Press digest – Ukraine
28th day of the heroic resistance of Ukraine against Russian military invasion
Every morning, starting March 17, a nationwide minute of silence has been declared throughout Ukraine at 9:00am Kyiv time.
“We will remember the Ukrainians who gave their lives, all the military, civilians, and children” (c) President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
DESTRUCTION AND LOSSES
📌 121 children have died since the beginning of the full-scale war by Russia against Ukraine, over 160 children have been injured. In particular, on March 22, Russian militaries attacked one of the residential houses in Rubizhne, as a result – 3 people including 2 children died.
📌58 ambulance cars have been shelled by Russian troops since the beginning of the war against Ukraine, 6 persons of a medical staff killed – Victor Lyashko, Minister of Health.
📌20 sports facilities in Ukraine are either destroyed or severely damaged by shelling by Russian aircrafts. 5 sports objects have been completely destroyed, 15 – severely damaged. In Volnovakha the stadium was completely destroyed, in Mariupol a new swimming pool was significantly damaged, and in Irpen a children’s sports school was completely destroyed. In Kharkiv, in a professional sports college, there are mines and two unexploded ordnances on a football ground.
📌In Chernihiv, Russian aviation bombed a road bridge across the Desna river, the bridge connected the city with Kyiv. Air bombs were dropped onto the bridge, one of the bridge flights fell. This bridge was used for evacuation trips from Chernihiv, humanitarian aid was also delivered via this bridge. The city has been under Russian troops’ siege for the second week and is suffering from constant shelling.
📌Russian aviation struck Kyiv again in the morning on March, 23. A shopping center, private sector houses and high-rise buildings in two districts of the capital went under fire. According to preliminary data, no one was killed.
📌Russian troops opened fire on a children’s hospital in Severodonetsk. Children, their mothers and staff were evacuated in time.
📌In the temporarily occupied Kherson, the Russian military used tear gas to disperse a peaceful rally. When the smoke cleared, some Kherson residents returned to the square.
📌Russian aircraft dropped two heavy bombs on Mariupol today. The city suffered even more damage. Artillery battles also continue in the city.
📌During March 21 in Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Lysychansk, Popasna, Novodruzhesk, Toshkivka as a result of Russian shelling there were more than two dozen fires in high-rise and residential buildings, burned outbuildings, garages, schools and infrastructure. Also in Severodonetsk occupiers opened fire on children’s hospital therefore there was a roof fire. Rescuers evacuated 7 children and 15 adults, including 8 doctors.
📌The humanitarian situation in Chernihiv is difficult, the suburbs are completely destroyed by Russia, — said Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova. Half of the citizens left the city, and of the remaining 130,000, many were sick and infirm.
📌In Brovary, Kyiv region, Russian aircraft fired artillery at the city. One of the shells hit the plant, damaging seven buses and outbuildings. According to preliminary data, there are no victims.
📌Russians fired on Obolon district in Kyiv. Two buildings and a truck caught fire. The fire was extinguished in two hours, according to preliminary data, one person died.
📌 As there is no significant success in the war with the Ukrainian people, Russian troops are now focused on the total destruction of critical infrastructure. The occupiers are carrying out artillery shelling and rocket-bomb attacks on residential neighborhoods, settlements, historical monuments, schools, hospitals and civilian industries. In cities and villages that peacefully resist Russian troops, the occupiers commit marauding and violence against civilians.
📌 Mariupol is 90% ruined after the shelling by Russian aviation and the siege.
📌 Active actions of the Russian aviation over the territory of Ukraine and strikes with the use of cruise and hypersonic missiles are noted. A suspicion of using a phosphorus bomb during the morning shelling of Irpen has also been raised in Kyiv.
📌Russian troops continue destroying civilian infrastructure: on March, 23, the aviation of the Russian Federation attacked the Ocheretine railway station in Donetsk region.
📌The Russians looted and destroyed the brand new laboratory worth EUR 6 million located in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
How the laboratory looked like
📌 The first suspicion for rape by the Russian serviceman was issued – a violation of the laws and customs of war. He is announced wanted and a request for detention was filed with the court.
