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Russia-Ukraine war news summary | 9 March 2022

Update:
A man walks between houses destroyed during air strikes on the central Ukranian city of Bila Tserkva on March 8, 2022. - Russia stepped up its bombing campaign and missile strikes on Ukraine's cities, destroying two residential buildings in a town we

Russian invasion of Ukraine: headlines

- US House approves massive Ukraine aid funding

- The UK Ministry of Defense reports that the Russian military has confirmed the deployment of its TOS-1A weapon system which can be adapted to launch thermobaric rockets or "vacuum bomb."

- Department of Defense says that the US will not transfer Polish fighter jets to Ukraine over risks of escalating the conflict.

- New reporting that Russians have bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol, a flagrant violation of international law.

- Biden imposes tough sanctions on Moscow, including a ban Russian oil imports 

- Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians evacuate under-fire cities of Mariupol, Sumy and Irpin

- UN confirms over 400 civilians have been killed by Russia since the start of the invasion

- Russian invasion and oil ban could see US gasoline pricesrise even further

What you need to know about the conflict

- How many missiles does the Russia have and could they run out?

- Explaining Russia's motives for controlling Ukrainian nuclear power plants

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

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

- How long can Russia fight in Ukraine?

Related news articles:

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European shares slip ahead of Russia-Ukraine talks

European shares slipped on Thursday ahead of Russia-Ukraine talks and the European Central Bank's policy decision, which could highlight the impact of the conflict on the euro zone economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.7% by 0819 GMT following a rally in the previous session that saw the benchmark notch its best day since March 2020.

Automakers fell the most, while defensive sectors such as real estate and healthcare posted small losses. Oil stocks also edged up.

Foreign ministers from Russia and Ukraine will meet in Turkey on Thursday in the first high-level talks between the two countries since Moscow invaded its neighbour.

no fly

Ukrainian no-fly zone would end war quicker, says Polish ambassador

Imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would help bring the conflict there to a faster conclusion and save lives, the Polish ambassador to Kyiv said on Thursday, as Russia continued a relentless bombardment of several cities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been pleading for NATO to impose a no-fly zone, but the alliance is wary of any step that might draw it into direct conflict with Russia.

"Every day of delay costs hundreds of human lives," Bartosz Cichocki told private broadcaster TVN24 from Kyiv. "This is an extension of the conflict that could be ended much faster precisely thanks to the closure of the airspace."

The United States on Tuesday rejected a surprise offer by Poland to transfer its Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. base in Germany and put them at the disposal of the United States as a way to replenish Ukraine's air force.

Poland's prime minister said on Wednesday that any supply of fighter jets to Ukraine must be done jointly by NATO countries.

ukr

US House passes Ukraine aid and funding measure

A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve a $1.5 trillion bill that would provide $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine, fund the federal government through Sept. 30 and spend $15.6 billion to address the covid-19 pandemic.

The vote was still under way. If approved by the House, the sweeping legislation would move on to the Senate.

Ukraine accuses Russia of genocide after bombing of children's hospital

Ukrainian's president accused Russia of carrying out genocide after officials said Russian aircraft bombed a children's hospital on Wednesday, burying patients in rubble despite a ceasefire deal for people to flee the besieged city of Mariupol.

The attack, which authorities said injured women in labour and left children in the wreckage, is the latest grim incident of the 14-day invasion, the biggest assault on a European state since 1945.

The Mariupol city council said the hospital had been hit several times in what the White House called a "barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians".

The destruction took place despite a Russian pledge to halt firing so at least some trapped civilians could escape the city, where hundreds of thousands have been sheltering without water or power for more than a week.

 "What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, is afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?" Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a televised address late on Wednesday.

Zelenskiy repeated his call for the West to tighten sanctions on Russia "so that they sit down at the negotiating table and end this brutal war". The bombing of the children's hospital, he said, was "proof that a genocide of Ukrainians is taking place".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Reuters for comment, said: "Russian forces do not fire on civilian targets."

