EU to Russia: ‘War crimes must stop immediately’ in Ukraine

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EU to Russia: ‘War crimes must stop immediately’ in Ukraine

European Union says invasion of Ukraine ‘grossly violates international law’, calls on Russia to end attacks.

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  • Russia says it is now focused on fully capturing Donbas in apparent shift in strategy.
  • Ukraine says 7,331 people were evacuated from cities on Friday.
  • UN nuclear watchdog says staff members at Chernobyl’s radioactive waste facilities have not been rotated in four days.
  • President Vladimir Putin accuses West of trying to cancel Russian culture.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron to hold talks with Russia’s Putin over Mariupol evacuation initiative.

Here are all the latest updates:

Russia ‘scaling back’ ambitions in Ukraine: Analyst

Russia is shifting its military goals in Ukraine to focus on fully capturing the eastern region of Donbas because it failed to quickly take Kyiv, Harry Nedelcu, policy director Rasmussen Global, an international policy consultancy firm, has said.

“Now like a bully that got a bloody nose, Russia is scaling back its ambitions,” Nedelcu told Al Jazeera from Brussels.

“It’s bringing this back to a focus on just the territories of the so-called People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine, which Putin recognised right before he invaded Ukraine. So this allows Putin to concentrate firepower and resources on war aims which from Moscow’s perspective are more attainable.”

Ukraine says 7,331 people were evacuated on Friday

A total of 7,331 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Friday, a senior official said, more than double the 3,343 who managed to escape the previous day.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in an online post that 2,800 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol using private transport.

Macron to hold talks with Putin over Mariupol evacuation initiative

Macron has said he will hold talks with Putin in the next 48 to 72 hours regarding the situation in Ukraine and an initiative to help people leave the besieged city of Mariupol.

Macron said he is coordinating efforts with Greece and Turkey and hopes to convince Russia to allow the evacuation.

EU to Russia: ‘War crimes must stop immediately’

European Union leaders have urged Russia to fully respect its obligations under international law and abide by the recent order by the International Court of Justice that told Moscow to withdraw from Ukraine.

“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and is causing massive loss of life and injury to civilians,” the leaders of the 27-nation EU said in a joint statement.

“Russia is directing attacks against the civilian population and is targeting civilian objects, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools and shelters. These war crimes must stop immediately.”

Russian focus on ‘liberating’ Donbas hints at shift in strategy

Russia has claimed that the first phase of its “military operation” in Ukraine was mostly complete, and that it would focus on fully “liberating” eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

The announcement appeared to indicate that Russia may be switching to more limited goals after running into fierce Ukrainian resistance in the first month of the war.

“The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which … makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbas,” Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, said.

Read more here.

Read all the updates from Friday, March 25 here.


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