In case you’re just joining us, here’s a recap
Lumen Technologies, one of the companies that comprises the backbone of the internet, said on Tuesday it was pulling the plug on Russia because of an “increased security risk.” Lumen attempted to downplay the impact of the decision, saying in a brief statement it provides “extremely small and very limited” business services in Russia. But it is part of the network that allows data to flow through the infrastructure of the internet, the Guardian reported.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the international community would be responsible for a mass “humanitarian catastrophe” if it does not agree to a no-fly zone and warned that the country is at maximum threat level
Ukraine’s state power operator says that Russian forces have disconnected the nuclear power plant from the grid, reports Reuters.
Kyiv authorities hope to evacuate many more people from Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel, the Ukrainian capital’s deputy mayor said today. He also said that heat, water, power supplies and phone connections are working normally in Kyiv.
EU member states have agreed new sanctions against Russian leaders and oligarchs over its invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters. The French presidency of the EU said members approved the sanctions at a meeting and that they will be formally adopted by the EU Summit on Thursday and Friday in Versailles.
The Russian foreign ministry has claimed that its goals in Ukraine would be better achieved through talks and that it does not plan to overthrow the country’s government, reports Reuters. It said about 140,000 Ukrainians have fled to Russia and that its actions in Ukraine are strictly following its plan.
Congressional leaders in the US reached a bipartisan deal early this morning to provide $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies. President Joe Biden originally requested $10bn for military, humanitarian and economic aid, but the backing from both parties was so strong that the figure climbed to $12bn on Monday and $13.6bn yesterday.
Ukraine’s government has banned exports of rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, sugar, salt, and meat until the end of this year, according to a cabinet resolution published on Wednesday. It will put food security across Europe into sharp focus, leading to shortages of grain and price rices of staples including bread.
Civilians have started leaving Sumy in private cars after a “humanitarian corridor” was established for a second consecutive day. The mayor or the northeastern city, Oleksandr Lysenko, made the announcement in televised comments.
EU leaders gathering for a summit in Versailles on Thursday and Friday will say that Russia’s aggression “constitutes a tectonic shift in European history”, according to a draft communique seen by The Guardian. They will decide, the draft statement says, to “take more responsibility for security and take further decisive steps towards building our European sovereignty”.
A Russian air strike that reportedly killed 47 civilians as they queued for bread in Chernihiv on Thursday may constitute a war crime, an investigation by Amnesty International has found. At around 12.15pm on 3 March a square was hit by multiple bombs, killing civilians and severely damaging buildings.
The number of people who have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion has reached 2.1-2.2 million people, the United Nation’s refugee agency said today. The UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said during a visit to Stockholm that rather than talking about which countries refugees will go to, “the time is now to try to help at the border”.
Britain has announced a series of new aviation sanctions, giving the government power to detain any Russian aircraft in the UK.
The Ukrainian deputy prime minister has said that Russian armed forces have agreed to stop firing in areas of humanitarian corridors from 9am to 9pm local time (7am-7pm GMT) today. Iryna Vereshchuk said the evacuation corridors will be open on Wednesday in several areas including Mariupol, but warned Russian forces against shooting in those areas.