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Burnt Russian ship and the first prisoner exchange: Highlights on war in Ukraine as of March 24

War in Ukraine: Top news as of March 24. Photo: Collage by The Page

War in Ukraine: Top news as of March 24. Photo: Collage by The Page

The twenty-ninth day of the war against the Russian invaders continues in Ukraine. This day has been quite eventful for business, politics, and economics. The Page has compiled a digest that will help you to know the situation in Ukraine.

The major developments of the day are:

  • On Thursday, March 24, the first full-fledged exchange of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia took place. By order of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 10 captured invaders were exchanged for 10 Ukrainian soldiers. In addition, 11 Russian civilian sailors rescued from a sunken ship near Odesa were exchanged for 19 Ukrainian civilian sailors from the rescue ship Sapphire. The ship will be returned to Ukraine.
  • The U.S. banned transactions with Russian gold. The US Treasury has imposed sanctions on Russia's gold reserves, namely $132 billion in monetary gold. The amount of the international reserves of the Russian Federation is $643 billion, of which $300 billion is arrested by the EU, the USA, Canada, Japan and other countries that supported the sanctions. Another $132 billion of Russia's central bank reserves are kept in the form of physical gold in the country. Another 400 tons of gold was in the National Wealth Fund, from which, among other things, the war in Ukraine is now financed.
  • Western Union stops work in Russia and Belarus over the situation in Ukraine. The company addressed to the Bank of Russia with a request to be excluded from the register of payment system operators from March 24.

Politics

  • The European Commission launched the ERA4Ukraine portal to provide information and support services to Ukrainian scientists forced to evacuate abroad over the war. On the portal one can find information about the recognition of diplomas, current job vacancies, getting social assistance, and housing offers for scientists and their families.
  • The European Council approved financial assistance under the European Peace Facility to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which amounts to 1 billion euros. The approved funding will be used to provide equipment and supplies such as personal protective equipment, first aid kits and fuel, as well as military equipment and platforms intended to deliver lethal force for defense purposes.
  • The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is withdrawing from the International Association of Academies of Sciences over the distance of the organization from condemning Russia's military aggression. It is noted that the Association did not respond in any way to the bombardment of peaceful cities and the destruction of civilian, in particular scientific, infrastructure, did not express any support for the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens, and the state.
  • Over to the war in Ukraine, school leavers will be able to enter Ukrainian universities in 2022 through a multi-subject online test (Ukrainian, history of Ukraine, and mathematics). Changes will depend on the situation at the front, but the decision to impose such tests is not final.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic relocated the Embassy of Slovakia in Ukraine from Kyiv to Uzhhorod, Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok says. With this step, Slovakia wants to show that it remains in Ukraine, and thus the office will be fully operational from Uzhhorod. The same employees who were evacuated from Kyiv will work at the embassy. The Ministry will constantly assess the situation in connection with the war.

Economy

  • The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has opened a multi-currency charity account to support culture and media in Ukraine. It is noted that all information on the receiving funds to a charitable account, as well as reporting on their use, will be posted on the website of the State Agency of Ukraine for Art and Art Education: https://arts.gov.ua/donate/
  • During martial law, 67% of existing bank branches continue to operate in Ukraine, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Serhiy Nikolaychuk said. At the same time, according to him, there are big problems with the work of branches in Chernihiv, Kyiv, Kharkov, and Kherson, but he noted that even in these regions, despite everything, there are banks that ensure the work of their branches.

Business

  • The Verkhovna Rada simplified the access of Ukrainian farmers to the lease of land plots of private, communal, and state ownership during martial law under the Russian Federation military aggression. The parliament also deregulated some forms of relations between agricultural producers and the state. District military administrations can lease land to farmers, but they must pay no more than 8% of the normative monetary value of such plots.
  • The Lithuanian gas supplier Ignitis grupe, which buys part of the gas it needs from Gazprom, will refuse to purchase it from the Russian gas concern.
  • On March 24, Privatbank provided 37 loans to agricultural producers in the amount of 106.6 million UAH in the first 3.5 hours under the state support program. According to the bank's press service, the institution provides a new agricultural loan every six minutes.
  • Context. Earlier we reported about what weapons Ukraine will get from the West and how this will shore up our defense.
  • We also provided up-to-date information about the situation in Ukraine over the Russian invasion that lasts 29 days.
  • In addition, we provided information from the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the enemy casualties in the war with Ukraine as of March 24, 2022.
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