Economic Times | 13 Mar, 2022 | 12.35AM IST
Ukraine’s intelligence service accused Russia on Saturday of firing at a convoy that was evacuating women and children from the village of Peremoha in the Kyiv region, killing seven people including one child. “After the attack, the occupiers forced the remnants of the column to turn back to Peremoha and are not letting them out of the village,” the intelligence service said in a statement, adding that the total number of wounded was unknown. “Russians shot a column of women and children while trying to evacuate from the village of Peremoha in the Kyiv region along an agreed “green” corridor. Seven people died, including one child,” it said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russia was sending new forces to Ukraine after suffering what he said were its biggest losses in decades. Zelenskyy also said he had spoken to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron about pressuring Russia to release the mayor of the city of Melitopol, who Ukraine says was kidnapped on Friday by Russian forces.
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Russia defence ministry says Ukraine humanitarian situation continues to decline rapidly – RIA
The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine continued to decline rapidly, and in some cities had reached catastrophic proportions, the RIA news agency reported.
Thousands in Florence gather to hear Zelensky, protest war
Thousands of people gathered in the Italian city of Florence on Saturday to show their support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appearing via videolink. The square outside the Santa Croce basilica became a sea of rainbow peace flags peppered with blue and yellow, the colours of Ukraine’s national flag.
Russia-Ukraine conflict impacting export: Tea industry body
A body of tea planters on Saturday said exports of the commodity will be adversely impacted due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The shipment of Indian tea has already been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the geopolitical situation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would aggravate it further, Tea Association of India (TAI) president Ajay Jalan said.
A long-delayed nuclear reactor goes online in Finland
Finland’s long-delayed and costly new nuclear reactor went online Saturday amid expectations that it will boost the Nordic country’s electricity self-sufficiency and help to achieve its carbon neutrality targets. Finnish operator Teollisuuden Voima said the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in western Finland linked up to the national grid and started power generation.
Ukraine: seven civilians dead after Russia fired at evacuation convoy
Ukraine’s intelligence service accused Russia on Saturday of firing at a convoy of civilian evacuees from the village of Peremoha in the Kyiv region, causing seven deaths. “After the attack, the occupiers forced the remnants of the column to turn back to Peremoha and are not letting them out of the village,” the intelligence service said in a statement.
France says Putin shows no readiness to end Ukraine war
Fighting raged near Kyiv on Saturday and heavy shelling in other areas threatened new attempts to evacuate trapped civilians as France said Russian President Vladimir Putin showed no readiness to end the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Moscow was sending in new troops after Ukrainian forces put 31 of Russia’s battalion tactical groups out of action in what he called Russia’s largest army losses in decades. It was not possible to verify his statements.
Many Russian warplanes fire missiles from inside Russian airspace
Russian warplanes are flying about 20 times more missions than their Ukrainian counterparts, though many never enter Ukrainian territory and simply lob long-range missiles from inside Russian airspace, an US official said, Defense One reported. Russia’s roughly 200 daily Ukraine-connected sorties compare to about five to 10 a day by Ukraine, which is down to about 56 operational warplanes, the official told reporters at the Pentagon.
Ukrainian foreign minister says ready to negotiate, but will not surrender
Ukraine was ready to negotiate to end the war started by Russia more than two weeks ago, but would not surrender or accept any ultimatums, the country’s foreign affairs minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday. Speaking at a virtual event organized by the non-partisan, nonprofit organization Renew Democracy Initiative, Kuleba said civilian lives would be saved if Ukraine had fighter jets and more attack planes to destroy large military columns.
Zelensky describes ‘fundamentally different approach’ from Moscow in talks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that Russia, which invaded his country on February 24, had adopted a “fundamentally different approach” in talks to end the conflict. In a media briefing, Zelensky said that the approach was in contrast to earlier talks at which Moscow only “issued ultimatums” and that he was “happy to have a signal from Russia” after President Vladimir Putin said he saw “some positive shifts” in their dialogue.
Russia’s Gazprom books 16% of offered Yamal-Europe gas capacity for next day -RIA
Russian gas giant Gazprom has booked 16% of offered gas transit capacity via the Yamal-Europe pipeline for the next gas day, the RIA news agency reported on Saturday.
