Russia has unleashed an invasion of Ukraine after months of massing troops near its borders. The military action, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24, amounts to a full-scale invasion, says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Casualties are mounting on both sides. The repercussions are being felt beyond Europe as rising geopolitical risk and volatile energy and financial markets rock Asia.
For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine crisis page.
Read our in-depth coverage:
— Strong NATO, weak U.S., puzzled China: Ukraine war hints at new order
— Over 3m flee Ukraine, stretching neighbors like Poland to limit
— Latvia ready to defend itself ‘like never before’: deputy PM
— Czar Vladimir Putin is divorced from reality: Niall Ferguson
— Ukraine’s thriving tech firms join cyber resistance against Russia
Entries include material from wire services and other sources.
Note: Nikkei Asia on March 5 decided to temporarily suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code.
Here are the latest developments:
Thursday, March 17 (Tokyo time)
6:30 p.m. Ukrainian authorities are struggling to determine the fate of hundreds of civilians who had been sheltering in a theater hit by a Russian airstrike in the besieged city of Mariupol. A photo released by Mariupol’s city council shows an entire section of the large, three-story theater had collapsed after the strike Wednesday evening. Several hundred people had taken refuge in the building, seeking safety from Russia’s three-week assault on the strategic Azov Sea port city.
4:00 p.m. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has largely stalled on all fronts, with Russian forces suffering heavy losses and making minimal progress on land, sea or in the air in recent days, British military intelligence says. “Ukrainian resistance remains staunch and well-coordinated,” The Ministry of Defense said. “The vast majority of Ukrainian territory, including all major cities, remains in Ukrainian hands.”
3:15 p.m. Hungary expects a “bigger wave” of refugees to arrive from Ukraine next week, Prime Minister Viktor Orban says in a video posted on his Facebook page. Visiting a border crossing near Hungary’s border with Romania and Ukraine, Orban says more border guards would be stationed there next week to handle the expected influx of refugees.
2:02 p.m. At least one person was killed and three wounded after remains of a downed missile hit a residential building in Kyiv, the emergency service of Ukraine says. The 16-story building was struck at 5:02 a.m., it said in a statement, adding that 30 people have been evacuated and a fire has been put out.
12:41 p.m. Japan’s defense ministry says it has spotted four large Russian amphibious warfare ships sailing close to its islands as they traveled west, possibly toward Europe. Photos of the amphibious transports, typically used for landing expeditionary forces ashore, published by the ministry show what appeared to be military trucks loaded onto the deck of one of the vessels. Asked if they could be bound for Ukraine, a ministry spokesman said, “We don’t know where they are heading, but their heading suggests it is possible.”
9:00 a.m. China’s ambassador to Ukraine this week assured the head of the Lviv military administration that his country would “never attack Ukraine,” according to media reports and a translated news release from the website of the Lviv Regional State Administration. Praising the “unity” of the Ukrainian people, Ambassador Fan Xianrong is quoted as saying: “I can responsibly say that China will forever be a good force for Ukraine, both economically and politically. We will always respect your state, we will develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We will respect the path chosen by Ukrainians, because this is the sovereign right of every nation.”
5:00 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden’s characterization of Putin as a “war criminal” is “unacceptable and unforgiveable,” the Kremlin says.
4:49 a.m. Russian forces have bombed a theater sheltering hundreds of civilians in Mariupol, resulting in an unknown number of casualties, Ukraine’s foreign ministry says. The ministry accuses Moscow of a war crime in the encircled port city.
Russia denies targeting civilians, saying that the Azov Battalion extremist Ukrainian militia instead blew it up.
4:10 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden calls Putin a “war criminal” while speaking to reporters at the White House. Asked about the comment, White House press secretary Jen Psaki says, “The president’s remarks speak for themselves” and he was “speaking from his heart, and speaking from what we’ve seen on television, which is barbaric actions by a brutal dictator.”
Wednesday, March 16
11:34 p.m. The World Bank says poor countries may face grain shortages due to their high dependence on Ukrainian wheat exports that have been disrupted by Russia’s invasion.
The World Bank’s latest Trade Watch report identified Gambia, Lebanon, Moldova, Djibouti, Libya, Tunisia and Pakistan as the most exposed to the disruptions of wheat exports from Ukraine.
“These importers will have trouble quickly switching to alternative sources, possibly leading to supply shortages in the short run,” the World Bank said.
11:23 p.m. President Zelenskyy urges the U.S. Congress to provide more weapons to help his country fight off Russian airstrikes.
