Russia-Ukraine war: IPN updates

Moldova mentioned more often in context of war

Moldova can maintain its independence only if it forms a military alliance with Ukraine, the editor-in-chief of the information portal Hvylia Yuriy Romanenko, journalist and blogger, co-founder of the Ukrainian Institute of the Future, posted on Facebook. He said Moldova should ask the Ukrainian army to be introduced in the districts on the left side of the Nistru so as to together bring the existence of the Transnistrian region to an end.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told Nordnews Agency that it is practically impossible for the Russian troops that illegally stay in the Transnistrian region to be engaged in the war in Ukraine. “The propaganda about the alleged efforts to attract the Republic of Moldova into the war is nothing but a disinformation campaign of the Kremlin,” he stated.

Russian ruble, a bullet or a scarecrow?

Russian President Vladimir Putin decided Russia will only accept payments in rubles for gas deliveries to “unfriendly countries”. “Russia will continue, of course, to supply natural gas in accordance with volumes and prices ... fixed in previously concluded contracts,” Putin said at a televised meeting with top government ministers.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that by such a decision the Russians officially opened an anti-European front that is financial for now.

Ukraine stages counteroffensives

The armed forces of Ukraine have launched counteroffensives against the Russian forces in a number of operational areas. Ukraine’s forces said a counterattack north and west of Kyiv appears to have made some headway, and they regained control of Makariv, a town west of the capital.

Russian troops are attempting to envelop Ukrainian forces in the east as they advance westward “from the direction of Kharkiv in the north and Mariupol in the south,” an intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.

Non-grata and goodbye!

Poland expelled 45 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage. At the NATO summit in Brussels today, Poland is to propose staging a peacekeeping mission of the Alliance in Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov already warned that this initiative implies risks of a direct clash between the Russian and NATO forces.

On March 23, a note with the list of the American diplomats declared ‘persona non grata’ was handed to the head of the American diplomatic mission who was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The decision was taken in response to Washington’s expulsion of 12 Russian diplomats at the UN.

He is or he is not

The secretary of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Council Alexey Danilov commented on the disappearance of the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu from the public sphere. He said not only Shoigu, but also many other generals haven’t been seen in public for a period. The FSB blames the military for not doing their job, while the armed forces say other bodies didn’t work.

A NATO representative in a press briefing said the casualties of Ukraine’s armed forces were estimated at 7,000 to 15,000, while total loses, including the hurt, the captured and the missing persons, come to 40,000.

Fighting or not, but meal time comes…

Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister Roman Leshchenko resigned. He said that Ukraine’s spring crop sowing area might more than halve this year from 2021 levels to some 7 million hectares (17 million acres) versus 15 million hectares expected before the Russian invasion. Only about 2% of the 70% of the areas cultivated last year have been sowed so far.

Among the Ukrainians who had a job before the war, 53% now do not work, while 22% work as usual, shows a poll by the sociological group “Rating”. Another 21% of the population work remotely or part-time and only 2% found a new job.

In Russia, 95,900 Russian workers are now unemployed, said Galina Karelova, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council.

Liberators turn into war criminals

Secretary of State Antony Blinken formally announced that the U.S. government has determined Russia committed war crimes in Ukraine. In a statement, Blinken repeatedly raised the brutality in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine and he compared it to similar Russian campaigns against Grozny in the Second Chechen War and Aleppo during the Syrian civil war.

“Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded,” he said.

“He who is not with us is against us,” said the Bolsheviks

Anatoly Chubais, the architect of Russia’s post-Soviet economic reforms, has quit his post as a Kremlin special envoy and left the country due to the war in Ukraine, according to Reuters. He is the most senior official to resign since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2010, Chubais warned that fascism could rip Russia apart.

According to the Kremlin, the conflict in Ukraine reveals the “traitors” in Russia. “Some resign, while others leave the country. This is purification,” said the spokesman for President Putin, Dmitry Peskov.

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