Russian forces in Ukraine appear to have shifted their focus to what Moscow calls the liberation of the contested Donbass region, as the conflict enters its second month.
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Biden can't decide who'll be in power in Russia — Kremlin
The Kremlin dismissed a remark by US President Biden that Putin "cannot remain in power," saying it was up to Russians to choose their own president.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Reuters: "That's not for Biden to decide. The president of Russia is elected by Russians."
Peskov did not immediately respond to a follow-up request for reaction to the White House clarification.
5,208 people were evacuated from Ukraine
A total of 5,208 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Saturday, a senior official said, fewer than the 7,331 who managed to escape the previous day.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office, said in an online post that 4,331 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol.
Ukraine recaptures town near Russia border
Ukraine has said its forces had recaptured the northeast town of Trostianets, near the Russian border, one of the first towns to fall under Moscow's control in its month-long aggression.
"The city of Trostianets in the Sumy region has been liberated from Russian occupation troops," the Ukrainian defence ministry announced on social media citing the 93rd Brigade.
"The Russian army fled Trostianets leaving behind weapons, equipment and ammunition," the defence ministry statement said.
US has no objections war-plane transfer - Ukraine
Ukraine has said that the US does not object to the transfer of war planes to Kiev to help it fend off the Russian aggression after the Pentagon previously rejected an offer from Poland.
Officials in Washington "have no objections to the transfer of aircrafts. As far as we can conclude, the ball is now on the Polish side. We will look further into this matter in our conversations with Polish colleagues", Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in written comments to AFP.
"Ukraine is in a critical need for more combat aircraft," Kuleba said in the comments, saying Kiev needed them to "strike a balance in the sky" and prevent Russia from "killing more civilians".
Biden: Putin cannot remain in power
US President Joe Biden has said his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power" and called the conflict in Ukraine a "strategic failure" for Moscow, in a major speech in Warsaw.
"For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power," he said of Putin. He added that the world must prepare for a "long fight ahead". "We stand with you," he told Ukrainians.
Addressing ordinary Russians, he said that they were "not our enemy" and urged them to blame Putin for the heavy economic sanctions imposed by the West. He also warned Russia not to move on an "inch" of NATO territory.
White House: Biden not calling for Russia regime change
Joe Biden is not seeking "regime change" in Russia, the White House has said, after the US president declared that Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power".
"The president's point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region," a White House official said. "He was not discussing Putin's power in Russia, or regime change."
Kremlin's chief spokesperson dismissed Biden's remark. "That's not for Biden to decide. The president of Russia is elected by Russians," Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
US to provide $100M in civilian security assistance to Ukraine
The United States intends to provide Ukraine with an additional $100 million in civilian security assistance, the State Department has said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement the assistance would be to build the capacity of the Ukrainian ministry of internal affairs with a view to aid "border security, sustain civil law enforcement functions, and safeguard critical governmental infrastructure."
US Presidet Biden in Warsaw:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 26, 2022
- 'Swift and punishing' costs are the only things that will get Russia to change its course
- NATO is a defensive alliance; it has never sought Russia's demise
- World must prepare for ‘long fight ahead’ pic.twitter.com/iQtxoOS7EY
Ukraine forces 'recaptured town' near Russia border
Ukraine has said its forces have recaptured the northeast town of Trostianets, near the Russian border, one of the first towns to fall under Moscow's control in its month-long campaign.
"The city of Trostianets in the Sumy region has been liberated...," the Ukrainian defence ministry announced on social media citing the 93rd Brigade. "The Russian army fled Trostianets leaving behind weapons, equipment and ammunition."
It published images showing Ukrainian soldiers and civilians among heavily damaged buildings, and what appeared to be abandoned Russian military equipment along with a signpost to the town.
Half of Ukrainians 'ready to take up arms'
Nearly half of Ukrainians aged 18-55 are ready to fight to defend their country against Russia, a poll conducted by a Norwegian research centre suggested.
