China’s peace plan, Zelenskyy’s speech, UN resolution calls for Russia to withdraw

27 February, 03:15 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Monday, February 27th, 2023.

•    With 141 out of 193 votes, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution calling on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

Seven countries voted against the motion (Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria), and 32 abstained (most notably — China, India, and South Africa). The document consolidates key points of the Ukrainian peace formula. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on national TV that the resolution contains harsh language regarding Russia's responsibility and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Video of day

•    On Friday morning, Feb. 24, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to Ukrainians with an emotional speech on the anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Russia.

In his speech, he recalled the most heroic and tragic events of the year of the great war between Russia and Ukraine.  The President also expressed his condolences to those who lost their loved ones and relatives due to the criminal actions of the Russian occupiers. NV republishes the full text of his speech, in English.

•    NV provides a photo report of the “February. Year. Invincibility” event, which was broadcast online by the presidential office on Feb. 24.

•    In an interview with the BBC, Zelenskyy reveals that he didn’t believe the full-scale invasion would happen until the last moments, though he insists that Ukraine prepared for that eventuality regardless.

•    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a position paper on the settlement of the war in Ukraine.

According to China, in order to stop the war, the world needs to “abandon the ‘Cold War mentality’ and respecting the legitimate security interests of all countries,” “cease hostilities”, stop sanctions, maintain global supply chains, maintain nuclear safety, and resume direct negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

•    The United States officially announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The package, which totals $2 billion, is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). “One year on, the commitment of the United States, together with some 50 countries who have rallied to rush urgently needed assistance to Ukraine, has only strengthened,” the Department of Defense said in a press release.

•    British musician Elton John has praised the courage and resistance of Ukrainians, and handed over another donation worth of $125,000 for Ukraine to the United24 presidential fundraising platform.

The funds will be used to purchase 10 biochemical blood analyzers for the treatment of patients with HIV. John noted that he made a promise to support Ukrainians back in 2007 while performing in Kyiv. "For me, I go back to the promise I made on that spring night: that I, and my foundation, would always do everything we could to fight Aids in Ukraine,” John said.

•    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced the suspension of Russia’s membership.

FATF is a G7 initiative to combat transnational money laundering. According to the organization, “The Russian Federation’s actions unacceptably run counter to the FATF core principles aiming to promote security, safety, and the integrity of the global financial system.”

•    Cafes and restaurants in Ukraine have experienced a 10% increase in customer flow since the start of the full-scale war.

According to a survey published by the Restorator Reve restaurateurs' group, this increase is the average country-wide, though individuals locations like Kyiv have seen a 15% drop in transactions, compared to the pre-war period. In Lviv, however, transactions grew by 25%.

•    Poland has transferred the first four German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.

“Today, as the first European country, I want to symbolically hand over to you, Volodymyr, the first four Polish Leopard 2 A4 tanks,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. “These are tanks that, without a doubt, will perfectly complement the formation on the battlefield, and will account for themselves well.”

•    About one fifth of the previous staff numbers, or about 2,000 people, are still working at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.

The plant, the largest in Europe, was previously operated by 11,000 people prior to the full-scale war. The 2,000 remaining workers were forced to sign contracts with Russian state nuclear operator Rosatom, putting them at risk of violating Ukraine’s laws against collaboration, and are made to work 16-hour shifts – instead of the 6-hour shifts practiced by Ukraine.

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•    The World Bank has announced an additional $2.5 billion in grant financing for Ukraine.

The funds, provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be transferred to the government after the World Bank's review of eligible expenditures. "The grant provides direct support to Ukraine’s budget under the World Bank’s Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance in Ukraine (PEACE) Project, to maintain essential services and core government functions amid the on-going war," the statement said.

•    The European Union adopted a tenth package of sanctions against Russia on the anniversary of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions are aimed in particular at Russian propaganda and those involved in the deportation of Ukrainian children and includes 121 individuals and legal entities in the EU's blacklists. They will be subject to "significant" import/export restrictions.

•    A list of the sanctioned entities was provided by the EU.

•    The day’s long read: How the Russians 're-educate' young Ukrainians

NV reveals the details of the brainwashing of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia, and explains how these abductions constitute evidence of genocide.

•    Don’t miss: Kremlin pulls economic strings to influence Viktor Orbáns regime in Hungary
NV explains the economic levers that Russia is pushing in Hungary in order to keep Viktor Urban’s regime on its side in the EU.

•    In our opinion: The red line was crossed. What signal did Biden send to Putin and what is Xi Jinping preparing?

Political scientist Volodymyr Fesenko discusses U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Kyiv, and how the visit would be interpreted in China.

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