It is the eighth day of the war in Ukraine, and the attacks of the Russian army continue.
Latest: The Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that Russian ships, including missile carriers, are approaching the port of Odessa, Ukraine’s third largest city in the southern Black Sea.
Russian warships in Black Sea off Crimea preparing to sail for Odessa and assault on Ukraine’s third largest city, officials say.
Russian warships in Black Sea off Crimea preparing to sail for Odessa and assault on Ukraine’s third largest city, officials say pic.twitter.com/WDu8gBJGEY
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) March 3, 2022
Moreover, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says there are signs that the Russians are preparing a false-flag operation to attack their own territory and then blame Ukraine.
Meanwhile, two foreign ships were involved in incidents in the Black Sea, with Russian missiles hitting them and sinking them.
The Estonian cargo ship Helt sank off the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Thursday following an explosion, the ship’s manager said.
According to initial reports, two crew members are in a life raft at sea, while four others have been reported missing, Igor Ilves, general manager of the Tallinn-based Vista Shipping Agency manager, told Reuters. Ilves said the ship may have been hit by a mine. The ship was reportedly under the control of Russian naval forces on Wednesday, who used it, along with the crew on board, as a shield for a landing on shore.
A Missile or Bomb Hit a Bangladeshi Owned Cargo ship at The Ukrainian Black Sea Port of Olvia, killing one engineer, Pijush Dutta. Efforts Were Underway to Rescue the Others from the Vessel.
Big Breaking Now
Missile or Bomb Hit a Bangladeshi Owned Cargo ship at The Ukrainian Black Sea Port of Olvia, One engineer Was killed, Pijush Dutta. Efforts Were Underway to Rescue the Others from the Vesselhttps://t.co/MeRMnIjDUA#UkraineRussiaWar #Bangladesh pic.twitter.com/ySrLu6lKbE
— Big Breaking (@BigBreakingNow) March 3, 2022
The head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency told Military Times that Ukraine armed forces have been striking the convoy of Russian troops heading to Kyiv, and also that the Russians have used thermobaric weapons against Ukrainian cities.
New explosions took place overnight in Kyiv and Kherson, while anti-aircraft sirens sounded in many other cities. However, despite the fact the occupation forces continued the devastating bombing, they had no significant troop movements, probably due to logistical problems.
As for Kharkiv, he Ukrainian emergency service said this morning that the Russian attacks on the region have killed 34 civilians so far, while another 285 – including 10 children – were injured.
Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that Kherson and the surrounding area are under Russian military control. Russian forces have occupied the Kherson regional administration building, regional governor Hennady Laguta said, according to The Guardian. The city is strategically important, being a port city on the Dnieper River, with access to the Black Sea.
The head of the regional administration asked the residents to stay in the house, because the Russians are everywhere in the city and they are dangerous. And the mayor says he is having a hard time gathering the dead and burying them, as well as delivering food and medicine.
The strategically important port city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov is surrounded by Russian troops, but it is still under Ukraine’s control.
A Ukrainian delegation has left for a second round of talks with Russian ceasefire officials.
An oil tanker has been bombed in the Chernivtsi region, northeast of Kyiv, according to images released by Ukrainian emergency services on Thursday morning. A projectile hit a group of fuel tanks with a total capacity of 3,000 cubic meters, according to authorities. Chernivov was the target of several overnight air raids.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 3, 2022
New images show the magnitude of the disaster left behind by the Russian bombing. Images released on Thursday morning show huge devastation caused by Russia’s bombing of Kyiv near Borodyanka. Borodyanka is a town just 60 km from Kyiv, a village of strategic importance for Russians. It is the region where the Russians are going with all their might now to reach the capital of Ukraine. Images transmitted by the Kyiv emergency service show residential areas, inhabited by civilians, destroyed by heavy bombing.
Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv was also under Russia’s heavy attacks, which are targeting the civilians more and more.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 3, 2022
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry claims that the Russian forces’ offensive remains “unsuccessful” in all directions and that the city of Mariupol is still under Ukrainian control, writes BBC.
Czech Gov’t to declare state of emergency in the wake of refugees influx
The Czech government has declared a state of emergency from Friday in anticipation of a major influx of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the ongoing Russian invasion.
“We are implementing it purely for technical reasons, so we can handle the influx of refugees,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said Wednesday during a press briefing.
“In no way this will affect Czech citizens,” he added.
The state of emergency is set to last 30 days, but it could be extended by the government if necessary.
