The latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine war:
KYIV, Ukraine — The next round of talks between Ukraine and Russia will be held on Monday, Ukrainian official Davyd Arakhamia said Saturday.
Arakhamia is head of the parliamentary faction of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party and a member of Ukraine’s delegation at the talks.
Monday’s will be the third round of talks as the two sides try to negotiate a cease-fire and safe passage corridors for civilians.
NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations is committed to scaling up its humanitarian operations to help both those who have stayed in Ukraine and the millions who have fled.
Guterres relayed the promise to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a phone call on Saturday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Dujarric said the two also discussed the conditions for safely evacuating civilians, including foreigners, from combat zones.
The U.N. estimates that the 12 million people who have stayed in Ukraine and the 4 million who have fled to neighboring countries will need humanitarian aid in the coming months.
The U.N. Security Council will hold a meeting Monday afternoon on the escalating humanitarian needs that have arisen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
PHOENIX — An Arizona-based ammunition company is offering to donate 1 million bullets to Ukraine’s military amid Russia’s invasion of its European neighbor.
CEO Fred Wagenhals of AMMO Inc. on Friday said it was his response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s appeal for international assistance.
There was no immediate indication whether the U.S. government will approve the proposed export of the ammunition, which has a retail of about $700,000, Phoenix television station KSAZ-TV reported.
The company is based in Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine — Doctors relied on light filtering in through windows and emitted from cellphones to tend to wounded Ukrainian soldiers Saturday at a hospital in the besieged port city of Mariupol, where a promised cease-fire collapsed.
Dr. Evgeniy said the hospital had no power or heat. Patients were lined up in beds along the corridors, and some people were curled up on the floor to protect themselves.
“We have some issues with supplies, not enough analgesics,” Dubrov said. “We’ve worked more than a week without a break.”
A soldier, Svyatoslav Borodin, said a blast blurred his vision, and he thought he might have lost his legs. Another soldier applied a tourniquet.
“Scary,” he said. “Very scary.”
In the city of Irpin, near Kyiv, a sea of people on foot and in wheelbarrows trudged over the remains of a destroyed bridge to cross a river and evacuate.
Assisted by Ukrainian soldiers, they lugged pets, infants, purses and flimsy bags stuffed with minimal possessions. Some of the weak and elderly were carried along the path in blankets and carts.
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SIRET, Romania — Romanian President Klaus Iohannis visited a refugee camp in Siret on Saturday and declared that no Ukrainian would be denied entry to his country.
He pledged food, clothing, transportation and help with personal documents.
“It is a situation that no Ukrainian and no Romanian wanted, but we are very determined to deal with it here in Romania, as it should be,” Iohannis said.
LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces have now seized two Ukrainian nuclear power plants and are advancing toward a third, Ukraine’s president said during a call with U.S. senators Saturday.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the third plant currently under threat is the Yuzhnoukrainsk nuclear power plant, located 75 miles north of Mykolaiv, one of several cities the Russians were trying to keep encircled Saturday.
One of the plants under the Russians’ control is the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the southeastern city of Enerhodar, the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe. The other is Chernobyl, which is not active but is still staffed and maintained. Previous Russian shelling sparked a fire at the Zaporizhzhia plant that was extinguished without a release of radiation.
Technical safety systems are intact and radiation levels are still normal at the Zaporizhzhia plant, according to the country’s nuclear regulator, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Saturday.
Ukraine has four nuclear plants with a total of 15 reactors.
WASHINGTON — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged U.S. lawmakers to sanction Russia’s oil and gas sector and suspend credit card access, and backed an idea to ban Russian oil imports to the U.S. that’s been gaining support in Congress.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said Zelenskyy emphasized during a private call Saturday with the U.S. lawmakers that the energy sector needs to be sanctioned.
“Anything that could hurt the Russian economy will help the Ukrainian people and may make this war more difficult” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Graham said in a video.
During the call, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia asked Zelenskyy about the idea of banning Russian oil to the U.S., according to two people granted anonymity to discuss the private call.
Zelenskyy indicated he was 100% on board with banning Russian oil to the U.S. and told the senators it would be very helpful, the people said.
Zelensky also asked them to suspend access to Visa and Mastercard credit cards in Russia, according to another person granted anonymity to discuss the call.
JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office confirmed the meeting at the Kremlin, which came just days after Bennett spoke over the phone with both Russia and Ukrainian leaders.
Bennett’s office said he departed early Saturday morning for Moscow, accompanied by Russian-speaking Cabinet minister Zeev Elkin. Both men are observant Jews and wouldn’t normally travel on the Sabbath.
Israel is one of the few countries that has good working relations with both sides. The country has delivered humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but also maintains ties with Moscow to make sure that Israeli and Russian warplanes do not come into conflict in neighboring Syria.
VIENNA — Technical safety systems are intact and radiation levels are normal at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant following a Russian attack that led to a fire at the site, according to the country’s nuclear regulator.
Two out of the six reactors at the plant, Europe’s biggest, are now operating after Russian forces took control of the site, the nuclear regulator told the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The regulator said it has been able to keep in touch with staff at the plant.
Ukrainian nuclear officials told the IAEA that one telephone communication line was lost but another was still working, as was cellphone communication. They said the facility’s training center, located separately from the reactors, suffered “significant damage” early Friday and that there was also damage to the site’s laboratory building and an administrative structure.
WASHINGTON — A Russian airliner has received an exception to the U.S. airspace ban in order to return Russian diplomats expelled from the U.S to Russia.
The Ilyushin Il-62 is flying from St. Petersburg to Washington Dulles International Airport outside the U.S. Capitol. A U.S. government official confirmed it had been granted a waiver from the airspace restriction put in place in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in order to retrieve the Russian diplomats.
The U.S. expelled 12 Russians at its mission to the United Nations accusing them of being intelligence operatives.
NEW YORK — Another Russian airline, low cost carrier Pobeda, said it would halt all international flights starting March 8, in accordance with recommendations from the Russia’s state aviation agency.
Rosaviatsiya on Saturday recommended that all Russian airlines with foreign-leased planes halt both passenger and cargo flights abroad. It cited a high risk of foreign-leased planes being impounded as part of Western sanctions that ban leasing of planes to Russia.
Rosaviatsiya’s recommendation doesn’t apply to Russian airlines that use Russian planes or foreign planes that aren’t at risk of being impounded. However, shortly after the recommendation was released, Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot said it would suspend international flights starting March 8, including those carried out by its subsidiary airline Rossia. Several hours later, Pobeda followed suit.
Earlier this week, Russia’s biggest private airline S7 also announced halting international flights starting from March 5.
At the same time, foreign airlines from countries that have not imposed sanctions on Russia and have not shut down their airspace for Russian planes will still be allowed to fly in and out of Russia.
LONDON — Ukraine’s foreign minister on Saturday criticized Shell for continuing to buy Russian oil, lashing out at the energy giant for continuing to do business with Vladimir Putin’s regime after the company announced it was exiting investments in Russia.
Dmytro Kuleba said he had been told Shell “discreetly” bought the oil on Friday. He appealed to the public to pressure the company and other international firms to halt such purchases in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“One question to Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell (like) Ukrainian blood for you?” Kuleba said on Twitter. “I call on all conscious people around the globe to demand multinational companies to cut all business ties with Russia,” he wrote.
Earlier this week, Shell said it was “shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine” and would end its joint ventures with Gazprom, the massive oil and gas company that is controlled by the Russian government.
Shell on Saturday said it has already stopped “most activities involving Russian oil,” although it continues to buy some products from Russia to supply the needs of its refineries and chemical plants. These purchases are necessary to ensure fuel supplies for customers, Shell said.
WASHINGTON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a “desperate plea” to U.S. senators on Saturday to send more planes to help the country fight the Russian invasion.
Zelenskyy made the request on a call joined by more than 300 people, including senators, some House lawmakers and aides.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement that Zelenskyy made a “desperate plea for Eastern European countries to provide Russian-made planes to Ukraine.”
“I will do all I can to help the administration to facilitate their transfer,” Schumer said.
Schumer told Zelenskyy the U.S. lawmakers are inspired by him and by the strength and courage of the Ukrainian people, according to another person on the call who was granted anonymity to discuss it.
The U.S. Congress also is working on a $10 billion package of military and humanitarian aide, and Schumer told Zelenskyy that lawmakers hope to send it quickly to Ukraine, the person said.
