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Russia - Ukraine war news summary: Monday 7 March 2022

Update:
Ukranians who fled the conflict get off a ferry at the border crossing in Romania, on March 7, 2022 in Isaccea, Romania.

Ukraine-Russia war: live updates

Russian invasion of Ukraine: headlines

- Third round of peace talks yields "small positive developments" on humanitarian corridors - Ukrainian negotiator

- Russia declares ceasefire starting Tuesday at 10 am Moscow time.

- Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls for boycott on Russian exports, particularly oil

- Invasion will stop "in a moment" if Ukraine meets Russian demands, Kremlin says

- Russia's conditions include Ukrainian constitutional commitment not to join any blocs

- 1.7m refugees have left Ukraine so far, the UN says

- Up to 5m Ukrainians could flee country if Russian invasion continues - EU foreign policy chief

- Top US lawmakers on trade matters agree deal on bill to punish Russia

What you need to know about the conflict

- How can I support the refugees fleeing war in Ukraine?

- China and Russia said their relationship had "no limits." Is the statement still true?

- What would happen if Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant exploded?

- Prolonged attack threatens the global supply of crops 

- Zelenskyy, Zelensky or Zelenskiy? Why spelling is important to Ukrainians

- How long can Russia fight in Ukraine?

Related news articles:

WORLD NEWS

Why is the 64-kilometre Russian convoy not moving towards Kyiv?

A column of Russian forces stretching 64 kilometers, or about 40 miles, including armored vehicles, artillery and tanks, has been moving at a snail’s pace toward Kyiv. The vanguard of the massive assembled military might has halted its advance 25 kilometers (15 miles) outside of the Ukrainian capital.

Military analysts are baffled by the slow advance of the Russian military since it started its invasion 24 February. Several reasons could explain why including logistical and mechanical problems, as well as low morale among Russian troops, especially in the face of unexpected Ukrainian resistance.

Full details

Civilians ready to fight for Ukraine

Ukrainians have been showing incredible bravery and resilience as the Russian army comes bearing down of them. The resistance has kept the invading forces from gaining important cities as they march toward Kyiv. 

Ukraine claims to have killed another Russian Major General

Last week it was confirmed that a Ukrainian forces sniper killed Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, deputy commander of the Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District. He had been the highest ranking Russian official killed so far in the invasion of Ukraine. He had ventured to the front of a 40-mile-long military convoy northwest of Kyiv stalled enroute to the capital.

Wednesday the Ukraine Defense Ministry claimed another Major General has been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine near Kharkiv which still hasn't fallen to the Russians. Their forces have had to bypass the city in an effort to encircle Kyiv on all sides. Decorated Russian Major General Vitaly Gerasimov a veteran of the second Chechen war.

Russia declares ceasefire for Tuesday to allow Ukrainian civilians escape routes

Tuesday morning starting at 10 am local time in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry has announced a ceasefire. Ukraine has accused Russia of not respecting a ceasefire on Saturday in Mariupol, a strategic port in the southeast, and the eastern city of Volnovakha.

WORLD NEWS

What are Russia's demands for an end to the war in Ukraine?

Russia has made its demands plain before the Kremlin will consider calling a halt to the invasion of Ukraine launched on 24 February. Vladimir Putin cited security concerns over Ukraine’s intention to attempt to join NATO and the European Union in the lead-up the Russian assault and these issues were raised again when representatives of the two nations met at Belovezhskaya Pushcha, on the border of Poland and Belarus for initial talks over a peace agreement. While these have so far failed to bear fruit on key issues, among them a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians, both sides continue to engage in “intense negotiations” over a ceasefire and “security guarantees.”

Before the meeting of Russian and Ukrainian diplomats, some of the Kremlin’s demands were publicly leaked. Putin’s government has laid out two conditions for an “immediate ceasefire” that will have to be met before the Russian advance is halted: Ukraine ceding Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and the recognition of the separatist “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Full details

Putin: no conscripts in Ukraine

Russia will not use any conscript soldiers in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

"I emphasize that conscript soldiers are not participating in hostilities and will not participate in them. And there will be no additional call-up of reservists," Putin said in a televised message to mark International Women's Day.

WORLD NEWS

Why is Russia interested in controlling nuclear power plants in Ukraine?