Around 70 percent of men and 30 percent of women said they were willing to take up arms, according to the survey carried out by the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (Prio) with the help of local pollsters Info Sapiens.
The latter questioned more than 1,000 Ukrainians considered of age to defend their country, half of them men and half women, in an attempt to create a representative sample.
Britain seizes two of Russian billionaire's jets
Britain has seized two jet aircraft belonging to Russian billionaire Eugene Shvidler as Western governments seeking to end the conflict in Ukraine put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin by targeting the luxury lifestyles of his closest supporters.
Treasury Secretary Grant Shapps said the two aircraft would be detained “indefinitely”. The Times of London described the aircraft as a $45 million Bombardier Global 6500 and a $13 million Cessna Citation Latitude.
“Putin’s friends who made millions out of his regime will not enjoy luxuries whilst innocent people die,” Shapps said on Twitter.
Irpin residents evacuated from the city
Several Irpin residents have been evacuated from the city to Kiev. Ukrainian rescuers carried the injured from ambulances and helped other residents walk out.
Some of them have spent several days in basements under heavy bombardment of the city.
Residents and volunteers said Irpin had been completed destroyed with multi-story and private houses on fire.
Official: Five wounded in strikes on west Ukraine city Lviv
Two rocket strikes have hit Ukraine's western city of Lviv, wounding at least five people, regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy has said. Earlier he had reported three powerful explosions in the eastern edge of Lviv.
Plumes of thick smoke could be seen in the city centre. The mayor, Andriy Sadovy, said in a later post "an industrial facility where fuel is stored caught fire" but no residential buildings were damaged.
Lviv had been largely untouched by violence, rendering it a key hub for refugees. The city is just 70 kilometres (45 miles) from the border with Poland, where US President Joe Biden is visiting.
Russia occupies Chernobyl staff town, Kiev says
The Russian army has taken control of the town where staff working at the Chernobyl nuclear site live and captured the mayor, sparking protests, Ukrainian officials have said.
"Russian occupiers have invaded Slavutych and occupied the municipal hospital," the military administration of the Kiev region, which includes the town, wrote on Telegram. Some 25,000 people live in the town 160 kilometres (99 miles) north of the capita.
Residents took to the streets, carrying a large blue and yellow Ukrainian flag and heading towards the hospital, the administration said, adding that Russian forces fired into the air and threw stun grenades into the crowd.
Biden calls Putin 'a butcher' while meeting refugees
US President Joe Biden has called Russia's Vladimir Putin a "butcher" while meeting Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. Asked what he thought of Putin after meeting refugees, Biden said: "He's a butcher."
Biden also lauded the spirit and resolve of Ukrainian refugees. “What I am always surprised by is the depth and strength of the human spirit,” Biden told reporters after his conversations with them.
Russia was quick to hit back. Biden's comments narrow the prospects for mending ties between the two countries, TASS news agency cited a Kremlin spokesman as saying.
Biden 'not sure' if Russia has changed strategy in Ukraine
US President Joe Biden has said he is not sure that Russia has changed its strategy in Ukraine, after Moscow said its focus was now to completely "liberate" the breakaway eastern Donbass region.
"I am not sure they have," Biden said when asked by a reporter if Russia had changed its strategy.
Polish leader asks Biden about speeding up military purchases
Polish President Andrzej Duda has said during his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Warsaw he had asked about the possibility of speeding up military purchases.
Duda said he was referring to purchases of Patriot missile systems, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), F-35 aircraft and Abrams tanks.
Ukrainian legislators have passed a new law that penalises the sharing videos on social media platforms that might compromise the country's defence forces fighting Russian troops. Our correspondent Ali Mustafa has the details from Kiev pic.twitter.com/Ki4q2EMgbm— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 26, 2022
Mayor: Russian advance preventing Chernigiv evacuations
The mayor of Chernigiv has said the advance of Russian troops means that large-scale evacuations from the town are no longer possible. He said 44 severely wounded people, including three children, could not be evacuated.
