An interview as large as an army
On March 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave an interview to a number of Russian journalists “who can tell the truth”, as the President noted later. However, the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor and the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office banned the publication of the interview in Russia, threatening with “inspections” the news outlets that will publish the 1.5-hour interview.
As a result, the interview became even more resonant both on YouTube and in international media.
Meduza.io, based in Latvia, was the only media institution that published the text of the interview by the evening of March 27. Novaya Gazeta announced that it would stop publishing online and in print following a warning from the regulator.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was not afraid to publish the interview. “We have laws in place, and it is very important not to publish information that would amount to a violation of these laws,” Peskov stated.
Fight against Nazis, as 78 years ago
The Ukrainian media published a map of the British services showing the situation on the fronts on March 28. The territories occupied by the Russian armed forces are marked red, while the battle zones are shown in brown (see photo above).
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine however avoids speaking about the size of the occupation. Deputy defense minister of Ukraine Anna Malyar, in a telemarathon on March 28, avoided specifying the number of occupied territories, saying the fighting continues and the situation changes.
On Monday, March 28, Nikolaev celebrated the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the city from Nazi invaders. Flowers were laid at the Memorial Complex in honor of 68 paratroopers, according to the website of Nikolaev Regional State Administration. “Today is the Day of the liberation of Nikolaev from the fascist invaders. And now we are engaged in the liberation of the region from the Russian invaders. This is such a turn of events,” said the head of the region Vitaly Kim in Telegram.
Ukrainian forces have retaken control of Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv. “Today Irpin is liberated. Now the sweep is underway,” Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushin said in a video. Markushin said that Ukrainian forces would “continue to go and liberate” the nearby towns of Bucha, Hostomel and Vorzel.
Ten cannot remove a stone thrown by a crazy man
Vitaly Portnikov, Ukrainian publicist, noted that when former President and Premier Dmitry Medvedev, second most important figure on the Security Council of Russia, says “the special operation” will continue, this means Putin is ready to fight and the administration of Russia is not interested in stopping the hostilities and ensuring peace in the region.
British economist Timothy Ash opined that it is not about NATO expansion or perceived security threats to Russia from NATO or Ukraine. It’s about Putin’s obsession with Ukraine and the fact he just cannot accept Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent, sovereign state.
“Putin wants a vassal state in Ukraine, to live under Russian subjugation. Read the essay which he wrote last summer and distributed to every member of the Russian armed forces. It spelled it all out and gave Russian troops the ideology for going to war. In that essay he dismissed Ukrainians’ separate identity and right to exist as distinct from Russians. For Putin Russians and Ukrainians are one people. And this war he is waging is about bringing them back together and putting right what he saw as the biggest catastrophe of the 20th century - the collapse of the USSR. It’s about a Greater Russia agenda.”
When rubbles stop being money
Energy Minister German Galushchennko said Ukraine will not accept payments for the transit of gas from Russia in rubles as everything is interdependent and one cannot accept rubles here and pay in euros and dollars elsewhere.
The Group of Seven nations rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that they should pay for Russian natural-gas imports in rubles. G-7 members agreed that the demand represented a breach of Russia’s contractual obligations, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. Contracts regulating the trade in gas between Russia and Germany, the world’s biggest buyer of Russian gas, are denominated in euros.
What about Odessa?
According to Major General of the SBU reserve Viktor Yagun, the maneuvers of the Russian navy in Odessa are aimed at intimidating the population and defenders. Odessa is fortified and cannot be conquered without occupying Nikolaev. The goal is now to drive the Russian troops away from Kherson as they have a very bad position there.
Duma wants Ukrainians to “historically live” in Russia
The State Duma of the Russian Federation introduced a bill on the recognition of compatriots of all those who speak the Russian language. It is also proposed to clarify the list of peoples historically living in Russia.
The bill was introduced by the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Konstantin Zatulin. It takes into account “that over the past 30 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new generation of compatriots who did not have Soviet citizenship has grown up”.
Since the Russian blockade in Mariupol began on March 1, some 5,000 people have been killed, 170,000 others still remain under siege, according to preliminary estimates.