Ukrainian troops slow Russian advancement; Photojournalist missing near Kyiv | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


How Ukraine’s outgunned air force is fighting back against Russian jets — 6:54 p.m.

New York Times

Each night, Ukrainian pilots such as Andriy loiter in an undisclosed aircraft hangar, waiting, waiting, until the tension is broken with a shouted, one-word command: “Air!”

Andriy hustles into his Su-27 supersonic jet and hastily taxis toward the runway, getting airborne as quickly as possible. He takes off so fast that he doesn’t yet know his mission for the night, although the big picture is always the same — to bring the fight to a Russian Air Force that is vastly superior in numbers but has failed to win control of the skies above Ukraine.

“I don’t do any checks,” said Andriy, a Ukrainian Air Force pilot who as a condition of granting an interview was not permitted to give his surname or rank. “I just take off.”

Russia accuses West of nuclear development with Ukraine — 4:16 p.m.

By The Associated Press

For the third time, Russia has accused Ukraine of preparing chemical attacks with Western help and of pursuing biological and even nuclear weapons — accusations vehemently denied by the United States and the United Kingdom.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed concern Tuesday that Russia’s “ludicrous accusations” that Ukraine plans to use chemical weapons are “a precursor for Russia’s plans to use chemical weapons — and we have to make sure that the world hears this and understands what is taking place.”

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told reporters that Russia raised “the threat of chemical provocations in Ukraine” in closed consultations at the end of a UN Security Council meeting on the Mideast Tuesday, claiming Ukrainian nationalists were responsible for a recent ammonia leak at a chemical plant in the northern city of Sumy. Sumy’s regional governor said the leak at the plant, which produces fertilizers, was caused by Russian shelling.

Polyansky claimed this was one of several scenarios of “false flag chemical provocations by the Ukrainian radicals that they are preparing to stage with the assistance of Western intelligence and private military companies in order to accuse Russia of allegedly using chemical weapons.” He also again accused “the Kyiv regime” of developing “a military biological program with the help of the USA, as well as its pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

President Joe Biden has said Russia’s suggestion that Ukraine has biological and chemical weapons is a clear sign that President Vladimir Putin is considering using them, and he has warned of severe consequences if they are used.

A Jewish girl was saved by a Ukrainian family during World War II. Now her grandchildren are returning the favor. — 3:26 p.m.

By The Washington Post

Cousins and Ukrainian refugees Lesia Orshoko and Alona Chugai are among the millions who are running for their lives as Russian forces invade their country. But in a wartime twist of fate, the cousins landed in Israel last week to a friendly face – someone who was repaying a decades-old kindness.

The friendly face was Sharon Bass, whose Jewish grandmother was sheltered and saved by Lesia’s grandmother in Ukraine during the Holocaust. Sharon said it was her honor to take in the cousins and return the immeasurable kindness from nearly 80 years ago.

It felt like history repeating itself, she said. But in this case, it’s an inversion of the norm. Jews have been persecuted throughout our entire history. We’ve been killed, kicked out or forced to flee from every country we’ve stayed in long enough. But this time we have the privilege and responsibility of being a safe haven for other fleeing refugees.

Russian ships shell Mariupol from offshore — 2:38 p.m.

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Russian ships in the Sea of Azov have been shelling Mariupol from offshore over the last 24 hours, a senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday.

The official said that there are about seven Russian ships in that area, including several warships, a minesweeper and a couple landing ships.

By contrast, the official said the U.S. did not see indications that ships in the Black Sea were firing on Odesa, as they had done days ago. The officials said the U.S. assesses that the Russians have about 21 ships in the Black Sea, including about a dozen surface combatant warships and some landing ships that carry troops.

According to the official, Russian ground forces are still largely stalled outside Kyiv – with troops still about 30 kilometers (19 miles) northeast of the city, and 15 kilometers (9 miles) northwest of the city. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to provide the U.S. military assessment.

More broadly, the defense official said the U.S. continues to see Russia struggling to get food and fuel to its force, and has been seeing indications that some troops don’t have proper cold weather gear and are suffering frostbite. The food and fuel shortages have been persistent logistical and supply problems since the early days of the war.

The official said there also are indications that Russia is exploring ways to resupply troops and is considering bringing in reinforcements, but so far there has been no active moves seen to do either. There also are indications that Russian has used a significant number of its precision guided munitions, particularly its air-launched cruise missiles, and is exploring ways to resupply those weapons, the official said.

Ukrainian troops slow Russian advancement — 1:36 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A Western official says Ukrainian resistance has slowed Russia’s advance almost to a halt, and Ukraine has repulsed Russia’s attempts to take the strategic southern port of Mariupol despite weeks of bombardment.

But the official said Russian troops have not been pushed back from established positions, and had the capability to keep up a grinding war of attrition for some time — making a rapid breakthrough in negotiations aimed at ending the violence unlikely.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said Odesa, another strategic port on the Black Sea, was a key objective for Russia but there are no indications of an imminent siege.

Odesa has been spared major attack, though Russia has ships operating off the Black Sea coast. The U.S. also says Russia has increased naval activity in the northern Black Sea, but there are no indications at this point of an imminent amphibious assault on Odesa.

Programmers hit Russia with hidden code ‘protestware’ supporting Ukraine — 12:40 p.m.

By Aaron Pressman, Globe Staff

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a wide range of responses around the world. From steep financial sanctions to the severing of business ties, the Russian economy is under siege.

But online, another kind of punishment has hit Russia. Some programmers who write freely available, open source software bundles altered their programs to display opposition to the invasion. Dubbed “protestware,” the program updates checked to see if a user was located in Russia or Belarus and, if so, took action ranging from showing text like “Stand with Ukraine” to trying to erase the contents of the drive they were running on.

Ukrainian photojournalist missing near Kyiv — 12:26 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A Ukrainian photojournalist has gone missing in a combat zone near the capital, raising fears he could have been injured, killed or taken captive by Russian forces.

The UNIAN news agency reported Tuesday that Maksym Levin has been unaccounted since March 13 when he contacted his friend from Vyshhorod near Kyiv. His friend, Markiyan Lyseiko, said Levin went to the area in his car to report on fighting there.

Lyseiko said Levin left his car near the village of Huta Mezhyhirska and was going to head to the village of Moshchun. Levin hasn’t contacted him ever since and hasn’t been seen online, Lyseiko said.

Levin has worked as a photojournalist and videographer for many Ukrainian and international publications.

Ukrainian mother shielded baby with her body in Kyiv explosion: ‘I just got her covered in time’ — 12:20 p.m.

By The Washington Post

When a blast struck near her home in Kyiv, a mother shielded her 6-week-old baby with her body. She thought the blood flowing from her own head was her baby’s blood.

Photos of the 27-year-old Ukrainian woman, holding her baby close to her bare chest on a hospital bed under a foil blanket in the aftermath of the blast, were shared widely, highlighting the toll of Russia’s invasion on civilians in Ukraine’s capital. Kyiv remains a key target for Russia’s armed forces.

In the photos, Olga, who did not provide her last name, is near her partner. Her head is wrapped in a bandage and her face is covered with scrapes.

War is raging, but Russia is still paying Ukraine for gas flows — 11:55 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

It’s been a month since the war started, but Russia is actually shipping more natural gas through Ukraine and Moscow is still paying Kyiv in full for transiting the fuel to Europe.

