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08:46 Scholz, the war could last a long time
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz does not expect the war in Ukraine to end soon and reiterates that peace is impossible without the withdrawal of Russian troops. “We have to be prepared for the fact that this (war, ed.) could take a long time,” Scholz said at an event organized by the Rheinische Post yesterday. Deutsche Welle reports it. Moscow cannot dictate the terms of peace in Ukraine, he added. “Ukraine must be able to defend its integrity and independence,” he continued, confirming – as he said on March 5 – that he does not see the possibility of peace without the withdrawal of Russian troops.
08:31 Russian opponent, China understands that mediation is useful for it
“Today, Russia is above all a pawn in strengthening China on the international stage. Nothing but this”. Thus told Corriere della Sera Nikolaj Rybakov, president of the liberal Yabloko party, and dissenting voice in Russia. “I’m not in the Kremlin – he adds – So I can only speculate, like everyone else. But if Xi manages to prevent the word ‘we will win’ from prevailing on both fronts, if he persuades Putin and Zelensky of the futility of this slogan, that would already be a good result”. “Pessimism – observes Rybakov – makes me say that nothing will come of it. But if instead Xi says: dear Vladimir, we must find a way to cease hostilities, because the war weakens the Russian economy, and we don’t mind this, but at the same time a turbulent world does not suit us, then everything could change. And then, of course, Xi should repeat the same speech in Kiev”. “If Putin makes Xi understand that he is determined to go all the way, then the Chinese president will leave Moscow deeply concerned about the future of China and the whole world. And he will thus understand his own interest in facilitating a quick solution of détente, if not an immediate end to the conflict”. The Chinese plan which provides for talks without preconditions “I think is the only way forward”.
08:30 Russian bombs in Kharkiv region this morning
The Russian army bombed the village of Basove in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine around 6:00 this morning (5:00 in Italy), damaging some power lines: the head of the Russian army announced on Telegram ‘Regional Military Administration, Oleg Sinegubov, as Ukrinform reports. “Today, around 6:00 am, the occupiers shelled the village with more than 20 mortar rounds. The power lines are damaged. Fortunately, there were no casualties,” the message reads. Sinegubov further noted that yesterday the Russian army continued shelling border settlements in the Kharkiv region, hitting at least 14 of them.
08:28 Moscow, UN CDS meeting on children taken to Russia
Russia plans to hold a meeting briefing of the United Nations Security Council in early April on what it says is “the real situation” of Ukrainian children being taken to Russia. The Associated Press reports it. The story is at the center of attention following the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes linked to the transfer of children. Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, told a press conference that Russia planned the Security Council meeting long before Friday’s announcement by the International Criminal Court. Russia will hold the rotating presidency of the Security Council in April. The International Criminal Court said it is seeking Putin’s arrest because “he is allegedly responsible for the war crime of the illegal deportation of (children) and the illegal transfer of (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
08:06 Zelensky, good understanding of the EU on the supply of bullets
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached yesterday between EU foreign ministers for the supply of one million bullets to Ukraine. In his usual nightly speech, reports the Guardian, he said: “Our European partners have agreed on a common plan to speed up the supply of shells for our artillery. This is a strategic step that gives us confidence in our unity, in the immutability of the movement towards victory over the terrorist state”. Zelensky also thanked the United States for a new military aid package: “A new defense package from the United States was also announced today. The amount is 350 million dollars. Rockets will be provided for HIMARS systems (missile systems of high mobility artillery), artillery shells and other ammunition: everything we really need to support our warriors”.
07:57 Vereshchuk, ‘peace after the withdrawal of the Russians, the Chinese leader calls Zelensky’
“We have the 10 points put forward by President Zelensky and we hope that China stands with us, on the side of truth and justice. The Chinese take into account that the idea of imposing a ceasefire is impossible, if not preceded by Russian withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine”. This was underlined in an interview with ‘Corriere della Sera’ by the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Irina Vereshchuk, commenting on Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow.
For Vereshchuk, the planned phone call between Xi and Zelensky “would be an important move, they have things to say to each other”. But at the moment there are no certainties: “I don’t know, we await confirmation”. “I find it essential – he adds – that the Chinese leader stresses to Putin that the crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, including the deportation of children, the massacres of civilians bombing of energy infrastructure is unacceptable”.
