Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: Russia Scraps UN Vote On Ukraine Resolution Over Lack Of Support
Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: At ongoing peace talks, Ukraine says Russia has agreed to nine humanitarian corridors for fleeing refugees, including one out of Mariupol.
Russia-Ukraine War: The war between Russia and Ukraine is entering its fourth week.
A Russian strike on a theatre sheltering civilians in Ukraine's besieged city of Mariupol badly wounded one person but did not kill anyone, authorities said Friday, as deadly fighting raged on elsewhere across the country.
Rescuers picked through the rubble to find hundreds of civilians feared trapped in the wreckage of the theatre, as both sides in the war and their allies traded accusations of war crimes three weeks into the Russian invasion.
Russian troops have stalled in their advance on Ukrainian cities amid heavy losses but there are no signs Russian President Vladimir Putin "is prepared to stop."
Three people have been killed after a multi-storey teaching building was shelled in the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine's state emergency service. Shells also hit the eastern city of Kramatorsk on Friday, killing two people and wounding six, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in an online post.
Several missiles have hit an aircraft repair plant near Lviv's airport in western Ukraine, city Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said, adding that the airport was safe.
Here are the Highlights on Ukraine-Russia War:
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Mar 19, 2022 06:02 (IST)
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush show solidarity with Ukraine Two former US presidents, Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush, showed their support Friday for Ukraine in the face of Russia's invasion by visiting a Ukrainian church in Chicago.
The two men, who wore blue and yellow ribbons in the colors of Ukraine's flag, laid bouquets of sunflowers, the country's national emblem, in front of the Catholic Church of Saints Volodymyr and Olha before taking a moment to reflect.
Mar 19, 2022 05:37 (IST)
Ukraine's Zelenskiy says it is time for meaningful security talks with Moscow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday called for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow, saying Russia would otherwise need generations to recover from losses suffered during the war.
Zelenskiy said Ukraine had always offered solutions for peace and wanted meaningful and honest negotiations on peace and security, without delay.
Mar 19, 2022 04:40 (IST)
Rublev urges 'unity' as Russian invasion of Ukraine sparks tennis tension Three weeks after his emotional plea for peace in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev still hopes sport can somehow remain aloof from the conflict.
Rublev along with other Russian and Belarussian players at the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters are not allowed to compete under the name or flag of their countries.
Mar 19, 2022 03:55 (IST)
Ukrainian sports legend Bubka fears for athletes' safety Ukrainian sporting legend Sergey Bubka said Friday he was spending every waking hour trying to locate Ukrainian athletes, fearing for their safety when the line of contact cuts out.
Former Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder Bubka said some athletes were stuck in conflict-hit areas of the country following Russia's full-scale invasion on February 24.
Mar 19, 2022 00:29 (IST)
Biden laid out to Xi 'consequences' of any Chinese support for Russia's Ukraine war: W.House US President Joe Biden laid out to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping the "consequences" of any support for Russia in its war against neighboring Ukraine, the White House said Friday.
"He described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians," the White House said in a statement after a nearly two-hour phone call between the two leaders.
Putin tells Macron about Russia's approach to possible Ukraine deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the conflict in Ukraine with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron by phone on Friday, telling him about Moscow's approach to a potential deal on ceasing hostilities, the Kremlin said.
"Reacting to concerns expressed by Emmanuel Macron, the Russian president underscored that the Russian armed forces taking part in the special military operation are doing everything possible to preserve the lives of civilians," the Kremlin said in its readout of the call.
The two also discussed the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv and Moscow's stance on how a deal could be achieved, it said, without providing more details.
Mar 18, 2022 22:51 (IST)
Ukrainian negotiator says Ukraine's position at talks with Russia is unchanged
Ukraine's negotiator at talks with Russia on Friday said Ukraine's position was unchanged and it wanted peace negotiations to lead to a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees.
"The statements of the Russian side are only their requesting positions. All statements are intended, inter alia, to provoke tension in the media. Our positions are unchanged. Ceasefire, withdrawal of troops & strong security guarantees with concrete formulas," Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter.
