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Friday 4th March 2022

The Russian army is continuing to strike civilian buildings across Ukraine. The United Nations has documented 227 civilian deaths, although Ukraine says that over 2,000 civilians have died. Russia says that it does not strike civilian buildings.

In the north of Ukraine, the two largest cities Kyiv and Kharkiv are being constantly attacked by Russian artillery. 33 civilians were killed yesterday by an airstrike in the city of Chernihiv, according to Ukranian officials. The southern the city of Mariupol has been under constant missile strikes for 2 days, according to the Mayor. The city of Kherson is believed to be the first major city that Russia has occupied since starting the invasion. The mayor of Kherson has now told residents to follow the orders of the Russian invaders. In Melitopol, which was captured by Russia on Monday, there have been protests against Russia... <protests> ... In the third largest city in Ukraine, Odessa, civilians are helping to create barricades to stop the Russian army from entering the city.

On Wednesday 141 countries of the United Nations voted to condemn the Russian invasion - only 5 voted against - North Korea, Syria, Eritrea, Belarus and Russia. Yesterday, Michelle Bachalet, the United Nations human rights commissioner spoke about the civilians who have not been able to escape, and are living in subway stations...

“Tens of millions of people remain in the country in potentially mortal danger. I’m deeply concerned that the current escalation of military occupations will further heighten the harm they face. Thousands of people, including older people, pregnant women, as well as children and people with disabilities are being forced to gather in underground shelters and subway stations to escape explosions. By Tuesday night my office has recorded and confirmed 752 civilian casualties, including 227 killed, 15 of them children. At least 525 have been injured, including 28 children. I must emphasize that the real figures will be far higher, since numerous other casualties are pending confirmation, and information from some areas engaged in intense hostilities have been delayed . Most civilian casualties were caused by the use of heavy artillery, multi-launch rocket systems, and air strikes in populated areas, with concerning reports of use of cluster munitions striking civilian targets...”

Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on television. Putin spoke about the bravery of Russian soldiers in the Donbass region, and said that the military operation was going to plan. Putin also said that Russians and Ukrainians were ‘one people’ but that Ukrainian people had been “brainwashed”. Putin also spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday, who told Putin he was making a ‘massive mistake’. Putin said to Macron that he will take full control of Ukraine. Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials yesterday agreed to create humanitarian corridors. Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday asked Putin for face-to-face talks with him saying that they are the only way to stop this war.

In Russia, the media is highly controlled by the state. When Russian state media talks about the war, it does not use the word ‘war’ or ‘invasion’, does not talk about the mass civilian resistance, and mostly refers to fighting in the Donbass region of Ukraine, where there has been small-scale fighting for many years. In Russia protesting against the war is illegal, and at least 6,500 people have been arrested for protesting since the invasion began. People have also been arrested for protesting against the war in Belarus.

Most of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies including, BP, Shell, Centrica, Exxon are stopping working in Russia. The three biggest shipping companies in the world, MSC, Maersk and CMA are all stopping working in Russia. Furniture shop Ikea is closing its shops in Russia temporarily. Russia has been banned from the Paralympics in Beijing, after many teams refused to play against them.

The European Union has given Ukrainian refugees the right to live and work in the EU for 3 years. At the time of recording this podcast, over one million refugees have left Ukraine, since last Friday. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the biggest country-on-country invasion in Europe since World War 2.

The rest of the world

Taiwan suffered many power cuts yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Taiwan, there was a major power outage yesterday. Around five million houses in major cities across Taiwan were without electricity, including the capital city Taipei. According to the economic affairs minister, the power outage was due to an accident at a power plant. Traffic police and fire trucks were used in many cities to deal with emergencies, such as helping people trapped in lifts.

In Guinea at least 18 people were killed when an unofficial gold mine collapsed. Accidents are common in West African mines whish often operate without regulations.

New Zealand has opened its borders for the first time in two years. Borders were closed to all travellers in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And in the United Kingdom cervical cancer is being reduced by 90% by the use of a vaccine. The HPV vaccine has been given to girls in the UK since 2008, and a new study has shown that women who have received the vaccine are 90% less likely to develop cervical cancer.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to teacher Guio from Spain and Raul, Ivan and the class, for sending such nice messages yesterday. If you find SEND7 valuable then please help to support us, by going to send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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