LIVE – War in Ukraine: Russian army announces the opening of several humanitarian corridors

US officials accuse Moscow of hiring Syrian mercenaries to fight in Ukraine

US officials say Moscow has been recruiting Syrian mercenaries to fight in Ukraine for days, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

According to the same sources, Russia, which has been in Syria since 2015, hopes their expertise in urban guerrilla warfare could be useful in taking the city of Kiev.

Oil: Brent barrel is close to $140, close to all-time high

The almost complete cessation of Russian exports continues to push up oil prices. The North Sea Brent barrel came close to $140 on Monday morning, close to an all-time high.

In addition, the stock markets of Tokyo and Hong Kong fell by more than 3% on Monday morning. And gold, the safe-haven par excellence, has surpassed $2,000 an ounce.

The rise in oil prices comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States and the European Union are “very actively” discussing the possibility of banning Russian oil imports.

>> More information can be found here.

Russian army announces ceasefire so civilians can evacuate

To evacuate civilians in Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy, the Russian military has announced a ceasefire from Monday.

“Russian forces will declare a ‘regime of silence’ and the opening of humanitarian corridors for humanitarian purposes from 10 a.m. on March 7,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.

The statement does not specify whether the lanes will open at Ukraine local time (9:00 AM Paris time) or Moscow time (8:00 AM Paris time) and for how long they will remain open.

>> More information can be found here.

Russia announces the opening of several humanitarian corridors

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday the opening of several humanitarian corridors in the cities of Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkov and Sumy.

This decision follows Emmanuel Macron’s request to Vladimir Putin during their phone call on Sunday.

Intense shelling targeting Kharkiv at night

On the night from Sunday to Monday, the city of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, was the target of heavy bombing.

According to an Agence France Presse journalist, these attacks targeted the sports complex of a local university and civilian buildings.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kharkov, located in the northeast of the country, has been the target of heavy attacks by the Russian army. The seat of the local government was attacked, as well as houses, with many casualties.

The Ukrainian General Staff has announced that the Russian armed forces are currently focusing their efforts on Kharkov, Cherniguiv, Sumy and Mykolayev, and “gathering their resources to launch an attack on Kiev”.

Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin spoke this Sunday

The French and Russian presidents exchanged telephone calls this Sunday at 1:45 a.m., raising concerns among the international community over the security of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, which are threatened by the ongoing fighting.

According to the Elysée, Vladimir Poutine assured Emmanuel Macron “that he was willing to respect the IAEA’s standards for protecting power plants”.

>> What Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron said to each other

New negotiations planned for this 12th day of war

A third round of negotiations between Russians and Ukrainians is scheduled for Monday. But hopes for success are slim, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has made Kiev’s acceptance of all Moscow’s demands, especially the demilitarization of Ukraine and a neutral status for the country, as a precondition for any dialogue.

Good morning all !

Welcome to this direct dedicated to the follow-up of this 12th day of war in Ukraine.