Global Review – 15 March

Russia bans exports of wheat to Europe

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail  Mishustin signed off on a temporary ban on the export of grains to the Eurasian Economic Union. The temporary ban also includes the export of white sugar and raw cane sugar to third countries. European wheat prices had risen amid threats from Russia it would suspend exports of wheat, barley, maize and rye until end of June. The move came as wheat prices have been on the rise in recent weeks but yesterday’s announcement caused Paris-based milling wheat futures to spike 9.25 per cent €380 per tonne for May, while UK prices have risen 3.5 per cent to £298. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, while Ukraine also ranks in the top five.

Russia’s activity in Ukraine is ‘state terrorism’

Poland’s Foreign Minister and Chairman-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Zbigniew Rau, has told the UN Security Council that Russia’s military activity in Ukraine amounts to “state terrorism”. He said, the operation turned out to be a strategic and tactical failure. “Instead of preventing further unnecessary deaths in its own ranks, the Kremlin changed its tactics, targetting  the civilian population and infrastructure in an attempt to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people. This is deplorable and shameful and amounts to state terrorism,” he said. “Schools, hospitals and kindergartens are deliberately being targeted with internationally-banned weapons. The reports of women and children killed are devastating.”

Guterres warns of possibility of nuclear war

UN Secretary General António Guterres has warned about the possibility that the Ukraine-Russia crisis could escalate into nuclear war. “Raising the alert level of Russian nuclear forces is a bone-chilling development,” he told reporters, adding, “The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.” Guterres urged negotiation and reconciliation, noting the fallout that Ukrainian civilians have endured as a result of the Russian invasion. The U.N. is directing $40 million from its Central Emergency Response fund to humanitarian aid for Ukrainians, he added. “This funding will help get critical supplies of food, water, medicines and other lifesaving aid into the country as well as provide cash assistance,” Guterres said.

Russia pounds away at Ukraine as two sides plan more talks

A narrow diplomatic path stayed open as Ukraine and Russia planned another round of talks and Moscow’s forces pounded away at cities across the country, including the capital, in a bombardment that deepened the humanitarian crisis. Shortly before dawn on Tuesday, large explosions thundered across Kyiv while Russia pressed its advance on multiple fronts. Elsewhere, a convoy of 160 civilian cars left the encircled port city of Mariupol along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported, in a rare glimmer of hope a week and a half into the lethal siege that has pulverized homes and other buildings and left people desperate for food, water, heat and medicine. The latest negotiations, held via video conference, were the fourth round involving higher-level officials from the two countries and the first in a week. The talks ended Monday without a breakthrough after several hours, with an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying the negotiators took “a technical pause” and planned to meet again Tuesday. The two sides had expressed some optimism in the past few days. Mykhailo Podolyak, the aide to Zelenskyy, tweeted that the negotiators would discuss “peace, cease-fire, immediate withdrawal of troops & security guarantees.”

Zelensky to address US Congress tomorrow

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a speech to Congress virtually on Wednesday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. They said, “The Congress, our country and the world are in awe of the people of Ukraine, who have shown extraordinary courage, resilience and determination in the face of Russia’s unprovoked, vicious, and illegal war.” Manwhile, President Zelensky has again requested a meeting with President Putin.

Convoy of 160 cars leaves besieged Mariupol

Civilians have been evacuated from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol in what appeared to the first successful attempt at a humanitarian corridor out of the city since the Russians surrounded it two weeks ago. After several days of failed attempts to deliver supplies to Mariupol and provide safe passage out for trapped civilians, the city council said a local ceasefire was holding and a convoy of more than 160 cars had left the city. The council said the convoy had reached the nearby city of Berdyansk and was heading on towards Zaporizhzhia. Civilians have been trapped in the city for more than two weeks, and authorities had warned of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in the port city cut off from deliveries of food and medicine, and without power in sub-zero temperatures.

‘Ukraine defeats Russian forces at Mariupol’

The Ukrainian military has defeated a Russian attempt to take the port city of Mariupol. According to the Associated Press, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff said that Russians had been forced to retreat after suffering losses during their attack on the city, which has now been under heavy Russian fire for over a week and resulted in the deaths of 2,500 residents. Those still in the city have faced a dire situation, lacking adequate power, food, and water. Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that attempts have been made to deliver food and medicine to the city, though those have been interrupted by heavy Russian shelling.

NATO member Estonia calls for a no-fly zone

The parliament of Estonia on Monday called for UN member states to “take immediate steps to establish a no-fly zone” over Ukraine to prevent further civilian casualties as Russia’s multi-front war against the country rages on. Estonia is the first NATO member nation to have formally called for the implementation of such a no-fly zone amid Russia’s ongoing invasion. President Zelenskyy has been pleading with the United States and western allies to implement such a no-fly zone over Ukraine. But President Joe Biden and NATO have ruled that out, saying that enforcing it would put the US and NATO in direct confrontation with Russia and would expand the conflict.

Russian missile strikes Kyiv bus

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person was killed and six others were injured when a Russian rocket landed on a civilian bus in Ukraine’s capital city – an attack captured by a surveillance camera at a nearby park. Residents said their houses shook after the impact and a source in the city told Fox News Digital he could feel the shockwave from within an underground bunker nearby. “Today was quite stressful,” he said.

Russia’s TV employee carryies anti-war sign

A woman interrupted a live broadcast of Russian television to deliver an anti-war message, carrying a sign that read “Stop the war, no to war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russia’s First Channel employee to protest the war, later posted a video on social media explaining her actions. “What’s happening in Ukraine is a crime and Russia is the aggressor. And there is only one person responsible for this, this man is Vladimir Putin,” she said.

Princess Charlene of Monaco returns home

Princess Charlene of Monaco has officially returned home. A statement issued by the palace to Fox News Digital on Monday revealed that the 44-year-old has reunited with her husband, Prince Albert of Monaco, and their two children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. Last May, the princess became ill during what was supposed to be a 10-day visit to her home country of South Africa. Instead, complications from a previous ENT procedure grounded Charlene for six months.

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