Saturday, March 5
Russia’s war against Ukraine
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky furiously condemns NATO leaders for ruling out a no-fly zone over Ukraine despite pledging more support to Ukraine.
The UN Human Rights Council voted to investigate alleged human rights violations committed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine’s Armed Forces also report that Russia is firing cluster munition in Donetsk Oblast’s Pokrovsk. The use of cluster bombs targeting civilians may constitute a war crime, according to Amnesty International. The Kremlin has denied the use of cluster munitions.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing economic crisis caused by Western sanctions have already transformed Russia - 10 days after it has begun its military invasion. As Russia is mobilizing all resources for the war, it is becoming increasingly totalitarian and intolerant of any dissent. What will the invasion of Ukraine bring for Russia? Read the Kyiv Independent’s analysis here.
Read the Kyiv Independent’s exclusive on how Ukrainians look out for each other amid the horrors of war.
Staff of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant remain trapped 10 days after it was captured by Russian forces. “We cannot replace people, they have been working their shift for 10 days already. They are divided into two groups, replacing each other, but they are tired mentally, physically and emotionally,” said Yury Fomichev, Mayor of Slavutych, a city in northern Ukraine built for the evacuated personnel of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the 1986 disaster.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on March 4 at the UN that Russian forces are now 20 miles, and closing, from Ukraine’s second largest nuclear facility – the Yuzhnoukrainsk Nuclear Power Station in southern Ukraine’s Mykolaiv Oblast. “This imminent danger continues. We narrowly avoided a disaster last night,” she said, referring to Russia’s attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. “The international community must be unanimous in demanding Russia’s forces stop their dangerous assault.”
Around 74% of Americans - including Republicans and Democrats - said the United States and its NATO allies should impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on March 4. It wasn’t clear if respondents who supported a no-fly zone were fully aware of the risk of conflict, and a majority opposed the idea of sending American troops to Ukraine. An equally bipartisan 80% of Americans said the United States should stop buying Russian oil.
Pentagon: Russia has fired more than 500 missiles in the first week of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia is launching all different types of missiles at a rate of about two dozen per day, a Pentagon official said.
Ukraine still has a “significant majority” of its military aircraft available nine days after Russian forces started their full-scale invasion of the country, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed U.S. defense official. The official also said that Ukrainian aircraft had suffered some loses, including being destroyed by Russian forces, but did not give details.
Uniqlo’s parent company to donate $10 million USD and 200,000 clothing items to UNHCR to support people forced to flee Russia’s all-out war on Ukraine. The donation will be used by the U.N.’s refugee agency to provide urgent assistance such as shelter, psychosocial support and core relief items to affected populations in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
Lviv launches protective measures to save cultural heritage from possible airstrikes. Authorities are removing unique sculptures and stained glass windows of historic churches in case of shelling or missile attacks.
Mariupol Mayor pleads for help, asks for humanitarian corridor. According to Mayor Vadym Boychenko, the city is cut off from heating, water, and electricity, while people are running out of food and medicine. “We are being destroyed here,” he said.
Russia bans Facebook, Twitter. Roskomnadzor, a Russian government censorship agency, cited Facebook’s “discrimination towards Russian state media outlets” as the reason for the ban.
The human cost of Russia’s war
In the Bucha district near Kyiv, Russian forces opened fire on a car with civilians. As a result of the attack, two people were killed, including a 17-year-old girl, and four others were injured. The prosecutor’s office in the Kyiv region has launched criminal proceedings over the shelling.
As of March 3, more than 1.2 million refugees have left Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began on February 24, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports.
28 children killed, 64 wounded in Russia’s war. About 1.5 million children live under constant shelling in war-torn areas of Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights and Children’s Rehabilitation Daria Herasymchuk, as cited by the President’s Office.
North America and Europe’s Response
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Europe from March 6-11 to coordinate new sanctions against Russia and show support for Ukraine. Trudeau will travel to the United Kingdom, Latvia, Germany, and Poland, the Office of the Prime Minister announced on March 4.
Singapore sanctions Russia in response to its all-out war against Ukraine. Singapore announced sanctions against Russia on March 5 that include four banks and an export ban on electronics, computers and military items.
International Gymnastics Federation bans Russian and Belarusian athletes from competitions starting March 7, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Earlier, the federation had announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes would have to participate under a neutral status.
International Boxing Association bans Russian and Belarusian boxers and competition officials from participating in international boxing competitions. Wherever not possible on short notice for organizational or legal reasons, they will be allowed to participate as neutral athletes, according to the IBA’s statement.
Samsung Electronics said on March 5 that shipments to Russia have been suspended “due to current geopolitical developments.” Samsung is also donating $6 million, including $1 million in consumer electronics, to actively support humanitarian efforts “around the region,” including aid for refugees, according to the company’s statement.
Bloomberg temporarily halts work of its journalists in Russia after Putin criminalizes independent journalism.
Macron calls for emergency UN Security Council meeting on nuclear safety. French President Emmanuel Macron called on Russia to “immediately cease its illegal and dangerous military actions in order to allow full control by the Ukrainian authorities over all nuclear facilities within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.”
US ‘considers’ ban on Russian oil imports. The White House is looking into the potential impact of cutting off imports of Russian oil, U.S. Council of Economic Advisors Chair Cecilia Rouse said. “But what’s really most important is that we maintain a steady supply of global energy,” she said.
American IT giants Netscout, Autodesk suspend operations in Russia. Netscout, a top cybersecurity firm, has paused all sales, support, and services in Russia, leaving many Russian companies open to DDoS attacks. Autodesk, global design software provider for media, entertainment markets, industrial and civil engineering, has suspended operations in Russia “amid the shock and sadness of this crisis.”
Danish LEGO group has announced an emergency $16.5 million donation to support Ukraine’s children and families. The money will be distributed to the United Nations Children’s Fund, Save the Children and the Danish Red Cross.
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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Igor Kossov, Anastasiia Lapatina, Illia Ponomarenko, Alexander Query, Asami Terajima, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina, Lili Bivings and Brad LaFoy.