Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Frenchman Macron urges restraint in words and actions on Russia-Ukraine after Biden comments

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for restraint when speaking about or engaging in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

“We want to stop the war that Russia has launched in Ukraine without escalation – that’s the goal,” Macron said in an interview with France 3 TV. He said the goal was to use diplomatic means to achieve a ceasefire and troop withdrawal.

“If this is what we want to do, we must not make it worse, neither with words nor with deeds,” Macron said.

Macron’s comments come after Biden gave an impassioned speech in Poland in which he called Putin a “butcher” and said Putin “cannot stay in power”. The White House later attempted to backtrack on those comments, pointing out that the US lacks a regime change strategy.

The French president has spoken with Putin several times as part of diplomatic efforts and said he continues to speak with Putin.

“I wouldn’t use that kind of wording because I continue to have discussions with President Putin,” Macron said.

– Hannah Miao, with reporting from Reuters

Zelensky says the West lacks courage to help Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Western countries lacked the courage to help Ukraine, especially with regard to arms supplies.

In a video address, Zelenskyy accused Western governments of being “afraid to prevent this tragedy. Afraid to just make a decision.”

“So who is in charge of the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it still Moscow, thanks to its scare tactics? he said. “Our partners must step up their aid to Ukraine.

The comments came after President Joe Biden gave a speech in Poland saying Russian leader Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power” and urged allies to unite. The White House later attempted to backtrack on those comments, pointing out that the US lacks a regime change strategy.

– Hannah Miao, with reporting from The Associated Press

Advisor to Ukraine’s Energy Ministry says officials are working to remove Russia from IAEA posts after seizing nuclear power plants

Olena Zerkal, adviser to Ukraine’s energy minister, said in a radio interview that Russia could be removed from the International Atomic Energy Agency because of nuclear terrorism. Zerkal said Ukraine was already working on the issue.

Russia has occupied Ukraine’s Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants.

Energy Minister German Galushchenko said in a March 8 press release that Ukraine had sent official appeals to the IAEA about the safety of nuclear energy in light of the invasion. Russian.

The demands included “the denial of Russia’s access to intellectual and technological resources of the IAEA” and “the severance of relations with Russian citizens employed in UN structures related to nuclear energy”, says the March 8 statement.

The IAEA did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Hannah Miao, translation by NBC freelancer Mariia Ulianovska

Firefighters work at a fuel storage facility hit by cruise missiles in Lviv

Firefighters work to contain the flames at a fuel storage facility in Lviv which was hit by cruise missiles.

Rescuers work at a fuel storage facility site hit by cruise missiles, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv in this photo released March 27, 2022.

National Emergency Service of Ukraine | Reuters

Rescuers work at a fuel storage facility site hit by cruise missiles, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv in this photo released March 27, 2022.

National Emergency Service of Ukraine | Reuters

First responders work at a fuel storage facility site hit by cruise missiles, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv, Ukraine, in this photo released March 27, 2022 .

National Emergency Service of Ukraine | Reuters

Rescuers work at a fuel storage facility site hit by cruise missiles, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Lviv in this photo released March 27, 2022.

National Emergency Service of Ukraine | Reuters

Ukraine’s intelligence chief says Russia is trying to split Ukraine in two

Ukraine’s military intelligence chief gave an update on Russian military tactics, saying in a statement that Moscow was seeking to split the country in two, according to Reuters.

“In fact, it’s an attempt to create North Korea and South Korea in Ukraine,” said Kyrylo Budanov.

Shortly after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, pro-Russian separatists proclaimed two republics in the east of the country: the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.

On Sunday, Russian state media reported that there may soon be a referendum in the Lugansk People’s Republic on joining Russia.

—Katrina Bishop and Holly Ellyatt

Blinken: US has no regime change strategy in Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks after viewing the “Burma’s Path To Genocide” exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on March 21, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | AFP | Getty Images

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had no strategy to bring about regime change in Russia.

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Blinken sought to clarify comments by President Joe Biden, who said Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power.”

“I think the president, the White House, argued last night that, quite simply, President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone. else,” Blinken said Sunday.

“As you know, and as you’ve heard us say many times, we don’t have a regime change strategy in Russia – or anywhere else, for that matter.”

US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith echoed Blinken’s comments.

“The United States does not have a policy of regime change in Russia. Period,” Smith told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“But I think the whole administration, including the president, feels that we can’t give Putin the power to go to war in Ukraine or continue these acts of aggression,” Smith added.

Following Biden’s comments on Saturday, a White House official also pointed out that the president was “not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” but rather saying that Putin “cannot be allowed to exercise power over its neighbors or the region”.

—Katrina Bishop and Hannah Miao

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister says 2 humanitarian corridors have been approved

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk holds a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 24, 2022. (Photo by PRIME MINISTRY OF UKRAINE/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Prime Ministry of Ukraine | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Two humanitarian corridors have been agreed in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, according to a translation by NBC News.

People will be allowed to evacuate by personal transport along the corridor from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, she said. She added that there will also be evacuation buses from Berdyansk to Zaporizhzhia. Vereshchuk also said there would be evacuations from Rubizhne to Bakhmut.

—Christine Wang

Russians may be trying to surround Ukrainian forces to the east

Russian forces appear to be attempting to surround Ukrainian troops who are facing separatist fighters in the far east of the country, according to a new intelligence assessment.

The UK Ministry of Defence, in its daily update, said on Sunday that Russian units were trying to advance south from Kharkiv and north from Mariupol. If successful, these maneuvers could cut off the Ukrainian soldiers already engaged against the separatists in Donetsk and Lugansk.

CNBC was unable to independently confirm the department’s report.

Kharkiv and Mariupol are still in Ukrainian hands but have been shelled for weeks by Russian artillery, killing civilians and defenders. The Ukrainian government this week refused a Russian request to return Mariupol.

Russia says it does not use artillery against civilian targets, despite overwhelming evidence that it does.

Meanwhile, stubborn Ukrainian defensive efforts continue to block Moscow’s invasion of the north of the country, which would include the long stalled Russian push towards kyiv.

“The battlefield in northern Ukraine remains largely static, with local Ukrainian counterattacks hampering Russian attempts to reorganize their forces,” the British ministry said.

—Ted Kemp

Ukraine says more than 5,000 people were evacuated from cities today

Evacuees fleeing the conflict between Ukraine and Russia sit in the body of a cargo vehicle while waiting in a queue to leave the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, March 17, 2022.

Alexander Ermoshenko | Reuters

A total of 5,208 people were evacuated from Ukrainian towns through humanitarian corridors today, a senior official said, fewer than the 7,331 who managed to escape the day before.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said in an online message that 4,331 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol.

Reuters

U.S. to provide $100 million in emergency preparedness assistance to Ukraine

Egor, 5, comforts his crying mother Helen Yakubets in a ballroom, which has been converted into a temporary shelter, at Mandachi Hotel after he fled Chernihiv in Ukraine to Romania following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, at the Suceava border crossing, Romania, March 20, 2022. Her 18-year-old son and her husband remain in Ukraine to fight.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

The United States will provide $100 million to Ukraine in emergency preparedness assistance, according to the State Department.

The assistance “will enhance the ability of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry to provide critical border security, maintain civilian law enforcement functions, and protect critical government infrastructure,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony. Blinken in a statement.

The announcement comes after Lviv, a city near the Polish border in western Ukraine, came under rocket fire earlier in the day.

Darla Mercado

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