BNN summary of the week: War in Ukraine. No-fly zone. Life in Russia

The week continued largely under the topic of Russia’s war in Ukraine. More and more news about bombarded cities kept coming in from Ukraine. One of the most shocking pieces of news was about Russian army bombarding the Mariupol Theatre in spite of large «children» warnings written on the asphalt outside the building. Reports indicate people there survived the bombing.
In response to the situation, three EU prime ministers travelled to Kyiv to show support for Ukraine and President Volodimir Zelensky. Officials discussed ways the west can show support for Ukraine’s fight for independence.
Latvia’s Saeima passed an announcement in which it urges UN member states to take immediate measures to establish a no-fly zone in Ukraine.
Russian residents, meanwhile, suffer from sanctions and the war. Artists and performers who oppose Vladimir Putin’s decision are prohibited from performing, and food prices are on a steep rise.
BNN gives you a summery of the most relevant events of the past week in the following topics: No-flight zone; Factory; Position; Sanctions; Notable visit; Life in Russia; Covid in Estonia.
Latvian parliament supports imposing no-fly zone in Ukraine
Photo: UnsplashOn Thursday, 17 March, Latvia’s Saeima invited members of the United Nations to take immediate measures in order to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine to protect people’s lives there.
The parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee prepared an announcement On Establishment of No-Fly Zone in Ukraine and Measures to Limit Russian Aggression for the parliament. In it, members of the committee explain that establishment of a no-fly zone in Ukraine should include guarantees for the safety in the skies above Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
In its announcement the Saeima also voiced full support for Ukraine, its defenders and people in the fight against Russia’s war of aggression, affirming Latvia’s unbending support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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Daugavpils locomotive repair centre reports major risks of shutting down operations
Photo: Evija Trifanova/LETADue to the war in Ukraine, JSC Daugavpils Lokomotīvju remonta rūpnīca (DLRR) will be forced to lay off at least 300 workers. On top of that, in the future there is a possibility of freezing or shutting down operations entirely, according to DLRR representatives.
The company notes that since the end of February DLRR’s financial situation has been at risk due to the war in Ukraine. The reason is because the company provided services to Ukrainian Metinvest Group, and due to the complicated situation in the country this company has not been able to transfer payments to cover services worth a total of EUR 8 229 550.
DLRR representatives stress that without immediate and effective support mechanism, there will be consequences that will leave an impact not only on Daugavpils but the entire country as a whole.
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Ieva Akuratere successfully becomes member of 13th Saeima
Ieva Akuratere. Photo: Zane Bitere/LETAOn Thursday, 17 March, Latvia’s Saeima approved parliament member status and duties for Conservative party member Ieva Akuratere, as confirmed by the parliament’s press-service.
Before the Saeima’s vote, Akuratere gave a solemn vow, which she then affirmed with her signature.
Akuratere was elected to the 13th Saeima from the New Conservative Party in Kurzeme election region.
Changes to the composition of the Saeima were necessary because Juris Jurašs left to join Ukrainian armed forced and put down his mandate.
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Europe presents fourth stage of sanctions against Russia
Photo: UnsplashOn Monday, 14 March, the European Union passed the fourth stage of sanctions against Russia for attacking Ukraine, as announced by France.
As mentioned in the announcement posted on Twitter, ambassadors of 27 EU member states have approved sanctions against people and companies «involved in the attack on Ukraine».
Details will be published once new sanctions have been published in the official EU journal, as confirmed by France, adding that the new package of sanctions was developed in coordination with western partners.
EU diplomats have also approved an announcement for the World Trade Organisation to cancel Russia’s «most favoured country» status in the organisation.
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Zelenskyy grateful for brave visit of NATO prime ministers
A handout photo made available by the Presidential press service shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (2-R) and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (3-R) attending the delegation meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (2-L), Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (4-R), leader of the Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party Jaroslaw Kaczynski (L), and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa (3-L) in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine, 15 March 2022. Photo: EPA/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT/SCANPIXKyiv, which has been a target of the invasion of Russian occupation forces since February 24, has been visited by Czech, Polish and Slovenian prime ministers. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for their visit, describing it a «powerful testimony of support», British news portal The Guardian reports.
During the visit on Tuesday, March 15, Zelenskyy informed the EU leaders on the latest military and humanitarian situation and the negotiations with Russia. «They are shelling everywhere,» Zelenskyy is heard telling them. «Not only Kyiv but also the western areas.»
The Ukrainian President also informed the Czech, Polish and Slovenian prime ministers, Petr Fiala, Mateusz Morawiecki and Janez Janša, that three Chechen brigades had been identified among the Russian forces.
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Consumers in Russia hit by soaring food prices, weakening rouble
Western brand’s signboards are dismantled from Aviapark mall building in Moscow. Photo: ANTON KARLINER/SIPA/ScanpixAfter EU and other countries sought to force Russia’s leadership to end its war against Ukraine with crippling sanctions and after international firms announced leaving Russia ne masse, people in Russia start to be affected by rapidly growing food prices, BBC reports.
In the first week of the invasion, consumer in Russia prices surged by 2.2% with food among the biggest rises. The government has required grocery retail chains to restrict the sale of staples, after reports of hoarding.
In the area of health, the sales of medicines are not subject to sanctions, but with major shipping companies suspending services, supplies could be affected. Sugar and cereal prices in Russia were already about 20% higher this February than in February 2021.
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Estonia rushes to lift Covid restrictions as hospitalisations drop
Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas. Photo: AFP/SCANPIXWith Estonian hospitals registering less new Covid patients, the limit, from which the government had pledged to lift key epidemiological restrictions, has been reached, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.
The Estonian government had backed lifting the Covid-19 vaccination certificate requirement and the 11 p.m. obligatory closing time for entertainment establishments when the 10-day average of daily hospitalizations with symptomatic falls below 25.
«The long-awaited day has now come. This morning’s data puts average hospitalizations at 24.9. While still high, our hospitals can cope with this level of new Covid patients that allows us to lift control measures,» Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas stated on social media.
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