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Live: All OSCE Observers Have Left Ukraine

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Published 7 March 2022
Opinion

Conscripts, reservists don’t and won’t take part in operation in Ukraine - Putin - Cuban President comes out against sanctions against any country and for genuine respect of sovereignty, criticizes double standards - Russia is ready to set up humanitarian corridors from 10 am March 8 -Russian ministry - Oil price may exceed $300 per barrel if Russian oil imports banned - Deputy PM 

March 7 update - 21:45 EST:

All OSCE observers have left Ukraine

Members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) special monitoring mission working in eastern Ukraine have evacuated and are suspending publication of reports, according to a statement on the OSCE website.

"The mission has completed a temporary evacuation from its area of operation," the mission said in a March 7 statement.

"The Special Monitoring Mission has suspended its reporting work," it said.

On February 24, after the start of the Russian military operation, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid announced the decision to temporarily evacuate all of the organization's international missions from Ukraine.

Zelensky decides to withdraw Ukrainians from international peacekeeping forces

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree for the withdrawal of Ukrainian contingents that take part in international peacekeeping operations.

"I decide to withdraw the national contingent and national personnel who take part in international peace and security operations to Ukraine," the decree says.

A photograph of the decree was published on Facebook on Monday by Andriy Sibiga, deputy head of the presidential office.

March 7 update - 21:00 EST: 

Operation of biological laboratories in Ukraine multiplies measles cases

Cases of measles in Ukraine increased 100-fold due to the operation of biological laboratories in the country, Igor Kirilov, head of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops of the Russian Armed Forces, reported on Monday.

"The World Health Organization has declared Ukraine to be a country with a high risk of polio outbreak," he told a press conference.

Kirilov commented that the activity of biological laboratories and the program of the so-called "reform" of the Ukrainian public health system caused the uncontrolled growth of cases of dangerous and economically important infections.

According to a presentation published Monday by the Russian Defense Ministry, the United States allocated more than $200 million for the operation of biological laboratories in Ukraine. 
 

 

Japan sanctions 20 more Russian businessmen, officials - MFA

Japan imposed sanctions on 20 more Russians including businessmen and officials due to the situation around Ukraine and Russia’s military operation, according to a list published on the website of the Japanese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

The list includes Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, presidential administration’s First Deputy Head Sergey Kiriyenko, presidential administration’s Deputy Head Dmitry Kozak and Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. The list also includes Russian businessmen including the Rotenberg brothers, Gennady Timchenko and Alisher Usmanov. The sanctions also affect two organizations: the Internet Research Agency and private military company Wagner.

In addition, Japan published an additional list of sanctions on Belarus which includes 12 individuals and 10 Belarusian companies and organizations.

March 7 update - 20:45 EST: 

Macron says Russia, its people always need to be treated with respect

French President Emmanuel Macron has said at his reelection campaign event that Russia and its people need to be treated with respect.

"It’s necessary to continue dialogue with leaders even when stating differences because eventually there will be a return to the negotiating table," he said at a meeting with voters in the Poissy commune of Paris. "Russia and the Russian people always need to be treated with respect."

He also urged to "do everything to prevent escalation and expansion of hostilities" in Ukraine.

"It is impossible to build a lasting peace if Russia doesn’t participate in building a comprehensive security architecture on our continent, because history and geography mandate this," the French president said. "Our responsibility is to preserve all the ties that we can preserve."

"We must continue to talk with the Russian and Belarusian peoples," he went on to say. "We need to do this with help from representatives of the world of culture, the scientific and technical community, non-governmental organizations."

March 7 update - 20:00 EST: 

Conscripts, reservists don’t and won’t take part in operation in Ukraine - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said conscripts and reservists aren’t taking part in Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and won’t do so.

"I would like to emphasize that conscripts aren’t and won’t be taking part in hostilities, and there will be no additional call-up of reservists from the reserve," he said in a video address to women on the occasion of the International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8, which was posted on the Kremlin website. "Missions are carried out only by professional troops."

The president expressed confidence that "they will be steadfast in providing security and peace for the people of Russia."

Putin addressed mothers, wives, sisters, brides and girlfriends of Russian soldiers and officers "who are now in battle defending Russia during a special military operation."

"I understand how you are worrying about your loved ones and family members," he said. "You can be proud of them just as the whole country is proud of them and is worrying about them together with you."

March 7 update - 18:45 EST: 

Cuban President comes out against sanctions against any country and for genuine respect of sovereignty, criticizes double standards

In a statement shared via Twitter, Cubas President Miguel Diaz-Canel said:

"Cuba firmly and consistently defends International Law, the Charter of the United Nations and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, which was signed by the Heads of State and Government in Havana in 2014. An offensive military encirclement has been established against the Russian Federation. For decades there has been a consistent US drive to expand its military and hegemonic dominance through continued NATO expansion into Eastern European countries.