U.S. ready to take diplomatic steps Ukraine will find helpful – State Dept
The United States is willing to take diplomatic steps that the Ukrainian government would find helpful, a State Department spokesperson said on Saturday, after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the West should be more involved in negotiations to end the war. “If there are diplomatic steps that we can take that the Ukrainian Government believes would be helpful, we’re prepared to take them”, the spokesperson said.
Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear plants being run by Ukrainian staff – Russia
The Ukrainian nuclear power plants at Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia, both now under the control of Russian forces, are being run and managed by their Ukrainian staff, Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom said on Saturday, according to the RIA news agency. Rosatom’s statement said an external power supply was being restored to the defunct Chernobyl plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, with the help of Russian specialists.
Eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha destroyed after Russia invasion, local governor says
The eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha has been completely destroyed following the Russian invasion but fighting continues for territory there to prevent a Russian encirclement, Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Saturday.
Current negotiator Medinsky will continue to represent Russia in video negotiations with Ukraine – RIA quotes Kremlin spokesperson Peskov
2.6 million flee Ukraine war: UN
The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine since the Russian invasion two weeks ago is now nearly 2.6 million, the UN said Saturday. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said there were 2,597,543 refugees who had fled Ukraine so far, in the latest update on Saturday afternoon.
Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says around 1,300 Ukrainian troops have died so far
Russian forces squeeze Kyiv, surround Mariupol
Russian forces upped pressure on Kyiv Saturday, pummelling civilian areas in other Ukrainian cities, amid fresh efforts to get aid to the devastated port city of Mariupol. Russian strikes destroyed the airport in the town of Vasylkiv on Saturday morning, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Kyiv, while an oil depot was also hit and caught fire, the mayor said.
Putin slams ‘flagrant violation’ of international humanitarian law by Ukraine forces: Kremlin
Russia to include electronics firms on list of essential companies -report
Russia’s trade and finance ministries will widen the criteria for systematically important firms to include companies from the electronics sector, the TASS news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko as saying on Saturday. Russia’s government on Friday proposed a raft of support measures, including some for suppliers to state-owned companies and the IT sector, as it seeks to weather the impact of Western sanctions on its economy.
Italy seizes Russian billionaire Melnichenko’s Sailing Yacht A
Italian police have seized a superyacht owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday, a few days after the businessman was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The 143-metre (470-foot) Sailing Yacht A, which has a price tag of 530 million euros ($578 million), has been sequestered at the northern port of Trieste, the government said.
Germany aims to be nearly free of Russia oil this year
Germany said Saturday it aims to be nearly free of Russian oil imports by the end of this year, as countries look to squeeze Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Cashless and flightless, Russian tourists stuck in Thailand
Thousands of Russian tourists are stranded in Thailand’s beach resorts because of the war in Ukraine, many unable to pay their bills or return home because of sanctions and canceled flights. The crisis in Europe also put a crimp in recovery plans for the Southeast Asian nation’s tourism industry, which has hosted more visitors from Russia than any of its neighbors before the pandemic hit.
UN negotiating for aid corridors in Ukraine
The U.N.’s crisis coordinator for Ukraine says the global body is seeking agreement with both sides in the conflict to establish corridors for delivering much-needed aid. Amin Awad told The Associated Press on Saturday that progress is being made on the corridors and accompanying cease-fires but expressed frustration over resistance to quickly implement them.
Croatia criticizes NATO after crash of Russian-made drone
Croatian officials criticized NATO on Saturday for what they said was its slow reaction to a military drone that apparently flew all the way from the Ukrainian war zone over several NATO member states, before crashing in an urban zone of the Croatian capital. The Russian-made unmanned aircraft crossed Romania and Hungary before entering Croatia and slamming late Thursday into a field near a student dormitory. Some 40 parked cars were damaged but no one was injured after a loud blast.
Roman Abramovich disqualified as Chelsea director: Premier League
Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant under Rosatom’s control
Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom said that Russians have asked the staff at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to follow the orders of the Russian state atomis energy corporation Rosatom. The Kyiv Independent, Ukraine’s media outlet in a tweet on Saturday said, “Russia brings 11 engineers to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom, said that Russian occupiers told the plant’s staff that they must follow the orders of the Russian state atomis energy corporation Rosatom.”