Western aid goes on
Germany‘s economy ministry has approved the delivery of 2,700 surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine after the government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in recent days revised its arms export policies and allowed direct arms deliveries to Ukraine amid Russian military aggression. Sources in the German Ministry of Economy said that the weapons were Soviet-designed light missiles Strela, in the stocks of the armed forces of the former East Germany, DPA reports.
The government has revised its arms export policies and allowed direct arms deliveries to Ukraine following the Russian army’s attack. In recent days, the German Defense Ministry has looked at what other weapons it could supply the Ukrainian armed forces during the current conflict with Russia.
Spain also announced today that it is sending the first weapon transport in Ukraine. More precisely, Spain will send 1,370 anti-tank grenade launchers to Ukraine on Friday. It is part of the first transport of offensive weapons offered to Ukrainians in the form of aid in the face of the Russian invasion. The transport will also include machine guns and 700,000 rounds of ammunition, said Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles. “All will be transported by Spanish planes to Poland, near the border, where Ukrainian officials will receive the transport,” Robles told Spanish television Antena 3 TV.
Hungary will not oppose EU sanctions against Russia, Hungarian President Viktor Orban told mandiner.hu after criticism had arisen due to Hungary’s stance that it will not allow weapon transfer to Ukraine on its territory.
“We condemn the Russian attack, as a war has broken out against Ukraine,” Orban said, adding that “the parties must return to the negotiating table as soon as possible.” He added, however, that relations with Russia should not be severed in terms of energy.
On the other hand, Moscow sent new warning to the West against escalating tensions with Russia, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax on Thursday.
Yet, the United States announced it is postponing testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The Pentagon says the decision shows responsibility and hopes it will serve as an example to Moscow.
John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman argued that “such provocative rhetoric and changing the alert level of the most important weapons in our arsenal are unacceptable. The United States has not taken any similar action. Thus, in an effort to prove that we do not intend to engage in any action that can be misinterpreted, the Secretary of Defense ordered that the test launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile Minuteman III, scheduled for this week, be postponed.”
Sanctions also continued
The World Bank announced on Wednesday the immediate suspension of all its aid programs in Russia and Belarus as a retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine, AFP reports. “Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and hostilities against the Ukrainian people, the World Bank group has ceased all programs in Russia and Belarus with immediate effect,” the Washington institution said in a statement.
Major rating agencies, Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Russia by six steps to junk status.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Central Bank has imposed a 30% commission on foreign currency purchases in an attempt to prevent Russian citizens from selling their rubles, according to Reuters. Russia’s Central Bank did not immediately provide information to Reuters on the matter.
According to Forbes, quoting three sources in the yacht industry that the 512-foot yacht Dilbar, valued at nearly $600 million of billionaire Alisher Usmanov who was sanctioned by the European Union on Monday—has been seized by German authorities in the northern city of Hamburg.
French authorities, too, have confiscated a yacht owned by Russian oligarch Igor Sechin, the general manager of state oil giant Rosneft, the Paris Ministry of Finance announced, according to CNN. The yacht, called “Amore Vero” (True Love), arrived on January 3 in the port of La Ciotat on the Cote d’Azur, on the Mediterranean Sea, and was to leave on April 1. “Amore Vero” is an 85.5 meter long yacht, built in 2013, with a capacity of 14 guests, accommodated in 7 cabins, of which one “master” and two VIPs, and which also has a pool, according to Superyacht Times.
Moreover, other two giants announced the suspension of their activities in Russia, Ikea and Volkswagen.
The Volkswagen Group announces that due to the war, it will cease all its commercial and production operations in the Russian Federation. The German group has two plants where Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen cars are produced and assembled.
The Kaluga plant is building Volkswagen Polo, VW Tiguan and Skoda Rapid models for the Russian market. The plant has 4,000 employees and assembles CKDs and Audi Q7 and Q8 models. There is also engine production. At the second plant, Nizhny Novgorod, three Skoda models are built: Kodiaq, Karoq and Octavia and a VW model for Russia: Taos. The brands that stopped sales in Russia are Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Swedish furniture giant IKEA has also announced today it is suspending its activities in Russia and Belarus, a decision that affects over 15,000 employees, 17 stores and three plants. 47 suppliers from Russia and 10 from Belarus are affected by this decision. IKEA had previously announced it will not shut down its stores in Russia, which prompted heavy criticism.
Renowned Russians lash out at Putin
Ukraine’s invasion will seal the fall of Russian President Vladimir Putin “in a year or two” because Moscow cannot win the war, former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky said on Wednesday.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky told France 24 television that Putin’s decision was “emotional,” coming from a leader with symptoms of “senile paranoia.” “It simply came to our notice then. He cannot win in Ukraine, even if (the Russians) take Kyiv and Kharkov. That hurts the end,” he said.
