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Russia-Ukraine live news: Two dead in Kyiv housing block strike | Russia-Ukraine war News

    • The prime ministers of Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia will present an EU aid package for Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv, the Polish prime minister’s top aide says.
    • A strike on a housing block in Kyiv has killed at least two people, the emergency service says as several areas of the capital came under attack.
    • Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials are expected to resume on Tuesday.
    • More than 4,000 people were evacuated from front-line Ukrainian cities on Monday, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says.
    • Vereshchuk accuses Russian forces of firing on civilians in the Kyiv region.
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought to extend martial law in the country for an additional 30 days from March 24.
    • The United States warns China against coming to Russia’s aid in Ukraine.


Here are the latest updates:

Kyiv mayor announces 35-hour curfew

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has announced a 35-hour curfew in the capital from Tuesday evening until Thursday morning.

Russian forces have been pushed back slightly from Mykolayiv city: Governor

The governor of Ukraine’s southern region of Mykolayiv has said the security situation is calmer in the area because Russian forces had been pushed back slightly from the regional capital, which they have been trying to seize.

In an interview on national television, Governor Vitaliy Kim said Russian troops continued to fire at the city of Mykolayiv and that 80 people were wounded on Monday, including two children.

“You can be 99 percent sure that Mykolayiv region will continue to hold back the advance of the Russian troops. There is the Bug River, which they need to force their way across in order to advance,” he said. “We will not give up the bridges to the invaders.”

Russian shelling kills four people in Rubizhne, Donetsk region: Report

Russian shelling has killed four people and destroyed a boarding school for disabled children, a hospital and three schools in the town of Rubizhne in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the southeastern Donetsk region, the Hromadske television network has reported.

Ukraine claims ‘more than 13,500’ Russian servicemen killed

Ukraine claims to have killed “more than 13,500” Russian servicemen since the invasion began on February 24.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces said that 404 Russian tanks, 1,279 armoured vehicles, 81 planes and 95 helicopters have been “destroyed”.

In a Facebook post, it added that the figures are being updated, and the verification is “complicated” by the high intensity of the fighting.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has reported the death toll only once, on March 2, saying that 498 servicemen had died in Ukraine – and claiming that 2,870 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.

Zelenskyy said on March 12 that 1,400 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed.

There is no way to verify the claims of both sides.

Visiting Central European PMs to present EU aid package for Ukraine

The Polish, Czech, and Slovenian prime ministers will present an EU aid package for Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv, the Polish prime minister’s top aide Michal Dworczyk has said, adding that the leaders would speak on behalf of the EU.

“In Kyiv, in addition to a strong signal of support for Ukraine, a concrete support package will be presented by the prime ministers,” Dworczyk said. He said the delegation had crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border around 8:00am CET (07:00 GMT).

EU adopts fourth set of sanctions against Russia

The EU has adopted the fourth round of sanctions against Russia, banning the export of luxury goods and import of steel products, as well as targeting new oligarchs.

The EU imposed a new set of sanctions against Russia “in response to its brutal aggression against Ukraine and its people,” the European Commission announced in a statement welcoming the decision of EU member states.

“These sanctions will further contribute to ramping up economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine,” the statement said.

Ukrainian presidential adviser says Ukraine war is at a crossroads

An adviser to Zelenskyy has said that the war in Ukraine is at a crossroads that could lead to an agreement at talks with Russia or a new Russian offensive.

“We are at a crossroads. Either we will agree at the current talks or the Russians will make a second attempt [at an offensive] and then there will be talks again,” adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said.

Hungary says energy supply is “red line” in terms of EU sanctions on Russia

The latest package of EU sanctions against Russia do not affect Hungary’s energy supplies and oil and gas group MOL can also continue crude production in the BaiTex field in Russia, Hungary’s foreign minister has said.

In a Facebook video, Peter Szijjarto said it was important for the Hungarian government to maintain European unity on sanctions but “we have a red line which is the security of Hungarian energy supply”.

Talks to continue Tuesday

One of Ukraine’s negotiators has said talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials will resume Tuesday.

“A technical pause has been taken in the negotiations until tomorrow. For additional work in the working subgroups and clarification of individual definitions. Negotiations continue,” Mykhailo Podolyak said after negotiations were held on Monday via videoconference.

‘No safe location’

Authorities in the western city of Lviv say they are preparing for the worst.

“Today, we completely don’t have any safety location or region in our country,” Andriy Moskalenko, deputy mayor of Lviv, told Al Jazeera.

