17 latest developments in Russian-Ukrainian war as kyiv rejects Moscow ultimatum

17 latest developments in Russian-Ukrainian war as kyiv rejects Moscow ultimatum

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

– Chemical “leak” –

Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky has asked residents of the northern Ukrainian town of Novoselytsya to take shelter after an ammonia “leak” at a nearby chemical plant. The area has seen heavy fighting.

– Ukraine rejects Russian ultimatum –

Russia is giving the besieged city of Mariupol until 5 a.m. on March 21 to surrender, warning that more than a “court-martial” awaits those who refuse.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk rejects the ultimatum, telling local media “there can be no question of surrendering”.

– Biden in Europe –

US President Joe Biden will travel to Poland on Friday to meet with President Andrzej Duda, the White House announced.

– Civilian targets bombed –

Ukrainian authorities accuse Russia of bombing an art school in Mariupol where some 400 people, including women and children, had taken refuge.

– Forced transfer –

Mariupol officials say Russian forces forcibly transported around a thousand residents to Russia and stripped them of their Ukrainian passports – a potential war crime.

– Chernigiv hospital affected –

The mayor of the beleaguered northern city of Chernigiv says dozens of civilians were killed by “indiscriminate artillery shelling” and a hospital was hit.

“The city is suffering from an absolute humanitarian disaster,” he adds.

– kyiv shopping center bombed –

At least one person is killed when Russian forces bomb a shopping mall in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, the city’s mayor has said.

– “It’s time to meet”, says Zelensky –

Zelensky calls for urgent talks with Russia, adding that Jerusalem may be “the right place to find peace. If it’s possible.

– Turkey says Russia and Ukraine are ‘close to an agreement’ –

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russia and Ukraine had made progress in the negotiations and were “close to an agreement”.

Turkey also says it is ready to host a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

– Returning diplomats –

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa announces that the country’s diplomats will return to kyiv “soon” and calls on other EU members to do the same. Ukraine “needs direct diplomatic support”, he said.

– Hypersonic weapons –

Russia claims to have again fired hypersonic missiles into Ukraine, destroying a fuel storage site in the south of the country.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said if confirmed the use of the weapons would not be a game-changer.

– China says not to arm Russia –

China’s ambassador to the United States has said his country does not send weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, but he does not definitively rule out the possibility that Beijing may do so in the future.

– The pope denounces a “senseless massacre” –

Pope Francis denounces the “senseless massacre where every day massacres and atrocities are repeated” in Ukraine, calling on the international community to stop the war.

“There is no justification for this,” he adds.

– Damaged Azovstal Steelworks –

According to Ukrainian officials, one of Europe’s largest steelworks, Azovstal, was badly damaged by Russian forces.

– Australia bans exports of alumina and bauxite –

Australia bans all alumina and bauxite exports to Russia while promising more arms and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Russia depends on Australia for 20% of its alumina.

– 10 million have fled their homes in Ukraine –

Ten million people – more than a quarter of the population – have now fled their homes in Ukraine due to Russia’s “devastating” war, the UN refugee chief said on Sunday. More than 3.3 million of them have fled the country.

AFP

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