Russian forces claim to have taken the besieged Black Sea city of Kherson in Ukraine’s south but the city’s mayor insists it is still in Ukrainian hands. Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv continues to come under intense shelling, with police and university buildings bombarded a day after local government offices were reduced to rubble. Russian forces also reportedly surround Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov and attack cities west and south of the capital Kyiv.
The Swedish Armed Forces say that four Russian fighter jets entered Sweden’s air space to the east of the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
Russia says that 498 of its troops have been killed in Ukraine, its first announced death count since President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion.
Russia moots the possibility of ceasefire talks on Thursday with Ukraine, which says a delegation is “on its way” for the talks at an undisclosed location on the Belarus-Poland border.
The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopts a resolution that “demands” Russia “immediately” withdraw from Ukraine.
Here are the LIVE updates on Ukraine-Russia War:
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President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday promised Ukrainians that damage to infrastructure inflicted by invading Russian forces would be repaired and that Moscow would foot the bill.
“We will restore every house, every street, every city and we say to Russia: learn the word of reparations and contributions. You will reimburse us for everything you did against our state, against every Ukrainian in full,” Zelensky said in a video statement.
The EU is expected to rapidly approve a protection mechanism for war refugees fleeing Ukraine — so far numbered at one million — and to also set up a humanitarian hub in Romania, officials said Thursday.
The moves by the European Union came in parallel to its muscular sanctions on Russia imposed in successive waves over the course of the invasion, now in its eighth day.
EU interior ministers turning up for a Brussels meeting on how to address the growing wave of Ukrainian refugees said they expected the gathering to give political assent to a Temporary Protection mechanism.
The mechanism was drawn up two decades ago, in response to the wars in the former Yugoslavia, but never used.
The proposal by the EU’s executive would give refugees from Ukraine and family members a residence permit and the right to access work and education for an initial year, renewable every six months after that.
Currently, Ukrainians with passports bearing biometric data have only the right to visit the EU’s Schengen area for up to three months, without the right to work.
If agreed, as expected, by a majority of EU countries, the legal document enshrining the temporary protection mechanism for those fleeing the war in Ukraine could be enacted “in the coming days,” French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian state television on Thursday he had no doubt that a solution to the Ukrainian crisis will be found, but Russia’s dialogue with the West needs to be based on mutual respect.
Lavrov reiterated that Moscow could not tolerate military threat from Ukraine which he said was taking orders from Washington.
JustIn | Russian foreign minister accuses West of considering ‘nuclear war’
Russia-Ukraine War: Russia Continues Contacts With US, Says Deputy Minister
Moscow is continuing contact with Washington, mostly through embassies, and believes talks with Ukraine in Belarus can produce results, the TASS news agency quoted Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday.
Ukrainian diplomats formerly based in Moscow arrived in Latvia on Wednesday evening, Latvia’s foreign minister said.
“Latvia welcomes Ukrainian diplomats who left Moscow and crossed Latvian-Russian border last night,” minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted on Thursday.
Russian shelling and attacks on civilian populations killed 34 civilians in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region in the past 24 hours between March 2-3, the emergency services said on Thursday.
Separately, the governor of the Ukraine-controlled eastern Donetsk region said the port city of Mariupol, one of the first targets of the Russian invasion, was without electricity or water supplies.
Britain on Thursday announced new sanctions preventing Russian companies in the aviation and space industry from accessing British insurance and reinsurance services following the invasion of Ukraine.
Around 575,100 people have enetered Poland from Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion of the country on Feb 24, the Polish border guard said on Thursday.
The Border Guard said that on Wednesday around 95,000 people entered, and that as of 0600 GMT on Thursday about 27,100 people had crossed the frontier.
Ekho Moskvy, a liberal radio station in Moscow, has been dissolved by its board, its editor Alexei Venediktov said, in a move eliminating one of the few remaining liberal media that the Kremlin has tolerated until now.
The move came shortly after the prosecutor general’s office demanded that access be restricted to Ekho Moskvy and the TV Rain online news channel because of their coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia-Ukraine War: France Advises Its Citizens To Leave Russia
The French government on Thursday advised French citizens to leave Russia where possible, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pro-Russian forces may launch targeted strikes on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol unless Ukrainian forces there surrender, the Interfax news agency quoted Donetsk separatist commander Eduard Basurin as saying on Thursday.
Russia and separatists say they have encircled the city of 430,000 located on the Azov Sea coast.
Ukraine needs humanitarian corridors supported by bodies such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the wake of Russia’s invasion, an adviser to Ukraine’s presidential office said on Thursday.
“The villages and towns where Russian troops’ columns are stationed immediately turn into places of looting, robbery, murder,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
More than 139,000 Ukrainians have fled to Romania in the first seven days since Russia invaded Ukraine by land, sea and air, border police data showed on Thursday.
