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Kyiv Post Daily Thread – The Latest News From and About Ukraine on March 8

All the latest updates and news from Ukraine today.

Kyiv Post Daily Thread – The Latest News From and About Ukraine on March 8

Good day, here are all the latest stories from the Kyiv Post news team...

'Critical' that Ukraine Grain Deal is Extended: UN Chief Guterres in Kyiv

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday underscored during a visit to Kyiv the need to extend the deal which has allowed the resumption of grain exports from war-torn Ukraine.

"I want to underscore the critical importance of the rollover of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on 18 March and of working to create the conditions to enable the greatest possible use of export infrastructures through the Black Sea," Guterres said during a visit to Kyiv.

During Kyiv Kisit, UN Chief Slams 'Shocking' Video of Killing

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called "shocking" a viral video that apparently showed a detained Ukrainian soldier being shot dead after speaking a pro-Ukraine slogan.

"The recent shocking images of a Ukrainian soldier apparently being summarily killed is yet another tragic reminder that the laws of war must be strictly respected," Guterres said during a visit to Kyiv.

Joy as Street Lights Back on in Ukraine's Kharkiv

Joy as Street Lights Back on in Ukraine's Kharkiv

Street lighting has returned to Kharkiv, sparking joy in Ukraine's second-largest city that has been plunged into darkness and shelled regularly by Russian forces for more than a year.

Public lighting was switched on for just under two hours in the city centre on Tuesday evening, an AFP journalist reported.

The return of the lights lifted spirits in Kharkiv, which was home to around 1.5 million people before Russia invaded last February.

"Despite the wishes of the enemy, our city of reinforced concrete lives on and shines," said a story in the Kharkiv Times.

Local writer Anna Ghin said residents of Kharkiv had celebrated "victory of light over darkness. "I have not felt such strong emotions in a long time," she wrote on Facebook

NATO Chief says Bakhmut May Fall 'in Coming Days'

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Wednesday that the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut may fall into Russian hands in the coming days following months of intense fighting.

"We can not rule out that Bakhmut may eventually fall in the coming days," Stoltenberg told reporters in Stockholm on the sidelines of a meeting of EU defence ministers.

EU Court Halts Sanctions Against Wagner Chief's Mother

A European court on Wednesday cancelled EU sanctions imposed on Violetta Prigozhina, the mother of Russian paramilitary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, ruling that Brussels had not proved she was linked to her son's actions in Ukraine.

In a statement, the EU General Court said even if Prigozhin was responsible for illegal acts in Ukraine, the evidence presented against his mother when the sanctions were applied last year was insufficient.

Prigozhin is the leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, a private military company active in various countries around the world and notably Ukraine, where it is fighting alongside regular units as part of Moscow's invasion.

The European Union has imposed visa bans and asset freezes on many Russians accused of playing a role in the conflict, starting in March 2014 when Moscow seized Ukraine's Crimea region.


Zelensky Warns of Threat of Bakhmut Breakthrough - But Russia Has Severe Problems

Zelensky Warns of Threat of Bakhmut Breakthrough - But Russia Has Severe Problems

In recent comments to the international media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that control of the frontline city of Bakhmut hangs in the balance and its loss would be a military disaster for Kyiv.

Bakhmut, is a city in the Donbas region, with a pre-war population of around 70,000. Ukrainian forces defending the city have been under almost continuous, grinding Russian army assault since August.

In an exclusive Mar. 7 interview, with the US channel CNN, Zelensky said Russian troops would have an “open road” to capture key cities in eastern Ukraine if they seize control of Bakhmut, saying: “We understand that after Bakhmut they could go further. They could go to Kramatorsk, they could go to Sloviansk, it would be open road for the Russians after Bakhmut to other towns in Ukraine, in the Donetsk direction. That’s why our guys are standing there,”

Leading American and British observers, including the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which in its Mar. 8 update questioned the President’s appraisal, saying “ISW continues to assess, that Russian forces lack the capability to exploit the tactical capture of Bakhmut to generate operational effects, which will likely rapidly culminate following the capture of Bakhmut.”

Read the full report here

President Zelensky's Greetings on International Women's Day

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday praised Ukrainian women on International Women's Day for taking a central role in defending their country against Russia's invasion.

"I think it is important to give thanks today. To thank all the women who work, teach, study, rescue, heal, fight -- fight for Ukraine," Zelensky said in a short video on social media.

It was also a day "to remember, think about and thank all women who gave their lives for our country", he added.

"Together we are strong. Together we are invincible. Together we are free. And together we will definitely win. We will," Zelensky said.

Kremlin Rejects Nord Stream Report as 'Diversion'

Kremlin Rejects Nord Stream Report as 'Diversion'

Russia rejected reports Wednesday that a "pro-Ukrainian group" with no official ties to the government in Kyiv may have carried out an attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year.

Four large gas leaks were discovered on the pipelines linking Russia and Germany last September, with Moscow and the West blaming each other for "sabotage". The report in the New York Times did not give the source for the intelligence, or name the group that could be responsible, but said officials had seen no evidence implicating Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"It's clear the people who orchestrated the attack want to create a diversion. This is clearly a well-coordinated media campaign," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state-run agency RIA Novosti.

"This whole story isn't just weird. It reeks of a monstrous crime," Peskov added

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is in Kyiv

EXPLAINED: Could a ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Have Blown Up the Nord Stream Gas Pipelines?

The mystery of who was responsible for sabotaging the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year took another intriguing turn this week when it was reported that “US officials” have seen new intelligence that indicates a "pro-Ukrainian group" was behind the audacious attack.


A senior official in Kyiv has already denied any knowledge of or links to the perpetrators but the news is sure to only fuel ongoing speculation about the incident.


Read Kyiv Post's analysis of the latest developments here.

UN Believes Video of Ukrainian Soldier's Killing 'May be Authentic'

UN Believes Video of Ukrainian Soldier's Killing 'May be Authentic'

The UN Human Rights Office said Wednesday it believes that a viral video showing what it called the apparent execution of a captured soldier after saying "Glory to Ukraine" may be authentic.

"We are aware of this video posted on social media that shows a Ukrainian soldier hors de combat apparently being executed by Russian armed forces. Based on a preliminary examination, we believe that the video may be authentic," a spokeswoman told AFP.

Famous Military Commander ‘Da Vinci’ Dies Near Bakhmut

On the evening of March 7, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the famous Ukrainian military officer Dmytro Kotsyubailo, known as "Da Vinci", died in the battle near Bakhmut.


The 27-year-old was mortally wounded in an enemy attack. You can read Zelensky's tribute to him here


Kyiv Post Morning Memo – Everything You Need to Know on Wednesday, March 8

Kyiv Post Morning Memo – Everything You Need to Know on Wednesday, March 8

Your daily news brief direct from Ukraine’s capital where the news of the death of “Da Vinci” on the frontlines near Bakhmut has hit the entire country hard.

You can read the full memo here.