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
Medvedev calls on Americans to stand up for Trump
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on Americans to revolt over the alleged imminent arrest of former US President Donald Trump. “Take back your country, Americans! Fight back!” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday. How seriously the 57-year-old meant his demands remained unclear.
He concluded his comment with the probably ironic remark that he wrote this at the request of the presidential candidate “Colonel Daniil Fyodorovich Trump”. He was probably alluding to speculation about the relationship between the former US President and the Kremlin. Shortly before, Trump had called on his supporters to protest because he is said to be arrested next Tuesday. (You can read more about this here.) Trump is being investigated in connection with a hush money payment to a porn actress. Trump denies the allegations.
In his text, Medvedev also addressed the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. “The idiots in Europe want to arrest a stranger, and on March 21 they will arrest one of their own people in America,” Medvedev wrote. In the past few months, the politician has attracted attention several times with extremely sharp and sometimes bizarre attacks on the West. Observers suspect that he wants to give himself the image of a hardliner – for a possible successor to Putin.
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.
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.