Daily gas flows from Russia at some point surged more than 50 percent from January lows, with shipments traveling through Ukrainian pipelines more than doubling as energy companies rushed to buy after the invasion. Exports from Europe’s top supplier became cheaper than buying gas in the spot market, and Russia is still paying for transit in hard currency, according to Yuriy Vitrenko, chief executive officer of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy, Ukraine’s largest state-owned oil and gas company.

It’s an awkward situation for European policy makers, which have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow to try to starve President Vladimir Putin’s government of the cash it needs to fund the invasion. The increase also comes as European governments pledge to wean themselves off Russian gas, with plans to keep nuclear and coal plants open for longer and import more liquefied natural gas from countries including the U.S. and Qatar.

Russian gas flows to Europe soared to the highest level since December in the 48 hours after the war began. State-run exporter Gazprom PJSC said supplies increased due to more orders from European customers, and for some time, shipments through another major Russian pipeline crossing Belarus and Poland and ending in Germany resumed after a two-month halt.

The increase in imports from Russia reflects the lack of options that European customers have in the near term to meet demand, JPMorgan analysts said in a report last week. Naftogaz called on Europe and its allies to put payments for Moscow’s energy flows in an escrow account until Putin withdraws troops. That would further curb funding to Moscow just as cargoes of crude oil and grains from Russia are also finding a way to flow again. Ukraine has said before that Gazprom pays about $2 billion per year for gas-transshipment services.

Mariupol survivors arrive at Lviv in packed trains — 10:59 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Exhausted Mariupol survivors continued to arrive by train in the western city of Lviv on Tuesday.

“In one compartment there were 10 or eleven people, with others in the corridor, but when you’re going to safety it doesn’t matter,” said one woman, Julia Krytska, who made it out with her husband and son. Her hands were shaking.

They were lucky to get out after volunteers found them in the besieged city, she said. “There’s no connection with the world,” she said. “We couldn’t ask for help.”

The people of Mariupol don’t have a chance to be heard, she said. “They are in need of help. People don’t even have water there,” Krytska said.

Russia struggles for momentum, west fears next step — 10:53 a.m.

By The New York Times

As Russian forces struggle to advance along front lines that stretch over 1,000 miles across Ukraine, Western nations are growing increasingly concerned about Moscow’s potential willingness to turn to deadly unconventional weapons.

President Joe Biden is preparing to travel to a NATO summit this week in Brussels, where the Western allies are expected to discuss how they will respond if Russia employs chemical, biological, cyber or nuclear weapons.

In Russia, a court sentenced fiery opposition leader Alexei Navalny, to nine years in prison Tuesday as President Vladimir Putin continued his sweeping crackdown on dissent. For Putin, the war against Ukraine has made Navalny even more of a liability, and the verdict was widely seen as a way to keep him in prison.

Russia’s invasion has been hobbled from the start by poor communication, logistical struggles and an inability to effectively link up land, sea and air campaigns, according to Western officials. While those problems persist, US defense officials noted increased naval activity in the Black Sea over the past two days, with about a dozen Russian ships now lurking off the Ukrainian coast.

It is unclear what the Russians’ intentions are, the defense officials cautioned. Russia could be preparing a renewed assault around the key port city of Odesa, or it could be trying to engage Ukrainian forces in the south to prevent them from providing assistance to the troops waging the ferocious fight for the coastal city of Mariupol. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, continuing to beseech world leaders to help save his country from annihilation, asked Italian lawmakers to imagine Genoa being destroyed like Mariupol. “Ukraine is the gate for the Russian army — they want to enter Europe,” he said. “But barbarity should not enter.”

Russian oil seeps into global market to ease supply fears for now — 10:12 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

Millions of barrels of Russian oil are still finding a way to buyers almost a month after the country first invaded Ukraine, tempering concerns that a sanctions backlash would all but choke off supply and cause the market for physical cargoes to overheat.

India’s oil refiners grabbed multiple cargoes of Russia’s flagship Urals crude this month, potentially supplanting the Middle Eastern varieties they normally purchase from Abu Dhabi and Iraq. Meanwhile, China’s private processors are still thought to be targeting their favored cargoes from the east of Russia — likely at knock-down prices.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine late last month, the market has been twisting on two vital questions: how much crude will Moscow end up selling, and where? There’s been a buyers’ strike across swaths of Europe in response to the invasion, but what’s less clear is how much other regions — especially Asia, the top demand center — will purchase.

By The Associated Press

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of fraud and contempt of court and sentenced to nine years in a maximum security prison on Tuesday, in a trial Kremlin critics see as an attempt to keep President Vladimir Putin’s most ardent foe in prison for as long as possible.

A judge also ruled that Navalny would have to pay a fine of 1.2 million rubles (about $11,500). Navalny can appeal the ruling.

Navalny, who is already serving 2½ years in a penal colony east of Moscow, had been accused of embezzling money that he and his foundation raised over the years and of insulting a judge during a previous trial.

Ukraine producing fewer sunflowers because of war — 8:20 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

Ukraine, the world’s biggest sunflower producer, may only plant half a normal crop as farmers grapple with the fallout of the Russian invasion.

The country’s sunflower shortfall is likely to compound tight global vegetable-oil supplies, with prices of rivals such as palm and canola trading near record highs. Ukrainian sunflower oil is typically shipped across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Buyers are already bracing for shortages and shoppers are hoarding supplies.

Ukrainian farmers are expected to sow about 3.5 to 4 million hectares (8.6 to 9.9 million acres) of the oilseed this spring, down from 6.8 million last year, Kyiv-based analyst UkrAgroConsult said in an emailed note. It framed its planting estimates as “optimistic,” based on good weather and a rapid end to the war. Another researcher, APK-Inform, last week predicted plantings to fall to a 13-year low.

Farmers lack fuel and are suffering damaged infrastructure and equipment, UkrAgroConsult said. Other major crops like corn and barley will also see significant planting cuts. And grains sown before winter, such as wheat, could face lower yields due to challenges applying inputs like fertilizer.

The yellow blooms are Ukraine’s national flower and have also become a global symbol of resistance to the war.

Russian Nobel winner sells medal for refugees — 6:30 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov says he wants to auction off his 2021 Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.

Muratov called Tuesday in the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which he edits, for people to “share with refugees, the wounded and children who need urgent treatment what is dear to you and has a value for others.”

Muratov is asking auction houses about the possibility of organizing a sale.

Muratov said last year he was giving away his share of the Nobel prize money to causes including independent media, a Moscow hospice, and care for children with spinal problems. He said he wouldn’t keep any himself.

Russian pranksters claim credit for tricking British official into hoax call — 6:28 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Two Russian pranksters are claiming credit for tricking Britain’s defense secretary into a hoax call with a man purporting to be Ukraine’s prime minister.

A video of the prank circulated on YouTube on Tuesday. It appeared after the U.K. accused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government of backing efforts to secure sensitive or embarrassing information through hoax calls.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace last week had a video call with someone he thought was Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Instead, he was speaking to “Vovan and Lexus,” a pair of hoaxers who had previously targeted Britain’s Prince Harry.

The video shows Wallace speaking from Poland to a caller who says Ukraine wants to advance its “nuclear program” to protect itself from Moscow, something Russian state media has baselessly claimed in the past.

The Ministry of Defense said the video had been “doctored.” Wallace said last week that he ended the call after it strayed into sensitive subjects over a non-secure line.

Authorities in Gibraltar detain superyacht linked to Russian tycoon — 6:27 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Authorities in Gibraltar have detained a superyacht linked to a Russian tycoon who is the target of British sanctions over Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Gibraltar is a tiny British overseas territory on the southernmost tip of the European mainland, bordering Spain.