📌 The military-political leadership of the Republic of Belarus continues providing substantial support to the Russian troops like usage of their air and transport networks and certain health care facilities. It is an accomplice in crimes against the Ukrainian people. There is also a high probability of involvement of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus into the war against Ukraine on the side of the Russian Federation.
📌The Insider journalist Oksana Baulina was killed in a rocket attack in Kyiv. She performed an editorial task and filmed the consequences of the actions of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine.
📌 For the second day in a row, air raid sirens sounded repeatedly all over Ukraine, with no exceptions.
📌Hero of the day
Alexander Oksanchenko heroically died in an air fight, distracting enemy aircraft. He was one of the best fighter pilots in the world. He was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the Golden Star.
⚠️ Putin plans to block the departure of Russians from the occupied Crimea. The information on the preparation of the blockade by the Rosguard forces to block any moves on the Crimean bridge towards the Russian Federation has been confirmed; the occupation authorities will also restrict the movement of the ferry and air connections of the peninsula with the Russian Federation. The formal reason for such actions is the fight against Ukrainian saboteurs and the prevention of possible “terrorist attacks”.
Doing that, Putin’s government is trying to respond to the panic among Russian citizens who illegally moved to the Ukrainian Crimea after February 2014. By restricting the possibility of leaving Crimea, Putin is literally holding hostage 600,000 Russian citizens who are currently illegally on the peninsula and who start understanding the uncertainty of their legal status.
⚠️ Russian occupiers violate the international humanitarian law and do not stop artillery shelling, missile strikes and deliberate destruction of urban infrastructure by aviation. The chaotic mining of the territories, the destruction of agricultural machinery leads to the failure of the sowing campaign in certain regions of Ukraine. At the same time, showing a kind of “humanitarian mission”, Russian troops are organizing a demonstration of so-called “humanitarian aid” to local residents, requiring a mandatory personal signature and a Ukrainian passport.
⚠️French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Putin on the phone for an hour, but failed to agree on a ceasefire. This is Macron’s eighth telephone conversation with the Russian president since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.
⚠️Ukrainian intelligence service has published a conversation between Mykhailo Mezentsev (who leads the siege of Mariupol) and his subordinates, whom he humiliates and reprimands for not delivering on set tasks.
⚠️Russian propaganda loses the war with the Ukrainian army, that’s why it fights the civilian population through shelling, terror and the spread of fakes:
❗️Representatives of the Hungarian community in Zakarpattia region started receiving threatening text messages in Ukrainian.
❗Russia is actively promoting the idea of the probability of a nuclear war. In particular, among its own population, Russia is spreading threats to use nuclear weapons against Poland.
❗️Russian media have formed the thesis that in the Luhansk region, fighters of the Aidar Battalion set up a “secret concentration camp”, where Russian-speaking locals have been tortured for eight years.
❗Russian propaganda spreads the news that in the war against Russia, Ukraine uses the “Advanced Surveillance Group” – outspoken Satanists.
📌Estimated losses of the Russian Federation Army in Ukraine:
📌 On March 22, the Armed Forces of Ukraine increased the number of downed occupants’ aircrafts up to 100 units.
📌Russian property worth UAH 35 million has already been revealed in Ukraine. It will be withdrawn in favor of the country.
📌The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office has announced the suspicion of “mouthpieces” of Russian propaganda Dmitry Kiselyov and Olga Skabeeva for calling for armed aggression against Ukraine.
📌Representatives of the Ukrainian journalistic community have addressed their foreign colleagues covering Russia’s war in Ukraine with an open letter, urging them not to use erroneous terminology of Russia’s disinformation campaign regarding the war coverage. Media community calls not to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “crisis”, “conflict”, “military operation” and not to call them “Ukrainian” (“Ukrainian crisis” or “conflict in Ukraine”).
“This is a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a war against Ukraine. We ask you to correctly indicate the role of Russia in the war, using the terms “war of Russia in Ukraine” and/or “Russian invasion of Ukraine” – the letter states.
📌Photo of the day
A monument to Taras Shevchenko is being secured against Russian shelling in Kharkiv. The monument to Kobzar survived World War II but now it is under a threat of destruction again.
HUMANITARIAN CORRIDORS AND EVACUATION UPDATES
📌 Over 7,000 of Mariupol residents have already evacuated via humanitarian corridors.
