Latest news from the war in Ukraine, live | Zelensky: “Mariupol is undergoing the biggest stress test in Ukraine’s history” | International

What has happened in the last hours in Ukraine

On the 23rd day of the war initiated by Russia against Ukraine, these are the key data at 8:00 p.m. this Friday, March 18:

At least one in five Ukrainians has had to leave their home because of the war. The UN’s International Organization for Migration estimates that the number of Ukrainians who have become displaced within their country has risen from 1.9 million people to 6.5, which means that at least one in five Ukrainians He has had to leave his home. The UN has also confirmed the death of at least 816 civilians in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian attack, although he acknowledges that the real figure will be much higher.

Putin defends his war before tens of thousands of Russians. Vladimir Putin has given himself a mass bath in defense of the war against Ukraine. On the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, and under the slogan “For Russia, for a world/peace without Nazism”, the Kremlin has organized a concert where the stands have been seen packed to the brim. Putin too He spoke this Friday with the French president, Emmanuel Macronwho has expressed his “extreme concern” about the situation in Mariupol, according to the Elysee.

Negotiations continue, with positions approaching, according to Russia, and without progress for Ukraine. Within the talks to reach a ceasefire, the Russian negotiator, Vladimir Medinski, has assured that Moscow and kyiv have moved closer to the positions regarding Ukrainian neutrality, but the Ukrainian negotiator, Mijaílo Podoliak, has indicated that his “positions are not they’ve changed”.

“Conflict and confrontation do not suit anyone,” Xi warns Biden. Chinese President Xi Jinping held a telematic meeting this Friday with the American, Joe Biden, to discuss Ukraine. “Conflict and confrontation do not suit anyone. Peace and security are the greatest treasures”, Xi stressed, to whom Biden had announced that he would try to dissuade his country from aligning itself with Russia.

“There are still hundreds of Mariupol residents under the rubble,” says Zelensky. The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, has given the last report on the state of the rescue work in the Mariupol theater, which was the object of a Russian bombardment on Wednesday, according to the Ukrainian authorities. “There are still hundreds of Mariupol residents under the rubble. Despite the difficulties, we will continue the rescue work,” Zelensky said. Hours earlier, the local authorities had reported the rescue of 130 people, although 1,300 remained sheltered in the basements of the compound, according to the Ukrainian Ombudsman, Liudmila Denisova.

Expulsion of Russian diplomats from the European Parliament and the Baltic countries. Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, has announced the prohibition of access to its facilities by Russian and Belarusian diplomats. “There is no room in the house of democracy for those who want to destroy the democratic order,” she said. This action coincides with the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats decreed by the three Baltic countries, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Bulgaria has also announced that it will expel another 10 diplomats of that nationality.

More pressure “at all levels” on Russia. “We will continue to exert pressure at all levels, including sanctions, lethal aid and diplomatic measures” against Putin, the premiere British, Boris Johnson, after speaking with the Ukrainian leader, Volodímir Zelenski. The US Department of Commerce, for its part, is investigating 100 aircraft that may have violated regulations on exports to Russia.

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