Day 380 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- The Prime Minister of Finland is visiting Kyiv
- Ukraine reported new Russian strikes on critical infrastructure
- Turkey stopped the transit to Russia of goods covered by EU sanctions
- Financial Times: The MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile complex is now in Ukraine
- Pope Francis: The battlefield is Ukraine, but the war is global – all the great powers are involved
- They’re fed up in Moscow: They took away Prigozhin’s “red phone” so he wouldn’t whine about ammunition
- “Everyone in the shelters immediately, take iodine tablets“: Hackers scared Russians with a message about a nuclear attack
- Lukashenko signed a law that provides for a shot in the back of the head for treason
The Prime Minister of Finland is visiting Kyiv
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrived on a visit to Kyiv, the government office announced in a post on Twitter.
“The Prime Minister is visiting Ukraine today. (She is accompanied by) Minister of Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo. Details will be announced later,” the post said. Marin met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukraine reported new Russian strikes on critical infrastructure
Ukraine reported new Russian strikes on critical infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia and Sumy Oblasts and at least 11 civilian casualties in yesterday’s massive attacks.
More than 80 long-range strikes hit targets across Ukraine on Thursday, knocking out electricity, water and heating in a number of towns, the worst attack since February 16.
The United States condemned the attacks and European countries called on Ukraine to provide the fighter jets it is demanding.
In connection with the risks to the Zaporizhzhia NPP, Ukrainian President Zelensky called for sanctions against Russia in the nuclear sector, arguing that this is in the interest of the safety of the entire world.
The situation in Kharkiv and Zhytomyr regions remains the most difficult, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late address. The situation is also serious in Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia regions and in Kyiv. He stressed that tireless work is being done to repair the damage caused by the Russian actions.
“Repair crews, power engineers, local and central government, all will work as much as necessary to restore the supply of energy, in the areas where there are problems. We have already shown what Ukraine is capable of, and no matter how many shenanigans it does Russia, our country and our people will not be in chains.”
Poland and Slovakia have called on their allies to also provide warplanes to Ukraine. Authorities in Warsaw and Bratislava have indicated that they are ready to send their Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets to Kyiv as part of an international coalition.
After the promises of tanks, there are no signs so far that countries like the US and Britain will agree to send fighter jets as well.
The Daily Telegraph quoted former US President Donald Trump as saying that Russia would have “never invaded” Ukraine if he were in power, but that if necessary he would “make a deal” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian newspaper “Kommersant” reports that Turkey has stopped the transit to Russia of goods that fall under Western sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized in a telephone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the need for complex implementation of the Istanbul grain deal, including the export of Russian food and fertilizers along with Ukrainian grain, the Kremlin press service reported.
Russia introduced sanctions against 144 citizens of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for acts of hostility.
The United States and its allies have frozen more than billion in Russian assets over the past year.
Turkey stopped the transit to Russia of goods covered by EU sanctions
The Turkish customs system suddenly blocked the transit to Russia of goods that fall under European Union sanctions because of the war in Ukraine.
Radio “Kommersant FM” reported this yesterday, quoting market participants who also spoke to the newspaper, from the same group. Other sources among logistics companies commented on the topic to “Vedomosti”. Turkish media mostly cite Russian, but the change is reported by carriers from both countries.
This is about goods that reach Russia as parallel imports (without the permission of the right holder) – a scheme legalized after the withdrawal of a number of companies from the country due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey has not joined Western sanctions and has become a transit hub for electronics, spare parts and more goods, shipped to Russia. Between January and September 2022, trade between the two countries has doubled to billion, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, linked this to the spike in gas prices. According to the logistics industry in Russia, the country has become the most important point for sanctioned goods.
Turkish customs authorities are imposing the measure from the night of March 6-7 on goods for Russia and Belarus on the EU sanctions list, and the decision was taken at the central level (therefore it is unclear why all are blocked, not just those subject to sanctions, goods).
