Russia says it will reduce attacks on Ukrainian cities. Meanwhile, there are attacks on a fuel depot in Dnipro. The night at a glance.
Series of photos with 35 images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy still does not see concrete results from talks with Russia on the possible end of the war. Don’t trust Moscow’s fine words, Selensky said Thursday night.
Ukraine is also reporting further attacks, such as a fuel depot in the city of Dnipro. Once again, both sides are fighting for a ceasefire in the besieged city of Mariupol. For its part, the federal government hopes for greater clarity on whether and how Russia will continue to supply gas.
People in the destroyed city of Trostianets in northern Ukraine: Are Russian troops withdrawing from the region? (Source: Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Confusion about future payments to Russia for gas
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to talk about it this Thursday with representatives of the energy giant Gazprom and the Russian central bank. Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Verdi) had put into effect the first of the three crisis levels of the so-called gas emergency plan due to concerns about possible restrictions. The background to this is Russia’s announcement that it will deliver gas only against payment in rubles. Germany and other Western countries insist on continuing to pay in euros and dollars.
German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said Wednesday evening After a telephone conversation between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Putin, Western payments could continue to go to Gazprom Bank in euros after April 1, as usual. The bank then converts the money into rubles. Scholz did not agree, but asked for written information.
Zelenskii: Russia does not voluntarily withdraw
In negotiations with Ukraine to end the war, Russia announced Tuesday that it would significantly reduce its combat operations on the Northern Front. According to Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamiya, talks with the Russian delegation will continue online on 1 April. Ukraine’s goal is direct talks between the presidents of both countries.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy expressed his distrust. “Yes, there is a negotiation process that is continuing. But so far it’s just words. Nothing concrete,” he said in a video message. Russia is not voluntarily withdrawing from the area around the capital Kiev and the besieged city of Chernihiv, but is being pushed back by the Ukrainian army.
At the same time, Kiev is recognizing a deployment of Russian troops for new attacks in the Donbass, Zelenskii said. “And we are preparing for it.” He reiterated the call for help from Western partners, such as tanks, aircraft and artillery systems. “Freedom doesn’t have to be worse armed than tyranny,” he said.
A Ukrainian soldier fires a grenade launcher in the region near Kiev: Ukraine prepares for further attacks. (Source: Serhii Nuzhnenko / Reuters)
The US government observes Russia’s partial withdrawal around Kiev
The US government told Washington that Russia withdrew a small portion of its troops from the Kiev area within 24 hours – “probably around 20 percent of the troops,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. Some of these soldiers were transferred to Belarus. According to the US government, President Putin does not get an honest description of the situation in the war in Ukraine. Putin’s senior advisers are “too scared to tell him the truth,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said.
Russia announces a ceasefire in Mariupol
For the disputed city of Mariupol for weeks, Russia offered a ceasefire on Thursday to give civilians the opportunity to flee. “The Russian Armed Forces will declare a ceasefire on March 31 from 10:00 (9:00 CEST) for humanitarian purposes only,” Major General Mikhail Mizintsev said, according to the Interfax news agency. At the same time, he gave Ukraine until 5 am, German time to declare a ceasefire.
Ukraine: missile attack on Dnipro oil depot
An oil depot full of fuel was destroyed in a missile attack in the city of Dnipro, according to Ukrainian sources. The debris also damaged two tankers, said the head of the regional council, Mykola Lukaschuk. There were no casualties. According to Ukrainian sources, a rocket hit a factory in Novomoskovsk, northeast of Dnipro. There were no deaths here either. Pavlo Kyrylenko of the Donetsk Region Coordination Center accused Russia of using phosphorus bullets. According to the Kiev Air Force, Russia also fires missiles at targets in Ukraine from the Caspian Sea. The information provided by the warring parties cannot be independently verified.
Preparations for a “referendum” in Kherson?
The Ukrainian general staff reported overnight that Russia was preparing a “referendum” in the conquered city of Cherson on the establishment of a pro-Moscow “people’s republic”. The invading army is trying to control areas of southern Ukraine with “civilian-military administrations”.
The pattern would be similar to the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, now recognized by Russia as independent. Kherson has nearly 300,000 inhabitants and plays an important role in protecting the port city of Odessa in the southwest of the country.
It will be important on Thursday
At Putin’s meeting with Gazprom and the Russian central bank, concrete steps will be taken to regulate gas supplies to the West. Clarity is also expected on a possible ceasefire for Mariupol. Zelenskii addresses the Australian Parliament. And Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presents NATO’s annual report.