Ukraine refuses Russia’s demand of surrendering Mariupol, the important port city.
I am back, which means I can update a post on Ukraine throughout the day for you guys. Russia is still bombarding the country, making demands while cowering away from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
I also want to know why Biden won’t go to Ukraine. Prime ministers from the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia went to Kyiv and met with Zelenskyy.
No One Can Monitor Chernobyl’s Radiation
Russia still has control of Chernobyl:
Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom warned on Monday that radiation levels around the occupied Chernobyl nuclear plant risked rising because its radiation monitoring system and forest fire-fighting service were not working.
Soon after launching an invasion on February 24, Russian forces took control of the territory around the now-defunct power plant that was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986.
As a result, the system monitoring radiation levels in the 30-km (19-mile) so-called exclusion zone in the forests around the plant is currently not working, Energoatom said in a statement.
“There is no data on the current state of radiation pollution of the exclusion zone’s environment, which makes it impossible to adequately respond to threats,” it said.
Kremlin-Friendly Tabloid Publishes, Deletes Russian Death Number
Komsomolskaya Pravda, the pro-Kremlin tabloid, says that according to Russian ministry of defense numbers, 9,861 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine and 16,153 were injured. The last official Russian KIA figure, on March 2, was 498. Fascinating that someone posted the leaked number. pic.twitter.com/LHrBWIQ49z
— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) March 21, 2022
My two cents: I buy this explanation. There’s been a lot of this stuff happening, the numbers made no sense in the context of the article, and the MoD has made no such announcements. An internal protest is always possible, but it would amount to the same thing, ultimately.
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 21, 2022
Kyiv Shopping Center Destroyed
#Kyiv, #Ukraine, that is how it looks today after the night shelling by #Russian occupants.
Compare the images before and after the arrival of so called “Russian peace”…#RussiaInvadedUkraine#StandWithUkraine#StopRussianAgression#StopPutin pic.twitter.com/orIPsgUqyr
— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) March 21, 2022
Zelenskyy Bans Parties Connected to Russia
This is a slippery slope. Zelemskyy banned 11 political parties over ties to Russia:
In a speech posted early Sunday on Telegram, Zelensky said the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine had decided to suspend the activity of the parties under martial law. “Given the full-scale war waged by the Russian Federation and the ties of some political structures with this state, any activity of a number of political parties during the martial law is suspended,” he said.
The parties are known to share some positions with Moscow or have Russian-leaning platforms. One party on the list, Opposition Platform-For Life, is led by Viktor Medvedchuk, a businessman with personal ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Others on the list include the Shariy Party and the Socialist Party of Ukraine.
Zelensky said the Justice Ministry had been “instructed to immediately take comprehensive measures to ban the activities of these political parties in the prescribed manner.”
“Any activity of politicians aimed at splitting or collaborating will not succeed,” he said. “But it will get a tough response.”
Biden Won’t Visit UkraineDuring His Europe Trip
The Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia prime ministers went to Kyiv and met with Zelenskyy in person. Why won’t Biden? From The Financial Times:
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, tweeted on Sunday that Biden had “no plans” to visit the country during his trip, which will include attending Thursday’s Nato summit in Brussels.
Speaking to CNN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, added: “You have to remember we have discouraged Americans from going into Ukraine – this is a country at war.”
The decision comes despite requests from Volodymyr Zelensky and those around him for Biden to visit. Zelensky told Biden during a call last month that a visit would be a “powerful signal” of US support.
Ihor Zhovkva, Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff, said earlier this week: “Three prime ministers of three friendly nations – Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia – visited, personally, Kyiv, and they met personally with President Zelensky. So why [doesn’t] President Biden come to Ukraine to meet with the president?”
One Dead in Kyiv
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko confirmed one person died after Russia shelled the city’s Podil district.
The shelling hit homes and a shopping district.
Putin is going Syria and Grozny on Ukraine. He will not stop until Ukraine is destroyed or bends the knee.
Zelenskyy Ready to Negotiate With Putin Directly
Zelenskyy wants to deal with Putin directly:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that if any negotiation attempts fail, it could mean the fight between the two countries would lead to “a third World War.”
“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an exclusive interview Sunday morning.
“If there’s just 1% chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. I can tell you about the result of this negotiations — in any case, we are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground,” he said.
He continued, “Russian forces have come to exterminate us, to kill us. And we can demonstrate that the dignity of our people and our army that we are able to deal a powerful blow, we are able to strike back. But, unfortunately, our dignity is not going to preserve the lives. So, I think we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.”
Zelenskyy also hit the nail on the head: If Ukraine belonged to NATO it wouldn’t be in a war right now.
We’ve seen NATO become involved in conflicts between non-NATO members. Everyone forgets about Serbia-Kosovo! But now all of a sudden NATO is all about staying out of a non-NATO country.
I’m not advocating for involvement. I’m pointing out the hypocrisy. I swear Putin is the only reason why Ukraine is not a member of NATO and the EU.
Russia Demands Ukraine Surrender Mariupol
The port town of Mariupol has been in the news a lot after Russia bombed a maternity and children’s hospital and the Drama Theater where people, including children, took shelter. Then Russia bombed an art school, which sheltered 400 civilians.
People have been without food, water, and electricity.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense demanded Ukraine surrender Mariupol. Ukraine rejected the demand:
According to Russia’s state-owned Ria Novosti news agency, the ministry has said that it will open humanitarian corridors to allow residents to leave by 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT) if it receives a written response to the proposal.
Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of Russia’s National Center for Defense Management, was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying that local officials would face a “military tribunal” if they don’t agree to the surrender terms.
Early on Monday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that there can be “no question” of surrender.
“We have already informed the Russian side about this,” she was quoted as saying by Ukrainska Pravda.
On Saturday, Mariupol’s City Council accused Russia of illegally taking “several thousand” residents to Russia by force.
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