Vereshchuk does not think that the Chinese can send weapons to Russia: “I don’t think so. It would involve direct confrontation with the West. Instead, I think that the Chinese leaders are much more intelligent than the Russian ones”.
07:56 Deputy Prime Minister, ceasefire only if Russians withdraw
“China traditionally pursues a foreign policy as a seasoned player. I really don’t think Xi intends to embark on an open confrontation with the West to facilitate cooperation with Russia. Beijing does not want to risk economic sanctions and new tensions, especially after the much carried out by the Hague Tribunal against Putin”. Thus, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Occupied Territories Irina Vereshchuk was interviewed by Corriere della Sera. Regarding the Chinese peace proposal, “we have the 10 points put forward by President Zelensky and we hope that China will stay with us, on the side of truth and justice. The Chinese should take into account that the idea of imposing a ceasefire is impossible , if not preceded by the Russian withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine”, while a phone call between the Chinese and Ukrainian leaders “would be an important move, they have things to say”. When asked if she fears sending Chinese arms to Russia, the deputy prime minister answered no: “it would involve direct confrontation with the West. I think Chinese leaders are much more intelligent than Russian ones”. On the other hand, regarding the request to Moscow to disclose the list of deported children, “I don’t know what they have in mind. However, I know that the war will end and they will be forced to account for their crimes”. And on Putin’s visit to Mariupol, “Hitler also visited Mariupol in 1941 and it is good to remember that he ended up”, she comments.
07:55 Kiev, yesterday 21 air raids and 9 Russian missile attacks
Russian forces yesterday launched 21 air raids and 9 missile attacks in Ukraine, including one in the city of Slavyansk (east), which caused no casualties: the General Staff of the armed forces of Kiev announced in its daily update of the conflict adding that Moscow has also fired about sixty rockets with multiple launch systems. For their part, Ukrainian troops repelled 120 Russian attacks in the directions of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mariinka and Shakhtarsk, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian media reported it. The Russian armed forces, the report points out, continue to maintain a significant military presence on the territory of Belarus, but apparently without forming offensive groups.
07:54 Kiev, explosion in Crimea destroys Russian missiles destined for the Black Sea fleet
Russian ‘Kalibr’ cruise missiles transported by train to the Russian fleet in the Black Sea were destroyed in an explosion in the Crimean town of Dzhankoi. The announcement was made by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The authorities in Kiev, underlined CNN, have not directly claimed responsibility for the attack, stating however that it serves to “further demilitarize Russia and prepare the Crimean peninsula for liberation from occupation”. Sergei Askyonov, head of the local pro-Russian authorities, confirmed the attack and the activation of the region’s air defense system and – reports the dpa – announced the shooting down of two Ukrainian drones in Dzhankoi. One person was injured and two buildings were damaged, he added. There is no confirmation from the Russian side that the missiles have been destroyed.
07:52 Kishida in Kiev, first visit by a Japanese leader to a country at war
The trip to Ukraine took place using a military jet used for public purposes, rather than a government plane, reports the NHK. The aircraft took off Sunday night from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport bound for India, three hours ahead of the government plane carrying Kishida in the same direction for the state visit. The jet had a capacity of around 10 passengers, to minimize the premier’s entourage and control the flow of information. Kishida then boarded a train in the vicinity of Przemysl, Poland, near the border with Ukraine, at around 1:30 am local time, in the direction of Kiev. It was the first visit by a Japanese prime minister to a war-torn country since the end of World War II.
7:33 Kiev, missiles destined for the Russian fleet destroyed in the Crimea
An explosion in the Crimean town of Dzhankoi destroyed Russian cruise missiles destined for Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Monday. The Guardian reports it. For his part, the adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, Anton Gerashchenko, released a video showing the area of the railway station of the city and a strong explosion
7:00 Japanese premier on his way to Kiev, will see Zelensky
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is on his way to Kiev, where he will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today. During the visit – says the foreign ministry in Tokyo – the premier will express Japan’s “solidarity and firm support for Ukraine” and “his respect for the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian people who stand up in defense of the homeland” . “Kishida will resolutely reject Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and unilateral change of the status quo through force, and reconfirm his determination to uphold the international order based on the rule of law,” the ministry said in a statement. .