Ukraine won’t sign a peace agreement unless Russia gets out of the country…completely.
Day 36. Russia is still in Ukraine. The troops might be moving away from Kyiv and other central cities but Russia is still in Ukraine.
Ukraine will not sign a peace agreement until Russia is fully gone from the country.
Russians Leave Chernobyl
The Russians left Chernobyl after capturing it at the beginning of the full-scale invasion:
“It was confirmed that the occupiers, who seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and other facilities in the Exclusion Zone marched in two columns towards the Ukrainian border with the Republic of Belarus,” Energoatom, the Ukrainian nuclear power company, said in a statement.
Chernobyl is located about 100km north of Kyiv.
“This morning, the invaders announced their intentions to leave the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to Ukrainian station personnel. Currently, a small number of [Russians] remain at the station,” Energoatom added.
Russia Increases Airstrikes
Russia is not going away:
The official said the sorties cast further doubt on Russia’s claims it is de-escalating and relocating forces in Ukraine. The strikes have increased significantly over the past three days, the official said.
The strikes are concentrated around Kyiv, Chernihiv, Izium, Mariupol and the Donbas. The official said the US doesn’t have an update on a Russian-announced ceasefire but has seen airstrikes there over the past 24 hours.
“For all this talk of de-escalation and moving away, Kyiv is very much under threat from airstrikes,” the official said Thursday. “Even as they depressurise the ground presence around Kyiv, they’re still putting pressure on the Ukranians from the air.”
Russia has withdrawn about 20 per cent of the forces it had arrayed from Kyiv, the same as Wednesday, the official said, in another indication Moscow is not serious about efforts to end the conflict.
West Says Gas Payments Remain in Euros/Dollars, But Putin Says Otherwise
The West, especially Germany and France, insist they will keep paying for gas in euros or dollars. But Putin decreed today that Russia could turn off gas as early as tomorrow if they do not pay in rubles:
“To buy Russian gas, they need to open ruble accounts in Russian banks,” Putin told officials in a televised speech Thursday. “It is from those accounts that gas will be paid for starting April 1. If such payments aren’t made, we will consider this a failure by the client to comply with its obligations.”
Buyers should open special accounts in state-controlled Gazprombank to allow foreign currency to be swapped to rubles for settlements, according to an order signed by Putin.
But my friend said it well:
All that matters here is, “we will continue to pay for Russian energy imports”…… https://t.co/t5qNPCC795
— Lynx (@LibertyLynx) March 31, 2022
Fighting Intensifies in Donetsk
Russia will likely destroy eastern Ukraine (look at Mariupol) before it moves back west:
The leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said offensive operations were intensifying.
“We are well aware that the longer it takes us to liberate our territory – those settlements that are now under control of Ukraine – the more victims and destruction there will be,” he said.
Donetsk includes the besieged port city of Mariupol, which has seen some of the war’s heaviest fighting and bombardment and where about 170,000 people are trapped with scarce food and water.
“We cook what we find among neighbours; a bit of cabbage, a bit more of potatoes, we’ve found tomato paste, some beetroot,” said former steel worker Viktor from Mariupol.
No Peace Until Russia is Gone
Ukraine should not settle for anything else. I hope this includes Luhansk, Donetsk, and Crimea:
“When we reach the conditional signing of the agreement, or at least the point when it can be seriously discussed, they will have to withdraw completely. And only then will we sit down to sign, endorse or initial it,” David Arakhamia, head of Ukraine’s delegation and negotiating team, said during an interview with a Ukrainian news outlet.
“At the negotiations, we talk[ed] about the return of their troops to their positions as of Feb. 23 this year. As long as they remain in the territories they’ve occupied after Feb. 23, there can be no agreements of any kind,” he added.
Putin in the Dark?
The West claims Putin’s advisors keep him in the dark about the failures in Ukraine:
US officials said Putin increasingly feels he has been misled by military top brass about the scale of losses on the ground and the use of conscripts to fight the war.
The intelligence said the Russian president “didn’t even know his military was using and losing conscripts … showing a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information”.
An official said: “We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military. There is now persistent tension between Putin and the ministry of defence, stemming from Putin’s mistrust in the ministry of defence leadership.”
Putin has already sacked eight generals and ordered a purge of intelligence personnel.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.