If you are aware of the latest developments in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, here is what you should know:
From Mariupol: Denis Pushilin, the head of the separatist People’s Republic of Donetsk, has ordered the formation of a city administration for the beleaguered Ukrainian city of Mariupol, according to a decree published on the website of the head of the DPR on Thursday, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported on Thursday. .
The city is located within the borders of the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The city was under Ukrainian government before the war, but the Russian government – which recognized independence from the DPR in late February – considers the entire region to be part of the separatist republic.
Meanwhile, the evacuation corridor agreed by Ukrainian and Russian officials in Mariupol, announced Thursday, is “inadequate” to allow for the rescue of civilians “in the right conditions,” France said.
Rubles for Russian gas: Under a newly signed decree, gas buyers from “unfriendly countries” will have to open and pay ruble bills at Russian banks, President Vladimir Putin announced. France, Germany and the UK have stated that they will not pay in rubles for Russian gas.
Russia withdraws from Chernobyl: The site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986 and the surrounding area fell to Russian forces in the first week of the war in Ukraine. But in a Telegram report on Thursday, Energoatom, the state-owned company that oversees Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, said Russian forces have announced their intention to leave and hand control to Ukrainian personnel. The US is also seeing Russian troops “withdrawing” from Chernobyl and north and northwest Kiev, a senior US defense official told reporters on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the Belgian government to help with “weapons, sanctions, European Union membership”, adding: “maybe the future will pay you back soon.” By the end of Thursday, Zelensky will have addressed 17 global parliaments in a bid to rally support during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
NATO secretary general says Russian troops are “not withdrawing but repositioning”: Speaking at a press conference in Brussels for the Secretary General’s 2021 Annual Report, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that according to intelligence services, “Russian units are not withdrawing but repositioning. Russia is trying to regroup its offensive in the Donbas region, At the same time, Russia is keeping pressure on Kiev and other cities… we can expect additional offensive actions that will cause even more suffering,” Stoltenberg said.