Russia using UN to spread propaganda, Western states say
Russia is using the UN Security Council to spread disinformation and propaganda about its invasion of Ukraine, six Western members states said Friday.
They made the allegation at a council meeting called at Russia's request to discuss its allegations that Ukraine is developing biological weapons.
"Russia is once again attempting to use this council to launder its disinformation, spread its propaganda, and justify its unprovoked and brutal attack on Ukraine," the six countries with seats on the council said in a statement read out by US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
She was accompanied by representatives of France, Norway, Albania, Ireland and Britain.
Nothing suggests Putin's intent has altered over Russian invasion, says Western official
There is no evidence to suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin's overall intent in Ukraine has altered despite the invasion failing to reach its original objectives, a Western official said on Friday.
"I've seen nothing which suggests that the original intent of Putin has significantly altered," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Therefore ... the difference between what was planned, what is being executed is at the moment, one of timing and they have failed to achieve their objectives in the time that they set out in their original objectives and their original plan."
Mar 18, 2022 20:33 (IST)
EU naturalised over 18,000 Ukrainians in 2020
Some 18,100 Ukrainians were granted citizenship of European Union countries in 2020, largely by Poland and Germany, as the bloc naturalised 3% more people overall than in the previous year, the EU statistics office said on Friday.
The EU's 27 member states naturalised just over 729,000 foreign nationals in that year, the Eurostat data showed, with Spain and the Netherlands leading the way.
One in 10 of the new EU citizens came from Morocco, while Syrians represented 7% and Albanians 6%. The majority of new citizens originated from outside the bloc or were stateless, Eurostat said.
Ukrainians made up 3% of new citizens during the year, largely in its western neighbour Poland, which naturalised close to 3,900 - the most of any EU country and more than double its figure in 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
UN warns of 'extremely dire' situation in east Ukraine
The UN warned Friday that humanitarian needs are becoming ever more urgent across war-ravaged eastern Ukraine, with a potentially fatal lack of food, water and medicines in besieged cities.
"The humanitarian situation in cities such as Mariupol and Sumy is extremely dire," Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesman for the UN refugee agency, told reporters via video link from Poland.
Residents in those two cities, he warned, are "facing critical and potentially fatal shortages of food, water and medicines."
Since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, several cities in the east -- from Sumy in the north to Mariupol in the south -- have been effectively besieged, cut off and faced near-constant attack.
Mar 18, 2022 19:40 (IST)
Ukraine's Zelensky says 130 people saved from Mariupol theatre bombing, 'hundreds' still trapped
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that 130 people had been saved after the bombing of a theatre in the port city of Mariupol, besieged by Russian forces, but that "hundreds" were still trapped in rubble.
"More than 130 people have been saved. But hundreds of Mariupol residents are still beneath the rubble," Zelensky said in a video address on Facebook.
He promised to continue rescue operations in Mariupol "despite shelling" in the southern city that has suffered vast destruction.
Mar 18, 2022 19:25 (IST)
At least 816 civilians killed in Ukraine since conflict began, UN says
The U.N. rights office (OHCHR) said on Friday that at least 816 civilians had been killed and 1,333 wounded in Ukraine through to March 17.
Most of the casualties were from explosive weapons such as shelling from heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes, OHCHR said.
The real toll is thought to be considerably higher since OHCHR, which has a large monitoring team in the country, has not yet been able to verify casualty reports from badly-hit cities like Mariupol.
Mar 18, 2022 19:14 (IST)
Putin hails Russia's 'special operation' in Ukraine to thousands in packed stadium
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed what Russia calls its special operation in Ukraine, appearing on stage at a rally at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Friday in front of thousands of people waving Russian flags.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in an effort to degrade its southern neighbour's military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
Britain, U.S. warn of satellite communications risks after Ukraine hack
Britain and the United States have warned organisations of the risks associated with using satellite communications following a cyberattack on satellite internet modems as Russia invaded Ukraine.
Western intelligence agencies have been investigating the attack which disrupted broadband satellite internet access provided by U.S. telecommunications firm Viasat, Reuters reported last week.