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death,” he told a meeting of the House of Representatives and Senate. “I need to protect our skies.”
11:18 p.m. U.S. President Joe Biden will announce an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, with the funding coming from a massive spending bill he signed into law that includes $13.6 billion in new aid to Ukraine. The new funding will provide additional humanitarian, security and economic assistance, and roughly half of the aid package will be used to deploy troops to the region and send defense equipment to Ukraine.
11:05 p.m. President Zelenskyy begins his address to U.S. lawmakers, in which he is expected to appeal urgently for more help in fending off a Russian invasion that has brought death and destruction and sent a wave of refugees fleeing his country.
7:12 p.m. Russia says that a neutral Ukraine with its own army along the lines of Austria or Sweden was being looked at as a possible compromise in peace talks with Kyiv. “This is a variant that is currently being discussed and which could really be seen as a compromise,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.
5:55 p.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that some formulations for agreements with Ukraine are close to being agreed, claiming neutral status for Kyiv is under “serious” consideration.
Earlier, in a video message, Zelenskyy had said that positions during the negotiations were becoming more “realistic,” but that the meetings continue and more time is needed “for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine.”
5:37 p.m. Ukraine’s armed forces are launching counteroffensives against Russian forces “in several operational areas,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak says on Twitter without giving details. “This radically changes the parties’ dispositions,” he says.
4:10 p.m. International drugstore chain Watsons, a unit of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings, is shutting down all its stores in Russia. It says it made the decision in January due to “unsatisfactory business performance.”
4:50 a.m. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu plans to visit Russia on Wednesday, followed by Ukraine, as Ankara makes diplomatic efforts to end the war between the two countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.
“The Ukraine crisis has reminded us that it is not a choice but an obligation for Turkiye to be strong in the political, economic, and military fields and to be in a position to support its friends and brothers beyond its self-sufficiency,” Erdogan is quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
4:35 a.m. The leaders of three EU member stats have arrived in Kyiv in a show of European solidarity even as Russian shelling continued on residential neighborhoods in the Ukrainian capital.
The trip by the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia is the highest-profile visit to the Ukrainian capital since Russia began its invasion on Feb. 24. Read more.
3:40 a.m. Over 3 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says, as the rapidly growing crisis tests international cooperation.
More than 100,000 — and sometimes over 200,000 — refugees have left Ukraine daily since the war began Feb. 24. UNHCR describes the exodus as the “fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II” and predicts that 4 million or more ultimately will leave Ukraine. Read more.
2:20 a.m. President Zelenskyy suggests his country may give up on joining NATO, which has no apparent desire to admit it.
“If we cannot enter through open doors, then we must cooperate with the associations with which we can, which will help us, protect us … and have separate guarantees,” Zelenskyy is quoted as saying.
The leaders of NATO states will meet next week for an extraordinary summit in Brussels, with U.S. President Joe Biden to attend.
2:00 a.m. Tributes are pouring in from the media industry for Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed when a vehicle in which he was traveling came under attack near Kyiv.
1:40 a.m. Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who owns the Chelsea football club, is said to be in Moscow now. His arrival comes the same day the European Union added him to a list of sanctions aimed at squeezing Putin and his allies.
1:08 a.m. France will offer diplomatic support to a Russian woman who interrupted a live news bulletin on Russia’s state TV Channel One to denounce the war in Ukraine, President Emmanuel Macron says, according to media reports.
“Stop the war. No to war,” the woman protester, Marina Ovsyannikova, shouted as the news anchor continued to read from her teleprompter. The Kremlin called her act of dissent a form of “hooliganism.” Ovsyannikova’s act drew international praise, including from Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhaylo Podolyak.
1:00 a.m. Russia bans 13 individuals including U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from entering the country, in response to sanctions imposed by Washington on Russian officials.
The move is “in response to a series of unprecedented sanctions banning, among other things, entry into the United States for Russian top officials,” according to a Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement quoted by Interfax.
But Moscow says it is maintaining official relations with Washington and will ensure that any necessary high-level contacts with the people on the list can take place.
Tuesday, March 15 (Tokyo time)
11:30 p.m. The U.K. announces additional sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, targeting more than 370 additional people.
“Russian oligarchs now subject to UK sanctions include Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan. The oligarchs who will be sanctioned today have a combined estimated worth of more than 100 billion pounds,” or $130 billion, according to a statement by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
11:15 p.m. Asked whether Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev should play at Wimbledon this year, U.K. sports minister Nigel Huddleston avoids giving a direct answer but says: “We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to try and get some assurances along those lines.”
