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Ukraine Daily - Friday, 11 March 2022

Humanitarian crisis deepens in Mariupol -- Stalled 64-km-long Russian convoy near Kyiv largely dispersed -- Two columns of advancing Russian forces and ten enemy aircraft were destroyed on March 10 -- Zelensky on Putin's nuclear threats: 'This is a bluff -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Friday, 11 March 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine

Russian air strikes hit Dnipro, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk early on March 11. Three airstrikes by Russian forces hit residential areas in Dnipro, killing one person, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. Explosions were reported in western Ivano-Frankivsk near its airport, according to the city’s mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv. Four explosions were also reported near an airfield in the northwestern city of Lutsk, according to the head of the Volyn Regional State Administration, Yuriy Pohulyayko.

Humanitarian crisis deepens in Mariupol. Humanitarian aid has not been able to reach the besieged southern city for the 6th day in a row, mayor Vadym Boychenko said in a video appeal. The evacuation of Mariupol’s civilians has failed as well due to incessant shelling. Russian troops have been shelling Mariupol every 30 minutes, according to mayor.

CNN: Stalled 64-km-long Russian convoy near Kyiv largely dispersed. Satellite images taken on March 10 show the Russian military convoy northwest of Kyiv has “largely dispersed and redeployed,” Maxar Technologies says. Some parts of the convoy have “repositioned” in forests, while others have been seen sitting on roadways in residential areas.

Ukraine’s military: Two columns of advancing Russian forces and ten enemy aircraft were destroyed on March 10. According to Ukraine’s armed forces, the columns were Russian airborne troops and tanks, IFVs, and Grads. The aircraft consisted mainly of Su-25s and Su-34s.

Ukraine asks to withdraw over 300 peacekeepers from UN missions. Ukraine has requested to withdraw its remaining uniformed personnel serving with five U.N. peacekeeping operations in Mali, Cyprus, Abyei, South Sudan and Kosovo. This includes 250 troops, 36 staff officers and mission experts, and 22 police officers.

Reuters: WHO says it advised Ukraine to destroy stored pathogens in health labs to prevent disease leaks. The World Health Organization, concerned with Russia’s military advance in Ukraine, advised destroying “high-threat” pathogens stored in public health laboratories, the agency told Reuters on March 10. Ukraine has public health laboratories researching how to mitigate the threats of dangerous diseases affecting both animals and humans including, Covid-19.

Russia says it could seize assets of Western companies that have left the country. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin said in a video published on state media that he backs plans to introduce external management and the transfer of these enterprises to those who want to work. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded via Twitter that such action would have long-term consequences for Russia’s reputation in the global business community.

Zelensky on Putin’s nuclear threats: ‘This is a bluff.’ In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that it was unlikely that Russian President Vladimir Putin would resort to nuclear weapons. “It’s one thing to be a murderer. It’s another to be suicidal,” he said.

Russia bombs Kharkiv institute, home to experimental nuclear reactor. The State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine announced that the facility was struck, damaging the exterior and possibly numerous labs throughout the building.

Russia puts forth new requirements for humanitarian corridors. Russia is demanding lists of all evacuating vehicles and accompanying officials and forbids any communications equipment, except for Red Cross representatives. The corridors are planned for Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Mariupol.

Russian forces shell more than 280 schools since the start of the war. Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science Serhiy Shkarlet stated that Russian forces had destroyed or damaged 280 educational institutions through bombing and shelling. The ministry has developed an interactive map to track damage to schools.

Russia promises to open daily humanitarian corridors, but only to Russia. From 10 a.m. every day, Russia will open humanitarian corridors, but only towards Russia. This will be done without the permission of the Ukrainian government. Head of the National Defense Management Center of Russia Mikhail Mizintsev states that Kyiv “does not approve the departure of civilians towards the Russian Federation.”

US Intelligence director says no-fly zone will not protect Ukraine. According to Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, most Russian attacks come from the land, not the air. A no-fly zone would not “inhibit missles, rockets, and artillery,” Berrier noted.

Izium residents come under attack during evacuation. Russian forces violated the temporary ceasefire for a humanitarian corridor out of the city, shelling the area where citizens were attempting to flee, according to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov. Despite the attack, 44 buses were able to leave the city and evacuate 1,600 people.

Read the Kyiv Independent’s analysis on how Russia’s war on Ukraine jeopardizes global food security, increasing famine risk.

Over 80,000 civilians evacuated from Sumy, Kyiv oblasts in two days. According to Iryna Vereshchuk, the minister for the reintegration of temporarily occupied territories, more than 60,000 people were evacuated from Sumy and its neighboring Trostianets and Krasnopillia to Poltava, while 20,000 civilians were evacuated from Bucha, Hostomel, Irpin, and Vorzel in Kyiv Oblast. The evacuation is ongoing in Kyiv Oblast, she says. Around 3,000 people were evacuated from Izium to Lozova in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russia considers blowing up ammonia warehouses in Kharkiv Oblast. The Security Service of Ukraine says that Russian occupiers are “seriously considering” blowing up ammonia warehouses and blaming it on Ukraine’s armed forces.

