Saturday, 12 March 2022
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
Explosions heard in Kyiv early on March 12. CNN’s Chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward noted “a nonstop volley… of just heavy booms in the distance” in the early hours of March 12. Heavy fighting continues in the areas outside Kyiv, including in Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel. Several fires reported in Kyiv Oblast after Russian attacks overnight.
Explosions reported in Dnipro. The city’s mayor Borys Filatov says Ukraine’s air defense systems repelled the early morning attack. No casualties were reported.
Ukraine starts repairing damaged power lines near Chornobyl power plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said Ukrainian technicians have started repairing damaged power lines to the power plant site to restore the electricity supply which was entirely cut off earlier in the week.
Ukraine sets up a department to treat Russian POWs. The Cabinet of Ministers created the Coordination Headquarters for Treatment of Prisoners of War to help correctly treat and process captured Russian soldiers.
WHO predicts rise in Covid-19 due to Russia’s all-out war in Ukraine. The World Health Organization said on March 11 the rise would likely be due to an increase in the movement of people, low vaccination rates in Ukraine and some receiving countries, and a halt in vaccinations, treatment and testing.
Ukraine’s banking system remains functional under challenging conditions, no significant outflow of funds. The National Bank of Ukraine reported that despite the war, all systems are operating and obligations are met as it made preparations ahead of the invasion.
Read the Kyiv Independent’s takeways from the meeting between the European delegation and representatives of the Ukrainian parliament, government, local authorities and civil society at the regional military administration in Lviv on March 11.
Russia controls 70% of Luhansk Oblast. Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai says the entire region is under heavy fire.
Polish President Andrzej Duda says Russia must answer to international courts for genocide in Ukraine. “We cannot allow Russia to conquer a free and independent Ukraine,” Duda said during a speech to parliament. He added that Poland will support Ukraine’s bid to join the EU and NATO.
West could have stopped Russia in 2014, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, adding that the insufficient response from the West to the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 led to the current conflict.
Kuleba: ‘We need planes to stop Russian war crimes.’ In a post on Twitter, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has appealed to the world to provide Ukraine with fighter aircraft to stop Russian war crimes. The U.S. has previously refused to participate in helping Poland provide MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Russia shell Mykolayiv, several buildings on fire. Mykolayiv Oblast Governor Vitaliy Kim reported that Russia continues to shell residential areas. “They fire without aim,” Kim said, in reference to the indiscriminate attacks on non-strategic targets.
War in Ukraine could raise global food prices by 20%. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), disruption to agricultural activity could “raise international food and feed prices by 8-22%.” If the war affects the harvest, the FAO predicts that 8-13 million more people could suffer from malnutrition in 2022/23.
UN has evidence of Russian use of cluster munitions. According to the spokeswoman for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN has received “credible reports of several cases of Russian forces using cluster munitions, including in populated areas.”
Russia prevents evacuation from Izyum. Despite a previously agreed upon humanitarian corridor, 20 buses were unable to leave the besieged city of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast, says Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synyehubov.
Melitopol mayor allegedly abducted by Russian occupiers. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov was abducted by Russian forces, according to preliminary information. Melitopol is a city in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, southeastern Ukraine.
UN experts: New Russian media law puts Russians in “total information blackout.” Independent UN experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council stated on March 11 that Russia’s implementation of a “punitive ‘fake war news’ law is an alarming move by the government to gag and blindfold an entire population.”
Macron: Food supplies to be ‘profoundly destabilized’ by war. The French president expressed concerns that the war in Ukraine would endanger Europe and Africa’s food supply. Both Europe and Africa are reliant on imports of Russian and Ukrainian agricultural products.
Armed Forces: Russia may intensify missile strikes, shelling. Ukraine’s Armed Forces made a statement saying that there is a high probability that Russia will increase its rocket and artillery attacks against civilian infrastructure.
Security Service arrests Russian artillery observers in Severodonetsk. According to Ukraine’s Security Service, two men allegedly provided Russia with information about the deployment of Ukraine’s military equipment and troop movements. The Russian military then shelled these areas, authorities say.
The human cost of Russia’s war
Humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating in a number of Ukrainian cities, including Mariupol, Kharkiv, Okhtyrka, Izyum. Faced with military defeats, losses of personnel and vigorous resistance on the ground, the Russian troops have begun indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities with missile strikes and heavy artillery. Documents and maps seized by Ukrainian troops from Russian prisoners of war confirm that bombardments of residential areas had been planned in advance. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 1,546 civilian casualties in Ukraine since Russia’s full scale-war began: 564 killed and 982 injured.
At least 2.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia’s full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24. According to the United Nations refugee agency, an estimated 4 million people may flee Ukraine.
Over 200 civilians, 11 children killed in Kharkiv by Russia. According to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Investigative Department of the Kharkiv Oblast police, 10 civilians, including three children, were killed in the last 24 hours.
1,582 Mariupol residents killed by Russia. During 12 days of the blockade of the city in Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces have shelled residential neighborhoods and killed 1582 civilians, according to the Mariupol City Council.
EU announces new sanctions, luxury goods and crypto ban. According to European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen, new sanctions will prevent Russian oligarchs from using cryptocurrency assets to avoid sanctions, bans the export of luxury goods from the EU to Russia, and the import of iron and steel goods from Russia.
US treasury announces new round of sanctions against Russian oligarchs, lawmakers. The new sanctions target oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and three family members of President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov. The package also targets 10 people on the board of VTB Bank and 12 members of the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, including Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov.
White House: ‘Strong indications’ Russia committing war crimes in Ukraine. White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said that there are indications that Russia had committed war crimes, but stopped short of making an official declaration.
WSJ: US hedge funds told to freeze Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s assets. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 11 that U.S. hedge funds were instructed to freeze Abramovich’s assets following sanctions by the U.K. government on March 10. The instructions likely thwart the oligarch’s recent efforts to sell his interests in a series of hedge funds.
Biden warns Russia will pay a ’severe price’ if it uses chemical weapons in Ukraine. The U.S. president refused to divulge specific information about the intelligence he had received, following a question from a White House reporter. In a similar statement on March 10, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he fears the use of chemical weapons by Russia.
US, EU, G7 to strip Russia of favored trade status. U.S. President Joe Biden has stated that the U.S., the EU and G7 will strip Russia of its permanent normal trade status, allowing the countries to raise tariffs on Russian goods. Biden also said that the U.S.and G7 would seek to deny Russia the ability to borrow funds from “leading multilateral institutions” such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
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