Ukraine war live updates: Makariv liberated, Kyiv says, as shelling of cities continues

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Ukraine war live updates: Makariv liberated, Kyiv says, as shelling of cities continues

Serhii Volosovets, a commander in the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, fires a pistol during a training camp for volunteers in Brovary, 22 March   —  

War in Ukraine enters its 26th day after the invasion was launched by Moscow on 24 February.

The fighting has forced more than ten million Ukrainians to flee their homes, with thousands of people killed or wounded and widespread damage in the wake of shelling and aerial bombardments.

Follow our live updates below.


Tuesday’s key points:

    The Ukrainian army said it forced Russian troops out of Makariv, a strategically important Kyiv suburb, preventing Moscow forces from encircling the capital from the northwest.

    President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he is ready to consider committing Ukraine not to join NATO in exchange for a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian armed forces from the country.

    Russian air forces increased their activity, flying over 300 sorties in 24 hours by early Tuesday. However, they are not believed to have established air dominance, Western intelligence sources claim.

    Zelenskyy says the death of 117 children so far in the war is ‘the price of procrastination’ over Russia

    The UN says 10 million people in Ukraine have now fled their homes since the Russian invasion at the end of February.

    Three and a half million refugees have fled the country, say UNHCR.

    EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson is warning of a «huge risk» that Ukrainian children and women fleeing the war may fall victim to human trafficking.

06:56Should Ukraine rule out joining NATO if it would end the war? 17:56

Another Russian luxury yacht seized: this time, in Gibraltar

Authorities in Gibraltar have seized a luxury yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Dimitri Pumpianski.

It comes after a complaint from a creditor, and is linked to British sanctions against Russian interests. 

This ship, the Axioma, was sailing under a Maltese flag, and was «the subject of a request for seizure by a large international bank to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar» the government said on Monday.

Gibraltar is a small British enclave on the southern tip of Spain.

Gibraltar allowed the Axioma to enter port — a move which otherwise would not have been allowed under the terms of British sanctions — «in the interests of creditors who have lodged a complaint against the ship» Gibraltar authorities added without giving more details.

«The ship is now seized by the Admiralty Marshal» —  the judge in charge of maritime affairs — «until further notice».

Dimitri Pumpianski is the boss of pipeline company TMK, and is also the subject of sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia’s elite, or those who have close connections to Vladimir Putin. 

Gibraltar’s First Minister Fabian Picardo is visiting London this week and met with Britain’s Foreign Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday. Afterwards Truss tweeted that she welcomed the seizure of the super yacht. 


Ukrainian forces retake key Kyiv suburb

Ukraine said it retook a strategically important suburb of Kyiv on Tuesday, driving Russian troops from the suburb of Makariv after a fierce battle, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry. 

The regained territory allowed Ukrainian forces to retake control of a key highway and block Russian troops from surrounding Kyiv from the northwest.

Explosions and bursts of gunfire shook Kyiv, and heavy artillery fire could be heard from the northwest, where Russia has sought to encircle and capture several suburban areas of the capital, a crucial target.

However, the Ukrainian defence ministry says Russian forces partially took other northwest suburbs, Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, some of which had been under attack almost since Russia’s military invaded nearly a month ago.



‘People don’t even have water there’

Exhausted Mariupol survivors continued to arrive by train in the western city of Lviv on Tuesday.

“In one compartment there were 10 or eleven people, with others in the corridor, but when you’re going to safety it doesn’t matter,” said one woman, Julia Krytska, who made it out with her husband and son. Her hands were shaking.

They were lucky to get out after volunteers found them in the besieged city, she said. “There’s no connection with the world,» she said. “We couldn’t ask for help.”

The people of Mariupol don’t have a chance to be heard, she said. “They are in need of help. People don’t even have water there,” Krytska said.


Euronews blocked in Russia


Serbia will not join Western ‘hysteria’ against Russia

A senior Serbian official says Belgrade will never impose sanctions or join the Western “hysteria” against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Serbia’s Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said Tuesday: “Serbia will never be part of the anti-Russian hysteria in which the property of Russian citizens and the property of the Russian Federation is stolen, just as we will not ban Russian media.”

The Balkan country is a staunch ally of Russia, though it has condemned its invasion of Ukraine.

Serbia is seeking membership of the European Union, but it is one of the few countries in Europe that has refused to join international sanctions against the Kremlin.

Ukraine war live updates: Makariv liberated, Kyiv says, as shelling of cities continues

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during a joint news conference in Belgrade, 17 January, 201912:33

More than 3.5 million have now fled Ukraine — UNHCR

The UN refugee agency says more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, passing another milestone in an exodus that has led to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

UNHCR reported Tuesday that 3.56 million people have left Ukraine, with Poland taking in the lion’s share — more than 2.1 million — followed by Romania with more than 540,000 and Moldova with more than 367,000.

Shortly after the invasion on 24 February, UNHCR predicted that some 4 million refugees might leave Ukraine, though it has been re-assessing that prediction. The outflows have been slowing in recent days after peaking at more than 200,000 each on two straight days in early March.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that nearly 6.5 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine, suggesting that some if not most of them might to flee abroad if the war continues.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, says it has confirmed 62 attacks on health care assets in Ukraine since the conflict began and through last Friday. The attacks caused 15 deaths and 37 injuries. The assets include hospitals and medical facilities, transport of medical supplies, warehouses, and health care workers.

Ukraine war live updates: Makariv liberated, Kyiv says, as shelling of cities continues

A refugee woman holds a baby while waiting on a bus for Ukrainian police to check papers and belongings in Brovary, Ukraine, Sunday, March 20, 202211:35

‘Italy wants Ukraine in the EU’

«We want a roadmap to get Ukraine closer to Europe,» said Italy PM Mario Draghi, responding to an address by Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

«We will need huge institutional reforms.

«To President Zelenskyy, I want to say Italy is close to Ukraine in this process, Italy wants Ukraine in the EU.»


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