According to Gibraltar’s public broadcaster, GBC, the yacht is called Axioma and is believed to be owned by Dmitrievich Pumpyansky. He is chairman of the board of directors of PJSC, a main steel pipe supplier for Russia’s oil and gas industry.

Pumpyansky was also included earlier this month in a European Union list of Russian sanctioned individuals.

The Gibraltar government said late Monday it would not have normally granted the vessel permission to enter its waters given its “ultimate beneficial ownership,” but that port authorities allowed it in after “it was confirmed to be the subject of an arrest action by a leading international bank in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.” The statement didn’t specify the legal claims from creditors.

Yachts owned or linked to super-rich Russian oligarchs have been among the first assets seized or frozen by Western governments as part of their response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Authorities in Italy, France and Spain have impounded several luxury vessels in the crackdown.

Ukraine refugee exodus surpasses 3.5 million — 5:23 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The U.N. refugee agency says more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, passing another milestone in an exodus that has led to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

UNHCR reported Tuesday that 3.53 million people have left Ukraine, with Poland taking in the lion’s share — more than 2.1 million — followed by Romania with more than 540,000 and Moldova with more than 367,000.

Shortly after the invasion on Feb. 24, UNHCR predicted that some 4 million refugees might leave Ukraine, though it has been re-assessing that prediction. The outflows have been slowing in recent days after peaking at more than 200,000 each on two straight days in early March.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that nearly 6.5 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine, suggesting that some if not most of them might to flee abroad if the war continues.

Another super yacht owned by oligarch Roman Abramovich reportedly docked in Turkey — 5:22 a.m.

By The Associated Press

A second superyacht belonging to Chelsea soccer club owner and sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich reportedly has docked in a resort in southwestern Turkey.

Turkey has not imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine last month, nor has it frozen assets belonging to top Russian businessmen linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The private DHA news agency said Tuesday the Bermuda-registered Eclipse docked in the resort of Marmaris.

A day earlier, Abramovich’s Bermuda-flagged luxury yacht My Solaris arrived in the nearby resort of Bodrum, triggering a protest by a group of Ukrainians who boarded a small motorboat and tried to prevent the yacht from docking.

NATO member Turkey has close ties to both Russia and Ukraine. It has criticized Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but has also positioned itself as a neutral party trying to mediate between the two.

UK: Russian forces ‘largely stalled in place’ — 5:02 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Britain’s defense ministry says Russian forces have not managed to take over the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol despite weeks of bombardment and days of street fighting.

In an update posted on social media, U.K. officials say that “despite heavy fighting, Ukrainian forces continue to repulse Russian attempts to occupy” the city.

It says Russian forces have made “limited progress” elsewhere in Ukraine in the last day, and remain “largely stalled in place.”

The Ukrainian military said Tuesday that Ukrainian forces were still defending Mariupol and destroyed a Russian patrol boat and electronic warfare complex. But the defense ministry said Russia for now controls the land corridor from Crimea, the peninsula it annexed in 2014, and is blocking Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov.

France sends 60 tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine through Poland – 5:00 a.m.

By The Associated Press

France’s foreign ministry has announced that the country sent 55 metric tons (60 tons) of humanitarian aid to Ukraine via Poland, including computers, medical equipment, baby formula and generators.

The 2.4 million euros ($2.6 million) in emergency aid was sent on an A330 cargo plane from Paris to Warsaw, the Polish capital, France said in a statement late Monday. It said that “in liaison with the Polish authorities, the material will be handed over to the Ukrainian authorities without delay.”

The medical equipment — which weighs some 10 metric tons (11 tons) — is said to include 10 oxygen generators designated for intensive care units in addition to 9 metric tons (10 tons) of medicines.

The aid includes 31 generators, six of which are high-capacity generators “aimed at strengthening the electrical safety of Ukrainian health facilities.”

Eight metric tons (9 tons) of computer and internet access material — such as smartphones, computers, routers and 60 kilometers (37 miles) of optical fiber — was also included in the package.

Ukraine war imperils wheat, but farmers in no rush to pivot — 4:00 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Russia’s war in Ukraine could mean changes for Ed Kessel’s farm along a quiet stretch of western North Dakota.

Worldwide, farmers like Kessel are weighing whether to change their planting patterns and grow more wheat this spring as the war has choked off or thrown into question grain supplies from a region known as “the breadbasket of the world.”

Ukraine and Russia account for a third of global wheat and barley exports, which countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa rely on to feed millions of people who subsist on subsidized bread and bargain noodles. They are also top exporters of other grains and sunflower seed oil used for cooking and food processing.

Ukrainian children find a welcoming classroom in Berlin — 3:38 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukrainian refugee Mariia Kerashchenko tightly clasped the hands of her two children as she walked them through the courtyard of a seedy Berlin building, up a graffiti-covered stairway, and into a modern, sunlit classroom.

Ukrainian refugee Mariia Kerashchenko posed for a photo with her daughter Zoriana as her son Myroslav attend a class for refugees from the Ukraine in Berlin, Germany, Monday.Markus Schreiber/Associated Press

Her 7-year-old son, Myroslav, is one of 40 children who started their first day of school Monday, only weeks after joining the millions flooding into Europe to flee the war in Ukraine.

Daughter Zoriana, who is 3, is still too young for the class, which is being taught by two Ukrainians who also fled to the German capital. The lessons, part of a volunteer initiative, will prepare the children for entering Berlin’s regular school system.

Two refugee children from the Ukraine stood in front of a white board before their classes start in Berlin, Germany, Monday.Markus Schreiber/Associated Press

Zelensky to address Japanese parliament — 1:46 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to virtually deliver his address to the Japanese parliament on Wednesday to rally international support for his country’s fight against Russian invasion.

Japan, unlike in the past, has been acting tough against Russia, in line with other Group of Seven countries, though Tokyo’s steps have triggered Moscow’s retaliation. A compromise could set a bad precedence in East Asia, where China is increasingly making assertive military actions.

Zelenskyy’s speech, expected to be about 10 minutes, will be shown in a meeting room at the lower house — the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber parliament which Prime Minister Fumio Kishida belongs to. Zelenskyy has made virtual addresses to the U.S. Congress, as well as parliaments in Europe, Canada, and Israel.

Foreign dignitaries, including former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, have delivered their addresses in person during visits to Japan as state guests, but an online speech by a foreign leader is unprecedented.

On Monday, Russia announced a decision to discontinue peace treaty talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril islands and withdraw from joint economic projects there, citing Tokyo’s sanctions against Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Japan says Russia discontinued disputed island talks because of Ukraine invasion – 1:44 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Japan denounced Russia on Tuesday over its decision to discontinue peace treaty talks over the disputed Kuril islands and withdraw from joint economic projects in retaliation for Tokyo’s sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The two countries never signed a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities because of their dispute over the Russian-held islands north of Hokkaido, which Moscow took at the end of the war.

“The latest situation has been all caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters Tuesday. He called Russia’s response “extremely unjustifiable and absolutely unacceptable.”

Japan has imposed a series of sanctions on Russia in recent weeks, including freezing some individual assets, banning exports of luxury goods and high-technology equipment to the country and revoking Russia’s most favored nation trade status.

Civilians fleeing Mariupol describe street-to-street gun battles as Russian bombardment pounds city — 1:38 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Civilians making the dangerous escape from Ukraine’s embattled southern port hub of Mariupol described fleeing through street-to-street gun battles and past unburied corpses as a steady Russian bombardment tried to pound the city into submission.

