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Allow safe passage for civilians: UN Chief

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US, Europe mulling bans on Russian oil imports: Blinken
Russia tightens grip over Ukraine
Lviv shields its heritage statues
View of the central square after the shelling of the City Hall building in Kharkov, Ukraine.

UN, RUSSIA,UKRAINE: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday said it is “absolutely essential” to pause the fighting in Ukraine to allow for the safe passage of civilians caught in the conflict in areas like Kharkiv and Sumy.

“It is absolutely essential to establish a pause in the fighting in Ukraine to allow for the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy, as well as all other places caught in conflict, and to ensure life-saving humanitarian supplies can move in for those who remain,” Guterres said in a tweet as Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine intensified on Sunday.

The UN Chief’s tweet came amid Russian allegations that Indian and other foreign nationals are being kept by force in these regions by Ukrainian nationalists.

Meanwhile, the evacuation effort of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol reportedly failed for the second time Sunday, after pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine’s National Guard accused each other of failing to establish a humanitarian corridor.

Ukrainian authorities had planned to evacuate 200,000 people from the city of about 400,000, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Russian forces tightened their grip over Ukraine as the invasion entered day 12 on Monday. According to a report by the news agency Associated Press, the areas that are currently under heavy shelling include the outskirts of Kyiv, Chernihiv in the north, Mykolaiv in the south, and Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. Meanwhile, Netflix, TikTok became the latest companies to pull out from Russia.

Meanwhile, as the war between Moscow and Kyiv continues to advance, residents of Ukraine’s cultural capital of Lviv were seen covering and wrapping up all ancient statues and monuments to protect them from Russian assault.

Photos captured around the city’s central Market Square showed statues covered in protective plastic sheets.

“Some sculptures are more than 100 years old. They have historical importance. Hence, people are protecting them from the damage,” a Ukrainian citizen, Vlad, was quoted as saying by agencies.

Meanwhile, the United States said Sunday it was in “active discussions” with European nations about banning Russian oil imports as further economic penalty against Moscow for invading Ukraine, but stopped short of announcing an outright boycott.

Late last week the White House said it was looking for ways to reduce US consumption of Russian oil while protecting American families from price hikes, but pressure has mounted on Western nations to cut off Russian energy imports as a way to tighten the screws on the Kremlin. – THE HINDU, THE INDIAN EXPRESS, THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, THE BANGKOK POST

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 – 01:00

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