As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 36th day, we take a look at the main developments.
These are the key events so far on Thursday, March 31.
- Russia’s defence ministry says it is prepared to observe a ceasefire in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol, according to Russian news agencies.
- Ukrainian forces are preparing for new Russian attacks in the east of the country as Moscow builds up its troops there after suffering setbacks near the capital, Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.
- Heavy shelling, missile strikes continue around Chernihiv. Intense fighting continues in towns north of Kyiv.
- Russia and Ukraine to resume peace talks online on April 1 after the latest round of face-to-face negotiations ended in Turkey, according to a Ukrainian official.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin was misled by advisers who were too scared to tell him how poorly the war in Ukraine is going and how damaging Western sanctions have been, a US official says, citing declassified intelligence.
- Russia had demanded oil and gas payments be made in roubles by Friday, raising fears of energy shortages and boosting recessionary risks in Europe. Germany has warned of a possible emergency if Russia cuts supplies.
- The United States is considering a massive release of oil reserves to counter rising oil prices which are fuelling inflationary fears around the world. The International Energy Agency (IAE) will hold an emergency meeting on Friday.
- Russia may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and destroying hospitals in its pounding of Ukrainian cities, the top United Nations human rights official says.
- Russian hackers have recently attempted to penetrate the networks of NATO and militaries, according to a report by Google’s threat analysis group.
- “These campaigns were sent using newly created Gmail accounts to non-Google accounts, so the success rate of these campaigns is unknown,” the report says.