10:59 p.m. Russia will propose its own United Nations resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Moscow’s U.N. ambassador Vassily Nebenzia tells reporters.
The ambassador accuses Ukrainian forces of acts including the use of cluster munitions — accusations that have been leveled against Russia’s own forces. Asked by a reporter what it would take for Russia to agree to a ceasefire, Nebenzia says Russia will stop its “special military operation” when its goals are achieved. These include the “demilitarization” of Ukraine.
10:15 p.m. Talks between Ukraine and Russia have resumed, according to a Ukrainian negotiator.
10:00 p.m. Japan wants the United Arab Emirates to make further active contributions as a member of OPEC to stabilize oil prices, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tells Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a phone call.
Kishida spoke with reporters in Tokyo after the call. He declined to comment on whether he asked the UAE’s de facto leader to increase oil output.
Meanwhile, both international benchmark Brent crude and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate have fallen below $100 a barrel as Russia shows support for resuming the Iran nuclear deal.
7:41 p.m. The northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv warns of nationwide air attacks, urging citizens to head to shelters. It is not immediately clear whether other regions had issued similar warnings of new air strikes by Russian forces that invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
6:26 p.m. Russian forces fired rockets at the main civilian airport in Ukraine’s eastern Dnipro region overnight, destroying its runway and damaging the terminal building, regional Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko says.
6:09 p.m. The capital Kyiv will impose a curfew from 8 p.m. (6 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday to 7 a.m. (5 a.m. GMT) on Thursday after several apartment blocks were struck by Russian forces based outside the city, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko announces. Two people were killed in the latest bloodshed, he says.
4:40 p.m. The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday to meet President Volodomyr Zelenskyy as representatives of European Union leaders overall, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala says on social networks, according to Reuters. “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.”
1:30 p.m. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the woman who staged an anti-war protest during a Russian state TV news broadcast. “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth,” he said, “to those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts, to their friends and loved ones, and personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.”
11:50 a.m. The war in Ukraine is likely to be over by early May when Russia runs out of resources to attack its neighbor, says Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff. Talks between Kyiv and Moscow — in which Arestovich is not personally involved — have so far produced very few results other than several humanitarian corridors. In a video published by several Ukrainian media, Arestovich said: “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.”
10:31 a.m. An anti-war protester interrupted a live news bulletin on Russia’s state-run Channel One television on Monday, holding up a sign behind the studio presenter and shouting slogans denouncing the war in Ukraine. The sign began in English, “NO WAR,” then said in Russian: “Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They are lying to you here.” The woman was named by an independent protest-monitoring group as Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of the channel.
10:15 a.m. Japan has decided to freeze assets of an additional 17 Russian individuals, the Ministry of Finance says. Eleven members of the State Duma, five family members of banker Yuri Kovalchuk and also billionaire Viktor Vekselberg were targeted in the sanctions. The move brings the total number of Russians targeted by Japan’s asset freezes in response to the Ukraine crisis to 61.
5:29 a.m. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat, Politburo member Yang Jiechi, discuss the war in a seven-hour meeting in Rome.
The officials “underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China,” according to the White House.
5:04 a.m. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in complete agreement that a cease-fire must be reached as soon as possible in Ukraine, Scholz tells reporters after the two leaders meet in Ankara.
“We will persistently continue our efforts in order for a lasting cease-fire to be reached,” Erdogan says.
Both Scholz and Erdogan have positioned themselves as mediators in the ongoing conflict.
3:30 a.m. The World Bank has approved almost $200 million more in funding for social services in Ukraine, bringing the total financing mobilized by the lender for the war-torn country to more than $925 million.
Of this amount, $350 million has already been disbursed to Ukraine, the World Bank says.
Besides creating a massive outflow of refugees into neighboring countries, the war in Ukraine has also displaced at least 1.85 million people within the country, according to United Nations estimates published last week.
3:00 a.m. President Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have discussed the situation in Ukraine over the phone, the Kremlin says.
Bennett has emerged as a potential mediator between Russian and Ukraine as the war grinds on. He has been in contact with both Zelenskyy and Putin, flying to Moscow recently to meet with the Russian president in person. Israel has been proposed as a potential location should Zelenskyy and Putin agree to meet face to face.