Zelenskyy told senators he needs planes and drones more than other security tools, according to a senior Senate aide granted anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has updated an earlier travel advisory and is now recommending that U.S. citizens leave Russia immediately.
The notice offers this guidance: “If you wish to depart Russia, you should make arrangements on your own as soon as possible. If you plan to stay in Russia, understand the U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may change suddenly.”
The department already has advised Americans not to travel to Russia. That warning cites “the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine” and “the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials,” among other things.
The American ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, has scheduled a virtual town hall on Wednesday for U.S. citizens in Russia “in light of the rapidly developing situation” from the Russian invasion.
CHISINAU, Moldova — Hundreds of families, many from Ukraine’s Donetsk region, have taken refuge in a sports venue in the capital of Moldova. The refugees milled about or tried to relax on cots Saturday while lamenting what they were forced to leave behind.
Maria Cherepovskaia, 50, said she walked 15 kilometers (9 miles) to reach Chisinau, and received help from people who supplied rides and food.
“We will be here until the war is over,” Cherepovskaia said. “We don’t know where to go. We left behind our children and relatives, also our men.”
She said there is bombing going on in Donetsk: “a lot, too much.”
Refugees also fled to Siret, Romania, where some gathered together in a large tent. Iryna Bogavchuk, from Chernivtsi in Ukraine, warmed herself next to a portable heater as she caressed her 4-year-old daughter and looked at photos of her husband, who stayed behind.
“I miss him,” Bogavchuk said as she wept. “I took a few Polaroid photos because I couldn’t take a lot
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces were holding key cities in the central and southeastern part of the country Saturday, while the Russians were trying to block and keep encircled Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv and Sumy.
“We’re inflicting losses on the occupants they could not see in their worst nightmare,” Zelenskyy said. He alleged that 10,000 Russian troops were killed in the 10 days of the war, a claim that could not be independently verified. The Russian military doesn’t offer regular updates on their casualties. Only once, on Wednesday, they revealed a death toll of nearly 500.
“This is horrible,” Zelenskyy said. “Guys 18, 20 years old … soldiers who weren’t even explained what they were going to fight for.”
CHERNIHIV, Ukraine – Video released Saturday by the Ukrainian government shows a Russian military plane falling from the sky and crashing, as onlookers on the ground cheer.
Firefighters sprayed water on flames and smoke at a structure next to the debris of the plane, which bore a red star and the number 24.
NEW YORK — Russian President Vladimir Putin says there is nothing that warrants imposing martial law in Russia at this point.
Putin’s comment on Saturday followed days of speculation that the introduction of martial law could be imminent.
Putin said that “martial law is imposed in a country … in the event of external aggression, including in specific areas of hostilities. But we don’t have such a situation, and I hope we won’t.”
NEW YORK — Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow would consider any third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as “participation in the armed conflict.”
Speaking at a meeting with female pilots on Saturday, Putin said Russia would view “any move in this direction” as an intervention that “will pose a threat to our service members.”
“That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members they are,” the Russian president said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pushed NATO to impose a no-fly zone over his country, warning that “all the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you.”
NATO has said a no-fly zone, which would bar all unauthorized aircraft from flying over Ukraine, could provoke widespread war in Europe with nuclear-armed Russia.
HELSINKI, Finland — Finland and Sweden have pledged to further deepen defense cooperation, including with NATO. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin says that “Russia’s war against a European nation puts the European security order at risk.”
Finland and neighboring Sweden for years have resisted joining NATO, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine is changing the dynamic. Recent polls in both countries show more than 50% of Finns and Swedes in support of NATO membership but their governments are more cautious.
“It’s very understandable that the mindset of our citizens is changing due to Russia’s attack against Ukraine,” said Marin, but refused to comment on whether Finland would ask for a major non-NATO allied status, a designation given to countries with close strategic relationship with the U.S. military.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said cooperation with NATO is “maybe closer than ever” and that a rapprochement with NATO would be discussed.
NEW YORK — Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship carrier, has announced that it will halt all international flights except to Belarus starting March 8.
The move by Russia’s biggest state-owned airline comes after the country’s aviation agency, Rosaviatsiya, recommended that all Russian airlines with foreign-leased planes halt both passenger and cargo flights abroad.
It cited a high risk of foreign-leased planes being impounded as part of Western sanctions that ban leasing of planes to Russia.
