EU leaders plan to visit Ukraine’s capital

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues for its third week, leaders from three EU member states have planned a visit to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, to show support for the country. Poland’s Mateusz Moravetsky, the Czech Republic’s Petr Fiala, and Slovenia’s Janez Jansa will travel to Kyiv after thousands of civilians and soldiers have been killed and 2.8 million people from the city have been forced to evacuate. They will meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Loud blasts were heard throughout Kyiv as recently as Tuesday morning as Russia continues its siege.

Some 350,000 people trapped in Mariupol

CNN reports that about 350,000 people are still trapped in Mariupol, the city in south-eastern Ukraine that has been besieged by Russian troops. Then US station quotes local official Petro Andriushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, telling Ukrainian television, “Considering that there are 540,000 residents and about 150,000 people evacuated in the first three days when it was still safe to do so, we estimate that about 350,000 people are still stranded in Mariupol.”

4 killed as hospital, schools attacked

‘Kiev Independent’ reports at least 4 people were killed during the Russian bombing in the Ukrainian city of Rubezhnoye, in the Lugansk region. Serhiy Haidai, head of the Lugansk regional military administration, said on Telegram the bombs hit and destroyed a boarding school for the blind, a city hospital, three schools and other military facilities.

4 killed in TV tower bombing

Meanwhile, the death toll of yesterday’s Russian raid on a television tower in the north-western city of Rivne has risen to 19, according to the governor of Rivne province, Vitalii Koval. Another nine were injured. According to the governor, there could be more victims as rescuers are still working on the spot.

‘Massive destruction’ at Dnipro airport

Two Russian bombings during the night have caused “massive destruction” at the airport of the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, according to regional authorities. Valentin Reznichenko, governor of the region, wrote on Telegram that “during the night, the enemy attacked the Dnipro airport and the take-off and landing strips were destroyed. The terminal was also damaged… there is massive destructioneverywhere.”

3 million Ukrainian refugees – UN

The number of Ukrainians who fled the country continues to rise and touches the threshold of three million. According to the latest UN data, since February 24, the date of the Russian attack, a total of 2,952,026 refugees have crossed the Ukrainian border to seek refuge abroad. The data, updated as of yesterday, March 14,  and reported on a specific page of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) website, indicates that over the vast majority of people fleeing have arrived in Poland (almost 1.8 million refugees), followed by Romania (over 422,000) and Moldova (almost 340,000).

Every minute a Ukrainian child becomes a refugeeUnicef

In Ukraine, every minute a child becomes a refugee. James Elder, spokesman for the UN agency for children, Unicef, said about 1.4 million children have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion. “On average, every day for the past 20 days in Ukraine, more than 70,000 children have become refugees, essentially one child becoming a refugee every minute since the conflict began,” Elder said.

Fourth EU sanctions package

The EU Council has adopted the fourth package of sanctions against Russia: all transactions with some state-owned companies prohibited, restrictions on the export of goods and technologies for the defence industry, for security and for the energy industry. Stop of export of luxury goods. The hypothesis of actions to suspend Russia as a ‘favorite nation’ in the WTO, the world trade organization, has been confirmed. A note by the Commission says the ban on the import of steel is worth €3.3 billion in lost revenues for Russia. The ban on ratings will lead to further loss of access to EU financial markets.

Borrell calls on Putin to stop ‘inhuman and senseless war’

The EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell, in the communiqué, has called on Presidewnt Putin  to stop what he called this ‘inhuman and senseless war’. He told the EU Council, “As President Putin’s war against the Ukrainian people continues, so does our determination to support Ukraine and paralyze the financing of the Kremlin’s war machines. This fourth package of sanctions is another severe blow to the economic and logistical basis on which Russia relies to carry out the invasion of Ukraine.”

UK imposes sanctions on Russian vodka

The UK has announced a new package of economic sanctions against Moscow in response to the invasion of Ukraine intended to affect the import of Russian products for an estimated yearly value of £900 million (over €1 billion). The measure targets vodka, which will be imposed an additional 35% duty, and luxury goods, including the import-export of expensive vehicles, in line with the recent decision also by the EU. The goal, said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, “is to further isolate the Russian economy from global trade”.

3 journalists killed, 35 injured in Kiev

Three journalists have been killed and at least 35 wounded since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. This was announced by the head of human rights of the Ukrainian parliament, Lyudmila Denisova, on Telegram. “The occupiers are fighting against objective coverage of their war crimes: they are killing and shooting journalists,” she stressed. The three victims – recalls the UNIAN agency – are Viktor Dudar, shot during the fighting near Mykolayiv, cameraman Yevhen Sakun killed in a missile attack in Kiev and the American Brent Reno, killed in Irpin, in the Kiev region.

Prosecutor asks for 13 years for Navalny

Moscow prosecutor Nadezhda Tikhonova has asked for a 13-year-prison sentence for the Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny. Navalny, who is currently serving a 30 month sentence following parole violations linked to a 2014 embezzlement conviction that he previously dismissed as politically motivated, is now accused of fraud and contempt of court.

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