2 million people have left Ukraine in the last twelve days. The Russian army is continuing to bomb towns and cities across Ukraine. In Sumy an airstrike killed 21 civilians yesterday including two children. Humanitarian corridors have helped to evacuate people from the northern cities of Sumy and Irpin, however evacuations from the Southern city of Mariupol have continued to fail, as Ukraine says that Russia is continuing to bomb the escape route. People in Mariupol have been without access to heat, water and sanitation for days.
The United Nations has documented and verified the deaths of 474 civilians, however Ukraine says that over 2,000 civilians have been killed. Ukraine also says that it has killed over 12,000 Russian soldiers. The United States CIA said yesterday that between 2,000 and 4,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. The Ukrainian army said that they had killed General Vitaly Gerasimov yesterday close to Kharkiv. Gerasimov was an important general in Russia’s war in Chechia, the invasion of Crimea and in Russia’s intervention in Syria. Last week Russian media confirmed the death of ’s deputy, General Andrei Sukhovetsky.
Poland will give all of its MIG fighter aeroplanes to Ukraine, after a deal was reached with the United States to replace them. During the last few days 17,000 anti-tank weapons have crossed the border into Ukraine, donated by many western countries.
Yesterday, United States President Joe Biden said that The United States would ban all imports of Russian oil and gas...
“We re banning all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy. That means that Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Russia’s war machine.”
The European Union, which imports 40% of its gas from Russia, has made plans to reduce its Russian imports by two thirds before the end of 2022. Frans Timmermans, EU commission vice president, said that all Europeans can help beat Putin by turning their heaters down by one degree celcius. The United Kingdom also said that it would phase out Russian gas imports this year. McDonalds has become the latest company to say that it will suspend all operations in Russia.
On Monday Russia said that it would stop its military operation in Ukraine if Ukraine agreed to a list of conditions, including the recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, changing its constitution so that it states that it cannot become a part of NATO or the EU, and stopping all military activity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected the demands, but said that he would like to talk directly with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Yesterday president Zelensky spoke to the United Kingdom parliament - the first time ever that someone has spoken via video link to the parliament. Zelensky said that Ukraine will never give up, and he received standing applause from all members of parliament and leaders of all parties praised the Ukrainian people. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Zelensky was standing for democracy and freedom...
“A point of order with your permission Mr. Speaker. Now I say, never before, in all our centuries of parliamentary democracy, has the House listened to such an address. In a great European capital, now within range of Russian guns, President Volodymyr Zelensky is standing firm for democracy and for freedom. In his righteous defence, I believe he has moved the hearts of everybody in this house. At this moment, ordinary Ukrainians are defending their homes and their families against a brutal assault, and they are, by their actions, inspiring millions by their courage and their devotion. And I think today, one of the proudest boasts in the free world is - Ya Ukrayinets - I am a Ukrainian...”
The rest of the world
In Pakistan there were marches for international women’s day yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...
There were large protests and marches on Women's day in major cities in Pakistan. Almost 2000 women assembled to march in the city of Lahore despite the authorities urging them to cancel the rally due to security reasons. Women marched to highlight the injustices they face and to demand equal treatment and rights. The march has been criticised by conservative religious groups.
In Syria a missile attack by the Israeli army has killed two civilians according, according Syrian state media. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the missiles hit an ammunition depot which was used by Iranian militias.
Kenya will produce the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Moderna announced yesterday a deal for its first factory in Africa.
And Sri Lanka’s most sacred elephant has died aged 69. Nadungamuwa Raja was born in India in 1953 and for decades has been a central part of the Festival of the Tooth held in Sri Lanka’s central city Kandy.
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.