We stand for peace in all circumstances and unambiguously oppose the use of force against any state. As a small country, we understand this better than anyone else. Besieged for more than 60 years, we have suffered state terrorism, military aggression and a brutal blockade. Cuba is absolutely clear about the value and principle of international norms, which serve as protection against unilateralism, imperialism, hegemonism and attempts to subjugate developing countries.

These are principles and standards that we have firmly and consistently defended in all scenarios. Also in those same scenarios, we have opposed political manipulation, and double standards, and have exposed the truth. The conflict could have been avoided if #Russia's security guarantee claims had been seriously and respectfully addressed. To think that it would remain defenseless in the face of NATO's offensive military encirclement is irresponsible, to say the least. They have pushed that country to the brink.

Continuing to use economic, trade and financial sanctions as an instrument of pressure against any country, does not solve the current crisis, but rather adds fuel to the fire and aggravates the economic situation, already resented by these difficult two years of pandemic. 

We will continue to advocate for a serious, constructive and realistic diplomatic solution to the current crisis in Europe, by peaceful means that guarantee the security and sovereignty of all.

We will have the opportunity to analyze these highly sensitive issues in greater depth, and we trust that the Cuban people will continue to be attentive to the facts, in the difficult effort to distinguish truth from manipulation, among so much information that is disseminated.

 
Ukrainian President Zelensky, Statement released by his office: 
 

"Monday. Evening. You know, we used to say: Monday is a hard day. There is a war in the country. So every day is Monday.

And now we are used to the fact that every day and every night are like that.

Today is the 12th. 12th evening of our struggle. Our defense.

We are all on the ground, we are all working.

Everyone is where they should be. I am in Kyiv. My team is with me. The territorial defense is on the ground. The servicemen are in positions. Our heroes! Doctors, rescuers, transporters, diplomats, journalists...

Everyone. We are all at war. We all contribute to our victory, which will definitely be achieved. By force of arms and our army. By force of words and our diplomacy. By force of spirit, which the first, the second and each of us have.

Take a look at our country today.

Chaplynka, Melitopol, Tokmak, Novotroitske and Kherson. Starobilsk. Everywhere people defended themselves, although they do not have weapons there. But these are our people, and that’s why they have weapons.

They have courage. Dignity. And hence the ability to go out and say: I’m here, it’s mine, and I won’t give it away. My city. My community. My Ukraine.

Every Ukrainian man and woman who protested against the invaders yesterday, today and will protest tomorrow are heroes.

We shout at the invaders together with you. We stand in the squares and streets with you. We are not afraid with you when the invaders open fire and try to drive everyone away.

YOU do not back down.

WE do not back down.

And the one who repeated: “We are one people” - certainly did not expect such a powerful reaction.

In the south of our country, such a national movement has unfolded, such a powerful manifestation of Ukrainianness that we have never seen in the streets and squares there. And for Russia it is like a nightmare.

They forgot that we are not afraid of paddy wagons and batons. We are not afraid of tanks and machine guns. When the main thing is on our side, truth. As it is now.

Mariupol and Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Sumy. Odesa and Kyiv. Mykolaiv. Zhytomyr and Korosten. Ovruch. And many other cities.

We know that hatred that the enemy brought to our cities with shelling and bombing will not remain there. There will be no trace of it. Hatred is not about us. Therefore, there will be no trace of the enemy. We will rebuild everything. We will make our cities destroyed by the invader better than any city in Russia.

Enerhodar. Chornobyl. And other places where barbarians just don’t understand WHAT they want to capture. WHAT they want to control. Your work, your hard work on critical objects is a real feat. And we see it. We are sincerely grateful for it.

The Ukrainian army holds positions. Well done! It inflicts extremely painful losses on the enemy. Defends. Counterattacks. If necessary - can take revenge. Necessarily. For every evil. For every rocket and bomb. For each destroyed civilian object.

Today in Makariv, Kyiv region, they fired at the bread factory. For what? The old bread factory! Think about it - to fire at the bread factory. Who should you be to do that?

Or to destroy another church - in the Zhytomyr region. The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin built in 1862.

These are NOT people.

There was an agreement on humanitarian corridors.

Did it work? Russian tanks worked instead. Russian “Grads”. Russian mines. They even mined the road, which was agreed to transport food and medicine for people and children in Mariupol.

They even destroy buses that have to take people out. But ... At the same time, they are opening a small corridor to the occupied territory. For several dozen people. Not so much to Russia, as to propagandists. Directly to their TV cameras. Like, that’s the one who saves. Just cynicism. Just propaganda. Nothing more. No humanitarian sense.

The third round of negotiations in Belarus took place today. I would like to say - the third and final. But we are realists. So we will talk. We will insist on negotiations until we find a way to tell our people: this is how we will come to peace.

Exactly to peace.

We must realize that every day of struggle, every day of resistance creates better conditions for us. Strong position to guarantee our future. In peace. After this war.