“Bennett informed the Russian president about his recent contacts about Ukraine with leaders of a number of countries,” Interfax reports, citing a Kremlin statement on the two leaders’ phone call. “Vladimir Putin, for his part, shared his evaluation of the negotiation process between the Russian and Ukrainian representatives taking place by video link these days.”
Monday, March 14
11:10 p.m. Cease-fire negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are in a “technical pause” until Tuesday, a Ukrainian negotiator says.
Meanwhile, a convoy of more than 160 cars has left the besieged city of Mariupol, carrying civilians out of the fighting.
10:50 p.m. Russia’s Finance Ministry is preparing to service some foreign currency debt Wednesday by paying in rubles if sanctions prevent banks from honoring debts in the currency of issue.
“Is that a default? … From Russia’s point of view, we are fulfilling our obligations,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov says on state TV. Russia has to pay coupons on Eurobonds on Wednesday and has already asked Western banks to carry out the transaction, he says.
9:50 p.m. The Chernobyl nuclear power station is having problems again with its external supply of electricity and is relying on diesel generators, Ukraine’s state-owned grid operator Ukrenergo says.
9:30 p.m. Putin has signed a law allowing Russian airlines to operate leased planes without a foreign certificate, news agency Tass reports.
“The law is aimed at preserving the foreign airplane fleet with Russian operators for purposes of smooth operation of civil aviation as part of anti-sanction measures,” Tass says, citing an official explanation of the law.
9:00 p.m. A fourth round of talks between Russia and Ukraine on a cease-fire has begun, according to Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolya. Hopes for progress are lifting stocks and reversing some of crude oil’s gains.
8:43 p.m. Russia says it has not asked China for military assistance. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denies reports to that effect, and says Russia can fulfill its aims in Ukraine.
6:00 p.m. Ninety children have been killed and more than 100 wounded in Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, the Ukrainian general prosecutor’s office says. “The highest number of victims are in the Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolayiv and Zhytomyr regions,” it says in a statement. Russia denies targeting civilians in what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine.
6:00 p.m. India is considering taking up a Russian offer to buy its crude oil and other commodities at discounted prices with payment via a rupee-ruble transaction, two Indian officials say, amid tough Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. India, which imports 80% of its oil needs, usually buys about 2% to 3% of its supplies from Russia. But with oil prices up 40% so far this year, the government is looking at increasing supplies from Russia if it can help reduce its rising energy bill.
5:42 p.m. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the war in Ukraine with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at talks in Ankara on Monday, his office says, as both countries press on with efforts to secure a cease-fire 19 days into Russia’s invasion.
NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. It has said the invasion is unacceptable and voiced support for Ukraine, but has also opposed sanctions on Moscow, while offering to mediate.
4:47 p.m. More than 2,500 residents of the Black Sea port city of Mariupol have been killed since Russian invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych says in a televised interview. He says he was citing figures from the Mariupol city administration, and accuses Russian forces of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the encircled city on Sunday. Russia says it does not target civilians.
4:46 p.m. Ukraine will try to evacuate trapped civilians through 10 “humanitarian corridors” on Monday, including from towns near the capital Kyiv and in the eastern region of Luhansk, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk says.
“We will, once again, try to unblock the movement of the humanitarian convoy carrying food and medicine to (the port city of Mariupol) from Berdiansk (in southeastern Ukraine),” she says in a video address.
4:07 p.m. Australia says it is imposing new sanctions on 33 Russian oligarchs and business people, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australia supports moves by the U.S., U.K., Canada, the European Union and New Zealand to take action against high-profile Russians.
1:33 p.m. Japan is urging crypto exchanges not to process transactions involving crypto assets subject to asset-freeze sanctions against Russia and Belarus, officials say. The government will work to strengthen measures against the transfer of funds using crypto assets that break the sanctions, the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency (FSA) say in a joint statement. Unauthorized payments to targets under sanctions, including in crypto assets — such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens — are subject to punishment of up to three years in prison or a 1 million yen ($8,488) fine, according to the FSA.
11:20 a.m. Taiwanese personal computer maker ASUS will put in place a plan to “evacuate” its staff and business in Russia, Taiwan’s economy minister says, after a Ukraine minister asked it to leave Russia. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, tweeted a letter on Thursday to ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih calling on the company to end its business in the country. Russia has invaded Ukraine in what Moscow calls a “special operation.”
9:14 a.m. Ukrainian officials negotiating with Russian counterparts are to ensure direct talks between the countries’ leaders that could lead to peace, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says. The next round of Ukraine talks is scheduled for early Monday, via video links. Ukraine has repeatedly called for direct talks between Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, pointing to the Russian leader as the one making the final decisions.