Ukraine has 15 operable nuclear reactors located at four plants spread across the country and four decommissioned reactors at Chernobyl, site of the worst manmade disaster. Invading Russian forces have now taken control of Chernobyl and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine.

Russia has not said why they have taken control of the two sites but there are theories abound. The action has caused alarm and increased fears of a nuclear accident with would know no borders.

US envoy to UN calls for Russian commitment to allow humanitarian access in Ukraine

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda-Thomas Greenfield, on Monday said the United States is "outraged" by increased reports of Moscow's attacks harming Ukrainian civilians and called for a pause in hostilities to allow the safe passage of civilians who wish to leave areas of conflict.

Thomas-Greenfield, speaking to the UN Security Council, called for Russia's "firm, clear, public and unequivocal commitment" to allow and facilitate immediate, unhindered humanitarian access for humanitarian partners in Ukraine.

Macron: no breakthrough with Russians

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said that he was not seeing for now any diplomatic breakthroughs in talks with Moscow that would allow the war in Ukraine to end.

Asked by listeners at a campaign event close to Paris about the war, Macron said: "We will continue to talk to Russia, even though discussions with President Putin are difficult.

"I don't think that in the coming days and weeks, there will be a real negotiated solution", said Macron, adding that France and the West should not interfere in bilateral talks about a potential ceasefire between Kyiv and Moscow.

He earlier at the event said he was planning to hold a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday to discuss the Ukraine crisis.

UN calls for safe passage for civilians in Ukraine

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths on Monday called on all parties to allow safe passage for civilians to leave areas of active hostilities in Ukraine in the direction they choose, adding that safe passage for humanitarian supplies into those areas is also needed.

Griffiths told the United Nations Security Council that his office has sent a team to Moscow to work on better humanitarian civil-military coordination.

Russians shoot fake Chernobyl footage

According to local media Kyiv Independent, Russian troops were enlisted to pretend to be plant workers after Chernobyl was taken by the invading forces.

Czech Republic takes in more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

More than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the Czech Republic, the Interior Ministry said on Monday, as the country and others in central Europe step up efforts to take in the influx of people fleeing after Russia's invasion.

At least 1.7 million have fled Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion, with most crossing into the European Union in eastern Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and northern Romania.

The Czech ministry said that of the people who have continued to the Czech Republic, around 57,000 have already received special visas, with more than half of those children.

Around a quarter of refugees have gone to the capital Prague, it said. Authorities there needed to temporarily shut the city's refugee assistance centre on Monday due to capacity strains.

Ukrainians comprise the Czech Republic's biggest foreign community, with almost 197,000 residing legally at the end of 2021, according to the Interior Ministry.

The UN refugee agency has called the Ukraine conflict the fastest moving refugee crisis in Europe since the end of World War Two.

France, Britain, Germany and US agree on need to increase help to Ukraine

Leaders of France, Britain, Germany and the United States on Monday held a video call to discuss the war in Ukraine, the Elysee Palace said, adding they agreed to step up the economic, humanitarian and security-related help to the eastern European country.

Key US lawmakers set plan to ban Russian energy imports, revoke Moscow's trade status

The top US lawmakers on trade matters on Monday announced a plan for legislation to ban the import of Russian energy products and suspend normal trade relations with Russia, according to a statement from the bipartisan group.

"Taking these actions will send a clear message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that his war is unacceptable and the United States stands firmly with our NATO allies," the lawmakers said.

The statement was issued by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, both Democrats, and their Republican counterparts, Representative Kevin Brady and Senator Mike Crapo.

They said the legislation would provide US President Joe Biden the authority to increase tariffs on goods from Russia and Belarus and would require US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to seek suspension of Russia's participation in the World Trade Organization. Tai also would be required to push for a halt to Belarus' proposed accession to the WTO.

"USTR is considering a range of options, and working with members of Congress, to advance a resolute, effective, and united global response to Putin’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine," a USTR spokesman said in a statement issued before the lawmakers announced their agreement.

