March 29, 2022Newsletter

Russia Update: March 29, 2022


The latest round of ceasefire talks in Istanbul has wrapped up. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was in attendance. Ukraine’s proposal reportedly includes:

  • Security guarantees such that the guarantors will intervene if Russia attacks, including by supplying arms or imposing a no-fly zone (Ukraine calls it an “enhanced analogue” of NATO’s Article 5) by the U.S., UK, Turkey, France, and Germany
  • Ukraine will be a non-aligned, non-nuclear state with no foreign bases but can join the EU
  • Ukraine and Russia will consult on the status of Crimea for 15 years but won’t use violence to solve the issue
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will personally discuss the issue of the Donbas region, which includes Donetsk and Luhansk

This proposal would be subject to a referendum by the Ukrainian people, which, if approved, would then go to the parliaments of Ukraine and the security guarantors. A Russian negotiator said that there’s still a long way to go in negotiations.

That said, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister announced that Russia’s military was scaling back activity near the northern cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv so as to “increase mutual trust for future negotiations,” though Russia’s ceasefire negotiators also cautioned, “De-escalation does not mean a ceasefire.” The announcement was met with skepticism from the U.S. and others. One Western official said that Russia’s strike capability would still pose a “significant threat” to Kyiv. A U.S. official called it a “redeployment not a withdrawal” and noted that this doesn’t mean that offensives in other areas of Ukraine will go away. The Pentagon’s spokesperson said that the threat to Kyiv has not been radically diminished.

India said it will continue to import Russian goods, especially if they’re discounted, as the country prepares for a visit from Russia’s Foreign Minister.


A Treasury Department official warned Russian oligarchs and businesses that the U.S. is monitoring transactions for signs of sanctions evasion and that the U.S. is also tracking Russians not subject to sanctions yet.


The ruble further recovered, in part due to ruble requirements on gas shipments and exports. Poland is banning Russian coal imports.

Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Ireland expelled a total of 43 Russian diplomats due to alleged ties to espionage. The UK seized a Russian-owned superyacht.

Ukraine Sitrep

A Russian airstrike in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv destroyed local government offices. The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Ukraine’s atomic sites are in “unprecedented danger” and is discussing the safety of facilities. The AP says it has independently documented 34 attacks by Russia against medical facilities, ambulances, medics, and patients.

The leader of the breakaway region of Donetsk said that the region would consider joining Russia.

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