What happened today (March 31) : NPR

A local resident carries a cage on Thursday while walking past an apartment building destroyed in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters


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Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters


A local resident carries a cage on Thursday while walking past an apartment building destroyed in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

The Thursday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:

A large humanitarian convoy set out for besieged Mariupol in southern Ukraine. The convoy of 45 buses will try to bring supplies and evacuate some residents, Ukrainian officials said. By the Mariupol mayor’s estimates, you have thousands of remain trapped in the city, encircled for weeks by Russian forces and lacking food, water and power. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it might begin evacuations Friday, but needs security guarantees from troops on the ground.

Russian appear troops to be moving away from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the senior US defense official said. The move is seen as part of the broader pullback of troops from the area around Kyiv and other parts of northern Ukraine. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Russian forces also formally returned control of the Chernobyl site to Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine and Russia are expected to summarize peace talks over video on FridayUkraine’s lead negotiator said.

The US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on Russian tech and illicit procurement networks that are used to evade sanctions. The agency said more sanctions are on the way, targeting sectors critical to Russia’s military. As gas prices arise, in part because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the US is also planning the largest-ever release from its emergency oil stash.

Russia will begin enforcing ruble payments for its natural gas exports on Friday. This plan had pushed European gas prices rising as the region depends on Russian gas. The Kremlin’s decree on Thursday said exports will be halted if ruble payments aren’t made, but it also laid out how foreign buyers might continue current contracts by converting euros and dollars to rubles in a Russian bank.

in-depth

When deciding to flee Ukraine means leaving a family member behind.

Russia’s war in Ukraine reminds Georgians of what they survived in 2008.

How much are sanctions actually helping push Russia to end the war in Ukraine?

Breaking through Russian propaganda with a chain “letter of unhappiness.”

Here’s how you can avoid getting scammed when donating to support Ukraine.

earlier developments

You can read more news from Thursday here, as well as more in-depth reporting and daily recaps here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

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