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Ukraine Daily Summary | 10 March 2022

10 March 2022

A fourth round of talks has been held in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday, with both Ukraine and Russia agreeing to continue to work on solving humanitarian issues on the ground in Ukraine. Kyiv stated, however, that Russian demands made during the meeting amounted to a surrender. Moscow continues to deny reports of a slow down in Russian advances, stating the “special operation” in Ukraine is proceeding according to plan. Meanwhile, the US has expressed concerns over Russian capability to launch chemical or biological attacks against Ukrainian civilians. Moscow has made similar claims against the US, alleging the Pentagon has been using Ukrainian territory to develop biological weapons.

Global concern surrounding the state of nuclear security in Ukraine also continues to simmer. Currently, Russian forces are in control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear complex north of Kyiv and the Zaporizhzhia site in southern Ukraine – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Following reports of power being cut off at the Chernobyl site yesterday, Ukraine warned of a danger of radiation leaks from the plant. The UN nuclear watchdog, however, stated that the power outage was unlikely to impact nuclear safety. Belarusian specialists are reportedly due to be sent to the site to restore power on Thursday.

Heavy fighting and aerial bombardments have continued to target major cities in the north, east, and south of the country, as Ukrainian civilians seek to escape intense shelling via fragile temporary ceasefires and humanitarian corridor agreements. Cities under siege include Mariupol, Sumy, and Kharkiv, along with several smaller towns, such as Irpin, Bastia, Enerhodar, Izyum, Borodyanka, and Volnovakha. In Kharkiv, four people have died after a residential building was shelled overnight by Russian forces, meanwhile in Mariupol, at least three fatalities have been confirmed following the bombing of a children’s hospital and maternity ward on Wednesday –a move labelled by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a ‘war crime’. Russian advances near Kyiv have been noticeably limited, while in eastern and southern Ukraine, Russian offensives continue to be repelled in Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. New attacks have also been reported in the Okhtyrka, Tavriya, Slobozhansky, Kryvyi, Mykolaiv, Voznesensk, Novovorontsovka, and Rih areas. Reports from the ground also claim the rate of desertion and looting amongst Russian troops has increased over the last week.

Moscow continues to report a modest death toll amongst Russian troops, of around 500, while US officials estimate that between 5,000 to 6,000 Russian troops have died so far. Russia has admitted to having deployed conscript troops in Ukraine, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin insisting otherwise. In the last 24 hours, the US has passed a $13.6bn aid plan for Ukraine, while the IMF has approved $1.4bn in emergency funding. The UK has announced a new streamlined approach for Ukrainians to come to the UK, which will see a virtual visa plan come into effect from Tuesday 15 March, allowing Ukrainians with passports or ID cards to apply digitally from wherever they are. More and more global brands and private companies have also started boycotting businesses and suspending operations in Russia - including consumer giants McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola – as part of a global effort to isolate the country economically.

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