7:30 a.m. Bermuda’s aviation regulator says it is suspending certification of all Russian-operated airplanes registered in the British overseas territory due to international sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The move is expected to affect more than 700 planes. The regulator says it is unable to confidently approve the planes as airworthy due to the impact of sanctions on its ability to conduct safety oversight. Manufacturers are no longer providing parts to Russian airlines as part of the sanctions.
3:06 a.m. Talks between Russia and Ukraine are not taking place right now but will continue on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency. Peskov made the comments after Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Ukraine and Russia were actively conducting talks on Sunday, with the situation around the besieged city of Mariupol a particular focus.
1:35 a.m. Russia said had attacked the Yavoriv training facility in western Ukraine, adding the strike had killed “up to 180 foreign mercenaries” and destroyed a large amount of weapons supplied by outside nations. Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that Russia would continue its attacks against what he called foreign mercenaries.
Ukrainian regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said 35 people were killed and 134 wounded in the attack
12:05 a.m. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi will meet in Rome Monday, the White House National Security Council said. Talks will center on “efforts to manage the competition between our two countries and discuss the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security,” Emily Horne said. .
Sunday, March 13
11:23 p.m. An American journalist was shot and killed by Russian forces in the town of Irpin in Ukraine’s Kyiv region and another journalist was wounded, Kyiv regional police chief Andriy Nyebytov said. Nyebytov initially said the dead journalist worked for the New York Times.
However the Times said that the journalist had previously worked for the paper but was not currently working for it. The Times named the journalist as Brent Renaud. “We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years,” The Times said in a statement posted on Twitter by its spokesman.
Nyebytov said that Renaud was shot by Russian forces in Irpin, but did not give details of the incident. He did not identify the wounded journalist.
3:30 p.m. Russian missile attack on a large Ukrainian military facility near the border with NATO member Poland killed 35 people and wounded 134, a Ukrainian official said. Ukraine said foreign military instructors have previously worked at the base, but a NATO official said there were no personnel from the alliance at the base.
12:42 a.m. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Moscow has warned the U.S. “that pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn’t just a dangerous move — it’s an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets.”
12:15 a.m. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a 75-minute phone call with President Putin, with the EU leaders calling for an immediate cease-fire in the war. “The conversation is part of ongoing international efforts to end the war in Ukraine,” a German government spokesman says, according to Reuters.
A French official who took part in the call says Putin did not appear ready to end the war.
The Kremlin readout of the phone call does not include a mention of a cease-fire, Reuters reported, but says Putin had briefed Scholz and Macron about the state of play in negotiations and responded to their concerns about the humanitarian situation.
Saturday, March 12
11:55 p.m. President Zelenskyy updates the Ukrainian troop death toll, saying about 1,300 soldiers have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion. He adds between 500 and 600 Russian soldiers surrendered on Friday.
3:20 p.m. Ukrainian officials accuse Russia of damaging a cancer hospital and several residential buildings in the southern city of Mykolaiv with shelling from heavy artillery. The hospital’s head doctor, Maksim Beznosenko, said several hundred patients were in the hospital during the attack but that no one was killed, according to AP. The assault damaged the building and blew out windows. Russian forces have stepped up their attacks on Mykolaiv, located 470 km south of Kyiv, in an attempt to encircle the city.
6:08 p.m. Russian forces have shelled a mosque in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where more than 80 adults and children, including Turkish citizens, have taken refuge, Ukraine’s foreign ministry says. Ukraine has accused Russia of refusing to allow people out of Mariupol, where a blockade has left hundreds of thousands trapped. Russia blames Ukraine for the failure to evacuate people.
1:00 p.m. Russian regulators say that the country’s internet users will be blocked from accessing Instagram, saying it’s being used to call for violence against Russian soldiers. In Moscow’s latest move to restrict access to foreign social media platforms, communications and media regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement that it’s restricting national access to Instagram. It said the platform is spreading “calls to commit violent acts against Russian citizens, including military personnel.”
10:53 a.m. Many Nike stores throughout Russia were still open on Friday afternoon, according to checks made by Reuters, more than a week after the world’s biggest sports retailer said it was temporarily closing down all its shops in the country. Nike says the stores that are open are owned and operated by independent partners, and that it will soon update its store locator online to reflect Nike’s closed owned-and-operated stores.
