Russia and Ukraine failed to make a breakthrough Thursday in their first top-level talks since Moscow's invasion two weeks ago, as Russian advances sparked fears the Ukrainian capital Kyiv could soon be encircled.
Russian troops have launched a high-precision, long-range attack on two military airfields in the Ukrainian cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk and taken them out of action.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said around 100,000 people had evacuated the country's cities in two days, but accused Russian forces of targeting a humanitarian corridor in the city of Mariupol.
Here are the Highlights on Ukraine-Russia War:
The mayor of southern Ukraine's Melitopol was kidnapped on Friday by Russian soldiers occupying the city, President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian officials said.
"A group of 10 occupiers kidnapped the mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov," Ukraine's parliament said on Twitter. (AFP)
Russian forces inched towards Kyiv and pounded civilian areas in other Ukrainian cities Friday, drawing warnings of "unimaginable tragedy" as the US and the EU moved to tighten the economic noose around the Kremlin.
Sixteen days after Moscow shocked the world by invading Ukraine, the United Nations and others said it may be committing war crimes in cities such as Mariupol, which for days now has been besieged by Vladimir Putin's forces. (Reuters)
The United States and its allies moved Friday to end normal trade relations with Russia, as President Joe Biden vowed the West would make Vladimir Putin "pay the price" for his invasion of Ukraine.
Biden announced the new step, which would enable Western nations to inflict steep tariff hikes on Russian goods, in coordination with NATO allies, the Group of Seven and the European Union.
Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank said Friday it was following other international companies in shutting down its operations in Russia in protest of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
"Like some international peers and in line with our legal and regulatory obligations, we are in the process of winding down our remaining business in Russia while we help our non-Russian multinational clients in reducing their operations. There won't be any new business in Russia," the bank said in a statement. (AFP)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky Friday praised the support of neighbouring Poland since Russia invaded last month."When you have someone who hurts you, it is very important to have someone who offers their shoulder for you to lean on," he said in a message to his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and the Polish people. (AFP)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky Friday praised the support of neighbouring Poland since Russia invaded last month.
"When you have someone who hurts you, it is very important to have someone who offers their shoulder for you to lean on," he said in a message to his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and the Polish people. (AFP)
The United States has not seen evidence that troops from close Russian ally Belarus are in Ukraine, the Pentagon said Friday.
"We haven't seen any indications that Belarusian troops or forces have moved inside Ukraine," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. (AFP)
Western countries accused Russia of spreading "wild" conspiracy theories at the United Nations Friday after Moscow's envoy told diplomats that America and Ukraine had researched using bats to conduct biological warfare. (AFP)
- YouTube is immediately blocking access around the world to channels associated with Russian state-funded media, it said on Friday, citing a policy barring content that denies, minimizes or trivializes well-documented violent events.
- The world's most used streaming video service, which is owned by Alphabet Inc's Google, said Russia's invasion of Ukraine now fell under its violent events policy and violating material would be removed.
- YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said the blocking of the Russian outlets was in line with that policy.
- Previously, YouTube had blocked leading Russia state-backed channels RT and Sputnik across Europe.
- The United Nations on Friday said it was not aware of any biological weapons program in Ukraine while Washington and its allies voiced concerns Russia was spreading the unproven claim in order to launch its own biological or chemical attacks.
- Russia called the meeting of the 15-member U.N. Security Council to reassert its unsubstantiated accusation that Ukraine ran biological warfare laboratories with U.S. support.
- The move risked backfiring on Moscow as members rejected the assertions as "a lie" and "utter nonsense" and used the session to amplify accusations that Russia has deliberately targeted and killed hundreds of civilians in its 15-day-old invasion that Russian President Vladimir Putin calls "a special military operation."
- Russia opened a criminal case against Facebook's parent Meta Platforms on Friday after the social network changed its hate speech rules to allow users to call for "death to the Russian invaders" in the context of the war with Ukraine.
- Russian prosecutors asked a court to designate the U.S. tech giant as an "extremist organisation", and the communications regulator said it was restricting access to Meta's Instagram.
- "A criminal case has been initiated ... in connection with illegal calls for murder and violence against citizens of the Russian Federation by employees of the American company Meta, which owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram," Russia's Investigative Committee said.
- Washington and its allies moved Friday to end normal trade relations with Russia, as President Joe Biden vowed the West would make Vladimir Putin "pay the price" for his invasion of Ukraine.
- Biden announced the new step, which would enable Western nations to inflict steep tariff hikes on Moscow, in coordination with NATO allies, the Group of Seven and the European Union.
- On the US side, lawmakers -- who would have the final say -- have already indicated they support the step, which involves stripping Russia of the preferential status that ensures equal treatment between international trade partners.
- Warning in a speech at the White House that "Putin must pay the price" as the "aggressor" in its ex-Soviet neighbor, Biden said the US move would be mirrored by similar steps in allied nations.
