The essentials in brief:
- Russia continues to bomb Ukrainian cities
- Ukraine talks about forced conscription in the occupied territories
- Zelenskyi expects Blinken and Austin for talks in Kiev
- Selensky is hoping for US help for more weapons from Germany
A few hours after the Russian missile attack on Odessa, the Ukrainian army said it shot down two other cruise missiles headed for the city’s port. The rockets were launched Saturday night from a ship in the Black Sea, the southern group of the Ukrainian armed forces wrote on Facebook. The information cannot be independently verified.
A building in Odessa hit by the wave of attacks on Saturday
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia had previously attacked Odessa on Saturday with seven rockets, two of which had been shot down. According to Zelenskii, among other things, a multi-storey apartment building was hit, eight people died, including a three-month-old baby. The Russian Defense Ministry said it had hit a logistics terminal at a military airport that was storing a “large shipment” of weapons from the United States and Europe.
Ukraine talks about forced conscription in the occupied territories
Ukraine accuses Russian troops of forced conscription of residents in the occupied territories. In addition to young people, doctors from the regions of Cherson, Zaporizhia and Kharkiv are also particularly affected, writes Ukrainian military intelligence on Facebook. For example, medical personnel from the city of Vovchansk, in the Kharkiv region, were forced to treat Russian soldiers at the front by threatening execution. The information cannot be independently verified. In the Zaporizhia region, the Russian army and intelligence agents were looking for people of conscription age, military intelligence continued. It is said that they should strengthen Russian units.
Russian soldiers in the bombed port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine
The UK Defense Ministry pointed out in its update on the situation in Ukraine on Saturday that any conscription of residents in the occupied territories violates the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War.
Selensky is hoping for US help for more weapons from Germany
The Ukrainian president said he will meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kiev. Talks are scheduled for Sunday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at a press conference in a subway station. “I don’t think it’s a big secret,” he added.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Presidential PK in the Kiev subway
He hopes the US will support arms deliveries from Germany, Selenskyi told the PK. “So that (Germany) starts providing what they have and what they are not currently using.” He reminds you of this in every conversation with the German representatives. The war is in Ukraine and “you have what you don’t need right now, and we need a lot,” the head of state stressed.
The head of state did not provide details on Blinken and Austin’s visit. The White House declined to comment. Visits by a United States Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense to a crisis or war zone are generally kept secret by the United States government due to high security requirements.
OSCE personnel arrested in eastern Ukraine
According to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), some of their employees are detained in Donbass, eastern Ukraine. The organization announced in Vienna that these were Ukrainians who were working in the region together with international observers from the OSCE. One was “extremely concerned” about this trial in Donetsk and Luhansk, he said on request. The OSCE used all available channels to ensure the release of its personnel. Details are not mentioned.
The OSCE decided at the end of February to temporarily end its mission in the face of the Russian invasion and to evacuate its unarmed international team. The main task of the observers was to monitor the ceasefire line between state troops and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from combat zones cannot be independently verified.
qu / ack (dpa, rtr, afp)