War in Ukraine: what to remember from the day of March 31

The Russian army has left the Chernobyl nuclear site, Moscow is demanding payment in rubles to continue supplying gas to Westerners and the humanitarian situation in Mariupol is still critical… Franceinfo summarizes the main news of the day in the conflict between the Ukraine and Russia.

Russian forces left Chernobyl nuclear site with hostages, kyiv says

The Chernobyl nuclear site in northern Ukraine is no longer occupied by the Russian army. The withdrawal, which began at the end of the afternoon on Thursday, ended around 10 p.m. French time, announced the Ukrainian nuclear agency, Energoatom, on his facebook account (in Ukrainian). But the Russian troops left with hostages. According to the Ukrainian agency, these hostages are “members of the National Guard they had been holding (…) since February 24″, the Ukrainian state agency said on Telegram, citing employees. Russian forces had taken control of the Chernobyl site on the first day of their invasion of Ukraine.

Russia will not deliver gas to Westerners who refuse to pay in rubles

Vladimir Putin will not compromise. The Russian president has reaffirmed that he will not deliver gas to Westerners who refuse to pay in rubles. A requirement that he will apply from Friday. Consequently, Germany and France to “prepare” to a potential stoppage of Russian gas imports.

>> We explain to you how Russia is pushing the Europeans to arm wrestle by demanding payment for gas in rubles

“There may be a situation in which” Friday “there will be no more Russian gas”and “It’s up to us to prepare these scenarios”declared the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, during a press conference with his German counterpart, Robert Habeck.

An uncertainty that plunged the stock markets at the end of the day, especially in Europe, where economic activity is largely dependent on this source of energy. The Paris market ended in sharp decline (-1.21%), as did Frankfurt (-1.31%) and Milan (-1.10%). This is the strongest decline over the quarter, except for London, since the arrival of Covid-19 in early 2020.

The ceasefire in Mariupol not respected by the Russian army

“Of course it still shoots”, testifies a resident of Mariupol (video below), a large port city in south-eastern Ukraine devastated by the Russian army. However, Moscow had promised a ceasefire Thursday morning to evacuate civilians. But the dull sound of the bombardments never stopped, according to France 2 reporters present on the spot.

The civilians were to arrive in the city of Zaporizhia, where there are hospitals, including a military one. If several hundred cars arrived at their destination, the buses which were made available to the inhabitants of Mariupol to flee remained blocked 80 km from the city, reveals our special correspondent in Ukraine. At the end of the day on Thursday, Moscow again announced that a humanitarian corridor would be open on Friday at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. in France).

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