Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | March 10, 2022

Here are the latest developments from the Ukraine-Russia ongoing conflict

March 10, 2022 07:18 am | Updated March 11, 2022 08:35 am IST

A man rides a bicycle in front of an apartment building that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022

A man rides a bicycle in front of an apartment building that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022 | Photo Credit: AP

Moscow’s aims do not include overthrowing the Kyiv government and it hopes to achieve more significant progress in the next round of talks with Ukraine, said Russia.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister, who met his Russian counterpart in Turkey on Thursday said their talks on setting up humanitarian corridors and a ceasefire, have not yielded a breakthrough.

The International Monetary Fund board on Wednesday approved $1.4 billion in emergency financing for war-torn Ukraine to help the country deal with the "massive humanitarian and economic crisis" caused by the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian officials say a Russian strike has hit a children's hospital and maternity facility in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol.

Ukraine’s government has banned the export of wheat, oats and other staples that are crucial for global food supplies as authorities try to ensure they can feed people during Russia’s intensifying war.

Meanwhile, India is expected to end the evacuation exercise — Operation Ganga — on Thursday, an official has said urging the few remaining Indians to opt for the last flights out of Ukraine.

The conflict began escalating on February 21, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.

Read | An unnecessary war and its grave portents

Editorial | A chance for peace: On Russia-Ukraine talks

Here are the latest updates:


Russians keep pressure on Mariupol after hospital attack

Civilians trapped inside Mariupol desperately scrounged for food and fuel as Russian forces kept up their bombardment of the port city Thursday amid international condemnation over an airstrike a day earlier that killed three people at a maternity hospital.

Western and Ukrainian officials called the hospital attack in Mariupol a war crime by the Kremlin. Meanwhile, the highest-level talks held since the invasion began two weeks ago yielded no progress, the number of refugees fleeing the country topped 2.3 million, and Kyiv braced for an onslaught, its mayor boasting that the capital had become practically a fortress protected by armed civilians.

More than 1,300 people have died in the 10-day siege of the frigid city of Mariupol, according to Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

Residents of the southern seaport of 430,000 have no heat or phone service, and many have no electricity. Nighttime temperatures are regularly below freezing, and daytime ones normally hover just above it. Bodies are being buried in mass graves. The streets are littered with burned-out cars, broken glass and splintered trees. —AP


Russia says it will open evacuation corridors from five Ukrainian cities

The Russian defence ministry will declare a ceasefire on Friday and open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of Ukrainians from five cities, the RIA and Interfax news agencies reported on Thursday.

The agencies quoted Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, as saying people could either travel to Russia or other cities in Ukraine.

"From 10:00 am Moscow time (0700 GMT) on March 11, 2022, the Russian Federation will declares a 'regime of silence' and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors," Interfax said, citing a statement from Mizintsev.

The five cities are Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv. Ukrainian officials complain that Russians have broken the terms of previous agreements while Moscow accuses Ukrainian forces of disrupting the operations.

Not a single civilian was able to leave Mariupol on Thursday as Russian forces failed to respect a temporary ceasefire to allow evacuations, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on national television.

RIA quoted officials as saying the Ukrainian side would have to provide lists of people and vehicle registration numbers before the corridors were opened.—Reuters


Volodymyr Zelenskiy talks to British and French heads of state

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he discussed further support for Ukraine from Britain with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding that he also spoke about peace talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

He wrote in a tweet: “Continued dialogue with the leaders of the UK & France. Informed about new crimes of Russia against people,” not giving out further details.

Mr. Zelenskiy also spoke to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday to discuss the course of peace talks, stressing the emphasis on putting sanctions on Russia. He also brought up the issue of making Ukraine a member of the European Union.


Goldman Sachs to pull out of Russia

American investment banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc says it is stopping its operations in Russia, becoming the first major Wall Street bank to pull out of the country after its military assault on Ukraine.

The bank said in an email statement: “Goldman Sachs is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements.” - Reuters

In its last annual filing, the bank had stated it had $650 million worth of credit exposure to Russia.


Vladimir Putin criticises sanctions on Russia 

Russia President Vladimir Putin says sanctions on Russia are “not legitimate”, adding that his country with solve the problems arising from them “calmly”..

Addressing a government meeting, Mr. Putin says “the West is trying to blame Russia for its own Mistakes,” referring to the US ban on oil import from Russia and European restrictions on gas trade. He adds that Moscow will still meet its contractual obligations. - Reuters

“It is clear that at such moments people’s demand for certain groups of goods always increases, but we have no doubt that we will solve all these problems while working in a calm fashion,” he says. Russian Foreign Minister Anton Siluanov, says while speaking at the same meeting that Russia has taken measures to limit the outflow of capital and that it would process its external debts in roubles.

“Over thelast two weeks Western countries have in essence waged an economic and financial war against Russia,” Mr. Siluanov adds. -Reuters

US President Joe Biden banned Oil and gas imports to his country on March 8, adding to the list of economic sanctions his country and EU allies have imposed on Russia. Some of these include blocking Moscow from the SWIFT payment network, freezing assets of Russia’s Central Bank and halting the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.