They have entered Romania through its four land border checkpoints with Ukraine, but also through its checkpoints with Moldova, data showed. Just under 88,000 of them have already driven or flown out of Romania.
New satellite images on the war in Ukraine show long lines of people waiting for essentials outside shops, burning buildings and long convoys of military vehicles. The long queues waiting for food were seen outside supermarkets in Chernihiv and Kyiv.
A Bangladeshi sailor has been killed in an attack on his vessel in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Olvia, the state shipping company said Thursday.
The Banglar Samriddhi, a bulk carrier, arrived in the country on February 22, a day before Russia invaded, and has since been unable to leave.
Pijush Dutta, executive director of the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation, told AFP that the vessel was hit in a “rocket or bomb” attack on Wednesday.
The third engineer was killed and the bridge caught fire, he said, but the remaining 28 crew — all Bangladeshis — were still on board.
“The fire has been brought under control,” he added. “Other crew in the ship are safe.”
The Biden administration is trying to urge India to take a “clear position” on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, US diplomat Donald Lu said. Mr Lu noted that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has been on the “frontlines of that battle” and that US President Joe Biden and other senior officials in the State Department have been relentlessly conducting various “very serious” high-level dialogue with their Indian counterparts over Ukraine. Read more
Chelsea‘s Russian owner Roman Abramovich said on Wednesday he had made the “incredibly difficult” decision to sell the Premier League club, pledging that proceeds would go to victims of the war in Ukraine. The billionaire believes it is in the “best interest” of the Champions League holders if he parts ways with the club he has transformed since he bought it in 2003. The dramatic development comes days after Abramovich said he was handing over control of Chelsea to trustees of its charitable foundation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Indian government today denied reports of Indian students being held as “hostages” in Ukraine, stating that it was in constant touch with Indian nationals in the war-torn country.
“We have not received reports of any hostage situation regarding any student. We have requested support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. Read more
The British broadcasting regulator has announced another dozen investigations into the “impartiality” of news programmes aired on Russian state-funded television channel RT.
Ofcom said on Wednesday that it now has 27 open investigations into RT and is considering whether the channel should keep its UK licence.
“We are very concerned by the volume of programmes on RT that are raising potential issues under the Broadcasting Code,” Ofcom said in a statement.
Russia is pushing hard to seize control in major Ukrainian cities as the country puts up the defiant stand. India has stepped up evacuation of its citizens from the war zone by roping in the Air Force. Read more
The United Arab Emirates has temporarily suspended a visa waiver for Ukrainian citizens, Kyiv’s embassy in the Gulf Arab state said, at a time thousands of people are fleeing war in Ukraine.
The UAE decision went into effect on Tuesday, the embassy said in a notice to citizens on its Facebook page, without providing a reason. Emirati authorities did not respond to a request for comment.
The move would be symbolic at best because very few Russian vessels actually use the waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific.
Under a 1977 treaty in which the US-built canal was handed over to local control, the waterway is supposed to remain neutral in the event of international conflict.
One million refugees have fled Ukraine in the week since Russia’s invasion, the UN’s refugee agency announced Thursday.
“In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries,” the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi tweeted, while urging “guns to fall silent” in the country.
Amazon.com Inc is using its logistics capability to get supplies to those in need and cybersecurity expertise to help governments and companies as part of its support for Ukraine, Chief Executive Andy Jassy said on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Amazon stands with the people of Ukraine, and will continue to help,” Jassy said, following Russia’s invasion that Moscow has called a “special operation.” Amazon, which earlier this week pledged to donate up to $10 million for humanitarian efforts, is the latest company to mobilize in offering aid.
Sitting on a temporary bed set up along a gloomy underground passageway, expectant mother Alena Shinkar reads a book to try to stay calm.
The Ukrainian has been at a Kyiv maternity hospital since before the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24 waiting to give birth, but with the capital city under siege from rockets and missiles, her nerves are fraying.
“I should not be stressed now so I am trying to cool myself down, but of course it is terrible what is happening,” she told Reuters in English.
Mercedes-Benz said Wednesday it was suspending vehicle exports to Russia and local production in the country, becoming the latest carmaker to respond to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Mercedes-Benz will suspend the export of passenger cars and vans to Russia as well as the local manufacturing in Russia until further notice,” it said in a statement.
German rivals BMW and Volkswagen made similar announcements earlier this week as Western companies withdraw from sanctions-hit Russia.
Japan’s Pan Pacific International, formerly Don Quijote Holdings, said on Thursday it will accept 100 refugee families from Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.
The company said in a statement it will accept 100 Ukrainian families approved by the Japanese government to enter Japan as refugees, and provide financial support and job opportunities.
India on Wednesday abstained on a UN General Assembly resolution that strongly deplored Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the third abstention in less than a week by the country in the world body on resolutions on the escalating crisis between Moscow and Kyiv.