► The first evacuations will begin in Mariupol
On the 36th day of the Russian invasion, Thursday, March 31, 2022, kyiv sent 45 buses to evacuate stranded civilians in the southeastern port city of Mariupol after Russia announced a ceasefire had come into effect. -fire to enable the establishment of a humanitarian corridor to the town of Zaporijjia, controlled by the Ukrainian army.
→ UNDERSTAND. War in Ukraine: a “catastrophic” situation for civilians in Mariupol
In the morning, seventeen buses were on their way to Mariupol and twenty-eight others were waiting for a Russian pass to cross a bridge near the front line. For its part, the Red Cross said it was ready to direct the evacuation operations for the day on Friday. “provided all parties agree on exact terms, including route, start time and duration”.
“Our teams are en route with pre-positioned medical equipment and supplies to be ready to facilitate the safe passage of civilians out of Mariupol”underlined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Mariupol city center, today.
Complete devastation. pic.twitter.com/nDTawUBHDI
—Arrow Intel (@IntelArrow) March 30, 2022
The Russian Ministry of Defense had proposed, on Wednesday evening, a “silent diet”, or a local ceasefire, from 10 a.m. Thursday (11 a.m. in Paris) in the besieged and pounded port in order to evacuate civilians. Some 160,000 civilians would still be stranded in the city which has been continuously bombarded by the Russian army for several weeks. According to one estimate, at least 5,000 civilians were killed in the city.
► Shooting at a humanitarian convoy near Cherniguiv
One person was killed and four injured in shootings at a convoy of five buses bringing volunteers to the besieged city of Cherniguiv in northern Ukraine. “Russian fighters fired on a convoy of volunteers near Cherniguiv. Five buses heading for the town to evacuate civilians were fired upon. (…) One person died, four were seriously injured. »
► Russian soldiers withdraw from Chernobyl
Russian forces begin to withdraw from the Chernobyl nuclear site, which they had taken control of on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24. Announced by the Pentagon earlier in the day, the information was confirmed in the afternoon by the Ukrainian nuclear agency. The troops that occupied the site left “in two columns towards the border” between Ukraine and Belarus, the agency said, adding that only one ” small number “ of Russian soldiers on the spot.
→ EXPLANATION. What is the situation at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant?
The Russian army also retreated outside Gostomel airport, northwest of kyiv. ” Chernobyl isanother area where they are starting to reposition themselves, leaving Chernobyl to go to Belarus”previously told the press a senior US official who requested anonymity.
► Gérard Depardieu denounces the crazy unacceptable excesses of Vladimir Poutine
French actor Gérard Depardieu denounced “crazy unacceptable excesses” by Vladimir Poutine, announcing that all of the receipts from his three concerts scheduled for the beginning of April at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées “will go to the Ukrainian victims”. “The Russian people are not responsible for the mad and unacceptable excesses of their leaders like Vladimir Putin”said the actor who had in the past praised the Russian leader
► Russian troops and separatists claim major military gains
The leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, whose thousands of men are fighting in Mariupol, assured Thursday that 90 to 95% of the strategic port city was now under Russian control. According to him, the last Ukrainian defenders are entrenched in the Azovstal metallurgical plant, located in the east of the city. Fighting, however, continues in the city center.
→ EXPLANATION. War in Ukraine: is Russia changing its military strategy?
Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass claimed on Thursday that they control almost all of the Luhansk region and more than half of Donetsk. “As of March 31, 2022, in the morning, more than 90% of the territory of the Luhansk People’s Republic has been liberated”said an official of this territory.
Denis Pushilin, leader of the Donetsk separatists, for his part assured on Wednesday that“about 55 to 60%” of the territory of the eponymous Ukrainian region was under Russian control. Before the outbreak of the Russian offensive on February 24, the separatists, at war with Ukrainian forces since 2014, controlled about a third of each of these regions.
► Vladimir Putin would be badly advised according to the Americans
Advisors to Russian President Vladimir Putin“are afraid to tell him the truth” on his war strategy “failing” in Ukraine, the director of British intelligence said on Thursday.
→ INVESTIGATION. War in Ukraine: what the friends of Russia in France say
“We have seen Russian soldiers – out of arms and in low spirits – refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft”listed the director of the British intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming. “And even if Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, what is happening and the extent of these miscalculations should be crystal clear to the regime”he estimated.