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UKRAINE WRAP | SA explains decision to abstain from voting to reprimand Russia

02 March 2022 - 06:10 By TimesLIVE
Tunisian nationals who fled to Romania following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, disembark from a plane upon their arrival at the airport in Tunis, Tunisia, March 2, 2022.
Tunisian nationals who fled to Romania following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, disembark from a plane upon their arrival at the airport in Tunis, Tunisia, March 2, 2022.
Image: REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

March 02 2022 - 20:55

SA explains decision to abstain from voting to reprimand Russia

The government has explained why it abstained from a UN General Assembly vote to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, saying that the resolution “does not create an environment conducive for diplomacy, dialogue and mediation”.

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, and demanded that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces, an action that aims to diplomatically isolate Russia at the world body.

March 02 2022 - 19:57

SA abstains from UN vote to reprimand Russia over Ukraine invasion

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and demanded that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces, an action that aims to diplomatically isolate Russia at the world body.

The resolution, supported by 141 of the assembly's 193 members, but not SA, ended a rare emergency session called by the UN Security Council and as Ukrainian forces battled on in the port of Kherson in the face of air strikes and a devastating bombardment that forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

March 02 2022 - 18:23

US envoy to UN urges the world to join reprimanding Russia over Ukraine invasion

Russia is preparing to increase the brutality of its campaign against Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday, urging the members of the General Assembly to vote in favor of a resolution that is set to reprimand Moscow over its invasion.

"This is an extraordinary moment. For the first time in 40 years, the Security Council has convened an emergency special session of the General Assembly" Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, ahead of the vote.

-Reuters

March 02 2022 - 15:53

Three Ukraine-based SA students land safely in Joburg as ambassador flees

Three SA students from Ukraine landed safely in Johannesburg via Hungary on Wednesday morning.

Department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela said more students were expected home in the coming days.

Monyela said on Tuesday 28 SA students in Ukraine were on their database, but he has since said the number could change as they get more updates.

March 02 2022 - 15:20

Midrand-based Ukrainian woman fears for her family back home

The bombing of an airport and a factory in Kyiv, near her family’s home, has made 44-year-old Ukrainian Illya Khimych — who moved to Midrand 18 years ago — fear for their safety as the Russians invaded the capital city this week.

“I could hear the explosions over the line. They are being bombed as we speak as this is all in civilian areas,” says 44-year-old Khimych, who phones her older son and brother a few times a day.

March 02 2022 - 13:46

War choking wheat supply leaves North African buyers most vulnerable

What can the world’s biggest buyer of wheat do when supplies from mainstay providers Russia and Ukraine are choked by war? For Egypt, it could mean pressing ahead on a delicate venture: raising the price of subsidised loaves for the first time in four decades.

Russia and Ukraine delivered 86% of Egypt’s wheat imports in 2020, according to the UN, and the combination of combat, fast-moving sanctions announcements and surging freight and insurance costs is propelling the grain to its highest price in more than a decade. That carries extra resonance in this North African nation, where rising food costs contributed to the Arab Spring protests a decade ago.

March 02 2022 - 13:41

Russia says it has captured Ukrainian city of Kherson

Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday Russian armed forces have taken control of the Ukrainian city of Kherson.

March 02 2022 - 13:39

Boeing suspends parts, maintenance for Russia

US airplane manufacturer Boeing said on Tuesday it was suspending parts, maintenance and technical support for Russian airlines as well as major operations in Moscow after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

March 02 2022 - 13:38

Gold near 13-month high as demand rockets on Ukraine invasion

Gold declined — but remained near a 13-month high — on fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could turn more brutal, aiding demand for haven assets as investors weigh the potential fallout and sanctions.  

Bullion dipped after jumping almost 2% in the previous session. It rose by the most since May last month amid mounting concern that the raft of penalties against Russia could dim the outlook for global growth and further stoke inflation. Holdings in exchange traded funds backed by the metal have risen for two straight months.

The small downward move on Wednesday is likely a technical pullback, said Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX.

March 02 2022 - 13:31

European stocks fall as oil price surge stokes inflation concerns

The oil & gas index jumped 3.4% on the back of a near-7% surge in oil prices, with Brent crude soaring past $110 per barrel for the first time since 2014.

Miners gained 2.5% as prices of metals including nickel and aluminium rose, supported by increasing fears of supply disruptions.