5:09 a.m. The leaders of Russia and Belarus agreed on Friday that Moscow will supply its smaller neighbor with the most up-to-date military equipment in the near future, the official Belarus Belta news agency says. Belta also reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko agreed at their Kremlin meeting on joint steps for mutual support in the face of Western sanctions, including on energy prices. It did not give details.
4:39 a.m. Ukraine accuses Russian forces of violating international law — the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols — by abducting the mayor of Melitopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that fell under Russian control during the invasion. Russia has not commented on Mayor Ivan Fedorov. Ukraine says Russian forces kidnapped him after falsely accusing him of terrorism.
3:12 a.m. Ukraine alleges that neighbor Belarus may plan to invade its territory, as Kyiv accuses Russia of trying to drag its ally into the war by staging air attacks on Belarus from Ukrainian airspace. Belarus has served as a staging post for Russian troops, but the country has not deployed its own forces in active battle.
2:18 a.m. The U.S. assesses that Russian strikes in western Ukraine during the past 24 hours are aimed at preventing airfields from being used by Ukrainian forces, a senior American defense official says. The mayor of Lutsk says four people were killed and six wounded in an attack on an airfield there, a rare strike on a target deep in western Ukraine far from the battlefields in the north, east and south.
Friday, March 11
10:35 p.m. The electricity supply to the Chernobyl nuclear power station has not been restored, Ukraine’s nuclear regulator says, despite Russia’s energy ministry claiming it was restored by Belarusian specialists on Thursday. Ukraine has warned of an increased risk of a radiation leak if the high-voltage power line, damaged in fighting, is not repaired. The plant is occupied by Russian forces.
6:18 p.m. Wen Wei Po, China’s state-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, has lambasted public support for Ukrainians shown by businesses and university student groups, calling it “political interference.” The broadsheet criticized a Ukrainian restaurant for “inciting people to be anti-government,” after the business voiced support and asked for donations on social media.
The paper also called university groups “anti-China rioters” for posting a statement to support Ukraine. Meanwhile, a public opinion research group canceled its release of a poll on the war after it was also targeted in the paper.
2:20 p.m. The Japanese government is disbursing 8.8 billion yen ($75.3 million) from fiscal 2021 reserve funds for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine following its invasion by Russia. Japan will offer the assistance to relevant international organizations including the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and back the activities of Japanese nongovernmental organizations helping Ukraine, the finance ministry said. The amount is part of the emergency humanitarian aid worth $100 million that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged last month.
1:30 p.m. President Joe Biden will announce that, along with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries, the U.S. will move to revoke “most favored nation” trade status for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, AP reports, citing sources. Biden’s move comes as bipartisan pressure has been building in Washington to revoke what is formally known as “permanent normal trade relations” with Russia.
12:00 p.m. Twitter will place labels on and limit the spread of posts from Belarus state media and their senior staff, the company says, in a move aimed to curb misinformation from Russia’s ally over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Social media services, including Twitter, in recent years have begun labeling accounts of state broadcasters and news websites to note that the organizations are government-backed. Labeled accounts and their posts are limited in search results and recommendations on Twitter.
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, told reporters the company would label about 15 Belurasian outlets, the largest among them news agency BelTa, which has nearly 37,000 followers. “We’ve seen evidence that these outlets, as well as their affiliates in Russia, have engaged in information warfare and are employing media and other assets that they control to propagate favorable narratives and to confuse and distract the public about what is going on,” Roth said.
5:00 a.m. More than 2.3 million refugees have fled the war in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, says about $500 million in funding is needed for relief activities in Ukraine and neighboring nations.
2:30 a.m. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discusses the Ukraine conflict in a 45-minute phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden.
Erdogan said Turkey continues to make efforts for a political solution, describing the country as an important facilitator able to talk with both the Russian and Ukrainian sides, according to a readout of the call from the Turkish presidency’s communications office.
Erdogan said he expects Turkey’s request to buy 40 new F-16 fighter jets to upgrade its fleet should be concluded as soon as possible, adding that lifting all “unjust” sanctions on the Turkish defense industry was long overdue.
1:30 a.m. Russia’s energy ministry says Belarusian specialists restored electricity supply to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. But the International Atomic Energy Agency says it does not have confirmation that power has been restored at the plant.
Chernobyl lost power amid fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, after Russia invaded Ukraine.
12:30 a.m. Vladimir Putin strikes a defiant tone on Western pressure against Russia’s economy, saying he expected the sanctions.
