Live Updates of Russia – Ukraine Conflict (Day 15)

1. Large Tower in the Kagula Region, Russia, set ablaze

In the art park “Nikola-Lenivets” in the Kaluga region, Russia, they burned the “Tower of Babel” – the symbol of the current Pancake Day, as conceived by artists. The 23-meter art object was made of wooden pallets, shavings, straw. The video was obtained via @bazabazon / Telegram

Money transfer service Western Union stops working in Russia and Belarus…

Official announcement by The Western Union Company on Thursday:

“The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) stands with the world in condemning the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. All of us share the shock, disbelief, and sadness around this tragedy and humanitarian disaster. Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and to our colleagues, customers, agents, and partners who have been impacted.

“For the past weeks, our teams have been working to support our Ukrainian customers, including the millions who have been forcibly displaced, in the best ways we can. This includes donations to support humanitarian relief efforts and fee-free money transfer services.

“We also have engaged in extensive dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders in an earnest effort to arrive at the right decision regarding our services in Russia and Belarus. We have thoroughly evaluated internal and external considerations, including the consequences for our valued teammates, partners, and customers. Ultimately, in light of the ongoing tragic impact of Russia’s prolonged assault on Ukraine, we have arrived at the decision to suspend our operations in Russia and Belarus.

“We join the international community in expressing sincere hope for a diplomatic and peaceful resolution. Meanwhile, our priorities remain the well-being and safety of our employees as well as continuing to support the people of Ukraine, including the growing number of refugees seeking safety.

French newspaper demands that Ukraine gives back all Russian-speaking territories to Russia

Readers of the French newspaper Le Figaro criticized Kiev’s position on the escalation of tensions on the border between Russia and Ukraine.

“What groups keep talking about war? The West and NATO, and now the Zelensky administration. No one else,” Chris Mandalay wrote.

“Let Ukraine return all Russian-speaking territories,” user Felix86 suggested.

According to readers, the United States is behind all of Kiev’s actions, and the Ukrainian state has been engaged in “years of active propaganda.”

“Ukraine is not conducting mobilization. Which means that everything is a bluff. And the Ukrainian authorities understand that they are dealing with a theater for naive spectators,” argel75 noted.

“How is it possible to believe and, even worse, to indoctrinate others that Russia can invade Ukraine?” – paul giblin wrote.

Western media and politicians have recently begun alleging that the Kremlin is pulling troops to the border with Ukraine. As Russian presidential spokesman Dmitriy Peskov pointed out, Moscow is moving military forces within its territory and at its own discretion – no one is threatened and no one should be concerned.

In his turn, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that the number of Western instructors in Donbass had increased. In his opinion, such actions by the alliance countries may provoke the Ukrainian authorities “to military adventures,” which poses a direct threat to Russia’s security.

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov holds talks with Venezuelan Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez

Lavrov is negotiating with Venezuelan Vice President Rodriguez, an RIA Novosti correspondent reports. Developing…

The Russian Government issues a list of goods temporarily banned for export…

The Russian government has issued a list of previously imported goods and equipment to Russia from abroad, which are temporarily forbidden to export from the country, the decision will be valid until the end of 2022, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers said.

“The list includes technological, telecommunications, medical equipment, vehicles, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment – more than 200 items in total, including railway cars and locomotives, containers, turbines, metal and stone processing machines, monitors, projectors, consoles, and panels. This measure is necessary to ensure stability in the Russian market,” the press service said in a statement.

Export of these goods is temporarily restricted to all foreign countries, except for member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. With regard to these countries, the export authorization procedure approved by a separate governmental decree will be applied. Permits for export of goods to EAEU countries, Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Natural Resources.

JUST IN – Zelensky signed a law on the principles of compulsory seizure in Ukraine of property of Russia and its residents

Russia says Mariupol hospital was base for Ukraine nationalists

AFP – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed on Thursday that a hospital that was attacked in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol had been serving as a military base for nationalists.

“This maternity hospital has long been occupied by the Azov Battalion and other radicals. They drove out the women in labour, nurses and general staff. It was the base of the ultra-radical Azov Battalion,” Lavrov said, following talks in Turkey with his Ukrainian counterpart.

Beijing vows harsh response if US slaps sanctions on China over Ukraine

“In the process of settling relations with the Russian Federation, the US is not entitled to impose so-called sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian noted

“The U.S. and the West treat Ukrainians as test subjects,” State Duma says

Draft Resolution of the Russian State Duma: “The United States and the West in their dangerous plans treat Ukraine and its population actually as test subjects”

Angela Merkel breaks silence; condemns Russia’s military operation in Ukraine…

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the Russian military special operation to demilitarize Ukraine.

“This Russian offensive war marks a profound turning point in post-Cold War European history,” she said.

According to her, “there is no justification for this egregious violation of international law.”

“I categorically condemn this,” Merkel told the DPA news agency.

RT News – The head of European diplomacy said that the EU has reached the limit in financial sanctions against Russia

The European Union has imposed the maximum number of financial sanctions against Russia. This was stated by Josep Borrel, head of EU diplomacy.

“As for the financial sanctions, of course, you can always go further, but we have already reached the limits of what we can do. We have done all we can do,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying in an interview with Franceinfo.

Borrell said that the EU sanctions will be a “heavy burden on the Russian economy.

Earlier, spokesman for the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said that an unprecedented economic war had been unleashed against Russia.

Medvedev sent his regards to McDonald’s: “We can make our own cutlets and buns, and they are of excellent quality!”

“We can make our own cutlets and buns, and they are of excellent quality. This, by the way, could be done by the businessmen who are under sanctions. Greetings to McDonald’s!”

