HOUR BY HOUR 🔴 Reside: Putin visits war-ravaged Mariupol after Crimea journey, Kremlin says
Russian President Vladimir Putin made a shock journey to Mariupol after visiting Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine, the Kremlin has stated, in what would mark his first journey to the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine’s Donbas area because the begin of the struggle. Comply with our stay weblog for the most recent developments within the struggle in Ukraine. All occasions are Paris time (GMT+1).
5:15am: Putin visits Mariupol after Crimea journey, Kremlin says
President Vladimir Putin made a shock go to to Mariupol, Russian state media report, in what can be the Kremlin chief’s first journey to the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine’s Donbas area because the begin of the struggle.
The go to got here after Putin travelled to Crimea on Saturday in an unannounced go to to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, and simply two days after the Worldwide Felony Courtroom (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief.
Mariupol, which fell to Russia in Might after one of many struggle’s longest and bloodiest battles, was Russia’s first main victory after it didn’t seize Kyiv and centered as an alternative on southeastern Ukraine.
Putin flew by helicopter to Mariupol, Russian new companies reported citing the Kremlin. It’s the closest to the entrance traces Putin has been since within the year-long struggle. Driving a automobile, Putin travelled round a number of districts of the town, making stops and speaking to residents.
Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, was lowered to a smouldering shell after weeks of preventing. The Group for Safety and Cooperation and Europe (OSCE) stated Russia’s early bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol was a struggle crime.
01:20am: Black Sea grain deal prolonged for not less than 60 days
A deal permitting the protected Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain was renewed late on Saturday for not less than 60 days – half the supposed interval – after Russia warned any additional extension past mid-Might would rely on the removing of some Western sanctions.
The pact was brokered with Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Turkey in July and renewed for an additional 120 days in November. The purpose was to fight a worldwide meals disaster triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Black Sea blockade.
The deal had been set to run out on Saturday.
The United Nations and Turkey stated the deal had been prolonged, however didn’t specify for the way lengthy. Ukraine stated it had been prolonged for 120 days. However Russia’s cooperation is required and Moscow solely agreed to resume the pact for 60 days.
The IRC is deeply disillusioned the Black Sea Grain Deal was solely renewed for 60 days. A brief deal is much from useful in fixing provide chain points or rising meals costs.
— David Miliband (@DMiliband) March 18, 2023
“The Black Sea Grain Initiative, alongside the Memorandum of Understanding on selling Russian meals merchandise and fertilizers to the world markets, are essential for world meals safety, particularly for creating nations,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated in an announcement.
10:07am: Ukraine nonetheless capable of resupply troops in battered Bakhmut, military says
Ukrainian forces exterior the battered japanese metropolis of Bakhmut are managing to maintain Russian items at bay so ammunition, meals, gear and medicines may be delivered to defenders, the military stated on Saturday.
And within the newest declare to have inflicted heavy casualties, Kyiv stated its troops had killed 193 Russians and injured 199 others through the course of preventing on Friday.
Russia has made the seize of Bakhmut a precedence in its technique to take management of Ukraine’s japanese Donbas industrial area. Town has been largely destroyed in months of preventing, with Russia launching repeated assaults.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)