Ukrainians take home abandoned Russian tanks

In their invasion of Ukraine, Russia has had logistical problems getting enough fuel to their tanks which their crews have abandoned. The same fate has befallen heavy military vehicles that have been getting stuck in the muddy terrain. This has led to embarrassing scenes of that military hardware being hauled off by Ukrainian farmers with their tractors.

The Ukrainian tax authority making light of the situation informed citizens they wouldn't need to declare captured Russian equipment on their tax return.

House passes bill authorizing over $13 billion in aid to beseiged Ukraine

The US House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The more than $13 billion dedicates roughly half for military aid to assist Ukraine in its struggle against invading Russian forces. The other half will go toward humanitarian and economic aid.

Ukrainians repel Russian attack in Kharkiv, city bombarded

Reports came in Wednesday night of heavy Russian bombardments in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city in the northeast. Russian forces have been trying to seize the city since invading Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February.

The Ukrainian military reports that another attempt to encircle the city failed when Ukrainian forces counterattacked, successfully repelling the invaders.

Russia disrupts humanitarian corridor from Mariupol for third time

Russians laid seige to Mariupol, between Crimea and the Moscow-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, on 4 March. The city of 430,000 has been without water or electricity and under heavy shelling since.

On Wednesday, a children's and maternity hospital was bombed despite a 12-hour ceasefire agreed to in order for refugees to escape the battered city.

Mykolaiv nearly surrounded by Russian forces

Mykolaiv is a key city for the Russians to capture in order to make an assault on Odessa, Ukraine's third largest city. The city has held out against heavy  Russian bombardment for three days.

WORLD NEWS

What is an anti-tank missile?

Tanks rolling across fields and through cities, as is happening in Ukraine, is a terrifying sight. The massive, heavily armored vehicles seem like they are invincible. However, the Ukrainian forces have been able to stimmy and slow the advance of the overwhelming invading force bearing down on the capital Kyiv.

This is due in part to their successful use of thousands of anti-tank weapons hurriedly sent to them prior to and in the early days of the invasion. Among those weapons are missiles specifically designed to counter a tank’s defenses. 

Here’s a look at how they work.

US NEWS

What is an anti-radiation missile?

Radar, which stands for radio detection and ranging, was one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century. In the military context, radar, allowed for increased communication across the conflict zone and for the tracking of enemy and non-enemy weapons, planes, boats, submarines and more.

To take out the radar capacity of military enemies anti-radiation missiles were developed.

Do Russia and Ukraine have access to this type of weapon?

The International Atomic Energy Agency says power has been cut at the Chernobyl nuclear site

The International Atomic Energy Agency says power has been cut at the Chernobyl nuclear site. At this point, there is no danger of a meltdown or major nuclear accident but the safety of the staff inside the facility has been placed at an increased risk.

When fighting began after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia staff inside the facility became trapped. Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has reported that the workers are facing "psychological pressure and moral exhaustion." Other workers are unable to enter the facility, leaving those who found themselves on shift when fighting began and Grossi called on Russia to ensure that they be "allowed to rest and rotate so that their crucial work can be carried out safely and securely."

World News

Maternity and children's hospital struck by Russians

In one of Russia's most shocking and heartless attacks yet, a maternity and children's hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine was hit by Russian airstrikes, during what was supposed to be a ceasefire, according to Interfax Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Western leaders to impose a no-fly zone as several people are trapped under the wreckage. According to officials in Mariupol, at least 17 people were injured, but no deaths have been reported yet and none of the reported injuries were children.

Footage published by the Mariupol city council shows buildings badly burned and cars completely destroyed outside of the hospital, where an enormous crater sits.

The city of Mariupol has already been surrounded by Russians for several days and there is no electricity or water in the city. At least 1,170 civilians have died in Mariupol since the invasion began.

Watch here.

US NEWS

How many conventional missiles does Russia have? Is Russia running out of missiles?

Since the Russian invasion began more than 600 missiles have been used against Ukraine. After attacks on civilian targets have increased in recent days many are wondering how large the Russian war chest really is.