Russia bans certain commodity exports

The Russian Economy Ministry has said that the country is banning certain forestry and wood product exports to countries that have imposed sanctions against it over the Ukraine Situation. The ban will stay in effect till the end of this year- Reuters

Russia could also ban grain and Sugar exports to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), having former Soviet Union countries as members, Interfax news agency said Thursday. The ban is expected to be in place from March 15 to August 31 and could extend beyond EEU countries. - Reuters

Russia itself is currently struggling under a host of economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European allies, while the list of  international companies pulling out of Russia keeps lengthening.


Two million people have left the Ukrainian capital, says city’s Mayor

Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of the Ukrainian Capital of Kyiv, says about 2 million people have left the city, which amounts to half the population of the metro area.

Mr. Klitschko adds that Kyiv has now turned into a “fortress”. Besides the attack on a maternity hospital on Wednesday, Russian forces had also bombed two hospitals in Zhytomyr, west of Kyiv. The mayor says the Russian military has intensified its siege of Ukrainian cities.

The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, has confirmed 18 attacks on medical facilities since the Russian invasion began on February 24.- AP


US Vice President Kamala Harris supports calls for a ‘war crimes’ probe into Russia

Speaking at an event in Poland, demonstrating US support for NATO’s Eastern flank allies, the Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris expressed her support on Thursday for an investigation into Russia’s attacks on Civilians in Ukraine. Outraged over the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol a day earlier, she said that an investigation should “definitely” be carried out.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, who stood alongside her, said “it is obvious to us that in Ukraine Russians are committing war crimes.”- AP


Another round of Russia-Ukraine talks yields inconclusive outcome

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says talks between top diplomats from Kyiv and Moscow did not result in a breakthrough vis-a-vis ending the crisis in Ukraine.- AP

Mr. Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met in Turkey on Thursday to talk about setting up humanitarian corridors and a cease-fire. He said after the talks that there are “other decision-makers” in Russia who have to be consulted. He mentioned, however, that he did agree with Mr. Lavrov to continue to find solutions to humanitarian issues caused by the war.

Mr. Kuleba said Moscow is not ready to agree on a cease-fire yet, adding that it seeks “Ukraine’s surrender”, which was “not going to happen”. “

Air Strike

Bombing at maternity hospital kills three – Mariupol City Council  

An airstrike on a hospital in the port of Mariupol killed three people, including a child, the city council said Thursday, and Russian forces intensified their siege of Ukrainian cities, even as the top diplomats from both sides met for the first time since the war began. 

The attack a day earlier in the besieged southern city wounded 17 people, including women waiting to give birth, doctors and children buried in the rubble. Bombs also fell on two hospitals in another city west of the capital, Kyiv.

The World Health Organization said it has confirmed 18 attacks on medical facilities since the Russian invasion began two weeks ago. - Associated Press 


More than 12,000 Russian troops killed in ongoing invasion - Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed on Thursday, as of March 10, more than 12,000 Russian personnel have been killed in the ongoing invasion. The preliminary numbers added that 1,105 armoured vehicles and 49 aircrafts of the Russian army have been destroyed.

Gas supplies

Repair crews unable to repair the Kramatorsk-Donetsk-Mariupol gas pipeline

Head of the Ukrainian National Gas Company of Ukraine Naftogaz informed on Wednesday that repair crews were unable to repair the Kramatorsk-Donetsk-Mariupol main gas pipeline and restore gas supplies. It added, the latest development implied that almost a million Ukrainians were deprived of the same owing to constant shelling by Russian troops.


Twitter launches Tor service bypassing Russia’s block

Twitter has launched a privacy-protected version of its site to bypass surveillance and censorship after Russia restricted access to its service in the country.

Russia has blocked access to Facebook and has limited Twitter in an attempt to try to restrict the flow of information about its war in Ukraine. Both companies have said they are working on restoring access to people inside Russia even as they restrict the country’s state media from their services. -AP


Sony suspends PlayStation operations in Russia

Sony said Thursday it had halted PlayStation shipments to Russia and suspended operations of the gaming giant’s online store there, the latest global brand to shun the country over its invasion of Ukraine.

“Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” said a statement posted on PlayStation’s Twitter account. -AFP


35,000 civilians evacuated from Ukrainian cities on Wednesday: Zelensky

At least 35,000 civilians were evacuated from besieged Ukrainian cities on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

In a video address late Wednesday, the Ukrainian leader said three humanitarian corridors had allowed residents to leave the cities of Sumy, Enerhodar and areas around Kyiv. -AP


White House warns Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine

The Biden administration publicly warned Wednesday that Russia might seek to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine as the White House rejected Russian claims of illegal chemical weapons development in the country it has invaded.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova this week, without evidence, accused Ukraine of running chemical and biological weapons labs in its territory, supported by the U.S. White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Russia’s claim “preposterous” and said it could be part of an attempt by Russia to lay the groundwork for itself using such weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine. -AP


Harris lands in Poland amid turbulence over jets for Ukraine

Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Warsaw to thank Poland for taking in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion took an unexpected turn before she even left Washington. She’s parachuting into the middle of unexpected diplomatic turbulence over fighter jets.

The Polish government on Tuesday came out with a plan to transfer its Russian-made fighter planes to a U.S. military base in Germany, with the expectation that the planes would then be handed over to Ukrainian pilots trying to fend off Russian forces. In turn, the U.S. would supply Poland with U.S.-made jets with “corresponding capabilities.” -AP

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