8:58 a.m.: The United States imposes new sanctions on those close to Putin
Washington, which increased pressure on Russian oligarchs and those close to Vladimir Putin, expanded on Friday the list of personalities targeted by individual sanctions, i.e. whose assets will be frozen in the United States and who will not be may transact with a U.S. person or entity.
The US Treasury Department will thus punish, among others, the wife and two adult children of Dmitri Peskov, the loyal spokesman for Vladimir Putin, who was himself already targeted. “They all have a luxurious lifestyle that is difficult to reconcile with the salary of a high-ranking official in Peskov and certainly based on the ill-gotten wealth resulting from the Peskov-Putin relationship,” the US government notes.
The United States has also included businessmen on its list, as well as members of the State Duma, the Russian parliament.
How France is preparing to host up to “100,000 Ukrainian refugees”
The flow of Ukrainian refugees to France is set to increase in the coming weeks. The government expects a massive wave of 50,000 to 100,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine. A scenario where the target host device needs to be resized. How is it organized? Learn more in this article.
According to figures released by the United Nations on Friday, 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine, 116,000 of them third-country nationals, since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Most of the refugees are on their way to Poland, which border guards estimate that 1.5 million people have crossed since February 24.
Add to that about two million displaced persons in the country, said the head of the UN agency for refugees, Filippo Grandi.
8:10am: Russia says sanctions could cause International Space Station to be brought down
Western sanctions against Russia could trigger the fall of the International Space Station, said Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who asked for its lift on Saturday.
According to him, the operation of the Russian ships that supply the ISS will be disrupted by the sanctions, affecting the Russian part of the station, which serves, among other things, to correct the orbit of the orbital structure. As a result, it could cause “the 500-ton ISS to ‘ditch’ or ‘land’.”
8:06 a.m.: Technicians begin repairing power lines in Chernobyl
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), engineers are currently repairing the Russian-bombed power lines that power the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It has been dependent on diesel generators for its backup power since the beginning of the week. More than 200 employees under the supervision of Russian soldiers work there under difficult conditions.
07:52: The mayor of Melitopol kidnapped by Russian soldiers
In the south occupied by Moscow troops, Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov was kidnapped Friday by “a group of ten residents,” according to his Twitter account, the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. He “refused to cooperate with the enemy” and was kidnapped Friday by Russian soldiers. “This is clearly a sign of weakness of the invaders… They have moved to a new stage of terror in which they are trying to physically eliminate the representatives of the legitimate local Ukrainian authorities,” President Zelensky underlined.
Deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential government, Kirillo Tymoshenko, posted a video on Telegram showing soldiers emerging from a building from a distance, with a man dressed in black, his head apparently covered with a black bag.
7:20 a.m.: Russian troops surround Kiev, which prepares for a “fierce defense”
The Russians continue their maneuver to surround Kiev. Explosions were heard in the capital this morning. After reaching the suburbs, the soldiers try to take out the defenses in several places west and north of the capital in order to “block it”, the Ukrainian General Staff explained.
“Kiev is a symbol of resistance” preparing for a “ruthless defense,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a video. Nearly 20,000 people have already been evacuated from the capital and its environs on Wednesday and Thursday.
7:11 am: Zelensky appeals to the mothers of Russian soldiers
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on the mothers of Russian soldiers to prevent their sons from being sent to Ukraine. “I want to say this again to Russian mothers. Especially to the mothers of conscripts. Don’t send your kids abroad to go to war,” Zelensky said in a new video address released on Telegram.
‘Check where your son is. And if you have the slightest suspicion that your son could be sent to war against Ukraine, act immediately to avoid being killed or captured, he said. Yesterday, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry claimed that Ukrainian troops killed more than 12,000 Russian soldiers.
Facebook allows violent speech against Putin and the Russian army
Facebook announced on Thursday that it would make exceptions to its policy on violent and hateful content by not removing posts hostile to the military and Russian leaders. “Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are being lenient on forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules for violent expression, such as ‘death to Russian invaders’, a senior official said. Read this article for more information.
7:03 a.m.: 8 to 13 million people at risk of malnutrition due to the war in Ukraine
Eight to 13 million more people in the world could suffer from malnutrition if food exports from Ukraine and Russia were permanently hampered by the war, warns the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh and Iran buy more than 60% of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia. Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Pakistan “are also heavily dependent on these two countries for their wheat supplies”.
In France, 30,000 homes have already been offered to receive refugees
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in France. The state received 30,000 housing offers, two-thirds of which were from private individuals. Our full article here.
6:53 am: 2,500 Ukrainian refugees in Moldova will be welcomed in France, Darmanin announces. at
Gérald Darmanin Friday announced the transfer to France of 2,500 Ukrainian refugees in Moldova, as part of an operation the European Commission is coordinating “to voluntary countries”. The interior minister clarified in a tweet that this reception was decided by President Emmanuel Macron. “This is the first major operation of this type,” the ministry said.
6:48am: Biden announces new sanctions, Europe ‘ready’ to do the same
Joe Biden announced Friday that the United States and its allies have decided to exclude Russia from the normal reciprocity regime that governs global trade, paving the way for the imposition of strict customs tariffs. The US president also wants to ban the import of Russian vodka, diamonds and seafood. Moreover, at the end of the EU summit in Versailles, Emmanuel Macron warned that Europeans were ready to take “huge sanctions” against Russia if the war continued.
Ukraine is at war, not Europe
The Versailles European summit on Friday reiterated its support for Ukraine and threatened Russia with “massive” sanctions, without honoring the pledge of rapid membership demanded by the Ukrainian president. Our full article on this summit here.
06:47 am: The Russians target Dnipro, “tragedy” in sight in Mariupol
The Russian army on Friday expanded its offensive to the large city of Dnipro, an industrial city on the Dnieper, a river that separates the partly pro-Russian East and the rest of the country. “There were three air raids on the city, on a kindergarten, an apartment building and a shoe factory (…) where fire broke out,” the Ukrainian emergency services said.
At the same time, the Russians continue their attempt to encircle Kiev, the capital. To the south, Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, is surrounded and constantly bombed. Doctors Without Borders calls for action to prevent “an unimaginable tragedy” in this city.
What to remember from Friday
- The Russian army is expanding its offensive in Ukraine, attacking two military airports in the west of the country and attacking the city of Dnipro for the first time.
- A facility for the disabled was hit by Russian attacks near Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, with no casualties, according to an initial assessment by emergency services.
- “If it continues at the military level, (…) we will take new sanctions, including huge ones,” said Emmanuel Macron at the end of the European summit in Versailles.
- Joe Biden announced Russia’s exclusion from the reciprocal trading system, paving the way for the imposition of punitive customs tariffs.
- France will currently receive 2,500 refugees in Moldova. In France, about 30,000 accommodations have been offered to accommodate exiles.
- Brussels has offered an extra 500 million euros to finance weapons for Ukraine. Washington has allocated a billion dollars.
6:45 am: Hello everyone, welcome to this live where we will follow the situation surrounding the conflict in Ukraine, next Saturday, March 12, on the seventeenth day of the Russian invasion.