While Russian forces carried on with the siege after the city’s defenders refused demands to surrender, the Kremlin’s ground offensives in other parts of the country were advancing slowly or not at all, knocked back by lethal hit-and-run attacks by the Ukrainians

Zelensky says Ukraine ready to discuss deal — 10:10 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Monday he was prepared to discuss a commitment from Ukraine not to seek NATO membership in exchange for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a guarantee of Ukraine’s security.

“It’s a compromise for everyone: for the West, which doesn’t know what to do with us with regard to NATO, for Ukraine, which wants security guarantees, and for Russia, which doesn’t want further NATO expansion,” Zelenskyy said late Monday in an interview with Ukrainian television channels.

He also repeated his call for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Unless he meets with Putin, it is impossible to understand whether Russia even wants to stop the war, Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy said that Kyiv will be ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the eastern Donbas region held by Russian-backed separatists after a cease-fire and steps toward providing security guarantees.

Russians pound Ukrainian cities, as Biden rallies anti-Kremlin alliance — 8:24 p.m.

By The New York Times

Strikes on cities across Ukraine left a patchwork of death and destruction on Monday, including one that blasted a once-bustling shopping mall in Kyiv into a smoldering ruin with one of the most powerful explosions to hit the city since Russia’s war on Ukraine began.

In the besieged and ravaged southern port of Mariupol, residents braced for renewed attacks after the Ukrainian government rejected a Russian ultimatum to surrender the city.

“A neighbor said that God left Mariupol. He was afraid of everything he saw,” said Nadezhda Sukhorukova, a resident who recently escaped, adding, “my city is dying a painful death.”

The smaller bombs that could turn Ukraine into a nuclear war zone — 8:05 p.m.

New York Times

In destructive power, the behemoths of the Cold War dwarfed the U.S. atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Washington’s biggest test blast was 1,000 times as large. Moscow’s was 3,000 times. On both sides, the idea was to deter strikes with threats of vast retaliation — with mutual assured destruction. The psychological bar was so high that nuclear strikes came to be seen as unthinkable.

Today, both Russia and the United States have nuclear arms that are much less destructive — their power just fractions of the Hiroshima bomb’s force, their use perhaps less frightening and more thinkable.

A handout photo shows a B61 Model 12 missile being prepared for acoustic testing at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. The explosive setting on its nuclear warhead is just 2 percent that of the Hiroshima bomb.RANDY MONTOYA/NYT

Concern about these smaller arms has soared as Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the Ukraine war, has warned of his nuclear might, has put his atomic forces on alert and has had his military carry out risky attacks on nuclear power plants. The fear is that if Putin feels cornered in the conflict, he might choose to detonate one of his lesser nuclear arms — breaking the taboo set 76 years ago after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Zelensky hails protesters confronting troops — 5:31 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has hailed protesters in an occupied city for their courage in confronting the Russian troops who fired shots to disperse the demonstration.

Russian troops on Monday used stun grenades and fired in the air to break up demonstrators in the southern city of Kherson.

Speaking in a video address, Zelenskyy said that “we saw slaves shooting at free people, slaves of propaganda that replaced their conscience.”

He added that the war has turned ordinary Ukrainians into heroes and “the enemy doesn’t believe it’s all real.”

“There is no need to organize resistance,” Zelenskyy added. “Resistance for Ukrainians is part of their soul.”

Biden, leaders of France, Germany, UK, and Italy discuss concerns about Russia’s tactics in Ukraine — 5:13 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The White House said President Joe Biden and the European leaders he spoke with on Monday discussed their concerns about Russia’s tactics in Ukraine, including attacks on civilians, and underscored continued humanitarian and security support for Ukraine.

They also reviewed diplomatic developments in support of Ukraine’s efforts to reach a cease-fire. Biden spoke with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the UK. These leaders will meet again later this week in Brussels.

Russians increase military aircraft over Ukraine, but don’t have air superiority, US official says — 4:34 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A senior U.S. defense official says the Russians have increased the number of military aircraft sorties over Ukraine over the past two days, doing as many as 300 in the last 24 hours. The official said Monday that Ukraine has also increased the pace of its military flights, but declined to provide numbers.

Officials have made it clear that Russia has vastly more aircraft, and flies a great deal more than Ukraine does, but that Russia still does not have air superiority over the country yet.

The official said that most of the military flights involve air-to-ground strikes, mainly on stationary targets, and that the Russian aircraft are not spending a lot of time in Ukrainian airspace. The Ukraine military has continued to use its short and long-range air defense systems and drones to target Russian aircraft.

The Russians have also increased naval activity in the northern Black Sea, but there are no indications at this point of an amphibious assault on Odesa. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the military’s assessment.

Moscow court bans Facebook, Instagram for what it deems extremist activity — 4:30 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A Moscow court banned Facebook and Instagram on Monday for what it deemed extremist activity in a case against their parent company, Meta.

The Tverskoy District Court fulfilled a request from prosecutors to outlaw Meta Platforms Inc. and banned Facebook and Instagram for what they called “extremist activities.” The prosecutors have accused the social media platforms of ignoring government requests to remove what they described as fake news about the Russian military action in Ukraine and calls for protests in Russia.

The court’s ruling bans Meta from opening offices and doing business in Russia. Meta declined to comment when contacted by the AP.

Prosecutors haven’t requested to ban the Meta-owned messaging service WhatsApp, which is widely popular in Russia. The authorities also emphasized that they do not intend to punish individual Russians who use Facebook or Instagram.

Instagram and Facebook were already blocked in Russia after the communications and media regulator Roskomnadzor said they were being used to call for violence against Russian soldiers. In addition to blocking Facebook and Instagram, Russian authorities also have shut access to foreign media websites.

Biden says Russia weighs cyberattack, urges US vigilance — 3:00 p.m.

By Bloomberg News

President Joe Biden warned that Russia is weighing a cyberattack against the U.S. and urged private businesses to enhance their defenses.

Biden said in a statement that Russia “could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed” in response to the Ukraine invasion.

The administration has “evolving intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” he added, and said the U.S. private sector should “harden your cyber defense immediately.”’

Ukrainian refugees speak of bombs, half-empty cities, hunger — 2:57 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Yulia Bondarieva spent 10 days in a basement as Russian planes flew over and bombs were falling on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Having reached safety in Poland, Bondarieva’s only wish now is for her twin sister in the besieged city of Mariupol to get out, too.

“They have been in the basement since Feb. 24, they have not been out at all,” Bondarieva said. “They are running out of food and water.”

Yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich docks in coastal resort of Bodrum, Turkish media say — 2:39 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A yacht belonging to Chelsea soccer club owner and sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich has docked in the Aegean coastal resort of Bodrum, Turkish media reports said Monday, amid international moves to freeze assets belonging to top Russian businessmen with close links to the Kremlin.

Turkey’s private NTV television said the Bermuda-flagged luxury yacht “Solaris” docked at the port in Turkey — which has not joined sanctions on Russia — after leaving departing Montenegro.

A group of Ukrainians, carrying Ukrainian flags with the words “No War” emblazoned on them, boarded a small motor boat and tried to prevent the yacht from docking, the Sozcu newspaper reported.

It was not known if Abramovich was aboard or if the yacht has been moved to Turkey to avoid sanctions.

Last week, the European Union imposed sanctions on Abramovich as it updated a list of individuals facing asset freeze and travel bans over their role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich had already been punished in Britain.