"It's certainly something we're investigating quite actively - more than quite actually," a British official told reporters on Friday. "We've been talking extensively to UK organisations to give them a sense of how we can advise them on that point."
The unidentified hackers disabled tens of thousands of modems that communicate with Viasat Inc's KA-SAT satellite, which supplies internet to some customers in Europe, including in Ukraine.
Mar 18, 2022 18:14 (IST)
Over 3.25 million have fled Ukraine, most to Poland
More than 3.25 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, the United Nations said Friday, with more than two million crossing the Polish border.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 3,270,662 people had joined the exodus since the war began on February 24, or another 100,765 since Thursday's update.
"We have seen a general slowdown" in flow since the early days of the conflict, said UNHCR spokesman Matthew Saltmarsh.
As for people still within Ukraine who have left their homes, "It's safe to assume the number is considerably higher than two million", he said.
However, "the pace and magnitude of the internal displacement and refugee exodus from Ukraine, as well as resulting humanitarian needs, will only increase if the situation deteriorates."
Mar 18, 2022 18:08 (IST)
'Our heroes': taxi drivers ferry Ukraine refugees to Spain
After fleeing the war in Ukraine and reaching Warsaw by car and on foot, 22-year-old Khrystyna Trach had no idea how she would make it to Spain where her sister lives.
Then she heard about a convoy of Madrid taxi drivers who had come to Poland to deliver aid and ferry a group of 135 Ukrainians from a Warsaw refugee centre back to Spain.
"They are our heroes," Trach told AFP outside a central Madrid church where the convoy of 29 taxis arrived in the early hours of Thursday after an epic five-day journey, pulling up to cheers from well-wishers gathered outside.
Most refugees are women and children who, like Trach, already have family or friends living in Spain. With them were four dogs and a cat.
"I am going to look for work now to get money to help my country and my family," said Trach, an orphan who left her grandparents back in Kyiv where she worked in telesales.
Mar 18, 2022 18:07 (IST)
Russian official who spoke out against 'war' leaves post
Former Kremlin aide and ex-deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday stepped down as chair of the Skolkovo Foundation after becoming a rare official voice of dissent against
Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine.
Established in 2010, the Skolkovo Foundation has aimed to diversify the country's economy from oil and gas, foster start-ups and build a Russian version of Silicon Valley outside Moscow.
"Arkady Dvorkovich decided to terminate the powers of chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation and focus on the development of educational projects," Skolkovo said in a statement Friday.
Dvorkovich, 49, is a veteran Russian government official. He had been chair of the foundation since 2018 and also served as a Kremlin aide and deputy prime minister.
He did not say why he was leaving but praised the foundation for facilitating the development of a "huge number of successful start-ups".
Mar 18, 2022 18:05 (IST)
Ukraine will not give up EU bid as compromise to Russia, says Ukrainian official
Ukraine will not abandon its bid to join the European Union to reach a compromise with Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, the deputy chief of staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday.
"I will be categorical, this is absolutely unacceptable. It is our choice, the application for EU membership has been submitted and now it is being put into practice," deputy chief of staff Andrii Sybiha said.
Speaking on national television, Sybiha said negotiations with Russia were ongoing but difficult.
Mar 18, 2022 17:15 (IST)
Kyiv says 222 killed in capital since start of war, including 60 civilians
Kyiv city authorities on Friday said 222 people had been killed in the capital since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began, including 60 civilians and four children.
A further 889 people have been wounded, including 241 civilians, the Kyiv city administration said in a statement.
Mar 18, 2022 17:15 (IST)
Russia demands that Google stop spreading threats against Russians on YouTube
Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Friday said it had demanded that Alphabet Inc's Google stop spreading what it labelled as threats against Russian citizens on its YouTube video-sharing platform.
Roskomnadzor said adverts on the platform were threatening the life and health of Russian citizens and that their dissemination was evidence of the U.S. tech giant's anti-Russian position.
Mar 18, 2022 17:14 (IST)
Ukraine says 130 people have been rescued so far from bombed Mariupol theatre
Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova on Friday said 130 people had been rescued so far from the rubble of a theatre hit by an air strike on Wednesday in the besieged eastern city of Mariupol.
