Tuesday, March 8
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
Third round of Ukraine-Russia peace talks ends with no results. The delegations, who met in Belarus, agreed to change the logistics of humanitarian corridors, according to Mykhailo Podoliak, advisor to the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration. However, on the key issues of ceasefire and the end of hostilities, “there are no results that will significantly improve the situation,” he said. The parties will hold further consultations.
In the meantime, nearly 100% of Russia’s available combat power is already in Ukraine. According to a senior U.S. defense official cited by CNN, Russia has already launched more than 625 missiles against Ukraine. He also said that the Ukrainian armed forces have enough surface-to-air weapons to protect the country’s airspace.
Ukraine’s air defense forces shoot down multiple Russian aircraft over Kyiv. The first plane was shot down around 8:30 p.m. over the city and shortly after that, another Russian plane was destroyed in an air battle on the city’s outskirts, according to Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerіy Zaluzhny.
President Zelensky signs decree recalling Ukrainian peacekeeping forces to defend Ukraine. The decree declares that all soldiers and equipment dedicated to U.N. peacekeeping operations must return to Ukraine to assist in the war effort.
Nuclear research facility in Kharkiv damaged by shelling, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on March 7. Ukraine’s nuclear regulator does not report an increase in radiation levels at the site.
Pentagon believes Russia now recruiting Syrian fighters for war in Ukraine. The announcement bolsters a report on March 6 that Putin was recruiting Syrians skilled in urban combat to fight in Ukraine. Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said he had no information on the numbers or caliber of the Syrian fighters.
Read the Kyiv Independent’s story on how Russian soldiers murder volunteers helping starving animals near Kyiv.
Moscow’s envoy to the U.N. says Russia will hold a ceasefire and open humanitarian corridors on March 8. Vasily Nebenzya announced on March 7 at a U.N. Security Council meeting that the ceasefire will take place at 10 a.m. Moscow time and permit the evacuation of citizens from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, and Mariupol.
Ukrainian transport infrastructure damage from Russian aggression reaches $10 billion. Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov estimates that most losses can be recovered in a year, with the most complex in a “maximum of two.”
Ukraine will pay an additional $1,000 monthly to conscripts, police, National Guard, other military and emergency services staff during martial law.
World Bank clears $723 million Emergency Financing Package for Ukraine. The World Bank confirmed the package on March 7. The money is intended to help the Ukrainian government deliver critical services to citizens, including financial support to hospital workers, the elderly, and the vulnerable. The World Bank is also preparing a $3 billion package for Ukraine in the coming months.
The Russian Embassy in the U.K. on March 7 quoting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that “the goal of Russia’s special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on Ukrainian territory or that could start from there.” U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price , saying, “This is a flat out lie. Russia’s special military operation is instigating a war in Ukraine. Ukraine does not want a war.”
Ukraine kills Russian Major General Vitaly Gerasimov near Kharkiv, according to Ukraine’s Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Defense Ministry. Gerasimov was a senior military official who participated in the second Chechen war and was awarded a medal for “capturing Crimea.”
Morgan Stanley predicts Venezuela-style default in Russia by mid-spring. The New York-based investment firm’s Vice President Simon Waever sees default possible as soon as April 15. Investors have already valued the country’s next year’s bonds at about 29 cents on the US dollar, the lowest figure in history according to data collected by Bloomberg.
The human cost of Russia’s war
As of March 6, more than 1.7 million refugees have left Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began on February 24, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports. An additional 96,000 people moved to Russia from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions between Feb. 18-23.
Children among dead after Russian air raid on residential buildings in Sumy. Head of Sumy Regional State Administration Dmytro Zhivitsky in a video message on March 7 that 9 people were killed as a result of targeted bombings by Russia on Sumy.
Russian forces strike at military unit in Mykolaiv. A cruise missile hit the building the early morning of March 7, when soldiers were sleeping inside, according to Mykolaiv Oblast Governor Vitaliy Kim. As a result, eight servicemen were killed, 19 injured, and eight went missing.
Bipartisan bill introduced in US House of Representatives that would ban import of Russian crude oil. The bill would target U.S. imports of Russian crude oil, coal, liquefied natural gas, and petroleum products.
Australian government sanctions 10 individuals for their legitimization of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne stated on March 7 that Australia will impose sanctions on “propagandists and purveyors of disinformation” who propagate false narratives about “de-nazification of Ukraine” and support Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
Bloomberg: Russia surpasses Iran and North Korea as most sanctioned nation 10 days after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia recently became the target of 2,778 new sanctions, bringing them to 5,530, Bloomberg reports, citing Castellum.ai, a global sanctions-tracking database.
New wave of companies cease operations in Russia. More western companies have refused to serve the Russian market due to its aggression in Ukraine. The companies include Prada, Nissan, and PVH Corp., the parent company of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. In addition, Procter & Gamble has stopped advertising and investment and is reducing its product portfolio to essential health, hygiene, and personal care products.
WSJ: Russian energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft face foreign debt repayments. Gazprom repaid foreign investors on a $1.3 billion dollar-denominated bond on March 7, while Rosneft has yet to make a payment on a $2 billion, dollar-denominated bond which was due on March 6.
US to send additional troops, military assets to Europe. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the deployment of a total of 500 troops to further support the country’s NATO allies. The U.S. will also refuel aircraft in Greece, deploy an aviation support center to Poland and Romania, ordinance and maintenance companies to Germany, according to CNN. The U.S. currently has about 100,000 military personnel in Europe.
Global freelance platform Upwork stops operations in Russia, Belarus. In the next few days, users in both countries will no longer be able to set up new accounts, sign new contracts, or be visible in search. The process will be fully completed on May 1, the deadline for terminating existing contracts. “Human lives and economic livelihoods are at stake as we continue to resolutely stand with Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked war,” the company’s statement reads.
All Big Four accounting and consultancy firms quit Russia. Accountant firms EY and Deloitte severed ties with Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, following KPMG and PwC.
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