Ukraine’s president says Russia sending new troops after heavy losses
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday that Russia was sending new forces to Ukraine after suffering what he said were its biggest losses in decades. Zelenskiy also said he had spoken to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron about pressuring Russia to release the mayor of the city of Melitopol, who Ukraine says was kidnapped on Friday by Russian forces.
Ukraine president says awaiting new EU sanctions package against Russia
Ukraine says mosque sheltering 80 civilians shelled in Mariupol
A mosque in the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where 80 civilians were taking shelter, has been shelled by Russian forces, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Saturday. “The mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxolana (Hurrem Sultan) in Mariupol was shelled by Russian invaders. More than 80 adults and children are hiding there from the shelling, including citizens of Turkey,” the ministry wrote on its Twitter account.
France says Scholz, Macron holding new talks with Putin
Missile attack by Russian troops destroy Vasylkiv military airbase, oil depot in Kyiv Oblast
The Russian forces destroyed Vasylkiv military airfield in Vasylkiv city of Kyiv Oblast in Ukraine by dropping eight missiles, said mayor Nataliia Balasynovych on Saturday (local time). The enemy forces also destroyed a local oil depot while the fire broke out at an ammunition depot, reported The Kyiv Independent. As the conflict worsens, the death toll continues to rise with each passing day. According to Ukraine’s media outlet, Russia’s war killed a total of 79 Ukrainian children.
Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says 31 Russian batallion tactical groups have been rendered incapable of combat
Russia seeks Indian investment in its oil and gas sector
Russia urged India to deepen its investments in the sanction-hit country’s oil and gas sector, and is keen on expanding the sales networks of Russian companies in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Belarus denies plans to join Russian invasion but is ‘rotating’ troops at border
Belarus has no plans to join the Russian invasion of Ukraine but is sending five battalion tactical groups (BTGs) to its border on rotation to replace forces already stationed there, its Chief of General Staff Viktor Gulevich said on Saturday. A top Ukrainian security official on Friday warned Belarus not to send troops to Ukraine, saying Ukraine was showing restraint towards Belarus despite the country being used as a launchpad for Russian planes.
EPFO body to provide 8.1 % rate of interest on EPF
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO’s) apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees has decided to provide 8.1 % rate of interest on EPF for 2021-22 in its meeting held on Saturday. The existing rate of interest is 8.5%: Sources
Health Ministry reduces NEET cut off by 15 percentile
Union Health Ministry directs reducing NEET-PG 2021 cut-off by 15 percentile across all categories to fill up nearly 8,000 vacant seats
Russian military shelled a mosque: Ukraine govt
Ukraine’s government says the Russian military shelled a mosque sheltering more than 80 people in the city of Mariupol, reports AP
CWC meeting tomorrow
Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to be held tomorrow at 4PM at AICC office in Delhi, to discuss poll debacle in 5 states and current political situation
National Board of Examinations letter
In a letter to the National Board of Examinations (NBE) regarding NEET -PG 2021, the Directorate General Of Health… https://t.co/dekFUnTcLa
— ANI (@ANI) 1647078085000
RBI lifts curbs on business-generating activities of HDFC Bank
The RBI has lifted the restriction on the business-generating activities planned under the Bank’s Digital 2.0 programme, via its letter dated March 11. The same was notified to the Stock Exchanges on March 12
Ukraine expects new wave of Russian attacks on Kyiv, Kharkiv and Donbass regions
Ukraine expects a new wave of attacks on the Kyiv, Kharkiv and Donbass regions after a slowdown in Russia’s offensive, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said on Saturday. Arestovych also said Ukraine did not expect Belarus to join the Russian invasion force.
Russia warns EU of soaring energy prices
The European Union faces soaring energy prices in the wake of sanctions imposed against Moscow over events in Ukraine, Interfax quoted a Russian foreign ministry official as saying on Saturday. Nikolai Kobrinets said Russia was a reliable supplier of energy, but was ready for a tough confrontation in the sector if necessary. He did not provide details of what that confrontation might entail. He said the situation on global energy markets would lead to the EU paying at least three times more for oil, gas and electricity. “I believe the European Union would not benefit from this – we have more durable supplies and stronger nerves,” Kobrinets told Interfax.