(Reuters)

"Small positive developments" in peace talks - Ukrainian negotiator

Mykhailo Podolyak, one of the Ukraine's negotiators in peace talks with Russia, says Monday's third round has yielded some progress when it comes to the evacuation of civilians. “The third round of talks is over. There are small positive developments in improving the logistics of humanitarian corridors," Podolyak said on Twitter. "Intensive consultations have continued on the basic political bloc of the settlement, together with the ceasefire and security guarantees.”

WORLD NEWS

Why are Russian diplomats leaving the United States?

A lone Russian plane landed in Washington on Saturday despite a ban on Russian aircraft landing in the US, but it was not there for usual passengers.

AS USA's Oli Povey has more

UN Security Council set to discuss humanitarian situation in Ukraine

The United Nations Security Council will hold a meeting to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, diplomats said, after more than 1.7 million Ukrainians have so far crossed into central Europe.

The meeting was expected to start at 3pm ET, three diplomats said. The United Nations has been at the forefront of diplomatic efforts urging an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

France and Mexico last week worked on a resolution to the UN Security Council to address the humanitarian impact, but it was unclear if it would be formally tabled on Monday's meeting. A total of 1,735,068 civilians - mostly women and children, as men stayed home to fight - have crossed the border into central Europe, the UNHCR said. Poland - which has the largest Ukrainian community in the region - has received more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees, with the milestone passed late on Sunday.

Situation in Mariupol is horrendous

The BBC spoke to Ukrainian citizen Olena, who managed to flee Mariupol but has been separated from her mother, brother and relatives. She begged authorities to set up a humanitarian corridor to allow other people to escape the city which is suffering heavy bombardment.

Olena gave a harrowing account of the situation, "It's really awful. The temperature is about 2 degrees below zero. People have been living for a week without gas, electricity, without food. They are living in basements in ruined buildings. There are a lot of women, children and new-borns.They are under constant shelling. Please, give innocent people a green corridor. The ordinary people are not guilty, they have nothing to do with the confrontations between the leaders".

"After 12 days, it's already clear that Putin has made a miscalculation. He has underestimated the Ukrainians - their heroic resistance, he's underestimated their leader and he has underestimated the unity of the West. We will continue as colleagues to do everything we can to strengthen that unity in the days ahead to ensure that Putin fails in this catastrophic invasion of Ukraine".

Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister

Trudeau says Canada will impose sanctions on 10 individuals close to Putin

Canada is announcing new sanctions on 10 individuals close to the Russian leadership over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. "Today, Canada is announcing new sanctions on 10 individuals complicit in this unjustified invasion, this includes former and current senior government officials, oligarchs and supporters of the Russian leadership. The names of these individuals come from a list compiled by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny," Trudeau told a news conference in London.

UK ambassador to Ukraine has left the country, says foreign minister

British foreign minister Liz Truss said on Mondaythat  Britain's ambassador to UkraineMelinda Simmons had left the country because of the "serious security situation" after Russia invaded. "Our ambassador has left Ukraine because of the serious security situation," Truss told a parliamentary committee.

Stop attacks on civilians, Ukrainian negotiator urges Russia

One of Ukraine's negotiators has urged Russia to halt its attacks on civilians ahead of a third round of peace talks between the two countries. "In a few minutes, we will start talking to representatives of a country that seriously believes that large-scale violence against civilians is an argument," Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Monday. "Prove that this is not the case."

WORLD NEWS

Why does the war in Ukraine and Russia affect the price of sunflower oil?

The 'breadbasket of Europe' will be exporting very few of its resources during the invasion, and nations around the world will be affected.

AS USA's Oli Povey has the full story

WORLD NEWS

What is Vladimir Putin's net worth?

Various official sources state that the Russian president's annual salary is €118,000 per year, but Putin also owns several properties and company stakes.

AS USA takes a look at Putin's personal finances

Russian shelling preventing evacuation of civilians from several cities

Reuters has this latest news on attempts to evacuate Ukrainian civilians:

Russian shelling is preventing the evacuation of civilians from Kyiv, Mariupol, Sumy, Kharkiv, Volnovakha and Mykolayiv, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"This prevents the safe passage of humanitarian columns with Ukrainian and foreign citizens, as well as the delivery of medicines and food," it said in a statement.

The ministry called on foreign leaders to force Russia to observe a ceasefire to prevent what it said could be a humanitarian catastrophe.

