Updated: Mar 21
In Ukraine the Russian army is continuing to attack towns and cities. Cruise missiles have been launched by Russian ships in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and hypersonic missiles have been launched from Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. In the Southern city of Mikolaiv an air strike at an army base killed at least 50 Ukrainian soldiers. In Northern Kyiv there are reports and videos showing Russian soldiers entering apartment buildings and keeping residents hostage.
President Zelensky said this weekend that the siege of Mariupol is a war crime that will be remembered for centuries and compared Russian actions to those of Nazi Germany. Mariupol has been cut off from food, water, and electricity, and residential areas have been massively destroyed by Russian bombs. The Russian army has moved closer to the centre of Mariupol, and heavy fighting continues. There have been reports of civilians in Mariupol being forced to travel into Russia, although this is difficult to verify. Mariupol’s city council said that an art school where 400 civilians were sheltering was bombed. Ukraine’s army in Mariupol said yesterday that it has killed the Russian Black Sea Commander, Andrey Paliy, who could be the 6th Russian General killed in the last 3 weeks. Ukraine also said it had killed Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev near the city of Kherson, which has been under Russian occupation for two weeks. In Kherson, half of the population speak Russian as a first language, however there appears to be almost no support for the Russian occupation, and there are massive daily protests against it. These people are shouting “go home” at Russian soldiers...
Peace talks are continuing between Russia and Ukraine, with some signs that they are progressing. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has again called on Russian President Putin to speak directly with him. United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for two hours this weekend about the war in Ukraine. Biden told Xi not to help Russia evade sanctions and that there would be consequences if China gives Russia military support. Xi said that the war should end, but did not blame Russia for the invasion.
A video by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in which he speaks directly to people in Russia has been viewed millions of times. The 9 minute video has Russian subtitles, and Schwarzenegger talks about his love for the Russian people and how he hopes that Russians will see that their government is lying to them...
“The strength in the heart of the Russian people has always inspired me. That is why I hope that you will let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there. I know that your government has told you that this is a war to De-Nazify Ukraine.... De-Nazify Ukraine?! This is not true! Ukraine is a country with a Jewish president, whose father’s three brothers were all murdered by the Nazis. You see? Ukraine did not start this war. Neither did nationalists or Nazis. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war...”
The United Nations has documented the deaths of 902 civilians in Ukraine, however the true number is expected to be much higher. 3.4 million Ukrainians have left Ukraine since the invasion began, and around 10 million have been displaced within Ukraine - more than a quarter of the population.
In Belgium 6 people were killed yesterday when a car drove into a carnival procession. Police have arrested the driver, but haven’t given more information.
Indian Prime Minister Nardendra Modi welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida this weekend in Delhi. The leaders spoke about reinforcing economic ties between India and Japan, and Kishida encouraged Modi to take a stronger stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia has said that Houthi rebels from Yemen had attacked energy sites in Saudi Arabia, but there had been no casualties. Saudi Arabia has been supporting the internationally recognized government of Yemen to retake control of Yemen from the Houthis, which have controlled around a third of Yemen since 2014.
Turkey has opened the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Dardanelles bridge is over 2 kilometers long and joins the European part of Turkey to the Asian part near Canakkale.
In Rwanda a court has agreed that a youtuber should spend seven years in jail for criticising the government. Dieudonne Niyonsenga was convicted in November of humiliating state officials and other crimes.
The Ethiopian government has said that it is not blocking aid from reaching the Tigray region. Last week World Health Organization head Dr Tedros Adhanom said that Ethiopia had to allow humanitarian aid to reach people in Tigray.
In Argentina a football match was delayed after explosives were thrown onto the pitch. The game was between rival teams from Rosario - Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central.
And in the United States, mini figures of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have raised almost $150,000 dollars for medical aid for Ukraine. The toy Zelensky is an unofficial Lego piece that is being sold for a $100.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Go to send7.org for transcripts and more. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.