Russia-Ukraine Conflict Day 24: De-Escalation Still Distant, Biden, Jinping Hold Talks
Here are the top updates to know on the Russia-Ukraine military conflict today: 1. India At UNSC Meet: On March 19th, India reiterated the need for “dialogue and diplomacy” at a UNSC emergency meeting on Russia’s accusations that the United States is building ‘bioweapons’ labs in Ukraine. India noted the ‘deteriorating situation’ in Ukraine, backs the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) that bans such weapons. 2. Naveen SG’s Body To Return On Monday: The body of Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, an Indian medical student killed in Kharkiv, Ukraine on March 1st, will be brought back to India at Bangalore, on Monday. 3. 112 Children Killed, 6.5 Mn. Internally Displaced, Says UN: The United Nations has stated that 112 children have died in the conflict which began with Russian ‘military operations’ on February 24th, and 6.5 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced. As Of March 15th , the UN OHCHR (human rights body) recorded 691 civilians killed and 1,143 injured 4. Civilians Killed In Kharkiv And Kramatorsk: On Friday, March 18th, three people were killed in shelling on a multi-storey teaching building in Kharkiv, and 2 people were killed with 6 wounded in shelling on Kramatorsk. Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy says 130 people rescued from rubble of a drama theatre building bombed by Russia on Wednesday, March 16th in Mariupol, ‘hundreds’ still trapped. 5. Russia Confirms Hypersonic Missiles Fired: The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that it used its hypersonic Kinzhal missiles to destroy an ‘underground missiles depot’ at Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. The U.S. has confirmed a total aid of over $2 billion in supplying weapons to Ukraine this week as well. Explosions were heard in the northern part of Kyiv, the national capital, today morning on Saturday. Read more here 6. China Warned By U.S., Jinping Hits Back On Taiwan: President Joe Biden of the U.S. and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a two-hour virtual meet on the Ukraine situation on Friday. The U.S. has reportedly made China aware that “material support” for the Russian ‘war’ in Ukraine will have “consequences”, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that ‘sanctions are a tool’ against China if it moves to assist Russia militarily or economically in the face of crushing Western sanctions. China on its part has rebuffed Western sanctions as a policy and pushed back against the perceived shift in Washington’s stance towards Taiwan. It sought to counter the U.S. and NATO in placing the blame on Russia entirely while balancing between Ukraine’s sovereignty and its close ties with Moscow. According to state-run CGTN, President Jinping told President Biden that “state-to-state relations cannot go to the stage of military hostilities”. 7. U.N. Convoy Arrives In Sumy, 9,100 Evacuated Through ‘Humanitarian Corridors’: (4,972 evacuated from Mariupol): The United Nations had sent is first convoy of humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine to Sumy, which is facing one of the most intense fighting in the entire conflict. 130 metric tonnes of essential supplies have been transported, including food, water, bedding for 35,000 people.
8. Zelenskyy Repeats Calls For Dialogue, Ukraine In Process Of Joining EU: Despite his earlier request for ‘fast track membership’ of the European Union being rejected, President Volodymyr Zelensky has posted online on meeting top Western leaders, such as the President of France, the Prime Minister of Britain, and the head of the European Commission, over Ukraine’s membership of the EU. This comes after Zelensky walked back on Ukraine’s NATO membership, while the alliance itself maintained its ‘open doors policy’.
#Ukraine— OCHA Ukraine (@OCHA_Ukraine) March 18, 2022
The first convoy reached the city of #Sumy ravaged by hostilities, delivering 130MT of relief aid, including medical supplies, bottled water, ready-to-eat meals and canned food, from @people_in_need, @Refugees, @UNICEF_UA, @WHOUkraine, @WFP. pic.twitter.com/vXYxZAVHyP
9. Russia Reaches Food Deal With Belarus Amid Fresh Sanctions: Russia announced that it has reached an agreement for provision of critical food from Belarus amid cascading Western sanctions and has weathered them in close cooperation with Russia. Japan announced further sanctions on 15 Russian individuals and 9 organizations today on March 19th, 2022.
Discussed with President of the ???????? Council Charles Michel @eucopresident further support to ???????? in countering ???????? aggression, strengthening the anti-war coalition, prospects for restoring peace in ????????. Special attention was paid to our movement towards membership in the #EU.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 18, 2022