A month ago, the Russian war of aggression began in Ukraine. Since then, according to Ukrainian sources, there have been more than 1,800 air strikes. In the besieged city of Mariupol, the first people starve. You can find all the news about the attack on Ukraine in the ticker.
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First Russian criminal case for defamation of the army
06.04: Russia’s top investigative authority is already conducting more than ten criminal cases for alleged disinformation on the Russian military. The head of authorities, Alexander Bastrykin, told the TASS agency in Moscow on Friday. He called it very appropriate that criminal responsibility had been strengthened. The severe sanctions were intended to “minimize inaccurate information and its negative impact on a large audience.”
In connection with the attack on Ukraine, Russia has introduced penalties of up to 15 years of imprisonment for statements that do not follow the official language on the use of the army or for alleged defamation of the armed forces. The war must be described as a “special military operation” in Russia. On the streets, police arrested demonstrators with “No to war” signs. According to civil rights activists, any anti-war protest should be stifled.
Bastrykin also saw the new legislation as a defense against what he called a “Western information war against Russia”. His agency also collects threats from Ukrainian officials and calls for violence against Russian citizens. On February 24, Russian troops invaded Ukraine on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.
Former Deputy Defense Minister on the situation around Kiev: “The Russians have only two options: death or surrender”
5:15 am: Former Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Leonid Polyakov described in drastic terms the situation of the Russian army on the outskirts of Kiev. “They will have only two options: die or surrender.” Ukrainian forces would “kill until the Russians surrender,” Polyakov told NBC.
The Russian advance on Kiev was halted weeks ago. Heavy fighting broke out in suburbs such as Irpin, Hostomel and Brovary. Meanwhile, the Ukrainians have launched a counter-offensive. There are reports that Russian forces have been partially encircled. Polyakov, who is currently in Kiev, says these reports have yet to be confirmed. But should the Ukrainian military succeed in this step, the Russians could be further isolated from their supply lines.
This would have two further advantages from the Ukrainian point of view: any troops from Belarus would be discouraged. And the morale of the invaders would be considerably weakened.
The Ukrainian army is also trying to recapture the suburb of Makariv in Kiev. This is very important to pave the way for supplies and humanitarian aid, Polyakov said. Steven Horrell of the Center for European Policy Analysis says, “Recovering Makariv is important.” He would show that Ukraine can indeed react and repel the enemy. But, says Horrell: “This is just one of many important battlefields in Ukraine at the moment.”
City Council: The first people die of hunger in Mariupol
03:56: Mariupol city council has launched a distressing call for help on the Telegram messaging service. According to this, people are now dying in the besieged city because they have nothing left to eat or drink. “More and more starvation deaths. More and more people are without food supplies “, the note reads.” And all attempts to launch a large-scale humanitarian operation to save the population of Mariupol are blocked on the Russian side. Because the occupiers do not care about the people and the their destiny “.
Those responsible quote from messages received from relatives of the people of Mariupol: “I have not eaten anything for two days. Weakness. I can’t get out of the city. Luckily there is water “.
The city council thanks “our brothers and sisters” from other cities who welcome people from Mariupol or send aid: “But now we have reached the border”.
Kiev: withdrawal of individual Russian units after high troop losses
2:51: According to the Ukrainian military, some Russian troops withdrew to northeastern Ukraine after suffering heavy casualties. This was announced by the Ukrainian general staff in its report on the situation on Friday evening. As a result, some Russian units are seen withdrawing behind the Russian border after the loss of more than half of the personnel.
In the areas, Russian units would continue to blockade the second largest city of Kharkiv and the main city of Sumy. In Izyum, in the Kharkiv region, Russian troops were preparing for a new offensive. Moscow is managing in part to maintain the land connection between the Russian Rostov region on the border with Ukraine and the peninsula annexed by Crimea to Russia.
According to Ukrainian information, Ukrainian forces were also attacked in the Dnepropetrovsk region on Friday night. Russia carried out two missile attacks on a military unit on the outskirts of the city of Dnipro, a local authority in the region said on Facebook. The unit’s buildings were “severely” damaged and two fires broke out. There were initially no further details on the victims. The information is not independently verifiable.
