War in Ukraine, 20th day: 97 children killed, Pope Francis invited to kyiv

Twenty days after the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine, the capital, kyiv, is threatened with encirclement. Russia has announced sanctions targeting US President Joe Biden in particular. The Mayor of kyiv has invited Pope Francis to Ukraine. A hundred children have died since the start of the war while negotiations continue between the two belligerents.

► Pope Francis invited to kyiv

Mayor of kyiv Vitali Klitschko has invited Pope Francis to visit the Ukrainian capital, which is resisting the Russian army, in order to “show sympathy” with the Ukrainian people. “We believe that the presence of the world’s religious leaders in person in kyiv is essential to save lives and pave the way for peace in our city, our country and beyond”wrote in a letter dated March 8 the former boxing champion.

TO READ. War in Ukraine: the mayor of kyiv invites the pope to visit the Ukrainian capital

Without giving a formal response to this invitation, the Vatican indicated that the pope ” is in solidarity with the suffering of the city, its inhabitants, those who had to flee and those called to administer it”. “He prays to the Lord for them to be protected from violence,” the Vatican press officer added.

INVESTIGATION. Ukraine-Russia, the subtle balance of Vatican diplomacy

Kyiv City Hall imposed a 35-hour curfew from Tuesday evening in the Ukrainian capital, where bombings killed at least four people in the morning. More than half of kyiv’s three million residents have fled the city, according to Ukrainian authorities. An American journalist was also killed in Horenka, about ten kilometers from the city.

► Nearly a hundred children have died since the start of the conflict

“The Russians have already killed 97 children” by bombarding “schools, hospitals, homes”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday. “We are not asking for much. We are asking for real support, which will help us win.”he added during an intervention by videoconference in front of Canadian deputies.

According to Unicef, approximately 1.4 million children have already fled the country because of the war either “a child every second” since the start of the invasion. In particular, maternities and schools were bombed in several Ukrainian cities. In total, more than three million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, according to the UN.

► Russia sanctions several politicians including Joe Biden

Russia on Tuesday announced sanctions against US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several members of their governments, in response to punitive measures against Moscow in connection with Ukraine. The exact nature of the sanctions was not specified.

The international space station caught up in the war in Ukraine

The United States has imposed new economic sanctions as well as territorial bans targeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, accused of providing rear bases for Russian soldiers in Ukraine, his family as well as persons and a Russian entity, for corruption and human rights abuses. President Biden has finally announced that he will participate in the next EU summit, on March 24 in Brussels.

→ REPORT. “It won’t be 1991. It will be closer to 1917…”: Russians reeling from soaring prices

Russia finally initiated the procedure on Tuesday “exit from the Council of Europe”, from which it had already been suspended due to the war. The Russian Foreign Ministry justifies this decision by accusing NATO and the European Union of having made this institution an instrument at the service of “their military-political and economic expansion in the East”.

► The dissident journalist sentenced to a simple fine

Marina Ovsiannikova, a Russian journalist from the Pervi Kanal channel, was sentenced by a Moscow court to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles for broadcasting a video calling for illegal gatherings to protest the war in Ukraine. However, she still faces criminal charges and Russia’s new information censorship laws raise fears of a heavy sentence. Emmanuel Macron offered French “consular protection” vis-à-vis the journalist.

→ READ. “No to war”: when a taboo is shattered on Russian television

Monday evening, this Russian had brandished during a television news a sign on which one could read: “No to war. Don’t believe the propaganda. You are being lied to here” or “The Russians are against the war”. The video of the incident caused a sensation and caused him to be arrested and taken to the police station. A second video was then posted online, in which she called for demonstrations.

► Resumption of negotiations

The fourth round of negotiations to try to find a way out of this crisis resumed on Tuesday at midday. This time, the discussions are taking place by videoconference after three face-to-face rounds in Belarus and Turkey.

→ EXPLANATION. War in Ukraine: what is the Budapest memorandum, supposed to guarantee the integrity of Ukraine?

The Ukrainian president seems to be changing his position on a possible NATO membership, one of the arguments put forward by Russia to justify the invasion of the country. “We heard for years that the doors were open, but we also heard that we couldn’t join. It’s the truth “, estimated Volodymyr Zelensky.


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