Some survivors of attack reportedly emerged on Thursday, but casualties still unknown
Blinken says US officials are ‘documenting potential war crimes’ in Ukraine
Russia is struggling to make military progress in and around Kyiv, western officials said on Thursday afternoon, and there is a “question as to whether Moscow now intends to try to assault [Ukraine’s capital] or not”.
According to UK military intelligence assessment, Russian troops are facing food and fuel shortage amid Moscow’s “faltering invasion”.
Until now, a massive push on Kyiv seemed inevitable, with one official stating last week that Russian troops were “continuing to tighten the noose” around the city. But Russian forces have made little progress since then, with the latest British intelligence suggesting Vladimir Putin’s forces were “faltering”.
A senior official told media outlets earlier that, in their opinion, for Moscow to go ahead with the attack on Kyiv, “with or without bombardment, would be very costly for Russia”.
Meanwhile, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, has repeated his country’s insistences that it did not bomb a theatre in Mariupol on Wednesday, where thousands of residents were sheltering – including children. The death toll for the attack, if there is one, is still not known.
South Korea shuts embassy in Lviv
South Korea has temporarily closed its embassy in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv amid “escalating military threats”, the country’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
It announced that officials stationed at the Lviv office will move to a nearby country.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 05:14
Multiple explosions heard in Lviv
At least three blasts were heard in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Friday morning, according to local media reports.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 05:10
Wounded Ukrainian teen tells Zelensky he’s a TikTok star
In a light moment for war-time Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, a 16-year-old wounded girl in a Kyiv hospital told him that he is a TikTok star.
Katya Vlasenko and her family came under attack while trying to flee Russian fire. When the president went to visit injured Ukranianians, she told him: “And everybody supports you on TikTok”.“All talk about you, it is all about you,” she said.
To the teenager’s praise, Mr Zelensky asked: “So we have occupied TikTok?”
Rituparna Chatterjee has more.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 04:53
American citizen killed in Chernihiv
An American man, who had stepped out to buy food, was killed by Russian fire, US secretary of state Antony Blinken confirmed.
One of his sisters, Katya Hill, said he had stayed in the hospital in Chernihiv, the site of heavy Russian bombardment during its invasion, to be alongside his Ukrainian partner as she battled multiple sclerosis.
“As things were deteriorating in the city … my brother was the one that was going out to the store to bring back what food he could find,” she told CNN.
Viacheslav Chaus, the region’s governor, has claimed that 53 civilians have been killed in the frontline city of Chernihiv over the past 24 hours.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 04:39
Voices | West needs more support from ‘neutral countries’ to fight Putin
Vladimir Putin’s callous disregard for Ukraine’s sovereignty united most governments against him. But 35 countries abstained on a United Nations motion condemning the invasions (which passed 141-5), with ambivalent comments coming in from important nations.
The “neutrals” include not just traditional Russian allies such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Vietnam but big hitters from South Asia and Africa.
Countries like India and South Africa – which practice democracy at home and neutrality on the world stage – also remind us there are big unresolved “north-south” issues.
To create a truly global alliance against Putin’s modern fascism, we must be clearer about how it is in other countries’ national interest be on our side. The moral case will not be enough. Without that we can expect the number of “neutral countries” to grow, writes Vince Cable.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 04:24
Italy offers support to restore shelled theatre in Mariupol
The Italian government has said that it will help rebuild the drama theatre in Mariupol, which was shelled by Russian troops.
Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini on Thursday said the cabinet of ministers have approved his proposal to offer Ukraine the “resources and means to rebuild it as soon as possible”.“Theaters of all countries belong to the whole humanity,” he tweeted.
Responding to the Italian minister, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky wrote: “You set a good example to follow. Together we will rebuild the country to the last brick”.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 04:03
Australia slaps fresh sanctions on Russian billionaires
The Australian government on Friday imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs with links to its mining industry.
Foreign minister Marise Payne said Australia was working in close cooperation with international partners to increase sanctions pressure on oligarchs close to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“Australia has now added two billionaires with links to business interests in Australia, Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg,” Payne said in a statement.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 03:42
Refugees in 470 cars escaped from bombed Mariupol
At least 1865 people, including 479 children in 470 cars from the shelled port city of Mariupol reached Zaporizhzhia on Thursday, deputy mayor Anatolii Kurtev said.
He said that Zaporizhzhia has welcomed over 11,500 people from Mariupol in the last two days. Mr Kurtev added that everyone seeking refuge was attended by medics and provided food and a roof over their heads.
According to the besieged city’s council, Mariupol is being hit by between 50 and 100 artillery shells a day.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 03:08
Biden to dial Xi to discuss Ukraine and bilateral ties
United States president Joe Biden will speak with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at 1300 GMT on Friday, the White House said.
The two leaders will discuss “managing the competition between the two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern,” a statement read.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 02:45
Russia won’t ask UK council vote on its Ukraine resolution
Russia said it will not ask the United Nations Security Council to vote on its draft resolution on humanitarian relief for Ukraine.
It will instead use the scheduled council session to again raise allegations that the United States has biological warfare laboratories in Ukraine.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia made the announcement at a Security Council meeting called by six western countries on Thursday.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 March 2022 02:40
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