Overall, global stock markets came under pressure as investors worried about the impact of growing reprisals against Moscow, with US oil major ExxonMobil following its European peers in exiting Russia operations.

March 02 2022 - 13:20

Zelenskiy says Russia aims to erase Ukraine

As Moscow switches to strikes on Ukrainian cities, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Russia aims to erase his country.

March 02 2022 - 13:14

European coal price rises to five-month high on Russia sanctions

European coal surged to historic highs as sanctions against Russia for its assault on Ukraine tighten the global market, driving traders to look elsewhere for the commodity. 

The sanctions have triggered intense concerns over the ability of European utilities to get their hands on coal from Russia, which supplies more to the region than any other country. Even with the continent’s coal stockpiles at a historic low, high natural gas prices mean it’s still more profitable to burn coal than gas to produce power.

Benchmark annual futures jumped as much as 32% to $200 a ton on Tuesday, the highest since 2008. Month-ahead prices rose as much as 38% to hit a record high of $322.50. 

Many European utilities have started bidding for coal in SA as they are concerned they won’t be able to get supplies from Russia, according to one coal trader who wasn’t authorised to speak publicly. Last week, EU coal stock levels dropped to as little as 2.56 million tonnes, the lowest since Argus Media started compiling figures in 2014. 

March 02 2022 - 12:46

Turkey says Russia cancelled Black Sea passage bid upon its request

Russia cancelled a bid to send four of its warships through Turkish waters into the Black Sea at Turkey's request, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding the decision was made before Ankara closed the straits over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Nato ally Turkey borders Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. On Monday, Ankara said it had closed its Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits under a 1936 pact, allowing it to curb some Russian vessels crossing. The pact exempts vessels returning to their bases.

Cavusoglu told broadcaster Haberturk late on Tuesday that Turkey had asked Russia not to send its ships through before it labelled Moscow's invasion a “war” on Sunday, legally allowing it to curb passages under the Montreux Convention.

Reuters 

March 02 2022 - 12:44

Firefighters tackle Kharkiv strike aftermath

A video shows firefighters tackling the blaze caused by a Russian strike on a regional police department building in Ukraine's Kharkiv.

March 02 2022 - 12:38

Dozens in pacifist Japan volunteer to fight for Ukraine

Keiichi Kurogi was one of dozens of men in Japan who offered to join an “international legion” to fight Russian invaders after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for volunteers.

Kurogi, a 39-year-old office worker who lives in southwestern Japan, told Reuters he rang the Ukrainian embassy on Monday after seeing its plea for volunteers on Twitter.

“When I saw images of elderly men and women in Ukraine holding guns and going to the front, I felt I should go in their place,” he said.

The embassy declined Kurogi's offer to fight, telling him that he lacked the necessary military experience.

March 02 2022 - 12:28

Lithuania could ban Russian vessels from its ports -BNS

Lithuania's government will vote on Wednesday on whether to ban Russian vessels from its ports following the invasion of Ukraine, the BNS news agency reported on Wednesday."

Ships sailing under an aggressor flag will have no place in the Klaipeda port," Lithuanian Transport Minister Marius Skuodis told BNS, referring to the country's main port.

The ban would affect ships sailing under Russian flag or with any other connections to Russia, its people or companies, BNS reported. 

Reuters

March 02 2022 - 12:26

WATCH | ‘Blood and bodies in the street’ as Russia targets major cities in Ukraine

The country’s second largest city, Kharkiv, was hit by heavy shelling on Tuesday

March 02 2022 - 12:00

Russia's Lavrov says a third World War would be nuclear and destructive -RIA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that if a third World War were to take place, it would involve nuclear weapons and be destructive, the RIA news agency reported.

Lavrov has said that Russia, which launched what it calls a special military operation against Ukraine last week, would face a "real danger" if Kyiv acquired nuclear weapons.

Reuters

March 02 2022 - 11:00

Twitter sides with Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla amid Russia tweets

Social media network Twitter has apparently sided with Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla after her profile was reported amid her comments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This week former president Jacob Zuma’s daughter came under fire for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his role in the Russian-Ukraine conflict and calling him “president of the world”.

Users of the app reported her profile but Twitter apparently found she did not break any rules

March 02 2022 - 10:30

You can no longer send mail to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

The SA Post Office (Sapo) has suspended mail services to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus amid ongoing tensions between the countries.  

