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LIVE – War in Ukraine: Moscow promises a ceasefire in Mariupol tomorrow, in order to evacuate civilians

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Ukraine and its Western allies were skeptically awaiting a Russian military withdrawal around kyiv and Cherniguiv on Wednesday, even though Volodymyr Zelensky saw “positive” signs. Follow the latest information live.

10:25 p.m.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday evening the establishment of a “regime of silence”, i.e. a local ceasefire, from 10:00 am Thursday (0700 GMT) in the besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol in order to evacuate civilians. This measure should make it possible to open a humanitarian corridor to the Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, according to the ministry.

“For this humanitarian operation to succeed, we propose to conduct it with the direct participation of representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross,” the ministry added in a statement.

9:47 p.m.

The Russians begin to withdraw from the Chernobyl plant, announces the Pentagon.

6:48 p.m.

“The Ukrainians who come to France are 36,000 today, they are not asylum seekers. They are temporarily protected.” #UKRAINE Questioned by the Senate, the Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, clarified the status of Ukrainians who have arrived in France.

“The Ofpra (the office in charge of asylum applications) will not have to decide on the asylum applications” formulated by the refugees and “this will give right to the allowance reserved for asylum seekers” , said the minister.

4:41 p.m.

US President Joe Biden will meet Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. GMT (10:45 a.m. Washington time) with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, the White House said.

Joe Biden, who met Ukraine’s foreign and defense ministers last week in Poland, has had regular talks with the Ukrainian president since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

4:34 p.m.

Boris Johnson calls for “intensified sanctions” against Moscow until the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers.

4:26 p.m.

Michelle Bachelet spoke on Wednesday of “war crimes” committed in Ukraine in a long indictment by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights against the actions carried out essentially by the Russian army since the invasion of the February 24.

The indiscriminate and large-scale attacks carried out by the Russian armed forces “could be war crimes”, launched Ms. Bachelet before the Human Rights Council, using the conditional by convention, the war crimes having to be proven before a tribunal but leaving little doubt

12:35 p.m.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul on Tuesday did not yield anything “very promising” or “breakthrough”, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, dampening hopes of decisive progress in the negotiations.

“At the moment we cannot report anything very promising or any breakthrough. There is a lot of work to be done,” the spokesman for the Russian presidency told reporters. Dmitry Peskov.

He nevertheless described as “positive” the fact that the Ukrainian side had “finally begun to formulate its proposals in a concrete way and to put them in writing”.

10:48

The number of Ukrainian refugees has passed the 4 million mark.

10:08

The city of Cherniguiv, in northern Ukraine, was the victim of bombardment “all night long”, announced the governor of the region, despite the announcement made the day before by Moscow of a reduction in its military activity in this zone.

“Chernigiv was bombarded all night” with artillery and planes, governor Vyacheslav Tchaous announced on Telegram, adding that civilian infrastructure had been destroyed and that the city was still without water or electricity.

9:32

Germany activated Wednesday the first level of its emergency plan to guarantee the supply of natural gas in the face of the threat of a stoppage of Russian deliveries, announced the Minister of the Economy.

“A crisis unit is now set up within the ministry” to oversee the situation as the G7 rejected the Russian request for payment in rubles, explained Robert Habeck during a press conference.

This emergency plan includes three levels of alert and at this stage, “the security of supply” of gas is guaranteed in Germany, he specified.

The reserves are currently 25% full, said the minister, noting that stopping deliveries would have “serious consequences” but that Germany “will be able to cope with it”.

9:18

The mayor of Mariupol on Wednesday denounced the forced evacuation to Russia of a maternity hospital in this besieged city in the south-east of Ukraine where another maternity hospital had been bombed by the Russians on March 9.

“More than 70 people, women and medical personnel were forcibly taken away by the occupants of the maternity ward No. 2 in the left bank district,” the town hall said on Telegram.

In total, more than 20,000 residents of Mariupol were evacuated “against their will” to Russia, according to the municipality, which claims that the Russians confiscated their papers and redirected them “to distant Russian cities”.

This information is unverifiable from an independent source, Mariupol being besieged since the end of February with failing communications.

4:44

“We can say that the signals we are hearing in the negotiations are positive, but they do not make us forget the explosions or the Russian shells,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message on Tuesday.

And after about five weeks of war, thousands of victims and millions of refugees, caution was also required within the Ukrainian general staff.

“The so-called withdrawal of troops is probably a rotation of individual units, which aims to deceive the military command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” he said in a statement Tuesday evening.

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