Bestinau got that-
As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 37th day, we take a look at key developments.
These are the most important events so far on Friday 1 April. Get the latest updates here.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns that Russia is consolidating and preparing “vigorous attacks” in the south of the country, including the besieged port city of Mariupol.
- NATO also says it does not see a withdrawal of Russian troops in Ukraine and expects “additional offensive actions”, warns alliance leader Jens Stoltenberg.
- Russia’s refocusing of its military efforts on the eastern Donbas region could usher in a “longer, longer conflict” as Ukrainian forces there offer fierce resistance, a senior US defense official said.
- Russian forces have withdrawn from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant and headed for Belarus, but have taken an unspecified number of Ukrainian servicemen in captivity, officials in Ukraine’s capital Kiev say. Troops seized control of the Chernobyl site, where radioactive waste is still stored, on February 24, the first day of the invasion.
- US President Joe Biden says his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, may be “isolated” and may have placed some of his advisers under “house arrest”. Biden also says he is “skeptical” of Moscow’s claim to push back the attack in parts of the country.
- The European Union will hold a virtual summit with China against a background of growing concern over Beijing’s growing proximity to Moscow and its reluctance to condemn the invasion of Ukraine.
- European Parliament President Roberta Metsola says she is on her way to Ukraine, making her the first EU leader to visit the war-torn country. The Maltese MEP, who was elected in January, tweeted “On my way to Kiev” next to a Ukrainian flag, but gave no further details.
On the way to Kiev
— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) March 31, 2022
- Turkey says the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine could meet “in about a week or two” to intensify negotiations to end the conflict.
- Russia says it will expand the list to include EU figures banned from entering the country after Western sanctions.
- Putin says “unfriendly” countries, including all EU member states, must set up ruble accounts to pay for gas supplies from April, otherwise “existing contracts would be terminated”.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz insists payments continue in euros or US dollars, while France says Paris and Berlin are preparing to cut Russian gas supplies.
- The United States is sanctioning a range of Russian tech companies, including the country’s largest chipmaker, Mikron.
- Biden announces an unprecedented release of crude oil from US strategic oil reserves, saying it will ease the pain of rising fuel prices.
- The Ukrainian government is sending 45 buses to evacuate civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol, where Russia has declared a local ceasefire after a global outcry over the suffering of civilians trapped by a month of relentless shelling.
- The first convoy arrives at the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk, a hub in the operation to evacuate civilians to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhya.