(Paris) Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions: update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Updated March 21st
New curfew in Kyiv
Russian troops are still seeking to surround Kyiv where a new curfew was imposed from 6 pm GMT on Monday to 5 am GMT on Wednesday.
On the night from Sunday to Monday, a bombing at a shopping center northwest of the capital killed at least eight people, according to Ukrainian authorities.
The Russian military insisted that this shopping center was vacant and served as a storage of weapons and ammunition.
Mariupol refused to surrender
Ukraine will not “lay down arms and will not leave the besieged city” of Mariupol (South), its Deputy Prime Minister declared, ignoring an ultimatum by Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry called on Ukraine to “lay down arms” and demanded a “written response” to its ultimatum on Monday morning.
The European Union denounced the wanton destruction of the besieged city as a “major war crime” and decided to double its financial support for arms purchases sent to Kyiv.
Zelensky rejected any ultimatum and wanted to meet Putin
“Ukraine will not accept any ultimatum from Russia. We must first destroy all of us, only then will their ultimatums be respected,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with regional state media on Monday.
Any “compromise” in negotiations with Russia to end the conflict will be subject to a referendum in Ukraine, the Ukrainian president said again.
He also stressed the need for a “meeting”, “in any form”, with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “stop the war” with Ukraine. “I believe that without this meeting it would be impossible to fully understand what they (the Russians) are ready to do to stop the war,” Zelensky said in an interview with Suspilne, a Ukrainian regional state media.
Demonstrations spread in Kherson
A demonstration by residents of Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine occupied by Russian forces, was dispersed on Monday by automatic firing of weapons and tear gas, injuring at least one person, according to videos of two local media.
Relations between the United States and Russia will soon be severed
Russia on Monday summoned the U.S. ambassador to Moscow and accused President Joe Biden of pushing U.S.-Russian relations “to the brink of collapse”.
The president of America, who last week called Mr. Putin who is a “war criminal”, warned on Monday of future Russian computer attacks.
Increase in air activity
Russia has stepped up its air and naval operations in Ukraine in the face of resistance by Ukrainian forces that continue to hinder Russia’s military advance in the country, a senior Pentagon official said Monday.
“Over the past 24 to 48 hours, we have seen an increase in wind activity on both sides,” senior officials, who requested anonymity, said at a press briefing.
Ukraine: 3.5 million refugees
Nearly 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, according to UN figures released on Monday. About 90% of them are women and children: Ukrainians between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave their country.
Poland alone hosts more than half of the refugees.
A donor conference will be held on April 5 to help Moldova, a country on the border with Ukraine, cope with the influx of refugees fleeing Russia’s aggression.
End of negotiations between Russia and Japan
Russia has announced it will abandon negotiations with Japan, the two countries have never signed an agreement since World War II due to a territorial dispute, citing Tokyo’s “unfriendly position” in the face of fighting in Ukraine.
Facebook and Instagram are banned in Russia
A Moscow court has banned Facebook and Instagram in Russia, saying they engage in “extremist” activities.
The WhatsApp application, which belongs to the same Meta group, is not affected by this measure.
Oneweb fold in SpaceX
The satellite operator OneWeb, which had to suspend its planned launches with the Russian Soyuz rocket due to the crisis in Ukraine, announced on Monday that it would resume them using American SpaceX services to resume deployment of the constellation its.