He recalled that in 2014 “by the efforts of the West there was also panic on an empty space and sanctions were introduced. However, according to him, over the past time Russia managed to “ensure food security, solve a number of issues in the field of import substitution.

The main results of the meeting between Lavrov and Kuleba:

Kuleba: Negotiations were tough, no progress on ceasefire.

Kyiv does not intend to fulfill Russia’s demands.

The meeting with Lavrov focused on opening humanitarian corridors and the ceasefire regime.

Lavrov: Those who pump Ukraine with weapons and mercenaries are responsible for their actions.

Russia presented Ukraine with concrete proposals for a settlement at the last round of talks, Ukraine has taken the Russian draft into consideration, will respond.

Russia has not attacked Ukraine and has no plans to attack other countries.

Russia will take care of its own economy, the authorities are doing that.

We don’t want the militarization of Ukraine, we don’t want to keep the trend of building a neo-Nazi state in Ukraine. We want Ukraine to be neutral, we are ready to discuss security guarantees for Ukraine together with security guarantees for European countries and Russia.

Lavrov told Kuleba that Russia is always ready for high-level talks if they have added value. Putin is not turning down a meeting with Zelensky and at some point, hopefully, such a need will arise, Lavrov added.

Uniqlo temporarily suspends activities in Russia… with reservations

Earlier, after reports about the closure of stores in Russia, CEO Tadashi Yanai said that “the people of Russia have the same right to life as we do,” so the chain will not leave the Russian market.

UPDATE: The Uniqlo store chain did announce the suspension of operations. The stores will be out of business from March 21.

KFC officially announced the suspension of work in Russia

The company Yum! Brands (owns KFC and Pizza Hut) is closing 70 KFC restaurants. The company is also working with its franchisees to suspend all Pizza Hut restaurants in Russia.

The day before it was reported that the holding will stop investments and advertising activities in Russia.

Negotiations between Lavrov and Kuleba began in Antalya

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is holding a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba in Turkey, an RIA Novosti correspondent reports.

The ministers’ talks are taking place on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Antalya, also attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

A new world war has already begun, said Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the start of a new world war, which is now of an economic nature, TeleSUR reports.

“It is aimed at strangling entire countries and regions, provoking instability in the supply of raw materials, food, and energy,” he explained.

According to Maduro, this war can move from an economic phase into a real armed confrontation with the risk of using nuclear weapons.

“I was one of those who initially did not rule out the possibility of Ukraine having weapons of mass destruction directed towards Russia. There is a real danger of a nuclear war in the world. Venezuela calls on the world community to be conscious,” the head of state concluded.

JUST IN – Russia announces it will no longer participate in the Council of Europe…

Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe will also mean a withdrawal from all its institutions, said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation.

On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia will not participate in “turning Europe’s oldest organization, the Council of Europe, by the NATO members and the obedient EU which follows them” into “another platform for spells of Western superiority and narcissism,” adding: “Let them enjoy communicating with each other without Russia.

According to Russian official sources, the U.S. experimented with Coronavirus in Ukraine…

U.S.-funded bio laboratories in Ukraine have been experimenting with the coronavirus in bats, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters.

“In the bio laboratories created and funded in Ukraine, as the documents show, experiments were carried out with samples of bat coronavirus,” he said.

According to him, of particular interest is the detailed information on the US implementation of a project to study the transfer of pathogens by wild birds migrating between Ukraine, Russia, and other neighboring countries.

According to Konashenkov, according to the documents, the American side planned to study pathogens in birds, bats and reptiles and the possibility of these animals carrying African swine fever and anthrax.

Putin explained to Turkish President Erdogan the conditions for suspending the attack on Ukraine…

Vladimir Putin said in a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the suspension of the Russian special operation in Ukraine is possible only if Kiev ceases hostilities and fulfills the previously outlined requirements of Russia.

This was reported by the press service of the Kremlin. During a telephone conversation, the President of Russia noted that Moscow is ready for dialogue with Kiev and foreign partners to resolve the conflict.

At the same time, the Russian leader emphasized the futility of attempts to drag out negotiations, which is used by the Ukrainian security forces to regroup their forces.

Chinese newspaper suggests the U.S. banned Russian energy imports ‘to force Europe to do the same’

Readers of the Chinese edition of “Guancha” are actively discussing the US decision to stop importing energy from Russia.

Many users have come to the conclusion that Washington has developed a special plan, according to which the European Union will have to abandon the purchase of Russian energy resources.

“The United States set fire to the powder keg of Ukraine to suck the blood out of all of Europe,” one commenter wrote. “The rationale for US action is simple: Europe, you are not allowed to buy Russian oil and gas, but I can sell them for a higher price!” — said the second.

“The United States is trying to trick Europe into listening and stop importing Russian resources so that America can then sell them at an incredibly high price,” a third explained.

Other readers have tried to predict the future price of a barrel of oil: “If the United States and Europe impose a ban on the import of Russian energy, the world oil price will probably rise to three thousand dollars per barrel, so how much will their inflation rise then?” asked one of Guancha users.

Insulin manufacturers confirm continuation of work in Russia

The main world producers of insulin have confirmed that they will continue their work and deliveries on the Russian market, the press service of the Russian Ministry of Health reported.

“The world’s major insulin producers have confirmed in writing the continuation of their work on the Russian market and the continuation of deliveries,” the report says.

“The production and commercialization of Russian insulins is also going according to plan,” the ministry said. Drug supply issues are a priority and are under constant control of the Ministry of Health and Roszdravnadzor, the press service emphasized.