The suspension of services seems likely to be in response to conflict in the area. It is unclear when services will resume. 

Spokesperson Johan Kruger told TimesLIVE services will be accessible for customers who want to send airmail to 33 countries and surface mail to 51 countries.

“Customers who send items to other countries must make sure they do not send anything that is not allowed in the mail, which includes arms, ammunition, explosives, liquids or items that could break and leak.

March 02 2022 - 09:52

At least 21 killed, 112 wounded in shelling of Kharkiv - Ukrainian official

At least 21 people were killed and 112 wounded in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said on Wednesday.

The authorities have said Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Ukraine's second-largest city, including residential areas and the regional administration building.

Reuters

March 02 2022 - 09:41

Ukrainian journalist’s emotional plea to Boris Johnson  

This is the moment a Ukrainian journalist makes an emotional plea to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and NATO, for a “no fly zone” as he took questions at a press conference in Poland.

March 02 2022 - 09:35

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Russia bombards Ukraine cities, armored convoy stalls

#Moscow warned Kyiv residents to flee their homes and rained rockets on the city of #Kharkiv as Russian commanders intensified their bombardment of Ukrainian urban areas in a shift of tactics.

March 02 2022 - 09:29

WATCH | UN diplomats walk out on speech by Russian foreign minister

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov received an icy reception at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday. 

Diplomats from many countries got up and walked out of the room when he spoke. According to Euro News, this happened on two occasions.

After the walk out, one diplomat told Reuters the UN needed to take a strong stance.  

March 02 2022 - 09:05

Live: Refugees cross into Romania after Ukraine invasion

Ukrainians continue to flee to Romania after Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine

March 02 2022 - 08:41

Sean Penn joins Ukraine exodus to Poland after ditching car on ‘side of the road’

Days after visiting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to film scenes for his documentary on Russia’s invasion, Hollywood actor-director Sean Penn found himself among thousands of refugees fleeing to Poland by joining the exodus on foot.

Penn, 61, posted a photo to his Twitter feed on Monday showing the movie star wearing a backpack and toting luggage on wheels while he trudged along the shoulder of a road beside a line of cars stretching into the distance.

“Myself and two colleagues walked miles to the Polish border after abandoning our car on the side of the road,” Penn said in a caption tweeted with the picture.

“Almost all the cars in this photo carry women and children only, most without any sign of luggage, and a car their only possession of value.”

March 02 2022 - 08:00

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Battle for Kharkiv rages on with rockets hitting residential areas 

March 02 2022 - 07:30

Fear for civilians as Russian column bears down on Kyiv

A Russian armored column bore down on Kyiv and invasion forces fired rocket barrages into Kharkiv, on the sixth day of the assault on Ukraine.

March 02 2022 - 07:15

Satellite images show aftermath of Russia's Ukraine airstrikes

Satellite images show extensive damage caused by Russian airstrikes in Ukraine, including craters at a military airbase and the aftermath of a fire at an oil terminal after being hit by missiles.

March 02 2022 - 07:00

South Africans plead for their relatives: 'I am terrified for my family and friends in Ukraine'

“I am terrified for my family and friends in Ukraine,” says a tearful Angela Sevenster, who has all her family members stuck in the ongoing conflict.

On Tuesday, alongside others, Sevenster joined the Ukrainian Association in SA in a picket outside the offices of the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco), in both Pretoria and Cape Town, to protest against the SA government for not condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine strongly enough.

“This is the most difficult moment in the lives of all my people and I believe any normal person will stand for them because they are innocent in the decision made by [Vladimir] Putin to go to war against us,” she said.

March 02 2022 - 06:45

'We want to be in our home,' Ukrainian mother who fled says

A gymnasium in the Polish border city of Przemysl is now home to some of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion and sought refuge in neighboring countries.

March 02 2022 - 06:30

US stands with the Ukrainian people, says Biden

‘Let each of us if you're able to stand, stand and send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world,’ President Biden said, leading a standing ovation for the Ukrainian people in his #SOTU address.

March 02 2022 - 06:00

Zelenskiy's EU interpreter chokes up

A Ukrainian interpreter who choked up as he translated President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's address to the European Parliament said the speech had resonated with him.

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