular support”.

The French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, had addressed his British counterpart Priti Patel a harsh criticism for having been sent back to Calais 150 Ukrainian refugees who wanted to enter the United Kingdom, to be reunited with relatives residing there.

Reacting to the criticism, the British Government relaxed the entry conditions and promised to install a Consulate in Calais capable of issuing entry visas.

11:29 am – Lisbon reception center has already received 30 Ukrainians

10:58 am – US examines with Poland the supply of F-16 planes to Ukraine

According to a quote from Agence France Press, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that the US was “actively working” on an agreement with Poland to supply Ukraine with warplanes. Blinken declined, however, to accept deadlines.

He added, on the other hand, that the US is involved “in a very active discussion with the Ukrainian officials (…) for a final assessment of their needs”. And he also said that special attention was being paid to “the issue of planes that Poland could supply to Ukraine and we see how we could compensate if Poland decides to supply these planes”.

10:55 am – Opposition leader Navalny calls for protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny urged the population to “ignore the bans” and take to the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg today to demand an end to the invasion of Ukraine and protest against the President.

Navalny specified, in a message released today, that a gathering will begin at 2:00 pm local time (11:00 am in Lisbon) at Maniezh Square, in Moscow, and at the historic Gostiny Dvor shopping center, in Saint Petersburg.

The Attorney General of Russia and the Ministry of the Interior have, in recent hours, reiterated warnings to the population not to participate in the protests, noting that anyone who does so will be punished with prison sentences, a warning that Navalny denounced as an act of repression.

10:50 am – UK admits war could last for years

UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab warned today that the war in Ukraine could go on for years and considered that Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimated the difficulties of an invasion.

“We must be clear that our mission, together with our allies, is to ensure that Putin fails in Ukraine, and that will take some time. We are talking about months, if not years,” Raab said in an interview with the station. Sky News television.

“We will have to demonstrate strategic resistance because this will not end in a few days”, underlined the deputy prime minister and holder of the Justice portfolio of the British Government.

Raab, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2019 and 2021, considers that Russia is willing to use “any strategy” to achieve its goals in Ukraine. The invasion, he stressed, is proving “more difficult than Putin expected”.

Asked whether the Russian president’s orders could be considered war crimes, Raab said “the reckless and downright terrible strategies of the Putin regime must be sanctioned”.

“Not just Putin himself, but anyone who accepts illegal orders” will have to answer for that, the deputy prime minister said while noting that the UK will avoid engaging in “direct military conflict with Putin”.

For his part, the head of the British Armed Forces, Admiral Tony Radakin, told the BBC that Western countries “must have the confidence that they are doing the right thing”.

“We must recognize that, probably, we will see an increase in violence from Russia and we will see more indiscriminate bombing. We will see more ridiculous violence”, advanced the military official.

However, he added, “the world must maintain its resolve and continue to put pressure on Russia because Putin is the only one who can put an end to this.”

10:36 am – Retail sale of Italian luxury goods suspended in Russia

The Prada group, the iconic name of luxury products, suspended its retail sales in Russia from Saturday, according to a statement quoted by Agence France Press.

According to the statement, “our main concern is with our colleagues and their families affected by the tragedy in Ukraine and whom we will continue to assure our support.”

Other groups specializing in the luxury market, such as the French Hermès, Chanel, LVMH and Kering, had already suspended their sales in Russia.

10:27 am – Zelensky says Russia prepares to bomb Odessa

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces were preparing to bomb the Black Sea coastal city, adding in a televised intervention quoted by Reuters that it would be a “war crime”.

10:17 am – Russian banks prepare an agreement with the Chinese UnionPay network

Following the suspension of Visa and Mastercard operations with Russia, the affected Russian banks will turn to a Chinese alternative, according to an order issued by Agence France Press.

So that Russian citizens can continue to make payments and withdraw money abroad, now that they are prohibited from using Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards, and to substitute these cards issued abroad for payments and withdrawals in Russia, the most obvious alternative is the Chinese UnionPay network.

A spokesperson for Russian bank Sberbank said that it “works on the possibility of issuing co-branded Mir-UnionPay cards. Later we will inform you of the issuance schedule”. He added: “With this letter, it is possible to make payments in 180 countries in the world”.

Other Russian banks working with this hypothesis are Rosbank, Tinkoff-Bank, Raiffeisen and MKB.

10:12 am – According to the UN, the number of refugees exceeded 1.5 million

The number of people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine has exceeded 1.5 million, making it the “fastest growing” refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, the UN warned today, quoted by AFP.

“More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine left for neighboring countries in ten days. This is the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War,” wrote the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, in a post on the social network Twitter, quoted by the French news agency.

9:54 am – At Zelensky’s request, the Israeli prime minister proposed to Putin to be a mediator in the conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett returned from a “surprise visit” to Moscow, where he conferred with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Reuters, Bennett proposed his mediation in the Ukraine conflict to Putin, as previously expressed by President Zelensky.