According to the Federation of American Scientist, this would represent around thirty-seven percent of the country's 1,500 readily available missiles and warheads. The Kremlin also has around 2,900 war heads sitting in reserves that they could draw upon in the case those on hand run out. These figures are down significantly from the late 1980s when the country was thought to have around 40,000 warheads in their arsenal. 

Read more.

Pentagon Press Secretary said on Wednesday afternoon that the United States' decision to not transfer Polish fighter jets to Ukraine was motivated by intelligence that found that Putin was likely to see this as an escalatory move. Such an action is considered too "high-risk" at this time.

Russian forces strike maternity and children's hospital in Mariupol

Ukrainian officials are reporting that seventeen people were killed after Russian forces bombed a maternity and children's hospital in Mariupol. People on the ground say that the hospital was full and images of injured pregnant women have shocked people around the world.

President Zelenskyy has said he believes that children could be trapped under the ruble but any reports have yet to be confirmed.

Pentagon responds to questions over the sending of Polish fighter jets to Ukraine

The Secretary [of Defense] concurs that the transfer of combat air crafts right now could be mistaken by Mr. Putin and the Russians as an escalatory step

John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary

What is the TOS-1a system? How can it be used to launch thermobaric rockets?

The UK Ministry of Denfense has now reported that the Russian military has confirmed that it has used the Tos-1a system to launch thermobaric rockets into Ukraine. This short video provides a detailed account of what these weapons are, as well as, their legality under international law.

Will Poland send fighter jets to Ukraine?

Since NATO allies will not commit to implementing a 'no fly zone' over Ukraine over fears that it will escalate the conflict, various members have been negotiating the possibility of sending fighter jets to the country.

Poland has in its position a few models that the Ukrainians would be able to use, but is debating whether or not they want to risk sending them, worried that they could provoke the Kremlin. The United States has said that it will backfill any fighter jets lost by Poland if they do decide to send the planes, but there are still many logistical issues that have not been resolved.

Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said Wednesday that his country had "not agree to supply planes by ourselves because it must be the decision of the whole of NATO." 

Easier a proposal had been presented by Poland that was quickly rejected by the US military that would involved the transfer of jets to a US air force base in Germany, from where the twenty-eight plans could be sent to Ukraine. The United States worries that its involvement in the delivery could appear as direct cooperation in the conflict, which they hope to avoid.

Still, Morawiecki stated today that "Poland is ready to act, but only within the framework of the alliance, within the framework of NATO."

This afternoon Press Secretary for the Pentagon, John Kibry said that at this point the United States would not be involved in the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine because of fears that Putin could see the move as a direct threat.

World Health Organization confirms 18 attacks on health facilities by Russian forces

In a press conference today, the World Health Organization highlighted many of the fatal and extreamly dangerous health consequences the Russian invasion of Ukraine will have not the people -- both those who have fled and those that remain.

Additionally, WHO Secretary General Tedros confirmed that eighteen health facilities had been attacked by Russian forces. These attacks have led to at least ten deaths since the invasion began.

With civilians in the line of fire, more than a hundred being fatally wounded by the violence, the attack on these centers weakens a growing;y fragile healthcare infrastructure and system in the country. 

Secreatary Tedros has become a moral voice during the pandemic and called on leaders to try and find a peaceful solution, not only to the conflict in Ukraine, but those in other geographies saying: "A peaceful resolution is possible – and that is true in every war and humanitarian crisis to which WHO is responding around the world."

Russian military bomb a children's hospital in Mariopol

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announced that a Russian air strike had destroyed a children's hospital in the southern city of Mariupol. Images now being relased capture the damage in what has been one of the most flagrent violations of international law.

How much have gas prices increased in the United States?

Since early March 2021, prices at the pump are up 48 percent. Since the invasion began prices have increased around 20 percent and just in the last week the average consumer is paying around 13 percent more.

The Biden adminstration held off on implementing a ban on Russian oil and gas over fears that it would cause such a decrease to supply that would impact the wallet of US concumers. However, yesterday a ban was annnounced and while the US will releaed millions of barrels of oil from its strategic reserves, increases in prices are still exepcted.