NATO-member Turkey has close ties to both Russia and Ukraine. It has criticized Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but has also positioned itself as a neutral party trying to mediate between the two. It has closed the Turkish Straits connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean to most Russian warships but has not imposed sanctions on Russia or shut down its airspace to Russian flights.

Russia sees oil sales continuing thanks to discount, Interfax reports — 1:18 p.m.

By Bloomberg News

Russia is still able to sell its crude due to discounts and aims to keep output steady even amid unprecedented sanctions, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said. “If the crude is trading at a discount, people will gladly buy it, like now,” Novak told Russian lawmakers on Monday, according to Interfax news agency. “We will now be looking at the Asia Pacific region, work with them in terms of loadings and supplies.”

The invasion in Ukraine has triggered wide-scale sanctions against Russia and its energy sector. The US and the UK earlier this month banned imports of Russian crude, now a similar move is being considered in the European Union, the single largest consumer of the nation’s energy resources. Oil refineries across Europe are snubbing Russian oil after the country’s invasion of Ukraine, leaving a question about how much other regions — especially Asia — would snap up. The answer will go a long way to determining how much crude the country supplies to global markets and revenues Moscow gets from selling the commodity.

Calls for European restrictions on Russian oil imports are politically driven as it’s impossible now to replace the volumes, Novak said, according to Interfax. Still, the global oil rally has supported the Urals price, which averaged some $95.6 per barrel between mid-February and mid-March, when the Russian military escalation intensified and resulted in the invasion, triggering the bulk of the sanctions.

Out of an average daily 4.39 million barrels of oil Russia exported to its main foreign markets from March 1 to 15, deliveries via westbound pipelines and ports on the Black and Baltic Seas, which traditionally serve European customers, reached some 2.7 million barrels per day, according to the Russian oil industry data. The remaining barrels were either shipped to China via the ESPO pipeline or exported to the wider Asia Pacific region from the port of Kozmino.

Russia warns relations with the US are ‘on the verge of a breach’ — 12:02 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Russia has warned that relations with the U.S. are “on the verge of a breach” and summoned the U.S. ambassador for an official protest against President Joe Biden’s criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement Monday referred to “recent unacceptable statements” by Biden about Putin. Biden referred to Putin last week as a “war criminal” in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry says that at the meeting with U.S. ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan “it was emphasized that remarks such as these by the American President, which are unworthy of a state figure of such a high rank, put Russian-American relations on the verge of a breach.”

Russian fuel-oil cargoes sail for US ports from pre-ban deals — 11:57 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

US ports are set to admit more Russian fuel oil than they’ve seen in eight months under contracts signed prior to the Biden administration’s ban on such shipments.

About 9 million barrels of Russian fuel oil is scheduled to offload along the Gulf Coast and eastern seaboard this month, the most since July, according to oil-analytics firm Vortexa Ltd. Early next month, two vessels hauling more than 1 million barrels of Russian fuel oil are expected to arrive in Louisiana. The US ban on Russian energy imports announced on March 8 in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine included a 45-day wind-down period to accommodate existing orders.

Fuel oil is a partially refined crude product favored by refiners as a feedstock to make things such as gasoline. American refiners have been importing unprecedented amounts of Mexican fuel oil as an alternative to Russian supplies. Roughly 196,000 barrels of Mexican supplies are expected to hit US shores daily this month, according to Vortexa. That would be the most in government data going back to 1993.

Russian bond yields soar as market reopens after Ukraine invasion — 11:37 a.m.

By The Washington Post

Russia’s local bonds resumed trading for the first time in three weeks after the central bank pledged to buy government debt to boost liquidity and help stabilize the financial system. The nation’s markets are gradually reopening after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine triggered sanctions and capital controls that severed links to the global financial system and fueled concern about a wave of defaults. Fears of an imminent crisis eased after $117 million of interest payments on Russia’s foreign bonds started reaching international investors at the end of last week. Now, only equity trading remains shut.

The yield on Russian 10-year government debt was quoted down 44 basis points at 11.84 percent, as of 10:13 a.m. in Moscow. Bond trading between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. will be held in so-called discrete auction mode, then in the usual regime from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the central bank said in a statement on Friday. The ruble slipped for a second day, weakening 0.6 percent to 105.48 per dollar. “Russia is facing a double-whammy – a shortage of foreign currency and very high interest rates,” said Christopher Langner, head of investment strategy at First Abu Dhabi Bank in Dubai. “While the central bank may have limited ability to increase the local currency liquidity by cutting rates – they have to incentivize people to keep their money in the bank – it can buy bonds.”

The Eurobond coupon payment and cautious resumption of trading have shown that Russian markets can continue to function – albeit in a much-diminished form – after the unprecedented sanctions that froze some two-thirds of the central bank’s $643 billion of foreign reserves. Ruble trading volumes are a fraction of their pre-crisis levels and stocks, when they do resume trading, are expected to plummet. “Our initial reading for now is that it is not the CBR’s intent to shepherd a wave of quantitative easing with large monetary injections, but rather to arrest volatility in the market,” said Ehsan Khoman, head of emerging market research at MUFG Bank. “Given last week’s coupon payment made, it does at face value signal that both the willingness and capability to pay by Russia is still intact.”

Russia has at least $488 million of interest payments coming due over the next 10 weeks, as well as a $2 billion bond it must repay next month, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Governor Elvira Nabiullina said in a video statement on March 19 that the Bank of Russia will start purchases of government bonds, known as OFZs, on Monday and sell them in full after the market stabilizes.

The central bank’s commitment will provide domestic institutions with liquidity and stabilize sentiment, said Chang Wei Liang, a macro strategist at DBS Group Holdings in Singapore. “That said, economic stresses arising from Western sanctions will continue, and capital control measures are still likely to be maintained,” he said. “Continued payment of Russian government’s obligations to investors remain difficult to assess given sanctions, and investors will need to calibrate based on policy changes that can occur.”

96-year-old who survived four WWII concentration camps dies in Russian attack — 11:15 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Germany’s Buchenwald concentration camp memorial says Boris Romanchenko, who survived camps at Buchenwald, Peenemuende, Dora, and Bergen-Belsen during World War II, was killed Friday when his home in Kharkiv was attacked.

The memorial cited relatives in a series of tweets on Monday. It said his granddaughter said that he lived in a multistory building that was hit by a projectile. Romanchenko was vice president of the International Buchenwald-Dora Committee. Romanchenko was 96, German news agency DPA reported.

Hedge fund star floats idea for squeezing Russian oil cash — 10:55 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

For Europe, the biggest barrier to sanctioning Russian oil is the economic pain the continent would need to suffer. But one star hedge fund trader sees a way to soften the blow. Pierre Andurand, whose commodity fund made 109 percent in the first three months of the year, said on Twitter that instead of banning Russian barrels outright, European governments could impose a tax of 100 percent.

That way, countries that don’t find alternative supplies would buy Russian cargoes at a discount of 50 percent — curtailing Russia’s revenues while tempering the squeeze global oil markets face from the loss of barrels. Customers elsewhere like China and India could offer discounts of 45 percent. Of course, any steps to pull Russian supply from the market could benefit bulls like Andurand, who sees prices surging as high as $200 a barrel this year.

Andurand offers another mechanism for crimping Moscow’s proceeds: European buyers could pay just 30 percent of the bill directly to Russia, with the remaining 70 percent to be transferred to an escrow account for the reconstruction of Ukraine. “If there is anything left, that would come back to Russia once they behave,” he tweeted.