The company “Optimalog” believes that goods worth up to 3 billion dollars per year may be affected by the decision.
Temporary or permanent
According to the commercial director of one of the companies, no official confirmation is expected from the authorities in Turkey: with such a step, Ankara would confirm that it is participating in the scheme. Valeria Savenkova from Transasia Logistics explained to the “Agenstvo” media that her company is still waiting for clarification on whether the ban covers only goods subject to sanctions, or others as well.
The closure of the possibility of transit is “temporary or, as Kommersant’s interlocutors believe is more likely, permanent,” the Russian newspaper wrote. Turkish market participants linked the situation to pressure from the European Union, and business had long expected the scheme to be terminated. Interlocutors of “Kommersant FM” also see a connection between the decision and the visit to Turkey of State Secretary Antony Blinken.
According to some interlocutors of “Kommersant”, this may not be the end of the import of sanctioned goods through Turkey to Russia, but Ankara simply wants the procedure to become more expensive. Thus, when passing through a full customs inspection, the goods are presented as goods of Turkish origin and enter Russia. However, the cargo becomes more expensive with a value no less than that for VAT (18%): this is how long deliveries through Turkey to Iran have been working, notes The Bell publication.
For Turkey, this would mean another 0.5-1 billion dollars per year.
If the latter scenario is not reached (and the majority believes that it will not be), and even exports from Turkey to Russia are prohibited along with transit, there may be a shortage of goods such as European household appliances; the alternatives remain Georgia (via the Black Sea) and by air, via the United Arab Emirates and China.
Financial Times: The MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile complex is now in Ukraine
Ukraine has received one of two Patriot air defense systems promised to it by the US and Germany, the Financial Times reported on Friday. According to the publication, the system has not yet been put into operation in the army. Several more launchers are expected to be delivered from the Netherlands.
US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have already agreed on the supply of anti-missile and air defense systems to the armed forces of Ukraine. In particular, Germany promised to provide Ukraine with an additional battery of the Patriot air defense system, in addition to the one that will be transferred to the Ukrainian army from the United States.
In January 2023, it was reported that approximately 100 Air Force personnel had arrived in the United States for training to operate the Patriot Air Defense.
Kyiv asked Washington for the Patriot air defense system even before the full-scale invasion, but the US believed that if it responded positively to Ukraine‘s request, it could provoke Russia into further escalation. Since the fall of 2022, Russia has been continuously shelling Ukraine, particularly its energy infrastructure. In this regard, Western countries began to support Ukraine more actively and transfer air defense systems to it.
There are three generations of Patriot systems, with only the latest two having the capability to intercept ballistic missiles. The anti-aircraft missile complex is designed to protect military bases and large administrative and industrial centers from air attacks. The system is capable of simultaneously detecting up to 100 targets.
Pope Francis: The battlefield is Ukraine, but the war is global – all the great powers are involved
“In the last century there were three world wars – in 1914-1918, 1939-1945 and the war in Ukraine. It started in pieces and now no one can say it is not a world war. All the great powers are involved. The battlefield is Ukraine, but everyone is fighting there.”
This was stated by Pope Francis in an interview with the Swiss TV RSI. He added that it is not only about Ukraine, but also about Yemen, Syria and Myanmar. “Why these sufferings? Wars are harmful. The spirit of God is absent from them. I do not believe in holy wars,” said the head of the Catholic Church.
Shortly before Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Holy Father met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. When asked what he would say to him if the two met today, he replied:
“I would speak to him as clearly as I speak in public. He is an educated man. On the second day of the war, I went to the Russian Embassy in the Holy See to say that I was ready to go to Moscow if Putin gave me the opportunity to negotiate. Lavrov wrote to me that he thanks me but that now is not the time. Putin knows that I am available. But there are imperial interests, not only Russian, but also imperial interests of other countries. It is typical of imperial thinking to put nations in second place.”
The Pope appealed to European politicians: “At the moment there are so many young politicians, heads of government or ministers. I always say to them: Talk to each other. He is on the left, you are on the right, but you are young – talk. It is time for a dialogue between the young people.”