Ukraine reports bombing near Chernobyl
1:49: After several fires around the Chernobyl nuclear ruins, possible bombing in the vicinity is now leading to renewed concerns about the facility’s safety. Russian forces fired on Ukrainian checkpoints in the city of Slavutych, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said Friday evening, citing information from the Ukrainian nuclear regulator. According to Kiev, this endangers “the homes and families of operational personnel ensuring nuclear and radioactive safety” in the former nuclear power plant, as well as further employee rotations. The IAEA was therefore “worried”. Information cannot be independently confirmed.
In the town of Slavutych of about 25,000 inhabitants, which is located outside the exclusion zone, there are many people who work in the nearby former Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
General manager Grossi was concerned about this development, the note reads. Only a few days ago the technical staff of the former nuclear power plant were able to go to their homes in Slavutych and rest after almost four weeks of work without changing shifts. The IAEA wants to continue to monitor the situation closely, Grossi said.
First exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: allegations of torture
Friday 25 March, 1:15 am: According to both sides, Russia and Ukraine have exchanged prisoners of war. “In exchange for ten captured occupiers, we got ten of our soldiers back,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Facebook Thursday. He also accused Russian forces of detaining and torturing civilians.
According to Wereshchuk, it was the “first real exchange of prisoners of war” since the Russian invasion began a month ago. In addition, 11 Russian civilian sailors rescued from a sunken ship in the Black Sea near Odessa were sent to Russia. In return, 19 sailors captured by the Russians returned to Ukraine.
The Kremlin confirmed the exchange of prisoners in the evening, including the number of released POWs. On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that two exchanges had taken place since the beginning of the Russian invasion, without providing further details.
In a video released in the evening, Vereshchuk also claimed that Russian forces had captured 14 Ukrainian officials, mostly deputies from local parliaments or community representatives. He called for their release and stressed that the detention of civilians violates international law.
He also accused Russian soldiers of torture, citing testimony from Ukrainians released by Russian forces. He promised that those responsible would face international justice. “All members of the Russian military who hear this statement must know that no one will go unpunished,” she said.
Donetsk separatist leaders claim to be in Mariupol
22:53: According to his own statements, the head of the self-proclaimed pro-Russian “People’s Republic” of Donetsk, Denis Puschilin, went to the city of Mariupol, which had been besieged for weeks by the Russian army, to get an idea of the distribution of the humanitarian aid to the population. In a video released Thursday by the breakaway republic’s “Ministry of Information”, Pushilin can be seen visiting an aid center run by the Russian army.
The video also shows food being distributed to dozens of civilians in the hangar-based assistance center. Initially it was not possible to verify the video by an independent party.
Klitschko: 75 civilians killed in Kiev since the war began
22:18: Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 75 civilians have been killed and 307 wounded in Kiev, according to the mayor of the capital Vitali Klitschko, citing the military administration of Kiev. Among them are 4 children killed and 16 injured. This was reported by the “Kyiv Independent”. This information is currently not independently verifiable.
Russia wants to open a maritime corridor for foreign ships in Ukraine
21:06: According to Russian information, from next Friday a maritime corridor in the Black Sea will be set up for foreign ships in Ukrainian ports. Ships should reach the open sea safely in this way, the Russian Defense Ministry announced in Moscow on Thursday. The assembly point is located 20 nautical miles southeast of the port of Chornomorsk in the Odessa region, Russian Major General Mikhail Mizintsev said.
From there, ships could leave Ukraine every day from 6:00 to 17:00 CET via a 3 nautical mile wide and 80 nautical mile long corridor heading southwest. Mizintsev accused the Ukrainian Navy of violating the regulations for the deployment of sea mines and also for the shelling of ships.
“We emphasize once again that the Russian Federation does not pose a threat to free civilian navigation,” said Mizintsev. A total of 67 ships from 15 countries are blocked in various Ukrainian ports.
Read more reports on the conflict in Ukraine at SiAnd on the next pages.