Oil surges again, US stocks edge lower as Ukraine remains in focus — 10:16 a.m.

By The Washington Post

Wall Street’s rally looked poised to enter a second week Monday, with US indexes creeping higher at the opening bell even as the war in Ukraine continued to dominate investors’ attention. The S&P 500 index edged up 0.4 percent shortly after the open Monday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.25 percent. The Dow was barely positive.

Last week, the three major US indexes notched their best weekly performance since November 2020, boosted as oil prices slid down from record highs. But prices have been pushed back above $110 per barrel as bombardments intensify and resolution seems to remain out of reach. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, was trading more than 4.3 percent higher Monday, above $112.50 per barrel. Meanwhile, Moscow’s MOEX exchange partially reopened for the first time in three weeks, after equities endured the most brutal sell-off in market history in the swift economic backlash from the invasion of Ukraine.

The Bank of Russia said Monday that federal loan bonds would resume trading, days after the government made a $117 million interest payment to foreign bondholders, averting what would have been its first foreign debt default since 1918. Other trading remains suspended, as the government seeks to shield stocks from the pain that Russian-listed firms outside the country have felt in recent weeks amid the cavalcade of sanctions. “After three weeks of inactivity, investors will welcome the reopening of Russian exchanges simply to provide some incremental transparency on where securities are actually being priced today,” Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer at MissionSquare Retirement, told The Washington Post in an email. “While these exchanges have been closed, investors who held positions in Russia have been forced to rely on fair value estimates without the benefit of actual transactions for those securities traded exclusively on The Moscow Exchange.”

President Joe Biden is heading to Europe for urgent meetings with NATO and its allies this week as the war approaches the one-month mark. Volatility has raged in global markets throughout the conflict. Investors have been glued to headlines out of Ukraine because Russia, which is one of the world’s biggest energy producers, has the potential to wreak havoc in energy markets that could create dangerous inflation. Even before the invasion, inflation had surged to its highest level since the 1980s. Companies and households have been confronting cost increases at just about every step of the supply chain and every shelf in the supermarket. Rents have surged, as have prices for used and new cars. The national US average for a gallon of gas was $4.25 on Monday according to data from AAA. That’s down a few cents from recent highs but still up 72 cents from a month ago.

Last week’s strong performance was proof of the markets’ underlying confidence and hunger for good news, despite the maelstrom of head winds from the pandemic to supply chain crunch and the fallout from the war according to Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners. “There continues to be a strong bullish narrative,” Feinseth said Monday in comments emailed to The Post, noting that there has not been “a significant recalibration of corporate outlooks, even as analysts have ratcheted down 2022 estimates and stock price targets.”

AP journalists who witnessed Mariupol’s agony flee a Russian hit list — 8:27 a.m.

Mstyslav Chernov is a video journalist for The Associated Press. This is his account of the siege of Mariupol, as documented with photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and told to correspondent Lori Hinnant.

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The Russians were hunting us down. They had a list of names, including ours, and they were closing in.

We had been documenting the siege of the Ukrainian city by Russian troops for more than two weeks and were the only international journalists left in the city. We were reporting inside the hospital when gunmen began stalking the corridors. Surgeons gave us white scrubs to wear as camouflage.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine — 6:07 a.m.

By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, most notably in the besieged port city of Mariupol where hundreds of civilians have been killed.

Borrell says that “what’s happening in Mariupol is a massive war crime. Destroying everything, bombarding and killing everybody in an indiscriminate manner. This is something awful.”

He says Russia has lost any moral high ground and he underlined that “war also has law.” Borrell’s remarks Monday came as he arrived to chair a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands is gathering evidence about any possible war crimes in Ukraine, but Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney says his country is “certainly open to other mechanisms for accountability in terms of the atrocities that are taking place in Ukraine right now.”

Coveney says social media images of the war are “driving a fury across the European Union” for those responsible to be held to account.

Israel’s prime minister says that while there have been advances in cease-fire talks, gaps remain — 6:05 a.m.

By The Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister says that while there have been advances in cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine, “very large” gaps remain between the two sides.

Naftali Bennett, who has acted as intermediary between the two warring countries in recent weeks, said at a conference on Monday that Israel “will continue — together with other friends in the world — to try and bridge the gap and bring an end to the war.”

Israel has good relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has acted as a broker between the two sides since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Bennett has held multiple phone calls with both leaders in recent weeks and flew to Moscow earlier this month to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bennett has offered to host a summit in Jerusalem.

“There’s still a long way to go, because as I stated, there are a number of controversial issues, some of them fundamental,” the prime minister said at the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper’s conference.

Slovenia says it plans to send the country’s diplomatic representatives back to Ukraine — 6:00 a.m.

By The Associated Press

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenia says it plans to send the country’s diplomatic representatives back to Ukraine later this week.

Prime Minister Janez Jansa has urged other European Union nations to do the same. He said on Twitter late on Sunday that “Ukraine needs diplomatic support.”

Slovenia’s diplomats left Ukraine with the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24 as other countries withdrew their representatives as well.

Jansa visited Kyiv last week along with the prime ministers of Poland and the Czech Republic. He has said after the visit that Ukraine was feeling abandoned and urged the EU to send a bloc’s representative there.

Jansa said the return of Slovenia’s diplomats will be organized on voluntary basis.

Britain’s defense ministry says heavy fighting is continuing north of Kyiv — 5:15 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Britain’s defense ministry says heavy fighting is continuing north of Kyiv as Russian forces press on with a stalled effort to encircle Ukraine’s capital city.

In an update Monday on social media, the ministry said Russian forces advancing on the city from the northeast have stalled, and troops advancing from the direction of Hostomel to the northwest have been pushed back by fierce Ukrainian resistance. It said the bulk of Russian forces were more than 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the city center.

U.K. officials said that “despite the continued lack of progress, Kyiv remains Russia’s primary military objective and they are likely to prioritise attempting to encircle the city over the coming weeks.”

Israel’s prime minister says the country is managing its involvement — 4:34 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Israel’s prime minister says the country is managing its involvement with Ukraine and Russia “in a sensitive, generous and responsible way while balancing various and complex considerations” after Ukraine’s president called on Israel to take sides.

Naftali Bennett spoke on the tarmac at Israel’s main international airport as an aid delegation was set to depart for Ukraine to set up a field hospital for refugees near the Polish border.

A day earlier Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rebuked Israel in a televised address to Israeli parliament members, saying Israel should provide arms and impose sanctions on Russia.

Israel has good relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has acted as an intermediary between the two sides since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. While Israel has condemned Russia’s invasion, it has also refrained from taking action that would anger Moscow out of concern of jeopardizing its military coordination in neighboring Syria.

Bennett said that “Israel has extended its hand in aid in the Ukraine crisis for several weeks, very much from the first moment, through different channels,” pointing to humanitarian aid shipments and taking in Ukrainian refugees and immigrants.

Ammonia leaksat a chemical plant in the eastern Ukrainian city — 1:04 a.m.

By The Associated Press

LVIV, Ukraine — An ammonia leak at a chemical plant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy has contaminated an area with a radius of more than 5 kilometers (3 miles), officials said early Monday.

Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy didn’t say what caused the leak.

The Sumykhimprom plant is on the eastern outskirts of the city, which has a population of about 263,000 and has been regularly shelled by Russian troops in recent weeks.

Authorities urged people in Sumy to breathe through gauze bandages soaked in citric acid.

