Latest news: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed readiness to discuss the status of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula, DPA reports.
In an interview with US television station ABC on Monday evening, Zelenski made it clear at the same time that he would not give in to Moscow’s demands to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” or Russia’s control over the Crimean peninsula. “I am ready for dialogue, but we are not ready for capitulation,” he said. “We can discuss and find a compromise on how these territories could move forward,” Zelenski added.
The war in Ukraine entered its 13th day, and new bombings took place during the night. Russian projectiles have reached residential areas in cities for which Russia is once again promising to evacuate civilians. In Sumi, at least 10 people died. Moscow announces that a ceasefire is expected to take place in four cities today at 9 p.m. However, previous attempts to evacuate civilians failed precisely because Russian troops did not cease fire.
The number of civilians killed by Russian troops has risen after Russian military bombed several Ukrainian cities at night and in the early hours of the morning, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES), quoted by the BBC.
According to the UN, at least 474 civilians, 29 children included, have been killed in war since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24.
NATO chief, Jesn Stoltenberg stated that there is reliable information pointing to Russia targeting civilians in Ukraine, asking Moscow to end the war.
“Attacking civilians is a war crime and is totally unacceptable. We need real humanitarian corridors that are respected, “Stoltenberg said.
“The suffering we see now in Ukraine is terrible and affects us all. And we have a responsibility to make sure that this conflict does not escalate and does not extend beyond Ukraine. It would be even more dangerous and destructive. The situation could get out of hand. To ensure that there is no room for miscalculations in Moscow, NATO has strengthened its presence on the Eastern Flank. We will protect and defend every inch of all Allied territory,” he added.
In Zhitomir, west of Kyiv, a fire at the Chernihiv oil field was extinguished in the early hours of the morning. In the city of Sumi, aerial bombardment destroyed houses and set fire to an apartment building. One woman was injured and nine people were killed, including two children.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sent a new mobilization message to the Ukrainian people on Monday night, stressing that “we are not backing down” and that the “heroic” resistance is a nightmare for the invaders.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelensky sent a new video on the street on Tuesday, saying that while Russia is guilty of crimes, Western leaders in the offices are responsible for not taking the decision to close Ukraine’s airspace. “While the Russians are to blame for the crimes, the responsibility is shared by those who for 13 days in their Western offices could not approve an obviously necessary decision to secure Ukrainian airspace against Russian assassins,” the president said. Ukrainian, according to The Kyiv Independent.
The mayor of Irpin says he was threatened by the Russian occupiers to surrender the city: “I am surprised that these monsters haven’t understood yet”, the mayor says.
Kharkiv was under permanent siege, with many victims and many sites destroyed.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 8, 2022
The Ukrainians say they have killed another Russian general and are announcing some recaptures of Russian-occupied areas, plus heavy losses to the enemy, almost 12,000 Russian soldiers killed.
The Ukrainian army’s intelligence services said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had killed a Russian general near Kharkov, a city in eastern Ukraine under siege. Major General Vitali Gerasimov is said to be the second highest-ranking commander in Russia to die during the Russian invasion, Reuters reports. Gerasimov, chief of staff and first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st Army, was killed near the city of Kharkov along with other senior officers.
As Russian commanders refuse to give any details about their soldiers fighting in Ukraine to their families, Russians are desperately calling on the Ukrainian phone line to find their soldiers.
According to the Pentagon, Russia is recruiting Syrian mercenaries with experience in urban guerrilla warfare to fight in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said on Monday that he would not send recruits or reservists to Ukraine, saying that the offensive was carried out by “professionals”.
Ukraine: Moscow plans to disrupt the humanitarian corridors
Meanwhile, a second humanitarian corridor has been opened between Mariupol and Zaporizhia, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine was quoted as saying by Nexta. It is a new attempt to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city, after several filed ones. Russians claim they did allow these corridors, but most passages were to Belarus and Russia, with the civilians refusing, as they want to take refuge in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries and in the Western countries.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Veresciuk warned that although the first stage of evacuating civilians from Sumi has begun, Russia is “preparing to disrupt” the humanitarian corridors.
The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security in Ukraine said that although the Russian Ministry of Defense has officially agreed with the humanitarian corridor, Irina Veresciuk warned: “The Russian side is preparing to disrupt humanitarian corridors and manipulate the route to force people to go the other way. ” Civilian evacuations are also underway in Kyiv, where 150 civilians have so far left, and in Irpin.
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace says London would support Warsaw if it decided to offer fighter jets to Ukraine, but warned that such a decision could have direct consequences for Poland. He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “finished” no matter what happens in Ukraine.
2 million people fled Ukraine so far, more vulnerable expected to leave from now on
Two million refugees have fled Ukraine due to the war so far. After the first wave of people leaving Ukraine because of the war, a second wave of more vulnerable refugees will most likely follow, said the director of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, who said that on Tuesday or Wednesday exceeded the threshold of two million refugees.
“If the war continues, we will begin to see people without resources and connections,” Grandi told a news conference in Oslo, Norway on Tuesday.
Approximately 1.2 million people have fled to Poland since Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 in what Moscow calls a “special operation,” Polish border guards said on Tuesday.
Economic sanctions and outlook
Western countries are increasingly discussing a ban on Russian oil, with Moscow claiming that in this case the price per barrel would rise to $ 300 and threatening to close the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. US President Joe Biden held a video conference on Monday with the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, asking for their support to ban Russian oil imports.
Morgan Stanley says Russia is preparing for a Venezuela-style default.
In retort, Russia has directly threatened, for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine, that it will stop delivering gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, according to comments made by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on state television.
“We have every right (…) to impose an embargo on gas transit through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is currently operating at full capacity,” Novak said on Monday, noting that such a move would be similar to Germany’s decision to to stop the approval of the Nord Stream 2 project, reports DPA.
Moreover, the nickel price boom continued on Tuesday, after a 66% jump on Monday, so that a tonne of nickel briefly crossed the $ 100,000 threshold, with investors worried that Russia would no longer be able to export its production. At around 7:00 GMT on the London Stock Exchange, the nickel price rose by 70% to $ 82,195 per tonne. Previously, quotations rose even 111% to an absolute record of $ 101,365 per tonne. Nickel prices were rising even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which further exacerbated concerns over supplies of raw materials. Russia is responsible for 17% of the world’s production of nickel, a metal used in the production of stainless steel and electric vehicles.
WB USD 723 M financial aid to Ukraine
The World Bank has approved a $ 723 million emergency financing package for Ukraine in the form of loans and grants. The bank has also promised to work on another $ 3 billion support package for Ukraine, which is set to be launched “in the coming months,” according to a statement from CNN.
“The World Bank Group is with the people of Ukraine,” said World Bank President David Malpass. “This is the first of many steps we are taking to help mitigate the humanitarian and economic impact of this crisis,” he said.
US, UK, Germany and France “determined to continue raising the costs on Russia”
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. held a secure video call with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. The leaders affirmed their determination to continue raising the costs on Russia for its unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. They also underscored their commitment to continue providing security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. In addition, they discussed their respective recent engagements with the Ukrainian and Russian presidents.