While US President Joe Biden is to deliver a speech to the “free world” in Poland, against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a new curfew has been announced in Kiev from Saturday night to Monday morning. The Ukrainian army claims to have destroyed Russian tanks and planes around Donetsk and Luhansk. For its part, Moscow now claims to be concentrating its military operation in eastern Ukraine.
• 12:04: meeting between US and Ukrainian ministers in Poland
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held a joint meeting with their US counterparts for the first time.
“We are discussing current issues and cooperation in politics and defense between Ukraine and the United States,” Oleksii Reznikov said on Twitter from Warsaw with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
• 11:17: 100,000 people are still to be evacuated from Mariupol
The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which is under siege by Russia, said on Saturday that he had discussed with the French ambassador to Ukraine the various options in relation to the evacuation of civilians the day after an announcement to that effect from Emmanuel Macron.
Mayor Vadim Boitchenko, speaking on national television, stressed that the situation in Mariupol remained critical, with street fighting taking place especially in the center of the city.
The French president said on Friday that an “extraordinary humanitarian operation” was being prepared in cooperation with Turkey and Greece to evacuate residents of Mariupol.
According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk, more than 100,000 people are still to be evacuated from Mariupol, she told state television on Saturday.
• 10:57: New curfew announced in Kiev
A new curfew will be imposed in Kiev from Saturday night to Monday morning, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Vitali Klitschko, announced on Saturday.
“The military command has decided to strengthen the curfew. It will last from 8pm on Saturday to 7am on Monday, March 28,” the mayor told Telegram.
• 10:19: Russian forces control the city of Slavoutitch according to Ukraine
Russian forces have taken control of the town of Slavutitch, home to workers at the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Kiev region governor Oleksandr Pavliuk said on Saturday.
According to him, the Russian troops also kidnapped the city mayor after investing the Slavoutitch hospital.
• 9 32:00: Zelensky calls on Qatar to increase gas production to meet Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on Qatar to increase its natural gas production to counter Russian threats to use energy as a weapon.
“I urge you to increase energy production so that everyone in Russia understands that no one can use energy as a weapon to blackmail the world,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message to the Doha Forum meeting in Qatar’s capital.
• 9:22 a.m .: Arming Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis on the menu at the meeting between Joe Biden and Andrzej Duda
US President Joe Biden is in Poland on Saturday, where he will meet President Andrzej Duda. The two leaders are expected to address the issue of arming Ukraine, strengthening NATO and tackling the humanitarian crisis. More than ten million Ukrainians (out of about 40 million) fled their homes, of which 3.7 million went abroad, primarily to Poland, according to the UN.
• 9:02: Gazprom continues deliveries via Ukraine to EU
Russian gas giant Gazprom announced on Saturday that it will continue to supply natural gas to Europe via Ukraine in line with demand from European consumers.
This week, Vladimir Putin said Russia would demand payment in rubles for gas supplies to ‘unfriendly countries’ after Western countries imposed several sanctions packages to force Moscow to end its invasion of Russia.
This decision provoked the anger of European countries, which condemned a breach of the contracts binding on Gazprom, as these contracts stipulated that the rules should be made either in US dollars or in euros.
• 8:30: The shelling continues in Severodonetsk in northern Ukraine
Ukrainians accuse Russian army of attacking food depots in Severodonetsk in northern Ukraine. In Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, the Ukrainian army is gaining ground but has not yet won the battle, France 24 correspondent Gulliver Cragg of Kyiv explains.
• 8:15: The Ukrainian army claims to have destroyed Russian tanks and planes around Donetsk and Luhansk
Around Donetsk and Luhansk, the two major cities of Donbass, the Ukrainian army staff claims “to have inflicted significant losses on the Russian invaders”, in its latest bulletin published on Saturday at dawn. It reports three planes shot down, eight tanks destroyed and about 170 soldiers killed on the Russian side.
• 8:04: Joe Biden gives a speech in Poland
In a speech on Saturday in Poland, US President Joe Biden will argue that the “free world” is against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that major economies agree on the need to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House has announced. .
After three days of urgent meetings with the G7, the European Council and NATO allies, as well as a visit to US troops stationed in Poland, Joe Biden will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda.