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War in Ukraine: talks, recapture of the city of Irpin from the Russians, Red Cross… news of the conflict

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The main information on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Tuesday, March 29, which marks the 34th day of the start of the conflict.

– Red Cross asks Moscow and kyiv to agree on evacuations

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today called on Russia and Ukraine to do everything possible to reach an agreement on the safe evacuation of civilians from Mariupol and other cities besieged by the Russian army. , during the negotiations that began between the two parties in Turkey.

ICRC director-general Robert Mardini told Reuters his organization was not involved in forced evacuations of civilians – a method used by the Russian military in Syria – saying he had no “first-hand information” about the fact that such population displacements would take place in Ukraine.

He lamented that the Red Cross was the target of a “disinformation campaign” on social media. “We are concerned that the intensity of the fighting puts civilians at risk, that in places like Mariupol civilians are not able to leave in safe conditions, that there has been no concrete agreements between the parties to the conflict to allow the safe evacuation of civilians, and that there has also been no green light (from Russia) to deliver humanitarian aid (in the besieged cities)”, underlined Robert Mardini.

Ukraine and Russia must also allow the ICRC access to prisoners of war, as provided for in the Geneva Conventions, and allow the repatriation of the bodies of fallen soldiers, he added during an interview at the headquarters of the ICRC in Geneva.

– Russian supply chains, next target of sanctions

The United States and its allies are considering sanctioning new sectors of the Russian economy and disrupting its supply chains, due to the continuing war in Ukraine, the United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury said on Tuesday (March 29th). , Wally Adeyemo.

The aim of this expansion of punitive measures against Moscow is to further undermine “the Kremlin’s war machine”, he said at a conference organized by the Chatham House research institute on the occasion of a visit to London.

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“In addition to sanctioning companies in sectors that allow the Kremlin to carry out its nefarious activities, we are considering taking steps to disrupt their essential supply chains,” he added.

“Our goal is to employ an integrated approach including export controls that will weigh over time and sanctions that will strike immediately,” the Deputy Treasury Secretary explained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the launch of a major offensive against Ukraine on February 24, described by Moscow as a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” the country.

Western powers have retaliated with heavy economic sanctions on Russia, including the freezing of central bank reserves, the exclusion of many private banks from the SWIFT international payment system and restrictions on exports of technological goods to of Russia.

– Ukraine says it hopes for three humanitarian corridors, including one in Mariupol

Ukrainian authorities hope to be able to open three humanitarian corridors this Tuesday, March 29, to allow the evacuation of civilians from towns besieged by Russian troops, said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk.

The kyiv authorities will in particular try to set up a secure humanitarian corridor to allow residents of Mariupol, a port in southeastern Ukraine besieged for several weeks, to leave the city in private cars. The mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boïtchenko, declared this Tuesday morning March 29 on BFMTV that around 100,000 people were waiting to be evacuated from the city.

– Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the “liberation” of the city of Irpin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in a video on Tuesday March 29 that the town of Irpin, located near kyiv, has been retaken from the Russians. “Today we have good news. Our soldiers are advancing in the kyiv region, and regaining control of Ukrainian territory. We have liberated Irpin. Good job.”

– At least 5,000 people killed in Mariupol

In Mariupol, a port city in the south of the country besieged by the Russian army, nearly 5,000 people were killed, including around 210 children, according to data provided by the mayor of the city.

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The adviser to the Ukrainian presidency confirms the terrible toll by saying: “People have not been buried for ten days because of the continuous bombardments and given the number of people still under the rubble, there could be around 10,000 dead. “

– Warning sirens in Ukraine ahead of talks with Russia

Warning sirens sounded before dawn on Tuesday March 29 across Ukraine, a few hours from talks in Turkey between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators during which kyiv hopes to obtain a ceasefire but does not intend to carry out any territorial concession or over its sovereignty.

Ukraine and the United States do not believe in major progress during these talks, the first face-to-face between the two camps for more than two weeks, although the Russian offensive seems to be stalling in different points.

Ahead of the discussions planned in Istanbul, the Ukrainian foreign minister warned that kyiv would not concede any human life, territory or sovereignty.

“The minimum program will be humanitarian issues, and the maximum program is to reach a ceasefire agreement,” Dmitro Kouleba told state television.

In Washington, a senior US State Department official said Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared unwilling to compromise to end the war.

– GRDF is preparing an “unprecedented scenario” for next winter

France is able to cope with a possible interruption of gas supply from Russia for the end of this winter but GRDF, the operator of the French gas distribution network, is preparing for an “unprecedented” scenario for next winter, explained its general manager Laurence Poirier-Dietz in an interview published this Tuesday, March 29 in Les Echos.

“There is nothing to worry about for the end of this winter. Gas flows from Russia continue to arrive in France normally at this stage and the end of the cold season is approaching”, underlines Laurence Poirier-Dietz .

GRDF is however preparing for next winter, “in the event of a total or partial interruption of Russian gas imports”, which “would be unprecedented” and the group is ready “to apply exceptional measures to reduce consumption, including in an emergency,” she adds.

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