Apart from the dead people and the destroyed cities, the war leaves destroyed the aspirations that once seemed very important, but now ... You don’t even mention them.

Almost three years ago, as soon as the election took place, we entered this building, this office, and immediately began planning our move.

I dreamed of moving from Bankova. Together with the government and parliament. To unload the center of Kyiv and in general - to move to a modern, transparent office - as befits a progressive democratic European country.

Now I will say one thing: I stay here.

I stay in Kyiv.

On Bankova Street.

I’m not hiding.

And I’m not afraid of anyone.

As much as it takes to win this Patriotic War of ours.

Today I signed a decree to present state awards of Ukraine to 96 Ukrainian heroes - our military.

Including…

The Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky of the second degree is awarded to:

Major Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Sak. Commander of the mechanized battalion who entered the battle with the battalion tactical group of the enemy and won thanks to a rational approach to combat and non-standard tactics.

Captain Rostyslav Oleksandrovych Sylivakin. Commander of the mechanized battalion, which successfully fought the overwhelming forces of the enemy, liberating Ukrainian towns and villages in the Sumy region.

The Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky of the third degree is awarded to:

Lieutenant Ihor Serhiyovych Lozovyi. Acting as part of the group, he stopped a column of enemy vehicles numbering about 150 units, which was moving in the direction of the Zhytomyr-Kyiv route. Destroyed.

Lieutenant Vitaliy Viktorovych Poturemets. He showed exemplary courage and composure in the battle, destroying a column of enemy equipment near the city of Kyiv. He was wounded.

The Order “For Courage” of the third degree is awarded to:

Master Sergeant, Commander of the Automobile Platoon Valentyn Viktorovych Baryliuk. Thanks to his brave actions and personal determination, the tank unit received fuel in time and left the encirclement, destroying the enemy on the way.

All 96 of our heroes are like these five!

Our gratitude to all the military.

Our gratitude to the Armed Forces of Ukraine!

Our gratitude is boundless.

Glory to Ukraine!"

March 7 update - 18:30 EST: 

China urges West to maintain dialogue with Russia and take its concerns into account

Beijing urges the US, NATO and the European Union to maintain a dialogue with Russia on equal terms and be mindful of Moscow's security concerns, China's ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said.

"We encourage the United States, NATO and the EU to hold an equal dialogue with Russia and confront the antagonism and problems that have been building up for years," Zhang said Monday.

Zhang also urged the West to pay attention to the negative effect on Russia's security environment as a result of NATO's eastward expansion and, in accordance with the principle of indivisibility of security, to try to establish a security mechanism in Europe that is balanced, effective and sustainable. 

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun

Russia working to set up humanitarian corridors:

Russia will announce a ceasefire and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors in Ukraine starting from 10 am on March 8, the Russian Interagency Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Relief said on Monday.

"Starting from 10:00 on March 8 the Russian Federation announces a ceasefire regime and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors from Kiev and adjacent population centers to the Russian Federation through the territory of the Republic of Belarus to Gomel <...> subject to agreement with the Ukrainian side," it said in a statement.

Also, humanitarian corridors will be opened from Chernigov through Belarus, from the city of Sumy along two routes to Poltava and to Russia, from Kharkov to Russia or to Lvov, Uzhgorod and Ivano-Frankovsk. Also, a humanitarian corridor will be opened from Mariupol along two routes to Russia and Zaporozhe.

Russia proposes to Kiev to agree before 3 am Moscow time on March 8 on humanitarian corridors and the time when they will open, the headquarters said.

Oil price may exceed $300 per barrel if Russian oil imports banned - Deputy PM

The West’s decision to ban imports of Russian oil will lead to catastrophic consequences for the world market, the price may exceed $300 per barrel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

It is impossible to quickly replace the volume of Russian oil on the European market, it will take more than one year, the ban on Russian oil will lead to a rise in prices for fuel, electricity and heating in Europe and the United States, he added.

"It is absolutely obvious that abandoning Russian oil will lead to catastrophic consequences for the world market. A surge in prices will be unpredictable - more than $300 per barrel, if not more," he said.

"At the same time, it is impossible to replace the volume of Russian oil on the European market quickly, it will take more than one year, and it will be much more expensive for European consumers. Under this scenario, they will become the main victims. European politicians should then honestly warn their citizens, consumers, what awaits them and that prices for gas stations, for electricity, for heating will skyrocket. This will affect other markets, including the American one," he added.

Novak noted that Russia is the largest supplier of oil to Europe, which consumes about 500 million tonnes of oil, of which Russia supplies about 150 million tonnes, or 30%. Russia also supplies the EU with another 80 million tonnes of oil products.

"Moreover, everyone knows that the supply of oil and oil products from Russia today is the most competitive for the European market, given the developed oil pipeline infrastructure and the logistics of sea deliveries," the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.

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