“It simply came to our notice then. It won’t be fast, we’ve been talking for a year or two,” he added, referring to the collapse of the economy or an internal revolution.
Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin, also a fierce opponent of the Kremlin regime, apologized to Ukraine on behalf of his country and people: “Putin is not Russia. Russia is in pain and shame. ” “I want to go back to Russia. But in what Russia? Putin’s Russia can’t breathe – the stench of a police boot is far too strong. “
A $ 1,000,000 reward for the assassination of President Vladimir Putin was offered in a LinkedIn post, to the Russian military by Russian businessman Alex Konanykhin, who is also in exile abroad.
Russian millionaire Alex Konanykhin, who fled Russia yrs ago after alleged kidnapping attempt by rogue KGB agents, has vowed to pay $1 million to any Russian officer or officers who "complying with their constitutional duty" arrest Putin as a war criminal.#Zuckerberg ??#Putin pic.twitter.com/b1fYk5oZI8
— Resistance Coalition Media (@Resistancecoal1) March 3, 2022
United Nations General Assembly Vote Condemning Russia’s Aggression Against Ukraine
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to reprimand Russia for invading Ukraine and demanded that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces, an action that aims to diplomatically isolate Russia at the world body.
The resolution, supported by 141 of the assembly’s 193 members, passed in a rare emergency session called by the U.N. Security Council while Ukrainian forces battled to defend the port of Kherson in the face of air strikes and a devastating bombardment that forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee.
The text of the resolution deplores Russia’s “aggression against Ukraine.” The last time the Security Council convened an emergency session of the General Assembly was in 1982, according to the U.N. website.
Russia was joined by Belarus, which has served as a launch pad for Russian invasion forces, Eritrea, North Korea and Syria in voting against the resolution. Thirty-five members, including China, abstained.
“This extraordinary move by the United Nations demonstrates the extent of global outrage at Russia’s horrific assault on a sovereign neighbor and showcased unprecedented global unity.
An overwhelming majority of nations around the world condemn Putin’s war. An overwhelming majority of nations recognize that Putin is not only attacking Ukraine, he is attacking the very foundations of global peace and security—and everything the United Nations stands for. And an overwhelming majority of the world recognizes that if we do not stand up to Putin’s Russia, it will only inflict further chaos and aggression on the world. Russia stood isolated, with the support of only four brutal, authoritarian states.
I commend the Member States of the United Nations for holding this historic session.Today’s vote lays bare Putin’s isolation. It also holds Belarus accountable for its unacceptable involvement in this war.
The world is rejecting Russia’s lies. We can all see what is happening in Ukraine with our own eyes. Russia is responsible for the devastating abuses of human rights and the international humanitarian crisis that we are watching unfold in Ukraine in real time. There is no room for excuses or equivocation. Russia is to blame”, reads a statement by the President on the United Nations General Assembly.
US: Media Crackdown in Russia
The U.S. Department of State also denounced the Kremlin’s being “engaged in a full assault on media freedom and the truth”.
“Moscow’s efforts to mislead and suppress the truth of the brutal invasion are intensifying.
On March 1, Russia’s Prosecutor General ordered the communications authority RosKomNadzor to restrict access to the independent outlets Radio Ekho Moskvy and Dozhd TV, blocking their websites and ability to broadcast. The outlets were baselessly accused of “calling for extremist activity and violence” and sharing “deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel in Ukraine.” Ekho Moskvy has been respected for its even-handed treatment of breaking news since its founding 32 years ago, and, until yesterday, its broadcasts reached some 1.8 million daily listeners throughout Russia and beyond. Dozhd, which has been operating for more than a decade, is similarly known for high-quality reporting.
Russia’s government is also throttling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms that tens of millions of Russia’s citizens rely on to access independent information and opinions and to connect with each other and the outside world. These partial blockages further limit where and how Russian citizens can see and share evidence of the truth of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. RosKomNadzor has threatened to block other online platforms and Golos Ameriki (VOA Russian) if they do not comply with requests to take down reporting on Russia’s invasion.
This Friday, Russia’s Kremlin-dominated parliament will gather in a special session to consider a bill that would make “unofficial” reporting on Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine punishable by up to 15 years in prison.”
According to the statement, “the people of Russia did not choose this war. Putin did. They have a right to know about the death, suffering and destruction being inflicted by their government on the people of Ukraine. The people of Russia also have a right to know about the human costs of this senseless war to their own soldiers. We call upon Putin and his government to honor Russia’s international obligations and commitments, to immediately cease this bloodshed, withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s territory, and to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of their own citizens.”