They’re fed up in Moscow: They took away Prigozhin’s “red phone” so he wouldn’t whine about ammunition
The military leadership in Russia has cut off the creator of PMC “Wagner” Yevgeny Prigozhin from the special telephone connections (popularly called red phone or petolachka) so that he does not constantly whine about ammunition. The news was announced by Yevgeny Viktorovich himself in an audio statement on the channel of the press service of his catering company, for which he is called Putin’s Chef.
The recording is, as claimed, in response to an inquiry from the publication “News Info”: “Hello, Yevgeny Viktorovich! Our editors would like to ask you a question: Have you improved the ammunition situation for PMC ‘Wagner’. Thank you.”
Prigozhin, unlike other times when he releases a press release, here answers in his own voice:
“No, it didn’t get better with the ammunition, on the main types nothing changed at all. There are indeed changes. In order to stop asking for ammunition, I had all phones disconnected from the dedicated line in all offices and all divisions. And another important point, what they did, they blocked all the gaps for me in all the departments that have to make decisions, I won’t name them so as not to discredit them. Therefore, now I can only pray through the media. Honestly, that’s what I’ll deal with. But not everything is so bad. There are also positive moments, a deep bow to the people from the industry – and to Denis Manturov (Minister of Industry), Igor Nosinkov and to all who work with them and produce these projectiles: Handsome guys, thank you“.
Earlier, Prigozhin repeatedly accused the Russian military leadership of not providing his units with the ammunition available in the warehouses. In February, Putin’s Chef showed a photo of the casualties of Russian mercenaries who might have died on February 21 because the regular army leadership did not give them ammunition.
During Vladimir Putin’s live speech at a concert in Luzhniki, PMC founder Wagner’s bots “flooded” social networks with comments demanding on behalf of fictitious users that Prigozhin’s mercenaries be given projectiles.
“Everyone in the shelters immediately, take iodine tablets“: Hackers scared Russians with a message about a nuclear attack
A hacking attack has urged Russians to take anti-radiation pills and head to the nearest nuclear bomb shelters after state television servers broadcast an ominous message about a missile attack, reported world news agencies.
Television and radio programs in Moscow and the Sverdlovsk region, including the city of Yekaterinburg, were interrupted with an alarming message informing citizens that a missile strike had been launched on Russian territory. The population was urged to take potassium iodide tablets, put on gas masks for protection and seek shelter.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry later said that a hacker attack was responsible for the false alarm. This is the third such incident in the past month, but the first where viewers have been warned to take anti-radiation pills.
The televised warning, accompanied by sirens, read: “Urgent message. There is a strike. Go to shelter immediately. Seal the premises. Use all types of gas masks“, “In the absence of gas masks, use cotton-gauze bandages. Take potassium iodide tablets“, ” “Keep calm. If you feel worse, go to the nearest medical facility.”
On the hacked screens, an ominous map of Russia appears, gradually covered in red from west to east, with the words “All to shelters immediately” below it. At one point, the black and yellow radiation warning sign also appears on the screen.
“A false air raid alert was broadcast in Moscow after the servers of radio stations and TV channels were hacked,” the Russian Emergencies Ministry said. Russian authorities say the satellite signals broadcasting the TV and radio content have been disrupted.
Lukashenko signed a law that provides for a shot in the back of the head for treason
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a law that provides for the death penalty for officials and military personnel who commit treason.
The law, which has already been approved by the Belarusian parliament, also introduces criminal liability for “propaganda of terrorism, discrediting the armed forces, other troops and military formations, paramilitary organizations, as well as for violating the requirements for the protection of state secrets.”
Belarus is the only country in Europe that still applies the death penalty, according to Reuters. It is already applied in the country for crimes such as murder or terrorism. Executions are carried out with a single shot to the back of the head.
Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one – 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed
Write to us at email@example.com
Информирайте се на Български – Novinite.bg