Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an address to Congress, pleaded with the United States to “do more” by implementing a no-fly zone, providing additional aircraft and air defence systems, and creating a new security alliance. Speaking to US lawmakers from Kyiv, where he has chosen to remain even as Russian forces move on the city, Zelensky thanked President Biden for his “personal involvement” and “sincere commitment to the defense of Ukraine,” and the United States for the aid it has provided. “However, now it is true in the darkest time for our country, for the whole Europe, I call on you to do more,” Zelensky said. He also issued a direct message to President Biden: “You, the leader of your nation, I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.” He asked the American people to “remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it.” Zelensky went on to invoke September 11, 2001, calling it a “terrible day” when “independent territories” were turned into “battlefields,” and “when innocent people were attacked – attacked from the air.” President Zelenskyy received a stand ovation from members of Congress.
Biden to see NATO, European Council
Biden is set to travel to Brussels next week for a NATO summit to “discuss the ongoing deterrence and defence efforts in response to Russia’s attack as well as to reaffirm the US’ “ironclad commitment” to its NATO allies.” Biden is also set to join a scheduled European Council Summit to discuss “shared concerns about Ukraine, including transatlantic efforts to impose economic costs on Russia, provide humanitarian support to those effected by the violence, and to address other challenges related to the conflict.”
US warns Russia about chemical weapons
US National security adviser Jack Sullivan spoke with his Russian counterpart, General Nikolay Patrushev, and warned him “about the consequences and implications of a possible use of chemical weapons in Ukraine “by Russia. He reiterated the “clear and firm opposition of the United States to the unjustified invasion of Ukraine”. The national security adviser then reported the US commitment to “impose costs on Russia, to support the defence of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to strengthen NATO’s eastern border with allies and partners. “If Russia is serious” on the diplomatic road “then Moscow should stop the attacks on Ukrainian cities,” Sullivan concluded.
Turkey wants to host a Putin-Zelensky summit
Turkey wants to host a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky. This was stated by the Foreign Minister of Ankara Mehvlut Cavusoglu after meeting his Russian counterpart Serghei Lavrov in Moscow.
‘Putin miscalculated, now he is discussing peace’
Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini said on the sidelines of the NATO ministerial in Brussels that “Putin got his calculations wrong: he wanted less NATO and found himself more NATO, he was betting on a divided European Union and in reality the EU is stronger and more cohesive. This is a moment in which he must become aware of this and begin to discuss to find a peaceful solution.”
‘CPI prosecutor already in Ukraine’ – Zelensky
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, is already in Ukraine, so the Russian occupiers will be held responsible for all war crimes committed against the Ukrainians. President Zelensky said in a video speech. He said, “I spoke today with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague Karim Khan. He is already in Ukraine, he has already started working. So the occupiers will be responsible for all war crimes against Ukrainians.”
‘Kiev is ready for an agreement’ – Di Maio
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has tolf La7 TV, Kiev was ready for an agreement but every time Russia invents reasons to avoid closing the agreement.” He spoke of the ongoing diplomatic action, saying “today the Turkish Foreign Minister is in Moscow, resident Emmanuel Macron is committed on behalf of all European countries; we must bring Putin to accept an agreement at the table. He referred to a meeting he had with Prime Minister Mario Draghi earlier in the day as part of the daily coordination on the diplomatic and humanitarian front, saying 44,000 Ukrainian citizens arrived in Italy, including 18,000 children. “We will reach five million Ukrainians who will leave Ukraine and will come to the EU. But we must also intervene to protect the effects of Putin’s war on our citizens and in the coming days Draghi will see important heads of government and Italy will ask for a cap on the price of gas because citizens are paying the costs of Putin’s war in their bills.”
The real genocide has been in Donbass for 8 years – Putin,
The inhabitants of Donbass suffered “a real genocide” for eight years, President Putin told TASS, adding that “Russia’s goal is not to occupy Ukraine.” The operation of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine “is developing successfully and strictly according to plan,” said Putin. Russia, he added, “had no other choice to guarantee its security than to carry out the military operation in Ukraine”. Western sanctions have hit the entire global economy hard, the Russian president later stressed. Meanwhile, according to the Bloomberg agency citing Interfax, Russia has asked the United States to stop supplying arms to Ukraine.
10 civilians killed in bread queue north of Kiev
Russian troops have killed at least 10 civilians queuing for bread in Chernihiv, north of Kiev, near the border with Belarus. This was reported by the correspondent for Suspilne news quoted by The Kyiv Independent. The attack took place around 10 this morning.
‘Fourth Russian general killed’ in Mariupol
Ukraine has claimed responsibility for the killing of a fourth Russian general, Oleg Mityaev, in the Mariupol theatre of war. This was stated by the adviser of the Interior Ministry of Kiev, Anton Gerashenko, quoted by various media, including the online site of the Reuters agency. There is no confirmation from the Russian side for now. Mityaev commanded the 150th Russian motorised division and was a veteran of Syria.
‘If Russia pays the bonds in roubles, it defaults – Fitch,
The payment “in local currency” of the coupons on Eurobonds in US dollars of Russia would represent “a sovereign default, upon expiry of the grace period of 30 days”. Such a “forced renaming” of payments would be indicative of the fact that “a default or a process similar to default has begun”. The rating agency Fitch clarifies this in a commentary note on Russia’s potential default events, recalling that those expiring today are the first foreign currency coupons after Putin’s March 5 decree requiring creditors to be paid in roubles of countries that have sanctioned Moscow.