US NEWS

What does a US ban on Russian oil mean for gas prices? How will Americans be impacted?

President Biden announced on Tuesday that he had signed an executive order banning the importation of Russian oil and natural gas due to the country’s continued invasion of Ukraine. Fossil fuels play a huge role in the Russian economy and Biden is eager to hit the Kremlin’s main revenue source hard.

"Today, I am announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia's economy," Biden said in a speech on Tuesday. "We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted in US ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine."

However the increase scarcity of oil in the US will have an effect on products that are made using oil, meaning that the price of gasoline is likely to rise even higher as a result.

Read more on the impacts in our full coverage.

Threats from nuclear disasters continue as fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces near Chernobyl

The area around the Chernobyl Nuclear Facility, the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, has seen an increase in fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

After the Russian military began shelling on an active nuclear power plant last week, the threat of a nuclear catastrophe has many leaders on high alert.

Ukrainian officials warn of Chernobyl 'radioactive cloud' danger

A tweet from the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP) of Ukraine outlines the risk after the power line to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant became disconnected earlier today. The plant is currently controlled by occupying Russian forces, which local authorities say has made it difficult for the neccessary repairs to be made. 

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the plant is currently running on a reserve diesel generators, but that it can only power the plant for 48 hours. He warned: "After that, cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent... I call on the international community to urgently demand Russia to cease fire and allow repair units to restore power supply."

The SSSCIP tweeted that unless the cooling system can be brought back online, "evaporation will occur, that will lead to nuclear discharge. The wind can transfer the radioactive cloud to other regions of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Europe.

WORLD NEWS

Does Ukraine have a Neo-Nazi problem?

In attempting to justify the invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia was attempting to demilitarise and "de-nazify" its neighbour. The Ukrainian president, Zolodymyr Zelenskyy, is Jewish and the Putin's claim is little more than a propaganda tool to gain support in country whose modern history is rooted in victory over the Nazis in the 'Great Patriotic War.'

But despite that Ukraine, like many places in the world, does have a troubled relationship with nazism. Many modern Ukrainian heroes made their names collaborating with the Nazis against the Soviet Union, and this ideology still has roots which are embedded in fighting units that are being funded and equipped by the west.

Read more

Ukrainian citizens detained in Kherson

In a statement posted on Facebook, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said: “Due to the fierce resistance of the residents of Kherson, the occupiers are trying to impose an administrative-police regime, for which units of the Russian Guard were deployed in Kherson region that illegally detained more than 400 citizens of Ukraine."

Last week Igor Kolykhaev, the mayor of Kherson, confirmed that the city had been taken by Russian forces, making it the first major target to fall under the control on the invading military. However there remains a strong resistance force in the city and Russian troops have struggled to secure the area. 

WORLD NEWS

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

A convoy of Russian military vehicles, though to be about 40 miles long, has been moving at a snail’s pace toward Kyiv for days. The vanguard includes armored vehicles, artillery and tanks and appears to have halted its advance 15 miles outside of the Ukrainian capital.

What's happening with the Russian attack, and what does it mean for the war in Ukraine?

Read more

Ukrainian refugees attempt to flee amid continued attacks

This footage from the BBC shows the extent of the damage caused in Ukraine after 12 days of military attacks and aerial bombardment from Russia. Hundred of civilians have already been killed and an estimed 2.2 million Ukrainians have fled to country to escape the violence ordered by Moscow. Today a limited ceasefire will be held to allow civilians in certain badly affected areas to leave for safer locations, but the extent of the suffering is already on a scale unimaginable just two weeks ago. 

Where are the evacuation routes for Ukrainians?

After a third round of peace talks earlier this week between delegations from Ukraine and Russia, a limited ceasefire has been agreed to allow civilians to leave certain under-fire cities through 'humanitarian corridors'. Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that the safe passages will be in operation from 9am to 9pm (local time) on Wednesday, 9 March but there is still some scepticism regarding the safety of these routes. 