"City officials can no longer arrange humanitarian corridors or evacuate the wounded," Chernigiv mayor Vladislav Atroshenko told reporters, adding that a pedestrian crossing leaving the city was under "constant" attack from Russian troops.
"We are deciding on how to get the seriously injured out by any means. We can't operate on them locally," he said. He said over 200 civilians have been killed in the northern Ukrainian town.
Georgia's breakaway region sends troops to help Russia
Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia has sent troops to Ukraine to "help protect Russia", its leader has said.
"Our guys are going to fulfil their military duty with a proudly raised banner," the leader of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, said on Telegram. He said the troops were "on fire."
"They understand perfectly that they are going to defend Russia, they are going to defend Ossetia too," Bibilov said. He did not say how many troops had been deployed but posted a video showing several buses and trucks on the move.
German states outlaw display of Russia's 'Z' symbol
Two German states say they have outlawed public displays of the "Z" symbol used by the Russian army in attacks on Ukraine.
Anyone who brandishes the symbol at demonstrations or paints it on cars or buildings in a show of support for Vladimir Putin's aggression could risk up to three years in jail or a fine in Lower Saxony or Bavaria.
"It is incomprehensible to me how this symbol 'Z' could be used in our country to condone this crime," said Lower Saxony's interior minister Boris Pistorius.
UK urged to accept more Ukrainian refugees
Thousands of people have rallied in the UK capital in solidarity with Ukraine, as London's mayor stepped up criticism of the government's response to the refugee crisis.
Following a call from the mayor Sadiq Khan for a demonstration of "solidarity with Ukraine", crowds marched through the city centre to Trafalgar Square for a mid-afternoon vigil and speeches.
"We want the people of Ukraine to know that in their darkest hour, they are not alone," Khan told Sky News.
The Labour mayor said he was "embarrassed" by the Ukrainian refugee policies of Britain when speaking to political leaders in European countries, which are accepting far more and quicker.
On Friday, US President Biden visited an American air base in Poland, where he said the conflict in Ukraine has put democracy and world freedoms at stake, and repeated his accusation that Russian President Putin is a war criminal pic.twitter.com/ninrjQuW8F— TRT World (@trtworld) March 26, 2022
Biden meets top Ukrainian ministers in Warsaw
Joe Biden has met two Ukrainian ministers in Poland in the first face-to-face talks between the US president and top Kiev officials since Russia launched attacks on Ukraine on February 24.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov made a rare trip out of Ukraine in a possible sign of growing confidence in the fightback against Russian forces.
At the Warsaw venue, Biden could be seen seated at a long table between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, an AFP reporter said. Blinken and Austin pledged support to meet Ukraine's humanitarian, security, and economic needs.
Biden: NATO article 5 is 'sacred commitment' for US
The US has a "sacred commitment" to the NATO military alliance's collective defence, US President Joe Biden has told his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda during a visit to Warsaw.
"You can count on that...For your freedom and ours," he told Duda, who said that Poles were feeling a "great sense of threat" as a result of the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.
Kiev mayor cancels Sunday curfew
The mayor of Ukraine's capital has cancelled a curfew he had announced just hours earlier for the next day without providing further explanation. "New information from the military command: the Kiev curfew will not enter into force tomorrow," mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on Telegram.
The usual overnight curfew from 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) to 07:00 am (0500 GMT) would hold but people would "be able to freely move around Kiev on Sunday during the day", he added.
On Saturday morning, Klitschko had said a fresh curfew would be imposed on the capital from Saturday evening until Monday morning.
Ukraine minister says got more US security assurances
Ukraine has received additional security pledges from the United States on developing defence co-operation, its Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
"We did receive additional promises from the United States on how our defence co-operation will evolve," Kuleba told reporters.