US Marine from Leominster among 4 killed in crash during training exercise — 12:51 a.m.

Nick Stoico, Globe Correspondent

A 27-year-old Leominster man who had served as an Eagle Scout was among four Marines killed when their Osprey aircraft crashed Friday during a NATO exercise in Norway, officials said Sunday.

Captain Ross Reynolds was remembered as a young man who had contributed much to his community and long dreamed of being a pilot.

White House: Biden to visit Poland on Europe trip this week — 11:21 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President Joe Biden has added a stop in Poland to his trip this week to Europe for urgent talks with NATO and European allies, as Russian forces concentrate their fire upon cities and trapped civilians in a nearly month-old invasion of Ukraine.

Biden will first travel to Brussels and then to Poland to meet with leaders there, press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday night.

Poland is a crucial ally in the Ukraine crisis. It is hosting thousands of American troops and is taking in more people fleeing the war in Ukraine — more than 2 million — than any other nation in the midst of the largest European refugee crisis in decades.

Russian soldiers took their city, then their homes — 9:26 p.m.

By The New York Times

For days, Roman Naumenko and his neighbors at the Pokrovsky apartment complex outside Kyiv had been watching from a few short miles away as Russian forces tried to take over a nearby airport.

“I saw helicopters that were firing, coming one after the other,” he said. “It was a huge shock. I couldn’t believe it was real.”

Residents would stand outside their buildings filming the destruction with their cellphones.

Each day, Russian forces drew closer and closer to the apartment complex. On March 3, one of the buildings was directly hit by a missile. More than 150 families were still in the 14-building residential complex at the time, a building manager told The New York Times.

And then, later that same day, troops were literally at Naumenko’s doorstep.

Ukraine refuses to surrender besieged Mariupol — 8:27 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A Ukrainian serviceman stands outside a bunker on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 20, 2022. Russian forces pushed deeper into Ukraine’s besieged and battered port city of Mariupol on Saturday, where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western help. VADIM GHIRDA/Associated Press

The Russian military has offered the Ukrainian troops defending the strategic port of Mariupol to lay down arms and exit the city via humanitarian corridors, but that proposal was quickly rejected by the Ukrainian authorities.

Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said Sunday that all Ukrainian soldiers could leave the Azov Sea port Monday using safe routes for evacuating civilians that had been previously agreed with Ukraine and head to areas controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. He said that “all those who lay down arms will be guaranteed a safe exit from Mariupol.”

Mizintsev added that Russia will wait until 5 a.m. Monday for a written Kyiv’s response to the Russian proposal for the Ukrainian troops to leave Mariupol but didn’t say what action Russia will take if its “humanitarian offer” is rejected.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in remarks carried by Ukrainska Pravda news outlet that Kyiv already had told Russia that “there can be no talk about surrender and laying down weapons.” She rejected the Russian statement as “manipulation.”

Mizintsev said that the deliveries of humanitarian supplies to the city will immediately follow if the Ukrainian troops agree to leave the city. He added that civilians will be free to choose whether to leave Mariupol or stay in the city.

Mass. Marine among 4 killed in NATO exercise crash — 8:01 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The U.S. Marine Corps has identified the four Marines who died when their Osprey aircraft crashed Friday night in a Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle during a NATO exercise.

The men, all assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, were identified as:

— Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz, 27, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

— Capt. Ross A. Reynolds, 27, of Leominster, Massachusetts.

— Gunnery Sgt. James W. Speedy, 30, of Cambridge, Ohio.

— Cpl. Jacob M. Moore, 24, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky.

Zelensky denounces Russian bombing of school — 7:49 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced the Russian bombing of a school in Mariupol where civilians took refuge.

Speaking in a video address early Monday, Zelenskyy said about 400 civilians were taking shelter at the art school in the besieged Azov Sea port city when it was struck by a Russian bomb.

“They are under the rubble, and we don’t know how many of them have survived,” he said. “But we know that we will certainly shoot down the pilot who dropped that bomb, like about 100 other such mass murderers whom we already have downed.”

Zelenskyy, who spoke to members of the Israeli parliament via video link on Sunday, thanked Israel for its efforts to broker talks with Russia. He praised Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for trying to help “find a negotiation track with Russia … so that we sooner or later start talking with Russia, possibly in Jerusalem.” “It would be the right place to find peace if possible,” he added.

The Ukrainian president also said that he had a call Sunday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a “true friend of Ukraine,” to discuss support for Ukraine during this week’s summit of the Group of Seven and NATO.

Zelenskyy said 7,295 Ukrainians were evacuated from zones of combat on Sunday, including nearly 4,000 from Mariupol. He also hailed people in the southern city of Kherson for taking to the streets Sunday to protest the Russian occupation, showing “Ukrainian courage, armless against the occupiers.”

Truth is another front in Putin’s war — 6:17 p.m.

By The New York Times

In the tense weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russian officials denied that it planned anything of the sort, denouncing the United States and its NATO allies for stoking panic and anti-Russian hatred. When it did invade, the officials denied it was at war.

Since then, the Kremlin has cycled through a torrent of lies to explain why it had to wage a “special military operation” against a sovereign neighbor: Drug-addled neo-Nazis. Genocide. American biological weapons factories. Birds and reptiles trained to carry pathogens into Russia. Ukrainian forces bombing their own cities, including theaters sheltering children.

Disinformation in wartime is as old as war itself, but today war unfolds in the age of social media and digital diplomacy. That has given Russia — and its allies in China and elsewhere — powerful means to prop up the claim that the invasion is justified, exploiting disinformation to rally its citizens at home and to discredit its enemies abroad. Truth has simply become another front in Russia’s war.

After about 600 hours, 64 workers at Chernobyl plant have been relieved — 4:48 p.m.

By The New York Times

After more than three weeks without being able to leave the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine, 64 workers were able to be rotated out, the plant said Sunday.

Staff at the plant, which includes more than 200 technical personnel and guards, had not been able to rotate shifts since Feb. 23, a day before Russian forces took control of the site, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which serves as a nuclear watchdog for the United Nations.

‘No city anymore’: Mariupol survivors take train to safety — 2:16 p.m.

By The Associated Press

For hours on Sunday’s train journey, survivors shared their experiences with fellow passengers. Even residents of other Ukrainian cities that have been battered or occupied by the Russians see Mariupol as a horror apart.

One resident of Melitopol, Yelena Sovchyuk, shared a train compartment with a Mariupol family. She bought them food, she said. They had nothing, only a small bag.

Zelensky urges Israel to take stronger stand — 1:38 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukraine’s president called on Israel to take a stronger stand against Russia as he compared the invasion of his country to atrocities committed by Nazi Germany during World War II.

In a speech delivered Sunday via Zoom to members of Israel’s parliament, Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to carry out a “permanent solution” against Ukraine. That was the term used by Nazi Germany for its genocide of some 6 million Jews.

Zelenskyy also noted that a Russian missile attack recently struck Babi Yar in Ukraine, where over 30,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis over two days in 1941. The site is now Ukraine’s main Holocaust memorial.

“You know what this place means, where the victims of the Holocaust are buried,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has emerged as a key mediator between Russia and Ukraine, in part because Israel has good relations with both sides.

Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, urged Israel to follow moves by Western countries to impose sanctions on Russia and provide Ukraine weapons.

Amid new bombings, Ukraine now seen as a war of attrition — 1:19 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukrainian policemen look at a heavily damaged building after bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 20, 2022. Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Ukrainian authorities said Sunday that Russia’s military bombed an art school sheltering about 400 people in the port city of Mariupol, where refugees described how “battles took place over every street,” weeks into a devastating siege.