Rosaviatsiya’s recommendation doesn’t apply to Russian airlines that use Russian planes or foreign planes that aren’t at risk of being impounded.
It also doesn’t apply to foreign airlines from countries that have not imposed sanctions on Russia and have not shut down their airspace for Russian planes. Aeroflot’s statement Saturday cited “circumstances that hinder operating flights” as a reason for its move.
Aeroflot said it would cancel return tickets for passengers who are scheduled to depart Russia after March 6 and travel back after March 8. Those with one-way tickets will be allowed to fly up until March 8. Earlier this week, S7, Russia’s biggest private airline, announced that it was halting all international flights starting Saturday.
LVIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian president’s office says civilian evacuations have halted in an area of the country where Russian defense officials had announced a cease-fire.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, said the evacuation effort was stopped because the city of Mariupol remained under fire on Saturday.
“The Russian side is not holding to the ceasefire and has continued firing on Mariupol itself and on its surrounding area,” he said. “Talks with the Russian Federation are ongoing regarding setting up a ceasefire and ensuring a safe humanitarian corridor.”
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier in a statement it had agreed on evacuation routes with Ukrainian forces for Mariupol, a strategic port in the southeast, and for the eastern city of Volnovakha.
But a city official reported that shelling continued in his area Saturday despite the deal, a sign of the fragility of efforts to stop fighting across the country.
RZESZOW, Poland — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting southeastern Poland near the border with Ukraine as the war enters its 10th day. Blinken arrived in Rzeszow on Saturday for talks with top Polish officials and was to visit a frontier post to meet Ukrainian refugees later in the day.
Blinken was meeting Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau a day after attending a NATO foreign minister’s meeting in Brussels at which the alliance pledged to step up support for eastern flank members like Poland to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Although NATO has ruled out establishing a no-fly zone over non-member Ukraine, it has significantly boosted both military and humanitarian assistance. Rzeszow is about 80 km (50 miles) from the Ukrainian border and its airport has become a hub for flights carrying such aid.
MADRID — Spanish clothing giant Inditex has decided to “temporarily suspend” all its activity in Russia, including over 500 stores and its online sales.
In a statement to Spanish stock market regulator CNMV, the parent company of Zara, Massimo Dutti and other fashion chains says that “under the current circumstances it cannot guarantee the continuity of its operations and the commercial conditions in the Russian Federation.”
It added that the company will focus on developing “a special support plan” for the more than 9,000 people it employs in Russia.
Inditex said that Russia accounts for 8.5% of the group’s business. It said the move doesn’t significantly impact its investment there because all its Russian shops operate on rented premises.
Major western companies, including H&M, Apple, Mercedes-Benz and BP, have halted their sales or operations in Russia since the country started its invasion of Ukraine.
NEW YORK — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has defended Russia’s adoption of a law setting out prison sentences of up to 15 years for spreading what is deemed to be fake information about its armed forces.
The measure was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on Friday and prompted some foreign media including the BBC and Bloomberg to say they were suspending operations within Russia.
Peskov told reporters the measure was justified on the grounds of an “information war which was unleashed against our country.” Asked how Russians could express opinions which don’t match the official government position, Peskov said “within the bounds of the law.”
The passing of the law comes amid a broader crackdown on media outlets and social media in Russia. Facebook and Twitter were both blocked Friday in Russia.
GENEVA — The International Organization for Migration says the number of people who have left Ukraine since fighting began has now reached 1.45 million.
The U.N. migration agency, citing figures from government ministries in countries where they have arrived, said Saturday that 787,300 of them went to Poland. Some 228,700 fled to Moldova, 144,700 to Hungary, 132,600 to Romania and 100,500 to Slovakia.
The IOM said that nationals of 138 countries have crossed Ukraine’s borders into neighboring nations.
ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman says the Turkish leader will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.
“This war must be stopped immediately and there must be a return to the negotiating table,” Ibrahim Kalin told broadcaster NTV in Istanbul. He said Saturday that “our president will talk to Putin tomorrow.”
NATO member Turkey has close ties to both Russia and Ukraine and has repeatedly offered to mediate between the two. It has invited the top diplomats of both countries to Turkey for talks next week.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that Russian Foreign Minister Seygey Lavrov had confirmed his attendance at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, to be held in the Mediterranean coastal city between March 11-13.