President Vladimir Zelensky’s daily statements
📌 Following the speech of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in front of the Italian Parliament, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that his country wants Ukraine to join the European Union.
📌 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will participate in the NATO summit in video format on March, 24.
📌 March 22 was one of the days that allows to say confidently – the whole world stands with Ukraine: His Holiness Pope Francis, both houses of the Italian Parliament, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
📌President is grateful to Pope Francis for his clear and strong position against the war and for his prayers for Ukraine.
📌 The important conversation with the Prime Minister of Canada took place. The countries continue aligning prior to this week’s NATO and G7 summits. Justin Trudeau supports Ukraine, with a special emphasis on vital security guarantees.
📌 Volodymyr Zelensky is grateful to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who was the first European official who decided to support Ukrainian humanitarian corridors in Mariupol to save people from the city and bring humanitarian aid there. Today, about a hundred thousand people are in inhumane conditions and a complete blockade in Mariupol. Nikos Dendias plans to lead a humanitarian mission to besieged Mariupol, a home to thousands of ethnic Greeks.
📌 Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the politicians and people of Japan, emphasizing that Japan was the first country in Asia to put a real pressure on Russia in order to restore peace and supported the sanctions against Russia. The President called to continue it in order to stabilize the situation, for Russia to seek peace and stop the tsunami of its brutal invasion of Ukraine.
📌 POLITICO readers called Zelensky the most influential man in Europe.
PUBLIC AND BUSINESS SUPPORT
📌 As of March 23, almost 240 international companies have left Russian market, completely or partially.
📌Dutch energy company Eneco shall not conclude new contracts with Russian gas suppliers, because of the Russian invasion to Ukraine
📌 The largest European steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal SA has excluded Russian raw materials from its supply chain.
📌 Netflix is no longer available in the Russian App Store and Google Play. In early March, Netflix announced that it was suspending its operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.
📌 Nestlé has bowed to pressure and stopped the local production and sales of non-essential goods such as KitKats and Nesquik in Russia.
📌 French drug major Sanofi has decided to suspend “all of advertising and media activities in Russia”, as well as “any new spending not related to the supply of our essential medicines and vaccines.”
📌Japanese Electrical Corporation NEC has suspended new orders for its products and services in Russia.
📌New Zealand dairy producer Fonterra closes its office in Moscow and stepped out of the Russian business.
📌The function of sending money to the Chinese Alipay wallet is no longer available in the Russian Sberbank application, which has limited individual payments from Russia to China.
📌The Polish Chamber of Tourism which unites 500 hospitality and logistics businesses announced its intention to terminate cooperation with Russian businesses.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
📌Parliamentarians of 28 countries have created an informal association United for Ukraine (“Разом задля України”) to coordinate support for Ukraine against Russian armed aggression.
📌Ukrainian language has received the status of the future language of the European Union. At its extraordinary meeting, the General Assembly of the European Federation of National Language Institutions EFNIL unanimously supported the decision on Ukraine’s membership in the EU language space. The National Anthem of Ukraine was played for the first time in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
📌The Netherlands froze Russian assets and operations worth 392 million euros.
📌The Estonian Chamber of Commerce has collected 2 cargo mini buses with pharmaceutical products and medical devices to send to Dnipro hospitals.
📌Latvia sent about 20 tons of cargo with medicines and medical equipment for the Kyiv Military Hospital.
📌More cargoes with the help are heading from Poland. Since the beginning of the aggression, the country has provided $38 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
📌France is giving to Ukraine’s rescuers 11 fire trucks, 16 rescue vehicles, 49 tons of medical and emergency equipment.
📌The Estonian Chamber of Commerce has raised EUR 100,000 to transfer to the National Bank of Ukraine.
📌The Latvian National Charitable Foundation Ziedot.lv has already received about 6.2 million euros in donations for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
📌German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for going for an embargo on Russian oil and gas. Earlier, Mr Scholz called for moderate sanctions in order not to harm the Russian people, who are also likely to suffer from Putin’s actions. However, according to recent independent polls, 71% of Russians fully support the actions of their own president.
📌Paris City Hall unanimously voted to grant Kyiv honorary citizenship.