Russia says not planning to call up reserves
Russia has said it does not plan to call up reservists for Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine, denouncing what it claims are "false" summons to Russian men by Kiev's security services.
"The Russian defence ministry is not summoning and does not plan to summon any reservists to the military commissariats," spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
In the statement posted on messaging app Telegram, Konashenkov said "many" Russian men had in recent days received "false" phone calls notifying them of their summons to the military commissariats, and blamed them on Ukraine.
Misinformation has become 'WWIII': Ukraine official
The Ukraine conflict has unleashed a "Third World War" over misinformation, an official from the country has said.
Russia's attack on Ukraine has also forced a profound change in the way big tech companies are handling information, experts told the Doha Forum at which Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova put Ukraine's case.
"I believe we are entering a Third World War, not a conventional conflict but an information war," said Dzhaparova, a former journalist. "It is like radiation — you don't feel it, you don't touch it, but it affects you."
Russian defence minister reappears after 2-week absence
Russia's defence minister Sergei Shoigu has reappeared, after his two-week absence from view prompted questions. His ministry published a video showing Shoigu, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, chairing a meeting on Russia's weapons budget.
No dates accompany the images on state television but Shoigu refers to a finance ministry meeting that Russian news agencies reported took place on Friday. The minister said arms orders and supplies are taking place "despite difficulties" from sanctions.
On Thursday, the Kremlin referred to a conversation between the minister and Putin at a security council meeting, brushing aside speculation about Shoigu's absence. Shoigu reportedly last appeared in public on March 11.
Exxon: Aggressively working through options for Russian exit
Exxon's Senior Vice President Neil Chapman has said the company is working through the options of how to exit their Russian venture.
"We are working through these options now, aggressively working through these options," he told Reuters in Qatar on the sidelines of the Doha Forum. Chapman said there was no set timeline for the process.
Watch the moment when Sky News crew came under attack while attempting to enter Ukraine's northern city of Chernihiv.— TRT World (@trtworld) March 26, 2022
Russian forces have encircled the city and destroyed the last escape route of Chernihiv pic.twitter.com/WJsyQ0rlh2
More than 100,000 people still need to be evacuated from Mariupol
More than 100,000 people still need to be evacuated from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on national television.
Ukraine's capital announces new 35-hour curfew
Authorities in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, have announced a new 35-hour curfew in the city.
Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the curfew will run from 8 pm local time on Saturday to 7 am on Monday, with local residents allowed to leave their homes only to get to a bomb shelter.
Klitschko said that shops, pharmacies, gas stations and public transport will not be operating during the curfew.
Türkiye neutralises “mine-like” object at entrance to Bosphorus
Türkiye’s defence ministry said a “mine-like” object has been “neutralised” at the northern entrance to the Bosphorus Strait.
The sighting of a possible naval mine followed warnings that mines laid at the entrances to Ukrainian ports could break free in bad weather and cross the Black Sea.
Broadcaster NTV showed images of an object bobbing in the waves off Istanbul’s Sariyer district, on the Bosphorus’ European coast. A Coast Guard vessel was stationed nearby.
Japan sees growing chance of Russia using nuclear weapons
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the prospect of Russia using nuclear weapons was "increasingly real", welcoming a visit by the US ambassador to Hiroshima, the first city to suffer a nuclear attack.
Japan, the only country attacked by atomic weapons, has regularly spoken out against nuclear armaments. Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in parliament, visited the city's peace memorial and museum with envoy Rahm Emanuel.
"When the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia is increasingly real, I believe Ambassador Emanuel's visit to Hiroshima and his experience of seeing the nuclear reality will become a strong message to the international society," Kishida told public broadcaster NHK.
Türkiye becoming strategic energy hub for Europe
Türkiye’s is becoming a strategic energy hub for Europe in the wake of Russia’s offensive on Ukraine, according to a new report by a leading German foundation.
Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s confidential report, which was sent to conservative German lawmakers this week, recommended enhanced cooperation between Berlin and Ankara to address energy problems and security challenges.
“In terms of diversifying Germany's energy policy, there are limited alternatives to Russia in the short term,” the report said, but underlined that Türkiye offers “real alternatives,” as European countries are seeking to reduce their dependency on Russia.
Biden to meet Ukrainian ministers in Warsaw
Joe Biden prepared to meet in Warsaw with two Ukrainian ministers in the first face-to-face meeting between the US president and top Kiev officials since Russia's offensive began.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov will be making a rare trip out of Ukraine in a possible sign of growing confidence in the fightback against Russian forces.
The White House said Biden would "drop by" a meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with Kuleba and Reznikov in the Polish capital.
Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko announces extended curfew from 8 pm local time on Saturday till 7 am on Monday pic.twitter.com/tGhpmrr2O8— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 26, 2022
Ukraine says Russia's attack kills 136 children so far
The conflict in Ukraine has killed 136 children in the 31 days since the start of the Russian offensive, Ukraine's office of the prosecutor general said in a message on the Telegram app.
Of the total, 64 children have been killed in the Kiev region, the office said. A further 50 children have died in the Donetsk region, it said.
Additionally, 199 children have been wounded.
Reuters was not able to immediately verify the report.
Ukraine president urges Qatar to hike gas output
Ukraine's president made a surprise video appearance Saturday at Qatar’s Doha Forum, calling on the energy-rich nation and others to boost their production to counteract the loss of Russian energy supplies.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared Russia’s destruction of the port city of Mariupol to the Syrian and Russian destruction wrought on the city of Aleppo in the Syrian war.
Zelenskyy called on countries to increase their exports of energy — something particularly important as Qatar is a world leader in the export of natural gas.
Russia fuelling nuclear arms race - Zelensky
Russia's "bragging" about its nuclear weapons is fuelling a dangerous arms race, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Doha Forum.
"They are bragging that they can destroy with nuclear weapons not only a certain country but the entire planet," Zelensky said.
Ukraine's President Zelenskyy adresses Doha Forum, asking for an increase in output of energy "so everyone in Russia understands that no one can use energy as blackmail" pic.twitter.com/4u4mCP6ZsH— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 26, 2022
Russia scales back goals in Ukraine conflict
Russia has signalled it may dial back its offensive aims to focus on eastern Ukraine after failing to break the nation's resistance in a month of fighting.
The possible shift came ahead of a planned meeting by US President Joe Biden with Ukrainian refugees in Poland and talks with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Warsaw before he gives a speech on the "brutal war", the White House said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the February offensive to destroy Ukraine's military and topple pro-Western President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, bringing the country under Russia's sway.
But Sergei Rudskoi, a senior general, suggested a considerably reduced "main goal" of controlling Donbas, an eastern region already partly held by Russian proxies.
Ukrainian president calls for ‘meaningful … fair’ talks
Ukraine’s president said that negotiations with Russia were necessary, however, they had to be result-oriented and fair for Ukrainians.
“Talk is necessary: Meaningful. Urgent. Fair. For the sake of the result, not for the sake of the delay,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement on Telegram.
“Ukrainian sovereignty must be guaranteed. Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be ensured. That is, the conditions must be fair. And the Ukrainian people will not accept others,” he added.
Ukraine forces counter Russian troops near Kiev
Battle lines near Kiev have been frozen for weeks with two main Russian armoured columns stuck northwest and east of the capital.
A British intelligence report described a Ukrainian counteroffensive that had pushed Russians back in the east.
On the capital's northwest, Ukrainian forces have been trying to encircle Russian troops in the suburbs of Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel, reduced to ruins by heavy fighting.
The cities of Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy north and east of Kiev have also endured devastating bombardment. Chernihiv was effectively surrounded by Russian forces, its governor said.