The close connection between the Ukrainian president and Israel is well known, already in the time of the previous Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, either because of Zelensky’s pioneering spirit in following the US in moving the Embassy to Jerusalem or because of the support he expressed for the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip.

9:46 am – Mariupol announces another attempt to evacuate civilians

Mariupol City Council today announced a new attempt to evacuate civilians from 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) after on Saturday it was impossible to open the humanitarian corridor agreed with Russia due to continuous fighting.

“The evacuation of civilians in Mariupol starts at 12:00”, the port city council announced on its official Telegram account.

According to the Donetsk Regional Civil-Military Administration Coordination Center, Pavel Kirilenko, for this purpose a humanitarian ceasefire will be established today between 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT) and 21:00 (19:00 hrs) 00 GMT).

The removal of the population of the city, of 450 thousand inhabitants, will be carried out from three points by municipal buses and by private transport, following all vehicles in a column, indicated the Mariupol council.

“Any deviation from the route of the humanitarian corridor is strictly prohibited”, underlined the municipality, adding that a Red Cross escort will head the column of vehicles.

The chamber also appeals to motorists leaving the city to contribute to the evacuation of the civilian population as much as possible, taking other people with them and to “fuel vehicles as much as possible”.

9:27 am – At least 316 people were arrested in anti-war demonstrations in Russia

At least 316 people were arrested yesterday in anti-war demonstrations in 16 Russian cities, according to Reuters.

9:25 am – Thousands of refugees received at Berlin central train station

Thousands of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine are being received daily by volunteers and anonymous citizens at Berlin’s central train station, where help, accommodation, essential goods, and some comfort are offered.

They arrive each day by the thousands. Many, with little more than a backpack, with children holding hands or on their laps, and accumulated tiredness from many hours of travel and uncertainty, about the present and the future.

Waiting are hundreds of volunteers, many with the 2015 refugee crisis still fresh in their minds.

9:07 am – New ceasefire announced in Mariupol

The Mariupol city council announced a new ceasefire in the city to evacuate around 400,000 civilians.

It will take place between 12pm local time (10 am in Portugal) and 9 pm (7 pm in Portugal).

It is yet another attempt to evacuate civilians.

Yesterday there was an attempt to make a humanitarian corridor, but the evacuation of civilians was suspended.

9:01 am – European Court of Human Rights gives Ukraine right

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Ukraine in all claims against the Russian Federation.

The information was shared by the press service of VerKhoVnarada, a government organization in Ukraine.

A judge of the European Court of Human Rights of Ukraine is cited.

The Court ordered Russia to guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian aid. And it prohibits the aggressor country from bombing Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights was approved for all future Ukraine complaints against Russia.

8:50 am – Three thousand Americans will fight for Ukraine

The news is carried by Voice of America, according to sources at the Ukrainian embassy in the United States.

The Ukrainian president had called for an international legion of foreign volunteers to be born to help fight the war.

About 3,000 Americans responded to the appeal and will join Ukrainian troops on the ground.

8:40 am – Six Ukrainian provinces without gas

Hundreds of thousands of domestic consumers in Ukraine were left without gas.

The Gas Transmission System Operator had to close 16 distribution stations in six provinces of Ukraine. Khariv, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk.

It is the result of the full-scale invasion of Russia.

The announcement was made by the operator on the social network Telegram

8:24 am – Russians will be arriving at the hydroelectric plant

Russian troops will be heading to a hydroelectric power station in Kaniv, 100 kilometers south of Kyiv.

The news is being advanced by The Kyiv Independent newspaper, citing information transmitted by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

8:00 am – Russia attacked Starokostiantyniv base

The Russian Defense Ministry revealed that Moscow troops attacked and disabled the Starokostiantyniv airbase with long-range weapons.

“Russian armed forces continue to attack Ukraine’s military infrastructure,” added spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

7:30 am – Zelensky and Biden discuss financial aid and sanctions against Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced today that he had spoken by phone with US counterpart Joe Biden to discuss US financial support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.

Zelensky wrote on Twitter that he received a call from Biden “as part of an ongoing dialogue” to discuss “security issues” and the “ongoing sanctions” on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The White House confirmed that the two leaders had a telephone conversation for more than 30 minutes today, without giving details.

State of play

The population of Poltava city has been alerted to an impending air raid. The news is being advanced by The Kyiv Independent newspaper.

There are still no images, nor any additional information about this Russian onslaught against this Ukrainian city, which is about 350 kilometers from the capital, Kyiv.

The Ukrainian President addressed the population of the Donbass region.

Volodymyr Zelensky wanted to dismantle the Russian propaganda carried out in these two breakaway regions.

The non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders says the humanitarian situation in Mariupol is now “catastrophic”.

According to this NGO, the biggest problem in this city by the Sea of Azov is now the lack of access to drinking water.

The city is besieged by Russian troops and will also be running out of food, electricity, or any power supply.

Source: with agencies

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