+ Ukraine war in the news blog + |  Putin visits Crimea for first time since war began

+ Ukraine war in the news blog + | Putin visits Crimea for first time since war began

Day 386 since the beginning of the war: The Ukrainian government is planning to reappoint several ministries. Putin is on a surprise visit to Crimea. All information in the news blog.

The most important things at a glance

Different information on the duration of the grain deal

5:39 p.m.: The grain agreement between Russia, Ukraine and Turkey has been extended once again. It would actually have expired on March 19th. However, there were different statements about the duration: The Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Olexandr Kubrakow announced that the agreement had been extended by 120 days. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova disagreed. The agreement has been extended by 60 days, she said, according to the RBC news platform. Here you can read more about it.

Kiev: Several ministerial dismissals in the coming week

5:10 p.m.: According to official information, two ministers will be exchanged in the Ukrainian government next week. “Today at the parliamentary group meeting of the political party ‘Servants of the People’ we discussed cadre changes in the government that are planned for the coming week,” Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal said on his Telegram channel. This affects the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Industry.

The current Minister of Education and Science, Serhiy Shkarlet, is to be replaced by Oksen Lisovyi, who was previously director of the Small Academy of Sciences and served as a volunteer in an airborne brigade. The Ministry of Strategic Industrial Sectors is to be taken over by the former head of the Ukrainian railways, Oleksandr Kamyshin. He will replace Pavlo Ryabykin.

According to media reports, at least Education Minister Shkarlet is resigning of his own accord. Nothing is known about the reasons. Recently, the Ukrainian government had been shaken by several corruption scandals, which had led to some dismissals.

Putin visits Crimea on anniversary of Russia’s annexation

4:43 p.m.: On the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin paid a personal visit to Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula on Saturday. In the midst of the Ukraine war, Putin made a surprise trip to the port city of Sevastopol, the home port of the Russian Black Sea fleet, as reported by Russian television.

Sevastopol Governor Mikhai Razwozhayev welcomes Russian President Vladimir during his visit to the Crimean Peninsula on the ninth anniversary of the annexation. (Those: IMAGO/ SNA)

It was the Kremlin chief’s first visit to Crimea since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. Russia incorporated Crimea into its own territory on March 18, 2014. The annexation was preceded by a referendum that was not recognized by Kiev and the international community.

The pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia published a survey on the anniversary, according to which 86 percent of Russians continue to support the annexation of Crimea. In Moscow, on the occasion of the anniversary, activists loyal to the Kremlin protested in front of the embassies of 20 countries classified as “unfriendly”, including in front of the German diplomatic mission.

Ukraine reports new drone attacks – especially in the west

3:11 p.m.: Ukraine reported new drone attacks on the west of the country on Saturday, especially in the Lviv region. On Friday evening, the Russian army attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made drones, the Ukrainian army said in a statement on the online service Telegram. Eleven of 16 drones were “destroyed” – including all of the missiles aimed at Kiev.

Some buildings were hit in the Lviv region in the extreme west of Ukraine, as well as in the Dnipro region; there were no injuries at any of the locations. However, “critical infrastructure” was hit in Novomoskovsk, there was a fire and several houses were destroyed or damaged. The attacks were launched from the Sea of ​​Azov and from the Russian region of Briansk.

Erdogan: Russia and Ukraine extend grain agreement

2.50 p.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Saturday the extension of the grain deal with Ukraine. “After talks with both sides, we have pledged to extend the agreement, which was due to expire on March 19,” said the Turkish head of state in a television speech in the afternoon – just hours before the agreement expired. Here you can read more about it.

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