Biden to call on 'free world' to stand against Putin
US President Joe Biden will argue in a speech in Poland that the "free world" opposes Russia's offensive in Ukraine and that there is unity among major economies on the need to stop Vladimir Putin, the White House said.
After three days of emergency meetings with allies of the G7, European Council and NATO, and a visit with US troops in Poland, Biden will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Biden vowed to restore democracy at home and unite democracies abroad to confront autocrats including the Russian president and China's leader Xi Jinping.
US to sanction companies providing technology for Russian military, intelligence services - Wall Street Journal pic.twitter.com/BKxpBAeGFd— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 25, 2022
'Ukraine's sovereignty must be guaranteed' — Zelenskyy
Ukraine’s president has said that negotiations with Russia are necessary, however, they have to be result-oriented and fair for Ukrainians.
“Talk is necessary: Meaningful. Urgent. Fair. For the sake of the result, not for the sake of the delay,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement on Telegram.
“Ukrainian sovereignty must be guaranteed. Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be ensured.
That is, the conditions must be fair. And the Ukrainian people will not accept others,” he added.
UK to supply Ukraine with $2.6 million worth food
Britain said it would fund $2.6 million worth of vital food supplies for areas of Ukraine which are encircled by Russian forces following a direct request from the Ukrainian government.
Britain said around 25 truckloads of dried food, tinned goods and water will be transported by road and rail from warehouses in Poland and Slovakia to the most at-risk Ukrainian towns and cities.
"The need on the ground in Ukraine is clear, with so many people in encircled areas trapped in basements without access to food or water," Alice Hooper, the British Foreign Office's Humanitarian Adviser, said in a statement.
Around 7,330 people were evacuated from humanitarian corridors
Thousands of Ukrainians were evacuated to safe regions through two humanitarian corridors, according to the country’s deputy prime minister.
Iryna Vereshchuk said the combat against Russian forces was continuing and two humanitarian corridors were opened in Mariupol and Melitopol with 7,331 residents evacuated.
Vereshchuk said authorities were working on humanitarian convoys as 80 tons of food, medicine and hygiene were dispatched to Melitopol and Berdiansk.
US prepares to sanction Russian firms assisting Moscow - report
The Biden administration is preparing sanctions targeting Russian companies it says provide goods and services to Moscow's military and intelligence services, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
The US Treasury Department sanctions could be announced as early as next week, the report said, citing US officials. The Treasury Department declined to comment on the report.
Most of the companies that are expected to come under the reported sanctions — including Serniya Engineering and equipment maker Sertal — were earlier added to a US list banning exports of sensitive technologies to them, according to the report.
Oil prices, stocks higher after EU snubs Russia ban
Crude prices were higher and stock markets made decent gains after European countries decided against a ban on Russian oil imports over its assault of Ukraine — but Germany said it would slash its energy purchases from Moscow.
European stocks, which had been firmly higher earlier in the session, ended the day with only modest gains, but on Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 climbed out of a midday slump to both gain under one percent at the close.
"It seems the skyrocketing move higher with commodity prices has taken a break and that has allowed investors a chance to pile back into equities," said Edward Moya of OANDA.
However, analysts say instability in the prices of commodities such as oil were keeping markets volatile, while investors will remain cautious over the economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine, now entering its second month.
German orchestra backs its Greek-Russian conductor
Germany's SWR Symphony Orchestra has said it would keep working with Greek-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis despite his "problematic" ties to a Russian bank hit by sanctions over the assault in Ukraine.
The Stuttgart-based SWR radio orchestra said a European tour starting March 27 would go ahead as planned but the programme would be changed to feature Russian, German and Ukrainian composers in "an appeal for peace and reconciliation".
Leading Russian artists working abroad have faced pressure to publicly denounce Russia's attack, or risk losing their jobs. Currentzis, who has been chief conductor of the SWR orchestra since 2018, has not spoken out against Putin.
For live updates from Friday (March 25), click here