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Update on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The town hall of Mariupol denounced on Wednesday the forced evacuation to Russia of a maternity hospital in this besieged city (south-east) where another maternity hospital had been bombed on March 9. (Photo: Getty Images)

This text brings together all the latest developments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the day of March 30. To find all our coverage on the conflict, it’s here. Ed. Some content is self-explanatory and may be difficult to read.

2:00 p.m. | Nothing “promising” in the talks

Appearing to go back on announcements made by Moscow following discussions between the belligerents on Tuesday in Istanbul, the spokesman for the Russian presidency Dmitry Peskov said that he could not “report anything very promising or some kind of breakthrough”.

“For the time being, we cannot speak of progress and we are not going to do it,” he insisted on Wednesday, specifying that there was “no progress” either in the organization of a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Tatars demand return of Crimea

Representatives of the Crimean Tatars demanded on Wednesday that the return to Ukraine of this peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014 be one of the conditions set by Kyiv in negotiations with Moscow to end the armed conflict.

Biden-Zelensky interview

United States President Joe Biden discussed with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday the “additional” military capabilities needed to help Ukraine’s military “defend its country”, the White House said.

In the military field

The city of Cherniguiv (north) was bombed “all night”, announced the governor of the region, despite the announcement made the day before by Moscow of a reduction in its military activity around Kyiv and this city.

In Irpin, which is now “100% controlled by the Ukrainian army”, at least 200 people have died since the start of the conflict, according to its mayor.

In the east, the Ukrainian army regained control of a strategic highway linking Kharkiv to Chuguiv, and Russian forces left the town of Trostyanets (northeast) after a month of occupation.

In Mariupol (south), Russian forces “deliberately bombed a building of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)”, said a Ukrainian official on Wednesday, without being able to give an assessment. The town hall for its part denounced the forced evacuation to Russia of a maternity hospital in the city.

More than 4 million refugees (UNHCR)

In five weeks, more than 4 million Ukrainians have fled their country, an unprecedented flow of refugees since the Second World War, according to the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

More than 10 million people, more than a quarter of the population, had to leave their homes to another country or find refuge elsewhere in Ukraine.

“War crimes” in Ukraine

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, spoke on Wednesday of “war crimes” committed in Ukraine in a long indictment against the actions carried out mainly by the Russian army.

The former president of Chile has left no doubt that she believes Russia is the main culprit even though she has not fully cleared Ukrainian forces.

A little earlier, the UN Human Rights Council had appointed Erik Mose, a Norwegian judge who has sat on several international tribunals, to lead the investigation into violations committed by Russia in Ukraine.

Johnson calls for ‘escalating sanctions’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Wednesday to “continue to intensify sanctions” against Russia until the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

“We cannot expect the G7 to lift the sanctions just because there is a ceasefire”, he declared before a parliamentary committee, “we should continue to intensify the sanctions (…) until each” of the Russian soldiers is “out of Ukraine”.

Misinformed Putin?

Vladimir Putin is ill-informed about the course of the war in Ukraine, because his advisers are afraid to reveal to him the military and economic losses suffered by Russia, a senior American official said on Wednesday.

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