Gasoline prices

US gasoline prices soar due to Russian invasion

The United States has imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine but that has prompted a global surge in fuel prices.

AS USA's Will Gittins has more

(Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

Kremlin spokesperson Peskov

Russia to stop invasion "in a moment" if Ukraine meets conditions - Kremlin

Russia says it will stop its invasion “in a moment” if Ukraine meets a series of conditions, which include recognising Crimea as Russian and Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, and changing its constitution to ensure it will not joining any blocs such as NATO.

"They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc,” Kremlin spokersperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, per Reuters.

Peskov added: "We have also spoken about how they should recognise that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognise that Donetsk and Luhansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment."

Russian and Ukrainian delegations were due to meet on Monday for a third round of peace talks.

(Photo: REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo)

TECHNOLOGY

What is Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband internet system used in Ukraine?

The founder of SpaceX has offered the company's new technology, designed to provide internet connection to underserved areas, to Ukrainian authorities.

AS USA's Will Gittins has the full story

Zelenskyy

"It can be called an embargo or just morality" - Zelenskyy calls for Russian exports boycott

In a new address on Monday, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskyy has called for further sanctions against Russia, and a boycott on all Russian exports, including oil from the country.

“If the invasion continues and Russia doesn’t give up on its plans against Ukraine, it means that new sanctions, new steps against the war and for peace are necessary,” Zelenskyy said.

He demanded a “boycott of Russian exports, in particular a refusal of oil and oil products from Russia”.

It can be called an embargo or just morality, when you refuse to give money to terrorists,” Zelenskyy said.

(Photo: AFP)

Irpin

"This is just a monstrosity, these are animals"

The mayor of Irpin, where Russian shelling has killed civilians as they sought to flee the city on the outskirts of Kyiv, has described the invading military forces as “animals”.

On the whole, eight people were killed yesterday during evacuation,” Oleksandr Markiushin told CNN. “This is not an army, these are animals. They are killing civilians, they are shelling our city, our residential buildings and ambulances - they’re firing on ambulances.

This is just a monstrosity, these are animals, they’re not people.”

(Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Up to 5m could flee Ukraine, says EU foreign policy chief

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has warned that as many as five million could flee Ukraine if Russia's invasion of the country continues.

"We must prepare to receive around five million people [...]," Borrell told reporters, per Reuters. "We must mobilise all the resources of the EU to help those countries receiving people.

"We will need more schools, more reception centres, more of everything."

Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers to meet, Turkey says

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, says the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are to hold talks on Thursday.

"Upon President Erdoğan’s initiatives & our intensive diplomatic efforts, Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov of Russia & Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine have decided to meet with my participation on the margins of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum,” Çavuşoğlu tweeted on Monday. "Hope this step will lead to peace and stability."

More Ukraine-Russia talks to be held

A third round of talks is expected to be held between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators in a few hours.

They're due to begin at 16:00 Kyiv time , according to Ukrainian officials.

Pope Francis says Ukraine conflict is "not a 'military operation' but a war"

Pope Francis has rejected Russia's assertion that it is carrying out 'a special military operation' in Ukraine, saying the country was being battered by war. "In Ukraine rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not just a military operation but a war which sows death, destruction and misery," the pope said in his weekly address to crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

However, as has been the case throughout the 11-day conflict, the pope did not publicly condemn Russia by name for its invasion. Instead, he repeated his appeal for peace, the creation of humanitarian corridors and a return to negotiations.

"In that martyred country the need for humanitarian assistance is growing by the hour," the pope said, speaking from a window overlooking the square. "Let common sense prevail, let us return to the respect of international law."

There were many more people than normal gathered in front of St. Peter's Basilica for the pope's Sunday appearance, with some holding aloft multi-coloured peace flags as well as the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine.

"The Holy See is willing to do all everything to put itself at the service of peace," the pope said, adding that two Roman Catholic cardinals had gone to Ukraine to help those in need. "War is madness, please stop," the pope said.

Andriy Yurash, Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican, praised the pope for calling the conflict a war. "I am very, very happy that he said that," he told Reuters in St. Peter's Square shortly after the pope ended his address. "Even if the pope did not say the word 'Russia', everyone in the world knows who the aggressor that invaded us is and who started this unprovoked war," he said.

How will the war impact global food supplies?