Energoatom: Russian occupiers mined coast of reservoir near Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear plant. Energoatom is Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company. Russian forces seized the nuclear plant on March 4.

Russian propaganda’s latest invention: Ukraine is “developing biological weapons” and using birds to deliver viruses. Russia’s state media RIA Novosti cites its Defense Ministry spreading false claims that Kremlin forces have “exposed” a secret project where a flu strain was being developed in Ukraine, and bats and migratory birds were used to deliver it to Russia.

Klitschko: About half of Kyiv residents left capital since Russia’s war began. Still, the Kyiv mayor said the capital is “like a fortress” thanks to the Ukrainian military fighting on the outskirts of Kyiv to thwart Kremlin efforts to capture Kyiv and overthrow the government. According to the latest estimates, there are just under 2 million people still in Kyiv.

Kyiv Oblast Governor: northwest of Kyiv remains most dangerous area. According to Governor Oleksiy Kuleba, Kyiv’s suburbs – Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, and Vorzel – which have been cut off from the capital by Russian troops, remain among the most dangerous areas. The same goes for the Zhytomyr highway and Makariv, west of the capital.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian invaders shoot at pensioners in their car. In Makariv, Kyiv Oblast, a Russian Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) fired upon a civilian car containing an elderly man and woman, according to Kyiv police. Both were killed.

Reznikov: Russian forces have killed more civilians than Ukrainian service personnel. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has described Russia’s invasion as a “terrorist war,” stating that Russian troops had acted like “criminals.” According to Reznikov, Russian troops have killed more Ukrainian civilians than soldiers.

Russian forces attack civilian vehicle, killing woman. In the village of Darivka, Kherson Oblast, Russian forces fired upon a car, which burned up killing the driver, according to the Kherson Oblast Prosecutor’s Office.

2 Belarusians among civilians killed by Russian planes coming from Belarus. Russian planes had taken off from Belarusian airfields and bombed Korosten in Zhytomyr Oblast overnight into March 10, according to the city mayor Volodymyr Moskalenko. Three people died, including two Belarusian citizens. According to the mayor, 60-70% of the population has already left Korosten.

At least 71 children killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24. Ukrainian ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova added that as of 11 a.m. on March 10, more than 100 children have also been injured.

International response

U.S. will not send Patriot defense systems to Ukraine. A senior U.S. defense official told reporters on March 10 that there is no talk at the Pentagon of sending Patriot surface-to-air missile batteries to Ukraine, as they would require U.S. troops on the ground to operate them. “We have made (it) very clear, there will be no U.S. troops fighting in Ukraine,” the official said.

EU meets on Russian military aggression against Ukraine. At a meeting on March 10, EU leaders condemned the “unspeakable suffering” Russia has brought on the Ukrainian people and said in a statement that they “will not leave Ukraine alone.” While EU leaders acknowledged Ukraine’s EU aspirations, Reuters reported that the leaders were cautious about fast tracking the country’s ascension to the union.

US Senate passes spending bill that includes $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine. The bill includes roughly $6.5 billion for the Department of Defense, nearly $4 billion for the State Department and around $2.8 billion for the U.S. Agency for International Development for humanitarian assistance.

UN Security Council to meet over Russia’s claims of “military biological activities of the US on the territory of Ukraine.“ Russia requested the meeting to discuss unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine is operating biological and chemical labs with the support of the U.S. The U.S. has refused the accusations. The meeting is scheduled for March 11.

Reuters: Facebook to temporarily allow posts calling for violence against Russians, calls for Putin’s death. According to internal emails seen by Reuters on March 10, Meta will change its moderation policy in some countries to allow for calls of violence against Russians in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The temporary changes apply to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

Twitter deletes Russian embassy disinformation posts. The social network has deleted tweets from the Russian Embassy in the U.K. which attempted to deny Russian involvement in the March 9 attack on a hospital in Mariupol. Twitter said it had removed the posts for denying violent incidents.

US to give additional $53 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced this aid during her visit to Poland. This funding is in addition to nearly $54 million in humanitarian assistance announced by the U.S. earlier.

Goldman Sachs to become first major U.S. bank to exit Russia. Three decades after becoming the first Western bank to go into business with the Russian government following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Goldman Sachs announced on March 10 that it was taking steps to wind down its operations in Russia.

UK sanctions 7 Russian oligarchs, including Abramovich, Sechin, Miller. The British government imposed sanctions on Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, Andrey Kostin, the chairman of VTB Bank, Alexei Miller, the CEO of Gazprom, Nikolai Tokarev, the president of Transneft, Dmitri Lebedev, the chairman of Bank Rossiya, industrial tycoon Oleg Deripaska, and billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC.

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Asami Terajima, Daria Shulzhenko, Natalia Datskevych, Sergiy Slipchenko, Thaisa Semenova, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina, Lili Bivings and Brad LaFoy.

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