The United Nations undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs has called for safe passage to deliver humanitarian aid to conflict zones in Ukraine.
“Civilians in places like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Melitopol and elsewhere desperately need aid, especially life-saving medical supplies,” Martin Griffiths told an emergency meeting on the disaster sparked by Russia’s invasion, according to Agence France-Presse.
Griffiths urged all sides to ensure that civilians, homes and infrastructure in Ukraine were safeguarded.
“This includes allowing safe passage for civilians to leave areas of active hostilities on a voluntary basis, in the direction they choose,” he said, after Ukraine rejected an earlier deal that would only allow its civilians to evacuate into Russia or Belarus.
The meeting came as Ukraine and Russia seek an agreement on creating “humanitarian corridors” out of pummelled cities, as the civilian toll from the Russian assault mounts.
My colleague Luke Harding has been reporting from inside Ukraine for the past week and a half. Here, he meets some of the millions of people who have been forced from their homes by the invasion:
Reuters reports that Germany will host a virtual meeting of agricultural ministers from G7 countries on Friday to discuss the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global food security and how to best stabilise food markets, the government said.
“The provision of foodstuffs in Germany and the European Union is safe but greater shortages can be expected in some countries outside the EU – especially where scarcity already reigns today due to issues like drought,” German agriculture minister Cem Oezdemir said in statement.
“Price hikes for agricultural products cannot be excluded in industrialized nations either.”
The growing humanitarian crisis resulting from the war is the subject of our Today in Focus podcast today with more ethan 1.7 million having fled Ukraine for Europe.
The human rights journalist Annie Kelly tells Hannah Moore that the UNHCR estimates that more than 4 million people will become refugees as a result of this conflict.
Europe has opened it borders to the refugees but Lorenzo Tondo, who has been reporting from Ukraine’s border with Poland, says the difference between the response to these refugees and the response to those fleeing Iraq, Syria and Yemen were met with has been stark.
Russia offers ‘humanitarian corridors’ again – reports
Russia has again offered to provide so-called humanitarian corridors for civilians to flee besieged cities in Ukraine.
State media said that Russia would declare a “silence regime” from 10am Moscow time (7am GMT) on Tuesday morning.
Russian defence ministry officials said the ceasefire would be set up to evacuate people from the cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol, the reports said.
However, a similar plan meant to take effect on Monday was rejected by the Kyiv government as “cynical” because most of the corridors would take refugees to Russia or Belarus.
Ukraine president to address UK parliament by videolink
Volodymyr Zelenskiy is scheduled to address UK members of parliament on Tuesday as the Ukraine president steps up his bid for more western military support and a no-fly zone over his country.
His speech will be broadcast direct into the Commons chamber so that MPs can listen in with the help of simultaneous translation provided over headsets at 5pm GMT.
Britain has pledged defence equipment to his forces but along with Nato has rejected his suggestion that the western alliance could enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine bringing them into conflict with Russian planes.
Read our full story here:
Russia threatens Europe’s gas supplies
The Kremlin has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Europe and warned that the price of oil could rocket to $300 a barrel if the western allies step up their economic war against Russia by banning energy imports.
As European leaders prepare to meet at Versailles on Thursday to discuss weaning the continent off Russian gas and oil, Moscow warned that any such move could be a catastrophe for the global market.
“A rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market,” said Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak, saying the price could more than double to over $300 per barrel.
Noting that Germany last month froze the certification of Nord Stream 2 that was due to pipe gas from Russia to Germany, he said Russia could cut off the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline – one of the main sources of natural gas to Europe.
“We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” said Novak.
Hello, and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Martin Farrer and I’ll be taking you through the developments for the next few hours.
Here is a summary of the situation on the 13th day of Russia’s invasion:
- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has rallied the nation again in his late-night video address, saying “You do not back down. We do not back down”, adding that “heroic” resistance was making the war “like a nightmare” for Russia.
- Zelenskiy also again accused Russia of attacking fleeing civilians. Earlier on Monday his government rejected an offer from Moscow to create “humanitarian corridors” for the escape of civilians after it emerged that most of the supposedly safe routes led directly to Russia or Belarus. He accused Moscow of “medieval” tactics.
- A western ban on Russian oil imports may more than double the price to US$300 a barrel and prompt the closure of the main gas pipeline to Germany, Moscow warned on Monday. In response, EU leaders are expected to say the block will agree “to phase out our dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports”.
- The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is deepening as Russian forces intensify their attacks, while food, water, heat and medicine grow increasingly scarce. Some 1.7m Ukrainians are thought to have fled the fighting and the total could reach 5m, the EU said.
- Britain’s home secretary is under fire for the country’s “chaotic policy” towards Ukrainians seeking refuge in the UK. Only 300 have been granted asylum so far.
- Zelenskiy will address UK MPs on Tuesday via videolink and is expected to plead for more arms and a no-fly zone over Ukraine to be enforced by Nato.
- A senior Russian general has been killed in fighting in Kharkiv, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry. It said its forces killed Maj Gen Vitaly Gerasimov, believed to have been first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army.
- China’s foreign minister has called the country’s relationship with Russia “iron clad” as Beijing continues to refuse to condemn the invasion of Ukraine despite growing pressure from the US and European Union to use its influence to rein in Moscow.
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, accused Vladimir Putin of having a plan “to brutalize Ukraine”, as the UN tries to negotiate evacuation corridors. Russia’s ambassador hit back, claiming Ukrainians are shelling themselves.
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