“Together with our partners, those who don’t recognize these illegal actions, we will undoubtedly find solutions to all those problems that they’re trying to create for us,” Interfax quotes Putin as telling a meeting of government officials.
“We need to go through the period,” the Russian president also says. “We will continue import substitution in all areas, and in the end all this will lead to our greater independence, self-reliance and sovereignty.”
He also says Russia will find “legal solutions” to seize assets based in the country from multinationals that have decided to close their operations over the Ukraine invasion.
12:10 a.m. Goldman Sachs becomes the first big Wall Street firm to withdraw from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
Thursday, March 10
11:07 p.m. Russia bans exports of telecom, medical, automotive, agricultural, electrical and tech equipment, as well as some forestry products, until the end of 2022, in retaliation for Western sanctions on Moscow. Over 200 items are on the suspension list, which also covers railway cars, containers, turbines and other goods.
9:10 p.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba fail to agree on a cease-fire during a 90-minute meeting near the Turkish resort city of Antalya. Kuleba had hoped to organize a humanitarian corridor from the besieged southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol and reach an agreement for a 24-hour truce.
8:35 p.m. Japanese clothing company Fast Retailing is suspending operations in Russia, where it operates 50 Uniqlo stores. Fast Retailing is reversing course after CEO Tadashi Yanai said the company planned to keep its stores open amid sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. His comments drew a backlash on social media.
8:30 p.m. The U.K. government announced sanctions against seven oligarchs, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, and industrialist Oleg Deripaska, freezing their assets in the country and banning them from traveling there.
“Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in a statement.
5:15 p.m. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says that “in handling relations with Russia, the U.S. side must not impose so-called sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction on Chinese enterprises and individuals, and must not harm China’s legitimate rights and interests.”
“Otherwise,” he warns, “China will firmly strike back.”
3:22 p.m. Rio Tinto says it will end its business with Russian companies. Though the Anglo-Australian resources giant doesn’t disclose reasons, the decision is seen as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company operates aluminum refineries in the country’s east together with Russian aluminum producer Rusal International.
3:01 p.m. Sony Group’s game division and Nintendo say they have suspended software and hardware shipments to Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine.
3:01 p.m. Russia says the Ukrainian claim that it bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol is “fake news” because the building is a former maternity hospital that had long been taken over by troops. “That’s how fake news is born,” tweeted Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
1:54 p.m. Japan’s Hitachi announces its decision to suspend operations in Russia following a request from the Ukrainian government. The company says in a statement it will stop exports and cease most operations in Russia except for those involving vital electrical power facilities.
1:29 p.m. China’s government is walking a fine line on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stopping short of condemning Moscow but repeatedly calling for peace talks. A quick scroll through Chinese social media platforms like Weibo suggests that in recent days the public has been much more pro-Russia than the official narrative. But experts say the true picture of Chinese sentiment is more complex. Read more.
8:03 a.m. The International Monetary Fund’s executive board approves $1.4 billion in emergency financing for Ukraine to help meet urgent spending needs and mitigate the economic impact of Russia’s military invasion. The global lender said Ukrainian authorities had canceled an existing standby lending arrangement with the IMF but would work with the fund to design an appropriate economic program focused on rehabilitation and growth when conditions permit.
6:15 a.m. Ukraine informs the International Atomic Energy Agency that the Chernobyl nuclear plant has been disconnected from the electricity grid and lost its supply of external power.
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA’s director general, says the disconnection will not have a critical impact on essential safety functions at the site, where radioactive waste management facilities are located. But it likely will further weaken operational radiation safety at the site, he says, noting that around 210 technical experts and guards essentially have lived there around the clock since Russian forces took control of the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.
3:00 a.m. Russia’s foreign-currency revenues have plunged as more overseas buyers steer clear of its crude oil over the invasion of Ukraine, eroding its purchasing power for key imports.
The country already faces an acute shortage of foreign currencies after the majority of its reserves were frozen by international sanctions. A continued decline in oil-related income would squeeze its ability to pay for cars, semiconductors and other largely imported products. Read more.
2:50 a.m. U.S. stocks are rallying on an easing of crude oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 800 points, or 2.4%, in early afternoon trading. The broader S&P 500 index is up 2.8%.
U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down 14% from the previous day.
The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington, Yousef AL Otaiba, says in a statement to the Financial Times: “We favor production increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels.”
1:50 a.m. Ukraine has denounced what it said was an Russian airstrike on a children’s hospital in Mariupol.
