Russia’s war in Ukraine: Latest developments – March 9, No. 2.
Here are the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine:
- Power cut to Chernobyl –
Power is entirely cut to the Chornobyl power plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, and its security systems, Ukraine’s energy operator says.
It comes after the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, warned that the plant, now in Russian hands, is no longer transmitting data.
- 12-hour ceasefire –
Moscow and Kyiv agree a 12-hour ceasefire to allow civilians to flee six badly battered areas including the capital Kyiv and the besieged southern port of Mariupol, which has been without water and power for nine days.
- 10 dead in Russian attack
At least 10 people are killed as Russian military “opened fire” on homes and other buildings in the eastern Ukrainian town of Severodonetsk, a local official says.
- ‘Economic war’ on Russia –
The United States bans Russian oil imports, “cutting the main artery” of Russia’s economy, with Britain saying it will do the same by the end of this year, and the European Union slashing gas imports by two-thirds.
Moscow accuses Washington of “declaring economic war”.
- No fighter jets, says US –
The Pentagon rejects a Polish offer to deliver its Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a US base in Germany, to be eventually handed over to Ukraine, fearing a wider conflict with Moscow, which called the move a “potentially dangerous scenario”.
But Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky pleads, “Look, we’re at war! Send us the planes.”
- EU targets more oligarchs –
The EU adds 14 more Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs and more than 146 senators to its sanctions blacklist, tightens controls on cryptocurrency transfers and targets Russia’s maritime sector over the war in Ukraine.
Britain impounds a private jet reportedly linked to Russian oligarch Eugene Shvidler.
- Russia default ‘imminent’-
Ratings agency Fitch downgrades Russia’s sovereign debt rating again, saying a default is “imminent”.
- Zelensky defiant –
Zelensky invokes the wartime defiance of British prime minister Winston Churchill, vowing to “fight to the end” in a virtual speech to UK lawmakers.
- Nord Stream 2 ‘dead’, US says –
Russia’s controversial $12-billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany is “dead”, a senior US official says.
- No Heineken, McDonald’s or Coke –
Beer giant Heineken halts brewing and sales in Russia, with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Universal Music also suspending operations.
- Putin ‘angry and frustrated’: US intel –
US intelligence chiefs say Russian President Vladimir Putin is “angry and frustrated”, warning he is likely to “double down and try to grind down the Ukrainian military with no regard for civilian casualties.”
- 2,000 plus ‘Russian troops killed’ –
The Pentagon says it estimates between 2,000 and 4,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the nearly two-week-old invasion. Russia admitted to 498 killed on March 2.
- 2.15 million flee –
The UN says 143,000 fled Ukraine in the last 24 hours, with the number of refugees topping 2.15 million — more than half of those in Poland.
- Eurovision winner now refugee –
Ukraine’s 2016 Eurovision Song Contest winner Jamala tells AFP of having to leave her husband behind as she fled Kyiv. The ethnic Tartar said she never thought she would end up like her grandmother, whom the Soviets drove from Crimea in 1944.
- Russia out of Vogue –
Publisher Conde Nast suspends Russian Vogue and its other magazine there over “fake news” laws on reporting the war that can see journalists jailed for up to 15 years.