In a televised address, Denisova said rescue work was ongoing at the site, where many people were sheltering underground before the building was hit, according to the Ukrainian authorities.
Mar 18, 2022 17:13 (IST)
Norway boosts military spending by over 300 mn euros: minister
Norway on Friday announced it would provide an additional 3 billion Norwegian kroner (308 million euros) this year to strengthen its military forces in the north near the Russian border.
"Even if a Russian attack on Norway is not likely, we must realise that we have a neighbour to the east that has become more dangerous and more unpredictable," Norwegian Defence Minister Odd Roger Enoksen told a press conference, referring to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Mar 18, 2022 17:12 (IST)
World lenders see 'extensive' economic fallout from Ukraine war
The International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other top world lenders on Friday warned of "extensive" economic fallout from the Ukraine war and expressed "horror" at the "devastating human catastrophe".
"The entire global economy will feel the effects of the crisis through slower growth, trade disruptions, and steeper inflation," read a joint statement from institutions including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Mar 18, 2022 16:03 (IST)
Australian PM says situation in Ukraine to figure in his talks with Modi
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said the situation in Ukraine and its implications for the Indo-Pacific will figure in his virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 21.
Morrison said ways to deepen bilateral trade and investment ties and harness new economic opportunities to support mutual economic recovery and growth will also be discussed at the summit.
"We will also discuss a range of regional and multilateral issues, including the situation in Ukraine and its implications for the Indo-Pacific, and Myanmar," the Australian Prime Minister said in a statement.
Mar 18, 2022 16:02 (IST)
Ukraine foreign minister says he discussed further Russian sanctions with EU's Borrell
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday said he had spoken with the European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell about a further package of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.
"We discussed the preparation of the 5th EU sanctions package on Russia. Pressure will keep mounting as long as it is needed to stop Russian barbarism. We also discussed protection and help for Ukrainians who fled from Russian bombs to the EU," he said on Twitter.
Mar 18, 2022 15:59 (IST)
World Food Programme says supply chains 'falling apart' in Ukraine
A World Food Programme (WFP) official said on Friday that food supply chains in Ukraine were collapsing, with a portion of infrastructure destroyed and many grocery stores and warehouses now empty.
Jakob Kern, WFP Emergency Coordinator for the Ukraine crisis, also expressed concern about the situation in "encircled cities" such as Mariupol, saying that supplies were running out and that its convoys had not yet been able to enter the city.
Mar 18, 2022 15:43 (IST)
Pope calls Ukraine war a 'perverse abuse of power' for partisan interests
Pope Francis on Friday called the war in Ukraine a "perverse abuse of power" waged for partisan interests which has condemned defenceless people to brutal violence.
Since the war began, the pope has not used the word "Russia" in his condemnations but has used phrases such as "unacceptable armed aggression" to get his point across.
His latest condemnation came in a message to a Catholic Church conference in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.
Mar 18, 2022 15:27 (IST)
Putin accuses Ukraine of stalling talks: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused Ukrainian authorities of stalling talks, but added that Moscow was ready to search for solutions as he spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
"It was noted that the Kyiv regime is trying in every possible way to stall negotiations, putting forward more and more unrealistic proposals," the Kremlin said after the phone call.
"Nevertheless, the Russian side is ready to continue to search for solutions in line with its well-known principled approaches."
Mar 18, 2022 14:55 (IST)
Russia-Ukraine War: Russia's Illusions About Relying On West Over, Foreign Minister Says Russia has lost all illusions about relying on the West and Moscow will never accept a view of the world dominated by a United States that wants to act like a global sheriff, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
Mar 18, 2022 14:51 (IST)
Russia-Ukraine War: Over 2 Million Ukrainian Refugees Have Entered Poland, Border Guard Says Over 2 million refugees have entered Poland from Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, the Polish border guard said on Friday.
"Today, March 18 at 0900 (local time) the number of refugees from Ukraine exceeded 2 million. Mainly women and children," the border guard wrote on Twitter.