“They can do everything,” he said, referring to attacks by Russian troops in cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol. “They bombed children’s hospitals.”

China says G20 is not an appropriate forum to discuss Ukraine issue

The G20 grouping of nations is not an appropriate forum to discuss the Ukraine issue, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry has told a regular news conference in the Chinese capital.

The G20, or Group of 20, consists of 19 countries, including China and the EU. Its next summit is set for October on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

China must not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: UK minister

The UK says China should not support Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, junior foreign office minister James Cleverly has said.

According to US officials, Russia has asked for military and economic support from Beijing, which signalled a willingness to provide aid. The US has warned China against providing military or financial help to Moscow.

“We continue to call upon China and indeed all countries to cease any support they may have to Russia,” Cleverly told BBC Television. “We want to build as broad a coalition of opposition to Russia as possible so of course we will have those conversations with the Chinese.”

Czech, Polish, Slovenian prime ministers to visit Kyiv on Tuesday

Prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday to meet Zelenskyy as representatives of European Union leaders, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has said on social networks.

“The purpose of the visit is to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” he said.

“The aim of this visit is also to present a broad package of support for Ukraine and Ukrainians.”

China does not want to be ‘affected’ by Russia sanctions: FM

China’s foreign minister has warned his nation does not want to be impacted by Western economic sanctions on Russia, state media has said, as pressure grows on Beijing to withdraw support from an isolated Moscow.

“China is not a party to the crisis, still less wants to be affected by the sanctions,” Wang Yi said, according to a readout of a phone call with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares published on Tuesday.

Russia says its forces have taken control of Kherson region: Agencies

Russia’s defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov has said Russian forces had taken full control of all territory in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, Russian news agencies have reported.

Russian forces shot down six Bayraktar TB-2 drones in the last 24 hours, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the ministry.

Reuters could not verify the reports independently.

Death toll from Monday’s strike in Rivne rises to 19

Vitaliy Koval, the governor of the northern region of Rivne, has said the death toll from a Russian air strike on a television tower in his region on Monday has risen to at least 19.

Ukraine aims to deliver aid to Mariupol and open more humanitarian corridors

Ukraine plans to open nine “humanitarian corridors” to evacuate civilians from areas besieged by Russian forces and will try to deliver humanitarian supplies to encircled Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.

France’s Attal says: French companies must implement sanctions against Russia

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said it is paramount that French companies apply sanctions against Russia decided by the EU.

“What matters is that French companies implement sanctions,” Attal told France 2 television, when asked about oil giant TotalEnergies.

TotalEnergies has condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and has decided to suspend new investments in the country but has not followed the example of British peers BP and Shell that are withdrawing from Russia.

Two dead in strike on Kyiv housing block: Emergency service

A strike on a housing block in Kyiv has killed at least two people, the emergency service has said as several areas of the capital came under attack.

“The bodies of two people were recovered, 27 people were rescued,” Ukraine’s emergency service said on Facebook, adding that the 16-storey building was located in the Sviatoshynsky district in western Kyiv.

Another residential building in the Podilsk area also came under attack, it said.

Russia says there will be no domestic food shortages

Russia has said there is no risk of a food shortage on the domestic market and cautioned consumers against rushing out to stock up on staples after the West slapped sanctions on Russia.

“There are no conditions for risks of a shortage or for a reduction in product range,” Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said in a statement.

“It is not worth driving up artificial demand with purchases for the future,” Abramchenko said. “We will reorient the market and establish mutually profitable trade, expand our partnership network with friendly countries.”

China denies US claim that Russia asked for help in Ukraine

China has denied claims by US officials that Russia had sought military assistance in Ukraine and accused Washington of spreading “malicious disinformation” that risked escalating the conflict.

“The U.S. has repeatedly spread malicious disinformation against China on the Ukraine issue,” the Chinese embassy in London told Reuters in a statement.

“China has been playing a constructive role in promoting peace talks,” it added.

“The top priority now is to ease the situation, instead of adding fuel to the fire, and work for diplomatic settlement rather than further escalate the situation.”

Multiple explosions heard in central Kyiv

News outlets and journalists in Kyiv are reporting several loud explosions in the Ukrainian capital.

Kyiv Independent, a local news outlet, says “heavy explosions” were heard in the city early in the morning, while a foreign journalist there said he woke up to “several huge explosions in central Kyiv”.