US President Joe Biden on Friday vowed that Russia would pay a "severe price" if it used chemical weapons in Ukraine, after US intelligence reportedly suggested that Moscow was preparing such an attack.
- At least 1,582 civilians in Ukraine's southeastern city of Mariupol have been killed as a result of Russian shelling and a 12-day blockade, the city council said in an online statement on Friday.
- "We will never forget and will never forgive this crime against humanity," it said.
- Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday the European Union "should do more" for his embattled country, a day after EU leaders doused its hopes of quick accession to the bloc.
- "The European Union should do more. It must do more for us, for Ukraine," he said in a video statement on Telegram more than two weeks after Russia invaded his country.
- "The decisions of politicians must coincide with the mood of their people," he added.
- EU leaders have been meeting in France's Versailles since Thursday to urgently address the fallout of the Russian invasion.
- Three missiles hit civilian buildings in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday, destroying a shoe factory and killing one security guard.
- Three missiles hit an apartment building, a migration office and a council administration building in the Novokodatsky district, setting fire to the factory.
- Valentin Yermolenko, public affairs officer for the regional military administration, said there were no military facilities in the area and that one person was killed, a security guard.
- The district prosecutor has opened an investigation into the attack over the possible violation of the laws of war.
- Residents living close to the shoe factory said they heard the first explosion just before 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and the second at 6:10 am. The third strike was further away.
- Britain on Friday slapped a fresh wave of sanctions on Moscow, targeting 386 members of Russia's parliament who supported President Vladimir Putin's devastating invasion of Ukraine.
- The new sanctions against members of Russia's Duma, the lower house of parliament, ban them from travelling to Britain as well as accessing any assets they hold in the UK.
- The lawmakers were sanctioned after they voted in February to recognise the breakaway republics of Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, providing a pretext for the war, Britain's foreign ministry said.
- "We're targeting those complicit in Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine and those who support this barbaric war," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.
- The Kremlin said Friday that fighters from Syria and the Middle East would be allowed to fight for Russia in Ukraine, after President Vladimir Putin backed a plan to send volunteers to battle there.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia's defence minister had said that "most of those who want and who asked (to fight) are citizens of Middle East countries and Syrians".
- Russia was a key partner to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when war broke out, rallying to his side in the conflict in 2015 and turning the tide of the fighting in the regime's favour.
- Peskov said the decision to send volunteer fighters to Ukraine was acceptable, claiming that the United States was backing measures to send mercenaries to fight alongside Kyiv's army in Ukraine.
- Russia launched a massive military operation in Ukraine late last month, spurring an exodus of refugees in Europe and allegations of war crimes.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday asked his defense minister to prepare plans for possible fortification of Russia's western border in response to NATO troop movement in eastern Europe.
- "As for the strengthening of our western borders because of the actions adopted by NATO countries... this needs to be considered separately, I ask you to prepare a report," Putin told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a televised meeting of Russia's Security Council.
- NATO countries have deployed thousands of troops to central and eastern Europe in response to Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine and Moscow has demanded NATO pull back its troops in the east.
- NATO members Poland and the three Baltic states share a common border with Russia. Ukraine borders several others: Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
- Russian strikes hit civilian targets in central Ukraine's Dnipro city on Friday, as Moscow's troops edged closer to Kyiv, where officials said the capital was being transformed into a "fortress".
- Hundreds of thousands of civilians remained trapped and under fire in Ukrainian cities, including besieged Mariupol, after the first talks between Moscow and Kyiv's top diplomats ended Thursday without any progress.
- In the early hours of Friday, Russian war planes carried out what appeared to be the first direct attack on Dnipro, killing one person, emergency services said in a statement.
- Three air strikes hit a kindergarten, apartment building and a shoe factory, it said.
Two and a half million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24, the United Nations said Friday. "Two and a half million people have now fled Ukraine, including 116,000 third-country nationals," Paul Dillon, spokesman for the UN said
The war has been going on in Ukraine for two weeks and Russian troops are heading towards capital Kyiv.
The World Health Organization advised Ukraine to destroy high-threat pathogens housed in the country's public health laboratories to prevent "any potential spills" that would spread disease among the population, the agency told Reuters on Thursday.
About 222,000 people have been evacuated to Russia from Ukraine and its two Russian-backed rebel regions, the TASS news agency said on Friday, citing an unidentified source.
Russian troops edged closer to Kyiv on Friday, as officials said the Ukrainian capital was being transformed into a "fortress" and President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of again targeting humanitarian corridors.
Three air strikes early on Friday in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro killed at least one person, state emergency services said, adding that the strikes were close to a kindergarten and an apartment building.
US President Joe Biden on Friday will call for an end of normal trade relations with Russia and clear the way for increased tariffs on Russian imports as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine, a source said.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky Thursday said around 100,000 people had evacuated the country's cities in two days, but accused Russian forces of targeting a humanitarian corridor in the city of Mariupol.
The IMF expects to cut its global growth estimate due to the economic damage caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Thursday.