Ukrainian authorities say the attack came during an agreed ceasefire period. Reuters quotes regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko as saying 17 people were wounded.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately comment, but a spokesman blamed the Ukrainian side for problems with the civilian evacuations, saying they “did not yield the expected results.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the WHO has verified 18 attacks on health facilities, health workers and ambulances, including 10 deaths and 16 injuries.
1:00 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have discussed the situation in Ukraine over the phone, Interfax reports, citing the Kremlin press service.
Putin and Scholz “discussed options of political and diplomatic efforts, including the results of the third round of the talks between the Russian delegation and representatives of the Kyiv authorities,” Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.
Putin also briefed Scholz on efforts to create humanitarian corridors.
Wednesday, March 9 (Tokyo time)
10:39 p.m. Britain plans to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles to help it defend its skies from Russian invasion, Defense Minister Ben Wallace tells Parliament, noting that the technology falls within the definition of defensive weapons.
9:32 p.m. Russia must prioritize grain supplies to domestic bakeries over export markets, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said. According to Reuters, he also unveiled fresh measures to support the domestic economy in the face of international sanctions over Ukraine.
9:20 p.m. The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on 160 more Russian individuals, including 14 oligarchs and prominent businesspeople, and freeze transactions with the Belarus central bank related to the management of reserves or assets, the EU Commission says.
The new sanctions include restricted provision of SWIFT services to Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, as well as their Belarusian subsidiaries.
9:13 p.m. Radioactive substances could be released from Ukraine’s infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant because it cannot cool spent nuclear fuel after its power connection was severed, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom says.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also tweeted that the “reserve diesel generators have a 48-hour capacity to power the Chornobyl NPP.” Once that capacity is exhausted, “cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent.”
7:05 p.m. The International Monetary Fund has approved $1.4 billion in emergency support for Ukraine to finance government expenditures and shore up the country’s balance of payments, central bank Gov. Kyrylo Shevchenko said in a statement.
6:55 p.m. Toyota Motor says it will donate up to 2.5 million euros ($2.7 million) for Ukraine through organizations such as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross. The Japanese carmaker will donate 500,000 euros unconditionally, while its European wings will contribute up to 2 million euros, or four times the amount employees across Europe donate.
In addition, Toyota will allow up to 40 paid hours a year per employee if they offer Ukrainian refugees temporary housing in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and other countries, or if they provide language assistance for refugees.
6:00 p.m. The number of people fleeing Ukraine since the Russian invasion began has probably now reached 2.1 million to 2.2 million people, according to the head of the UNHCR, the United Nation’s refugee agency. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says in a news conference during a visit to Stockholm that “the time is now to try to help at the border” rather than discuss how to distribute refugees between countries. Grandi added that Moldova, which is not a member of the European Union, in particular is facing a tide of refugees.
4:24 p.m. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the bloc has bought enough liquefied natural gas that it should be independent of Russian imports up until the end of the winter. Von der Leyen also told Germany’s ARD television that sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine were designed to cause maximum impact on Moscow while causing the least damage possible to Western economies.
3:12 p.m. Britain says Ukraine’s air defenses are having success against Russian jets, likely preventing Russia from controlling the airspace. “Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air,” the defense ministry says in an intelligence update posted on Twitter.
2:24 p.m. An air alert was declared Wednesday morning in and around Kyiv, with residents urged to get to bomb shelters as quickly as possible. “Kyiv region — air alert. Threat of a missile attack. Everyone immediately to shelters,” regional administration head Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram. For days, as Russian forces have laid siege to Ukrainian cities, attempts to create corridors to safely evacuate civilians have stumbled amid continuing fighting.
12:00 p.m. Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called for a cease-fire in the war between Russia and Ukraine and said continued dialogue rather than economic sanctions on Russia is the way to resolve the crisis. Speaking in an exclusive face-to-face interview on Tuesday with Nikkei Editor-in-Chief Tetsuya Iguchi, Widodo said sovereignty and territorial integrity “must be respected by all parties.”
11:59 a.m. Yum Brands, parent company of fried chicken chain KFC, says it is pausing investment in Russia, a key market that helped the brand achieve record development last year. Yum also says it is suspending operations of its 70 KFC company-owned restaurants in the country and finalizing an agreement to suspend all Pizza Hut restaurant operations in Russia, in partnership with its master franchisee. Yum has at least 1,000 KFC and 50 Pizza Hut locations in Russia, nearly all of them independent franchisees.
To catch up on earlier developments, see here.