BERLIN — The German government says the country’s state-owned development bank has signed an agreement with Dutch gas company Gasunie and German energy company RWE to build a liquid natural gas import terminal.
The Economy Ministry said Saturday that the memorandum of understanding to build the LNG terminal in Brunsbuettel, on Germany’s North Sea coast, was signed Friday. It didn’t give financial details or a timeframe.
The terminal will be run by Gasunie, which is owned by the Dutch state, and Germany’s KfW development bank will have a 50% stake. The ministry said that, in the long term, the plan is to re-equip the terminal to import green hydrogen derivatives.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said last weekend that Germany will quickly build two LNG terminals, one in Brunsbuettel and the other in Wilhelmshaven. Germany wants to reduce its dependency on Russian gas following the attack on Ukraine.
ROME — Italian financial police have seized two Russian-owned superyachts moored in a Ligurian port after Italy’s foreign minister announced plans to sequester 140 million euros ($154 million) from Russian billionaires in Italy.
Foreign Minister Luigio Di Maio told Italian state TV Friday evening that “this is the only way to convince” Putin “to reason.’’
Financial police in the port of Imperia immediately seized the 65-meter (215-foot) “Lady M,” with an estimated value of 65 million euros, owned by Alexei Mordashov, as well as the “Lena,” valued at 50 million euros and belonging to Gennady Timchenko. Other seizures were reportedly under way.
PARIS — The office of President Emmanuel Macron says France will soon propose concrete measures to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s five main nuclear sites.
The safeguards will be drawn up on the basis of International Atomic Energy Agency criteria, a statement from the French presidency said Saturday.
A Russian attack on a nuclear plant sparked a fire on Friday and briefly raised worldwide fears of a catastrophe. The statement said Macron is “extremely concerned about the risks to nuclear safety, security and the implementation of international safeguards resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Macron said Russia “must immediately cease its illegal and dangerous military actions” and allow Ukrainian authorities full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. He urged Russia to allow “free, regular and unhindered access for facility personnel to ensure their continued safe operation.”
KYIV, Ukraine — The Russian military will observe a ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine starting Saturday to allow civilians to evacuate, Russian state media reported, but there was no immediate confirmation from Ukraine. It would be the first breakthrough in allowing civilians to escape.
The Russian Defense Ministry statement carried by the RIA Novosti and Tass agencies said it has agreed on evacuation routes with Ukrainian forces to allow civilians to leave the strategic port of Mariupol in the southeast and the eastern town of Volnovakha “from 10 a.m. Moscow time.” It was not immediately clear from the vaguely worded statement how long the routes would remain open.
The head of Ukraine’s security council, Oleksiy Danilov, had called on Russia to create humanitarian corridors to allow children, women and the elderly to escape the fighting, calling such corridors “question No. 1.”
LOS ANGELES — SpaceX founder Elon Musk says the company’s Starlink satellite internet service was “told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources.”
“We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist,” Musk said in a post on Twitter.
Earlier this week, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation thanked Musk for providing equipment to Starlink.
Mykhailo Fedorov thanked SpaceX founder Elon Musk for the equipment in a Twitter post accompanied by a photo of boxes on the back of a truck. Federov had publicly requested the service.
Musk replied with his own tweet saying: “You are most welcome.”
The tech billionaire has said Starlink was “active” in Ukraine and more equipment to use it was on the way.
Starlink is a satellite-based internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world. It markets itself as “ideally suited” for areas where internet service is unreliable or unavailable.
SINGAPORE — Singapore has announced sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, becoming one of the few governments in Southeast Asia to do so.
“The sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all countries, big and small, must be respected,” said an announcement by the Foreign Ministry.
The tiny city-state imposed controls on exports or transshipments of military-related or dual use items considered “strategic goods.” It said the sanctions were aimed at constraining Russia’s ability to wage war and engage in “cyber aggression.”
The regional commercial hub also said it would prohibit all financial institutions from doing business with four Russian banks: VTB Bank, Bank Rossiya, the Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Co., and the Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank. Companies with existing dealings with the four must freeze their assets, it said.
The order also bans providing financial services or enabling financing for the Russian central bank, Russian government and entities owned or controlled by them.