Ukraine Russia, news on today’s war | Zelensky to the US Congress: “We have been living on September 11 for weeks”. Financial Times: “here is the draft of the peace plan in 15 points”

Of Lorenzo Cremonesi, Andrea Nicastro, Marta Serafini, Online Editorial

The minute-by-minute news on the war on Wednesday 16 March. Affected tv station in Vinnytsia. Bombs on Odessa and Mariupol. Kiev willing to neutrality like Sweden and Austria

• On the twenty-first day of the war, Ukraine remains suspended between the hope of a diplomatic breakthrough (today the new talks) and the reality of the Russian hammering.
• Today Zelensky spoke to the US Congress and showed a video on the atrocities committed by Moscow. Putin replied that the genocide was committed by the Ukrainians in Donbass
• In Kiev, besieged by Russian forces, the total curfew of 36 hours continues. Mariupol remains under siege, bombs on Odessa.
• From the Financial Times comes news of a draft 15-point peace agreement that would include a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops if Ukraine declares its neutrality and accepts limits on the armed forces.

4 pm – Olga Smirnova leaves the Moscow Bolshoi, waiting at La Scala for the gala dedicated to Fracci
Star of the Moscow Bolshoi ballet company Olga Smirnova left Russia to join the Dutch National Ballet. The historic company announces it with a press release: Olga Smirnova explicitly denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Invasion that makes it unbearable for her to continue working in her country. L’etoile awaited on April 9 among the protagonists of the gala dedicated to Carla Fracci.

3.47 pm – UN, at least 726 civilians dead; 104 women and 52 children
At least 726 civilians died in 20 days of war in Ukraine and 1,174 were injured. the latest update provided by the United Nations. Among the victims there are at least 104 women and 52 children

3.47 pm – WHO, 12 more attacks on health care in Ukraine confirmed
The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified another 12 attacks on health care in Ukraine. The UN health agency reports this via Twitter, adding that it has confirmed a total of 28 new attacks on the sector in several parts of the world. In addition to the episodes that occurred in Ukraine grappling with the conflict with Russia, there are also 15 cases in the occupied Palestinian territories and 1 in Sudan. These attacks took place in February and March, the WHO informs, which condemns any attack on health care, anywhere, he concludes.

3.44 pm – Patriarch Kirill speaks with Pope Francis
Russian Patriarch Kirill spoke about the conflict in Ukraine with Pope Francis. He lets the Moscow church know which adds:
The parties stressed the exceptional importance of the ongoing negotiation process, expressing their hope for a just peace to be reached as soon as possible.

15.30 – A 15-point peace plan. There is the draft
There is already a draft agreement in fifteen points which would entail Kiev’s renunciation of its ambitions to join NATO in exchange for guarantees of security. According to the Financial Times, which first broke the news after speaking with some negotiators, among the 15 points, there is a ceasefire and Russia’s withdrawal if Kiev declares neutrality and accepts limits on its armed forces. Kiev should also promise to no longer host military bases or foreign weapons in exchange for the protection of allies such as the United States and the United Kingdom and Turkey.

3.13 pm – Fitch, the payment of Russian bonds in rubles constitutes a default
Local currency coupon payments on Russia’s US dollar Eurobonds would represent a sovereign default upon expiration of the 30 day grace period. Such a forced redenomination of payments would be indicative of the fact that a default or a process similar to the default has begun. The rating agency Fitch clarifies this in a commentary note on Russia’s potential default events, recalling that those expiring today are the first foreign currency coupons after Putin’s March 5 decree requiring creditors to be paid in rubles of countries that have sanctioned Moscow.

14.58 – Switzerland aligns itself with the EU, sanctions against Minsk and 197 oligarchs
Switzerland further aligns itself with the EU in sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. The Bern government has today extended the list of persons sanctioned. Over 200 Russian people and organizations have been added to the list, which is now identical to that of the European Union. Furthermore, the Swiss executive has fully adopted the European sanctions against Belarus. The extension of the list was approved today by Economy Minister Guy Parmelin. 197 individuals and nine financial organizations were added.