New law lets Russian airlines keep planes leased from foreign firms

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law letting Russian airlines register planes leased to them by foreign companies and continue flying them.

The bill has rattled global leasing firms days before a March 28 deadline to repossess aircraft worth $10bn as a result of Western sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian airlines have almost 780 leased jets, with 515 leased from abroad.

The new law, part of Russia’s measures to combat the sanctions, says it aims “to ensure the uninterrupted functioning of activities in the field of civil aviation”.

Zelenskyy thanks protester who disrupted Russian news show

Ukraine’s president has thanked a Russian anti-war protester who disrupted a live news bulletin on Russia’s state television.

“I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth. To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

“And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.”

Japan freezes assets of 17 Russians

Japan has decided to freeze the assets of an additional 17 Russians, including billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and family members of banker Yuri Kovalchuk, who is a close confidant of the Russian president.

The other 11 people subject to asset freezes are members of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma.

Altogether, Japan has now sanctioned 61 Russian individuals over Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

China calls for Russia, EU talks

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has called for talks between Europe and Russia so that the two sides may “find reasonable solutions to their security concerns” and “set up a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework”.

Wang’s appeal came during a phone call with his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Albares, on Monday, according to Chinese state media.

War could be over by May: Ukraine official

An adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff says the war in Ukraine is likely to be over by early May when Russia runs out of resources to attack its neighbour.

“I think that no later than in May, early May, we should have a peace agreement, maybe much earlier, we will see, I am talking about the latest possible dates,” Oleksiy Arestovich said in a video published by several Ukrainian media.

“We are at a fork in the road now: there will either be a peace deal struck very quickly, within a week or two, with troop withdrawal and everything, or there will be an attempt to scrape together some, say, Syrians for a round two and, when we grind them too, an agreement by mid-April or late April.”

A “completely crazy” scenario could also involve Russia sending fresh conscripts after a month of training, he said.

Russia asked China for ‘five types of military equipment’: FT

The Financial Times says the US has told its allies that Russia asked China for five types of military equipment.

The British newspaper cited officials familiar with the content of the US diplomatic cables.

It said the US claims the Russian request included surface-to-air missiles, drones, intelligence-related equipment, armoured vehicles, and vehicles used for logistics and support.

Russia denies making any such request.

US tells allies China is open to providing Russia with military support: FT

The Financial Times says the US has told its allies that China has signalled a willingness to provide military assistance after Russia requested equipment including surface-to-air missiles.

The British newspaper cited officials familiar with the content of US diplomatic cables.

Biden pledges to welcome Ukraine refugees with ‘open arms’

US President Joe Biden has renewed support for Ukraine in a Twitter post, saying that his government will send Kyiv weapons, money, food and aid and will welcome Ukrainian refugees with “open arms”.

Russia ‘possibly planning to use chemical or biological weapons’: UK

The British Ministry of Defence says Russia could be planning to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine in a “false-flag operation”.

In its latest intelligence update, the ministry said “such an operation could take the form of a faked attack, a staged ‘discovery’ of agents or munitions or fabricated evidence of alleged Ukrainian planning to use such weapons”.

Satellite images show Mariupol damage

A satellite image shows a color infrared view of fires burning near Fontanna street, in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine, March 14, 2022. Picture taken March 14, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar
A satellite image shows a colour infrared view of fires burning near Fontanna street, in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 14, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]
A satellite image shows burning and destroyed apartment buildings and the Port City Shopping Mall in western Mariupol, Ukraine, March 14, 2022.
A satellite image shows burning and destroyed apartment buildings and the Port City shopping mall in western Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 14, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

Chechen fighters ‘leading’ Russian assault on Mariupol

The Kremlin-backed leader of the Russian region of Chechnya says that Chechen fighters are spearheading a Russian offensive on the strategic port of Mariupol.

Chechnya’s regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on the messaging app Telegram that Chechen fighters went 1.5 kilometres (about 1 mile) inside the Sea of Azov city before pausing their attack when night fell.

Kadyrov said his close associate Adam Delimkhanov is leading Chechen fighters in Mariupol.

More than 43,000 people in UK offer their homes to Ukraine refugees

The UK has launched a programme for British residents to sponsor refugees from Ukraine, with 43,800 people signing up to offer their homes in the first five hours.

British media said the programme’s website crashed at one point on Monday evening due to the level of interest.

Protesters briefly seize London mansion linked to Russian oligarch

Protesters in…

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