US dismisses Poland's plan to provide fighter jets to support Ukraine

In a statement, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby has dismissed a plan from the Polish government to provide MiG-29 fighter jets for nearby US military bases to boost Ukraine’s fight against Russia. 

On Tuesday Polish foreign minister Zbigniew Rau said that his government was “ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MiG-29 jets to the Ramstein airbase and place them at the disposal of the government of the United States of America.”

But Kirby said that “to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraineraises serious concerns for the entire Nato alliance”.

“We will continue to consult with Poland and our other Nato allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one,” he added. 

McDonald's closes Russia restaurants in a return to Soviet-era isolationism

The list of huge global companies who are now boycotting the Russian market due to the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine is growing, with McDonald's one of the latest to close its premises. The BBC's Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg describes the situation as akin to the global isolation that Moscow experienced during the Soviet era. 

WORLD NEWS

When was the last time the Russian economy crashed and what were the consequences?

In the last week Russia has been struck with severe economic sanctions and is facing global economic isolation after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Companies such as Paypal, Shell, and McDonald's have ceased operating in Russia, making it difficult for ordinary people to purchase things and causing the price of the Russian currency to plummet.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian economy has rarely been stable. Crises hit the country twice in the 1990s and the global recession of 2008 also had severe consequences. We take a look through this history...

Read more

UK government joins with US ban on Russian fossil fuels

The exportation of fossil fuels is a major part of the Russian economy and proceeds from this lucrative global market is thought to represent around a third of the Russian government's revenue. Yesterday President Joe Biden announced the landmark step of banning the importation of all fossil fuels from Russia, the harshest sanction imposed on the Kremlin to date. 

Yesterday afternoon a similar decision was made by the UK government, who committed to phasing out Russian imports of gas and oil by the end of 2022. The UK, like most of Europe, is very reliant on Russia to provide fossil fuels and so needed a longer time frame to stop the use of the products. 

White House announces a ban on Russian fossil fuels

"Today, President Biden will sign an Executive Order (E.O.) to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States – a significant action with widespread bipartisan support that will further deprive President Putin of the economic resources he uses to continue his needless war of choice."

White House fact sheet , Ban on Russian imports

"Putin’s brutal war has led to higher energy prices and raised costs for Americans at home. Today, President Biden made clear that he will keep working to mitigate the pain American families feel at the pump and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels."

White House fact sheet, Effect of the ban on US citizens

Zelenskyy thanks Trudeau for Canadian support

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on foreign leaders to do more to support Ukraine in the face of continued aggression from Russia, but most are unwilling to offer concrete military support due to fear of being drawn into a global conflict with Russia. However he has been able to secure much-needed financial and logistical support from nations around the world. 

Within the last few minutes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tweeted: "Canada will send Ukraine another shipment of highly-specialized military equipment. We discussed sanctions against Russia and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, too."

US NEWS

Why does the price of gasoline rise with the Russia and Ukraine war?

The news that President Biden will ban the importation of Russian oil came just one day after gasoline prices in the US reached a new record high. There is an expectation that the price per gallon will continue to rise in the coming days as the loss of Russian oil begins to affect the production of gasoline, but why are the two linked?

Read more

VP Harris to visit NATO allies bordering the Russia-Ukraine conflict

President Biden has reiterated the United States' commitment to Article 5 of the NATO charter as the alliance attempts to strike the delicate balance of support the invaded Ukrainians while staying out of the military conflict in the region. Biden has promised that the US will help to find refuge for Ukrainians fleeing the warzone and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Poland and Romania, two of the NATO members on the border with Ukraine, to work on a resolution. 

Welcome to AS USA

Good morning and welcome to our dedicated Ukraine - Russia live feed, bringing you all the latest on the Russian invasion. On Wednesday Ukrainian officials announced that Moscow had agreed to a 12-hour limited ceasefire to allow civilians to evacuate the bombarded cities of Mariupol, Sumy and Irpin. 

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