Much has been said of the rising price of crude oil, with topped $130 a barrel for the first time since 2008 today, but there are serious concerns that the war in Ukraine will leave a terrible mark on the global food supply.

Russia and Ukraine produce enormous amounts of nutrients, like potash and phosphate, important key ingredients in fertilisers, which enable plants and crops to grow.

"For me, it's not whether we are moving into a global food crisis - it's how large the crisis will be," said Svein Tore Holsether, the boss of Yara International.

WORLD NEWS

How did Anonymous's message get on Russian television?

On Sunday, the international cyber activist group Anonymous disrupted Russian state television programming with images of the invasion of Ukraine and an anti-war message, calling on people to oppose the Russian military operation.

Read more

"Unacceptable" routes for refugees - deputy PM

This is an unacceptable way of opening humanitarian corridors. Our people will not go from Kyiv to Belarus to then be flown to the Russian Federation.

Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister

Russian proposed humanitarian corridors lead to Russia and Belarus

Of the four cities mentioned in Russia's proposal, only Mariupol and Sumy have evacuation routes that lead to other parts of Ukraine.

All other routes lead to Russia and Belarus.

Statement from Ukrainian president Zelenskyy

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy delivered an angry, impassioned speech in his nightly address to the nation.

"We will not forgive the destroyed houses. We will not forgive the missile that our air defence shot down over Okhmatdyt today. And more than five hundred other such missiles that hit our land. All over Ukraine .. hit our people and children. We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people. Destruction of our infrastructure.

We will not forgive.

Hundreds and hundreds of victims. Thousands and thousands of sufferings. And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. And instead of Forgiveness, there will be a Day of Judgment. I’m sure of it."

"There was a lot of talk about humanitarian corridors. There were talks every day about the opportunity for people to leave the cities ...

And we heard the promise that there would be humanitarian corridors. But there are no humanitarian corridors.

Instead of humanitarian corridors, they can only make bloody ones.

A family was killed in Irpen today. A man, a woman and two children. Right on the road when they were just trying to get out of town to escape. The whole family.

How many such families have died in Ukraine?

We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war on our land.

We will find every bastard who shot at our cities, our people, who bombed our land, who launched rockets.

There will be no quiet place on this earth for you. Except for the grave.”

WORLD NEWS

How long can Russia fight a war in Ukraine?

The ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has shocked the global community and brought about an incredible show of resiliance from the Ukrainian people. Civilians have taken up arms to repell the invaders from the east and have, so far, largely withheld their advances towards major cities and strategic locations. 

Given the might of the Russian army, Ukrainian troops may not be able to hold out forever. However President Putin's timescale for the invasion also has its limits, and the economic sanctions currently being levied against his nation could make a prolonged war unsustainable for the Kremlin.

Read more

Concern in Ukraine that Russia is preparing for a major assault on Kyiv

For nearly two weeks Ukrainian forces and civilian volunteers have managed to keep the Russian military from seizing the capital city of Kyiv. However with signs that President Putin is becoming increasingly impatient with the slow rate of progress, Ukrainian official Vadym Denysenko has warned that a major offensive is coming. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for global powers to do more to support his nation, releasing a video statement this weekend saying: “Politicians always follow people, so please speak up, I beg you to speak about Ukraine, go to the main squares of your cities. Support us, show your strong position, show your support to Ukraine.”

Captured soldier gives perspective from the Russian military

In an astonishing press conference released today, a Russian soldier captured by Ukrainian forces outlines the extent of the misinformation campaign that has encouraged tens of thousands to join the invasion of a sovereign nation. He recounts being told that Ukrainian people would welcome the Russian forces as liberators from an unpopular and cruel regime, but found the reality on the ground far different.

He said to those gathered: “Russia cannot win here anyway. All the variants are obvious. Even if we go till the very end…We can invade the territory, but we cannot invade the people.”

Russia-Ukraine war: live updates

Good morning and welcome to AS USA's live blog on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where a partial ceasefire in Mariupol is leading to confusion as evacuation routes lead to Russia.

Conceived to allow humanitarian corridors out of the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha, Russian troops are accused as targeting civilians as they made their escape.

We'll bring you more on that, and all the other main developments in Ukraine, throughout the day.

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