Russia-Ukraine War: Norway Preparing For Up To 100,000 Ukraine Refugees This Year, PM Says Norway believes the country will receive around 30,000 Ukrainian refugees this year but is preparing for a situation in which up to 100,000 may arrive as more people flee the Russian invasion, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told parliament on Friday.
Some 3.2 million people have fled Ukraine in the last three weeks, almost all to Poland and other neighbouring countries, United Nations data shows. Around 2,000 have so far arrived in Norway.
Mar 18, 2022 14:13 (IST)
Russia-Ukraine War: France Says Sanctions Starting To Impact Russia French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Friday sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia in reaction to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine were starting to have a "real impact".
"We hope these sanctions will force (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to change his plans," Attal told BFM TV.
Earlier this week, European Union member states agreed on a fourth package of sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Mar 18, 2022 13:57 (IST)
UK Revokes Russian Channel RT's Licence After Probe Into Ukraine Coverage Britain's media regulator said on Friday it has revoked Russian-backed television channel RT's licence to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect after a probe into the impartiality of its coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The regulator, Ofcom, said in a statement it was not satisfied that RT could be a responsible broadcaster.
"Freedom of expression is something we guard fiercely in this country, and the bar for action on broadcasters is rightly set very high. Following an independent regulatory process, we have today found that RT is not fit and proper to hold a licence in the UK," Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Dawes said.
Russia-Ukraine War: Ukraine President Could Address Japan Parliament On Tuesday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy may deliver an online speech to Japan's parliament as soon as March 22, broadcaster TV Asahi said on Friday, citing a ruling party lawmaker.
Mar 18, 2022 13:02 (IST)
Russia Sets Up No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine's Donbass: 5 Latest Facts
Rescuers are combing the rubble of a theatre in Mariupol bombed on Wednesday for survivors. Russia denies striking it. Italy said it will rebuild it.
The governor of the northern Chernihiv region said 53 civilians had been in killed in the past 24 hours. The dead included a US citizen as he waited in a bread line, his family said. Russia denies targeting civilians.
Mariupol authorities say around 30,000 people have fled the besieged port city, adding that "80 percent of residential housing was destroyed".
Mariupol bombed on Wednesday for survivors. Russia denies striking it. Italy said it will rebuild it.
Russia-Ukraine War: Saudi Arabia Extends Ukrainians' Visas On Humanitarian Grounds Saudi Arabia issued a royal directive extending tourist and business visas of Ukrainian citizens without fees or fines for humanitarian considerations, state news agency SPA said on Friday.
The extension will be automatic without the need to visit the migration authorities.
Russia-Ukraine War: PayPal Expands Payments Services To Help Ukrainian Citizens, Refugees PayPal Holdings Inc on Thursday expanded its services to allow Ukrainian citizens and refugees to receive payments from overseas, a move a senior Ukrainian official called a huge help as Russian forces continued to attack the country.
PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman told Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov in a letter that Ukrainians would also be able to transfer funds from their PayPal accounts to eligible credit and debit cards. The company has waived its fees on such transactions through June 30.
Mar 18, 2022 09:16 (IST)
Russia-Ukraine War: Australia Sanctions Russian Billionaires With Mining Industry Links Australia imposed sanctions on Friday on two Russian oligarchs with links to its mining industry, one of them a billionaire with an investment connection to Rio Tinto's Gladstone alumina refinery joint venture.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia was working in close cooperation with international partners to increase sanctions pressure on oligarchs close to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia-Ukraine War: US Sees "Anecdotal Signs Of Flagging Russian Morale" In Ukraine: Official
The United States has anecdotal signs of flagging Russian troop morale in some units in Ukraine as the war enters its fourth week, a senior US defense official said on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mar 18, 2022 07:29 (IST)
Chinese Foreign Ministry Official Meets With Russia's Ambassador To China A Chinese foreign ministry official met with Russia's ambassador to China on March 17 to exchange views on bilateral relations, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Cheng Guoping, Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Affairs at China's foreign ministry, met with Andrey Denisov of Russia and exchanged views on bilateral counter-terrorism and security cooperation, according to the statement.