War in Ukraine: Latest developments

By: AFP
Published: 11:07 PM, 28 Mar, 2022
War in Ukraine: Latest developments
Caption: A Ukrainian soldier passes by anti-tank protection elements as he stands guard at a checkpoint in the outskirt of Kyiv.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- 5,000 dead in Mariupol -

A senior Ukrainian official says at least 5,000 people have been buried in the besieged southern city of Mariupol since the invasion began, but that bodies have gone uncollected for the past 10 days amid continuing Russian shelling.

The foreign ministry describes the humanitarian situation in the city as "catastrophic".

- New peace talks -

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says Kyiv's negotiators are studying a Russian demand for Ukrainian neutrality.

Ahead of his country's first face-to-face talks in weeks with Russia, set to take start Tuesday in Turkey, Zelensky says: "This point of the negotiations is understandable to me and it is being discussed, it is being carefully studied."

He also concedes it will be "impossible" to push Russia out of all Ukrainian territory, saying to do so "would mean World War III".

- No breakthrough -

The Kremlin says previous rounds of talks have made little progress.

"So far, we cannot state any significant achievements or breakthroughs," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says.

- Ukraine halts evacuations -

Ukraine says it is pausing evacuations of civilians from war-scarred regions for fear of attacks by Russian troops on humanitarian corridors.

France, Greece and Turkey are trying to organise a mass evacuation from the besieged port city of Mariupol.

- Nearly $7bn in US aid -

The US government proposes to spend an additional $6.9 billion to help Ukraine fend off Russia's invasion and support NATO members.

The proposal includes spending of nearly $1 billion on US efforts "to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cyber security issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience," the White House says.

- Top newspaper silenced -

Russia's top independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, whose chief editor was last year awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, suspends publication until the end of the war in Ukraine.

The paper, which has fallen foul of Russian censors for its reporting on the war, says it took the decision "to save us for each other."

- 'Unfriendly' states -

Russia says it is preparing to restrict entry to the country for nationals of "unfriendly" countries, including Britain, EU members and the United States, in retaliation for Western sanctions on the country.

- No rubles for gas -

The G7 group of leading industrialised nations dismisses Russian President Vladimir Putin's demand to pay for gas in rubles.

"Payment in rubles is not acceptable," German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, whose country currently heads the G7, says.

- Heineken, Carlsberg leave Russia -

Rival brewers Heineken and Carlsberg become the latest Western firms to pull out of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, following in the footsteps of Coca-Cola, McDonald's and other multinationals.

Heineken says that it was "no longer sustainable nor viable" to remain in the country and said it would seek to offload its Russian business, profit-free. Carlsberg, which counts Russia among its top markets, follows suit.

- Name and shame - 

An American professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld who has published a name-and-shame list of Western companies that are staying in Russia accuses them of acting purely out of "greed."

"It's disgusting that any of these companies (that stay in Russia) try for some humanitarian or paternalistic employer arguments," he tells AFP.

"When ceasefires are openly violated by the Russians or when you have children's hospitals being bombed, there's no middle ground here."

- Nearly 3.9 million refugees -

The United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, says 3,862,797 Ukrainians have fled the country.

Around 90 percent of them are women and children.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.