Italy seizes Russian oligarch Melnichenko’s Sailing Yacht A
Italian police have seized a superyacht from Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday, a few days after the businessman was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.The 143-metre (470-foot) Sailing Yacht A, which has a price tag of 530 million euros ($578 million), has been sequestered at the northern port of Trieste, the government said.Designed by Philippe Starck and built by Nobiskrug in Germany, the vessel is the world’s biggest sailing yacht, the government said.Melnichenko owns major fertiliser producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK.Last week Italian police seized villas and yachts worth 143 million euros ($156 million) from five high-profile Russians who have been placed on the sanctions list.
Concern grows over traffickers targeting Ukrainian refugees
As millions of women and children flee across Ukraine’s borders in the face of Russian aggression, concerns are growing over how to protect the most vulnerable refugees from being targeted by human traffickers or becoming victims of other forms of exploitation. The U.N. refugee agency says more than 2.5 million people, including more than a million children, have already fled war-torn Ukraine in what has become an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Europe and its fastest exodus since World War II.
German ambassador slams Russia; says India would make ties as per its history, neighbourhood
- India would make alliances according to its history and neighbourhood, but as a general principle allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to do what he is doing in Ukraine is “dangerous” for all, German Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner has said. He also called out the United Nations for its “outdated” Security Council structure and said India, the voice of 1.3 billion people, should be there as a permanent member. “Every country has its own right and its own reasons to make a decision, whether abstention, vote in favour or against, no problem with this,” Lindner told PTI at the sidelines of the 15th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). “India of course would make their own alliances according to their history and neighbourhood, we are just saying as a general principle it would be dangerous to allow Putin what he is doing.” India has abstained during voting on two resolutions on Ukraine in the 15-nation UN Security Council and one in the 193-member UN General Assembly.
US officials say superyacht in Italy could be Putin’s
U.S. officials are examining the ownership of a $700 million superyacht in a dry dock in an Italian seacoast town and believe it could be associated with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, according to multiple people briefed on the information.U.S. intelligence agencies have made no final conclusions about the ownership of the superyacht — called the Scheherazade — but U.S. officials said they had found initial indications that it was linked to Putin. The information from the U.S. officials came after The New York Times reported Tuesday that Italian authorities were looking into the 459-foot-long vessel’s ownership and that a former crew member said it was for the use of Putin. U.S. officials said Putin keeps little of his wealth in his own name. Instead he uses homes and boats nominally owned by Russian oligarchs. Still, it is possible that through various shell companies, Putin could have more direct control of the Scheherazade.
Ukraine humanitarian corridors, including from Mariupol, could open on Saturday, says Ukraine official
Humanitarian corridors in Ukraine, including the one from the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, could open on Saturday, Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, said on state TV on Saturday morning.
Russian news agencies say Russia has destroyed 3,491 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities
- Russian troops have destroyed 3,491 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine so far, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying on Saturday. Russian forces “continue the offensive in Ukraine on a broad front”, Konashenkov said. Reuters was not immediately able to verify his statement.
Russia’s Gazprom says continues gas shipments via Ukraine at same volume
Russian natural gas company Gazprom said on Saturday it was continuing gas shipments via Ukraine at an unchanged volume of 109.5 million cubic metres a day.
UK defence ministry says fighting north-west of Kyiv continues with the bulk of Russian ground forces now around 25 kilometres from the centre of city
EPFO fixes 8.1 pc as rate of interest on EPF deposits for 2021-22, say sources
Death toll in Mariupol over 1500
Mariupol’s death toll has passed 1,500 in 12 days of attack, the mayor’s office said. Shelling forced crews to stop digging trenches for mass graves, so the “dead aren’t even being buried,“ the mayor said. Unceasing barrages into the city have thwarted repeated attempts to bring in food and water and evacuate trapped civilians.
Russia intensifies attacks
- Mariupol’s situation was critical, officials said, as Russian forces tightened their noose around the Black Sea port and the death toll from shelling and a 12-day blockade neared 1,600. Evacuations from four cities dropped sharply to 7,144 people, Zelenskiy said.