14.42 – Putin: The real genocide has been in Donbass for 8 years. We don’t want to invade Ukraine
The inhabitants of Donbass suffered a real genocide for 8 years. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin quoted by TASS. Russian troops in Kiev don’t mean we want to invade Ukraine, Putin said, adding that the sanctions against Russia are the result of a short-sighted policy. The Russian president said he was willing to discuss the demilitarization and danizification of Ukraine

2.18 pm – Zelensky at the US Congress | The speech: We are bombed every day, but we don’t give up. We have been living on September 11 every day for weeks, the shocking video
I am proud to greet you from Kiev, a victim of Russian bombing every day but we do not give up, as all other cities said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when starting his connection with the US Congress.
The president reminded US lawmakers of the 9/11 attack: We we have been living on 9/11 for three weeks. Our country found itself in the worst war since the Second World War.
Zelensky asked more sanctions against Moscow: Ukraine grateful to the United States but I ask you to do more to stop Russia’s war machine. All politicians of Russia should be sanctioned, all American companies must leave Russia. A no fly zone not too much to ask for, close American ports to Russia.
During Zelensky’s speech, he was screened a video document about war. Chilling, touching images, with a review of the faces of weeping, wounded children, of bodies thrown into pits, images that seemed to belong to a bygone era. Congress followed the images in silence.
At the end of the speech standing ovation for the Ukrainian president.

14.17 – Mayor of Skadovsk released by the Russians
The mayor of Skadovsk, a Ukrainian port city occupied in the province of Kherson, says he was released in a video posted on Facebook quoted by The Kyiv Independent. Yakovlev, who had been kidnapped by the Russian military together with his deputy Yuri Palyukh – as Kiev Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported on Twitter – He also said in the video that the Russian occupiers promised to release more detainees and asked the residents not to panic.

02.02 pm – Kremlin, irregular hours but Putin emotionally ok
Russian President Vladimir Putin is working extremely irregular hours, but emotionally fine. This was stated by the spokesman of the Cremlimo, Dmitry Peskov. The president’s working day lasts from morning to late evening and his working hours are extremely irregular, Peskov explained to reporters. Answering a specific question, Peskov added that his emotional state is ok

2 pm – The Russians shoot peaceful demonstrators in the square
Russian soldiers opened fire and used tear gas to disperse peaceful Ukrainian protesters gathered in the square in front of the city council to demand the release of local leaders detained in the occupied Skadovsk area of ​​Kherson Oblast. He reports it The Kyiv Independent.

13.29 – Kremlin: Putin-Biden contacts may resume despite sanctions
If necessary, they can resume contact between the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his US counterpart, Joe Biden. This was stated by the spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, during a press point in which he confirmed that the two leaders have never spoken since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. To impose sanctions (at the top of the Biden Administration, ed) does not mean stopping contacts, Peskov added.

1.19 pm – Zelensky: If we had reacted to the occupation of Crimea today we would not be at war
Eight years ago on this day the Russian Federation organized a fake referendum in the Ukrainian Crimea which it then used to justify the invasion of our territory. This illegal act was the breakdown of all the security architecture in Europe created after the Second World War. But Russia has committed this act – says the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a video on Telegram – If at the time there was only a sign of the resistance we are doing today, which you do today, if the reaction of the world had been at least half of today I am sure that this invasion would not have taken place and there would not have been 8 years of war in the Donbass.

1.18 pm – Moscow blocks the sites of at least 13 media
Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor blocked the websites of at least 13 other media outlets.

1 pm – 117 hospitals in Ukraine have been damaged
The Ukrainian Ministry of Health reports a total of 117 hospitals damaged, seven of which are irreparable, 43 ambulances hit by bullets since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

12.59 – 10 civilians killed in line for bread north of Kiev
Russian troops killed at least 10 civilians queuing for bread in Chernihiv, north of Kiev, near the border with Belarus. This was reported by the correspondent of Suspilne news on the spot quoted by The Kyiv Independent. The attack occurred around 10 in the morning. The American embassy in Kiev also spoke about the massacre: Today Russian forces shot and killed 10 people in line for bread in Chernihiv. These horrific attacks must stop. A video documents the victims on the ground.


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