the highlights of Thursday 10 March

On the fifteenth day of the invasion of Ukraine, Thursday, March 10, Russian troops tighten their hold around Kiev. As the international community denounces the bombing of a hospital in Mariupol, Moscow rejects the accusations of the “war crime”† On the diplomatic front, negotiations between the heads of Russian and Ukrainian diplomacy in Antalya, Turkey, were fruitless.

At least 500 civilians killed since the start of the war

According to a latest UN count, at least 516 civilians, including about 30 children, have been killed in Ukraine and more than 900 injured, according to a recent UN census.

>> Law of silence, lack of control, underestimation… The difficult count of civilian and military casualties

Russian tanks have arrived at the northeastern edge of the capital Kiev, which they threaten to encircle after already reaching the northern and western suburbs. “The large Russian column northwest of Kiev has made little progress for more than a week and continues to suffer losses”says the British Ministry of Defense nevertheless.

The Ukrainian army maintains control of Chernihiv, north of Kiev, whose city center has been shelled, killing many civilians. The city of Kharkov, 50 kilometers from the Russian border, is also surrounded and hit by heavy bombing. Russian troops “are just outside now” of Ukraine’s second-largest city (population 1.4 million), the Pentagon said Wednesday evening.

Russian troops besiege the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine. Attempts to evacuate hundreds of thousands of civilians have repeatedly failed and both sides blame each other.

Russian-Ukrainian talks fail

The heads of Russian and Ukrainian diplomacy failed to agree on a ceasefire in Ukraine during their first meeting since the start of the Russian army offensive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba held their breath during the meeting in the Turkish resort of Antalya.

“We have talked about a ceasefire, but no progress has been made in this direction”said Dmytro Kuleba, adding, however, that he “hoped” to continue the discussion with his counterpart. According to him, Sergei Lavrov assured that Russia “would continue” [son] aggression until we accept his demand to capitulate”“We have no intention of attacking other countries, we have not attacked Ukraine”launched Sergei Lavrov from his side.

Since the start of the invasion, Belarus, a country associated with Russia, has already held three talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators. They resulted in several local ceasefires and the opening of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from besieged cities. But Russia has been repeatedly accused of violating these agreements.

Westerners condemn bombing of hospital in Mariupol

“This bombing (…) is inhuman, horrific, cruel and tragic”Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, told franceinfo, after the Russian airstrike on an institution with a maternity hospital and a children’s hospital in Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine. “I am convinced that it could be a war crime and that real investigation is needed”she added.

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, also pointed the finger at a “horrific war crime”. Emmanuel Macron also condemned “with the greatest firmness” What’s? “an unworthy act of war”Three people, including a girl, were killed there, the town hall announced in a new assessment on Thursday, which reported 17 injured the day before.

Four questions about the bombing of a maternity ward in Mariupol

On the same day, Thursday, three Russian sources gave different versions of the events. The Kremlin said it would ask its military about the bombing and said it would not… “clear information”† The head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov justified this airstrike by saying that the building served as a base for a Nationalist battalion and did not house medical personnel or civilians. For its part, the Russian army denounced a “stage” from “nationalists” Ukrainians. †The Russian Air Force did not conduct target destruction missions in the Mariupol region”assured Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

Government expects “100,000 refugees” fleeing Ukraine to France

The French government anticipates the possible arrival in France in the coming weeks of “50,000, maybe 100,000” people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine and “prepares” to adjust the planned reception, the coordinator of the interdepartmental crisis unit (CIC) announced on Thursday.

Of the more than 2.1 million displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, France had received more than 7,200 people on Thursday, according to data from the interior ministry. “We’re trying to be ready for volumes that are likely to be much larger in the coming days or weeks”Prefect Joseph Zimet, who runs the cell, said at a press conference.

On a European scale, the reception of millions of Ukrainian refugees is a “very very big challenge” Considers European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, who says he is particularly concerned about the fate of children who are currently “half” exiles. In an unprecedented move, the Twenty-seven agreed last week to grant Ukrainians a temporary protection regime, allowing them to stay and work in the EU for at least a year.