- Russian air and missile forces struck the western Ukrainian cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk, Britain said. Ukraine said neighbour Belarus could be planning to invade, accusing Moscow of trying to drag its ally into the war by staging air attacks on Belarus from Ukrainian air space.
Russian forces squeeze Kyiv, surround Mariupol
Russian forces inched towards Kyiv Saturday and pounded civilian areas in other Ukrainian cities as concerns grew over the besieged southern port of Mariupol, where officials said more than 1,500 people had been killed. Air raid sirens sounded Saturday in several cities, including the capital Kyiv, Odessa, Dnipro and Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian media. More than two weeks after Moscow shocked the world by invading Ukraine, the United Nations and others said it may be committing war crimes in cities such as Mariupol, which for days has been under attack by Vladimir Putin’s forces. Survivors have been trying to flee Russian bombardment in a freezing city left without water or heating and running out of food. The situation is “desperate,” a Doctors Without Borders official said. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky said they were trying to arrange evacuations from besieged cities but Russian forces were disrupting efforts.
Economy and sanctions
- The United States hit Moscow on trade, shut down development funds, banned imports of Russian seafood, vodka and diamonds, and sanctioned billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, three family members of Putin’s spokesperson and lawmakers.
- The EU will join Washington in suspending Moscow’s “most-favoured nation” trade status, crack down on its use of crypto-assets and ban exports to Russia of EU luxury goods and imports of iron and steel goods, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
- A new Russian law giving Moscow stronger powers to crack down on independent journalism puts Russia under a “total information blackout” on the war in Ukraine, said U.N. independent experts. One of the first to be fined under the law, Vera Kotova, wrote the banned phrase “No to war” with a heart in the snow at a Lenin statue.
- Facebook’s owner said a temporary change in its content policy, only for Ukraine, was needed to let users voice opposition to Russia’s attack. Moscow opened a criminal case after the company said it would allow posts such as “death to the Russian invaders.”
Russia Ukraine news live: Air raid sirens heard across most Ukraine
Air raid sirens were heard across most Ukrainian cities early on Saturday morning urging people to seek shelters, local media reported.Sirens were heard in the capital city of Kyiv, the western city of Lviv in Odessa, and Kharkiv, Cherkasy, as well as in the Sumy region in northeast of the country, a number of local Ukrainian media reported.Russian forces appeared to be regrouping on Friday for a possible assault on Kyiv, with satellite images showing them firing artillery as they closed in on the capital.
Who are ‘volunteer’ fighers for Russia and Ukraine?
- Putin approved bringing “volunteer” fighters from Syria and other countries to join Russia’s offensive. Russia’s defense minister said there had been “more than 16,000 applications” from the Middle East. He said many were from people who fought alongside Russia against the Islamic State group. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the recruits include fighters from Syria, where Russia intervened in the civil war in 2015 on the side of President Bashar Assad.
- Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government says about 20,000 foreigners have joined the so-called International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine to fight the Russians. The pro-Ukrainian fighters are given weapons when they arrive. About 100 Americans are among the fighters. The U.K. has warned veterans not to travel to Ukraine to fight there, saying those who do will be court-martialed.
Zelenskyy says 7,144 people evacuated from several Ukrainian cities on Friday
Russia Ukraine news live: Russian warplanes, artillery widen attack, hit industry hub
Russia’s airplanes and artillery widened their assault on Ukraine on Friday, striking airfields in the west and a major industrial hub in the east, as Moscow’s forces tried to regroup from recent losses and their onslaught fast reduced crowded cities to rubble. American defense officials offered an assessment of the Russian air campaign, estimating that invading pilots are averaging 200 sorties a day, compared with five to 10 for Ukrainian forces, which are focusing more on surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and drones to take out Russian aircraft. New commercial satellite images appeared to capture artillery firing on residential areas between Russian forces and the capital.
US, allies to end normal trade relations with Russia
Biden announced the new step, which would enable Western nations to inflict steep tariff hikes on Russian goods, in coordination with NATO allies, the Group of Seven and the European Union.Washington and Brussels also said they would cut off exports of luxury goods to Russia in what EU chief Ursula von der Leyen described as a “direct blow to the Russian elite.” US lawmakers — who would have the final say — have already indicated they support stripping Russia of the preferential status that ensures equal treatment between international trade partners.