The fall of Mariupol would allow Russian forces in southern and eastern Ukraine to link up. But Western military analysts say that even if the surrounded city is taken, the troops battling for control there a block at a time may be too depleted to help secure Russian breakthroughs on other fronts.

Three weeks into the invasion, Western governments and analysts see the conflict shifting to a war of attrition, with bogged down Russian forces launching long-range missiles at cities and military bases as Ukrainian forces carry out hit-and-run attacks and seek to sever their supply lines.

Russia’s war for Ukraine could be headed toward stalemate, experts say — 11:37 a.m.

Washington Post

Russia’s attempt to conquer Ukraine could be headed toward a stalemate as heavy casualties and equipment losses take a toll on unprepared Russian forces that have failed so far to achieve any of their initial objectives, Western officials and military experts say.

The front lines have barely moved in more than a week. Russians are being killed or injured at the rate of up to 1,000 a day, according to Western intelligence estimates, and more, according to Ukrainian ones.

Videos of burned-out tanks and abandoned convoys stream constantly on Ukrainian social media accounts, alongside footage of dead Russian soldiers, surrendering Russian soldiers, hungry Russian soldiers stealing chickens from local farmers — and, increasingly, the mangled bodies of Ukrainian civilians dying in missile and artillery attacks.

A destroyed Russian amored vehicle outside Kyiv.Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

How US and allies united to punish Putin for his attack on Ukraine — 10:19 a.m.

Associated Press

Just days before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, President Joe Biden quietly dispatched a team to European Union headquarters in Belgium.

These were not spy chiefs or generals, but experts in reading fine print and tracking the flow of money, computer chips and other goods around the world. Their mandate: inflict maximum pain on Russian President Vladimir Putin, making it harder, if not impossible, for him to fund a prolonged war in Ukraine and denying him access to technologies at the core of modern warfare.

There were intense meetings in February in Brussels, Paris, London and Berlin, often running six hours at a time as the allies tried to craft the details of a historic economic blockade, according to Biden administration officials. Some of the exports the U.S. wanted to ban were met with reluctance by the Europeans, who would essentially be telling their own companies to forgo several billion dollars in annual revenues from Russia.

40,000 people have fled over the past week — 7:16 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The authorities in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol say that nearly 40,000 people have fled over the past week. That’s nearly 10% of its 430,000 population.

The city council in the Azov Sea port city said Sunday that 39,426 residents have safely evacuated from Mariupol in their own vehicles. It said the evacuees used more than 8,000 vehicles to leave via a humanitarian corridor via Berdyansk to Zaporizhzhia.

The strategic city has been encircled by the Russian troops and faced a relentless Russian bombardment for three weeks, coming to symbolize the horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Local authorities have said the siege has cut off food, water and energy supplies, and killed at least 2,300 people, some of whom had to be buried in mass graves. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that the siege of Mariupol would go down in history for what he said were war crimes committed by Russian troops.

Five civilians have been killed — 6:50 a.m.

By The Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine — Authorities in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv say at least five civilians have been killed in the latest Russian shelling.

Regional police in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, said the victims of the Russian artillery attack early Sunday included a 9-year-old boy.

Kharkiv has been besieged by Russian forces since the start of the invasion and has come under a relentless barrage.

Authorities evacuated baby orphans — 5:20 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Authorities in Ukraine have evacuated scores of baby orphans from a city engulfed by combat.

The governor of the northeastern Sumy region, Dmytro Zhyvytskyy, said Sunday that 71 infants have been safely evacuated via a humanitarian corridor. Zhyvytskyy said on Facebook that the orphans will be taken to an unspecified foreign country. He said most of them require constant medical attention.

Like many other Ukrainian cities, Sumy has been besieged by Russian troops and faced repeated shelling.

The Russian military says it has carried out a new series of strikes — 5:02 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The Russian military says it has carried out a new series of strikes on Ukrainian military facilities with long-range hypersonic and cruise missiles.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday that the Kinzhal hypersonic missile hit a Ukrainian fuel depot in Kostiantynivka near the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv. The strike marked the second day in a row that Russia used the Kinzhal, a weapon capable of striking targets 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away at a speed 10 times the speed of sound.

The previous day, the Russian military said the Kinzhal was used for the first time in combat to destroy an ammunition depot in Diliatyn in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine.

Konashenkov noted that the Kalibr cruise missiles launched by Russian warships from the Caspian Sea were also involved in the strike on the fuel depot in Kostiantynivka. He said Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea were used to destroy an armor repair plant in Nizhyn in the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine.

Konashenkov added that another strike by air-launched missiles hit a Ukrainian facility in Ovruch in the northern Zhytomyr region where foreign fighters and Ukrainian special forces were based.

Officials say art school used as shelter bombed by Russians — 4:02 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukrainian authorities said the Russian military bombed an art school where about 400 people had taken refuge in the port city of Mariupol, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said an unrelenting siege by Russian troops would go down in history for what he said were war crimes.

Local authorities said the school’s building was destroyed and people could remain under the rubble. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Russian forces on Wednesday also bombed a theater in Mariupol where civilians were sheltering. City authorities said 130 people were rescued but many more could remain under the debris. A Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital in Mariupol earlier in the war.

A refugee from the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, Ekaterina Mosha, 82, has a meal with her grandson Dmitrii, 3, after fleeing the war. Sergei Grits/Associated Press
People sit in a basement, used as a bomb shelter, during an air raid in Lviv, Western Ukraine. Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

20 babies from surrogate moms in bomb shelter — 2:50 a.m.

By The Associated Press

In peacetime, Ukraine has a thriving surrogate industry, one of the few countries where foreigners can get Ukrainian women to carry their pregnancies. Now at least 20 of those babies are stuck in a makeshift bomb shelter in Ukraine’s capital, waiting for parents to travel into the war zone to pick them up.

They’re well cared for at the moment. Surrogacy center nurses are stranded with them, because constant shelling makes it too dangerous for them to go home. Russian troops are trying to encircle the city, with Ukrainian defenders holding them off for now, the threat comes from the air.

Nurse Lyudmilla Yashchenko says they’re staying in the bomb shelter to save their lives, and the lives of the babies, some of whom are just days old. They have enough food and baby supplies for now, and can only hope and wait for the newborns to be picked up, and the war to end.

Ukrainian military official confirmed Russian forces carried out a missile strike — 12:23 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The British defense ministry said the Ukrainian Air Force and air defense forces are “continuing to effectively defend Ukrainian airspace.”

“Russia has failed to gain control of the air and is largely relying on stand-off weapons launched from the relative safety of Russian airspace to strike targets within Ukraine,” the ministry said on Twitter. “Gaining control of the air was one of Russia’s principal objectives for the opening days of the conflict and their continued failure to do so has significantly blunted their operational progress.”

A Ukrainian military official meanwhile confirmed to a Ukrainian newspaper that Russian forces carried out a missile strike Friday on a missile and ammunition warehouse in the Delyatyn settlement of the Ivano-Frankivsk region in western Ukraine.

But Ukraine’s Air Forces spokesman Yurii Ihnat told Ukrainskaya Pravda on Saturday that it has not been confirmed that the missile was indeed a hypersonic Kinzhal.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said earlier Saturday that Russian military hit the underground warehouse in Delyatyn on Friday with the hypersonic Kinzhal missile in its first reported combat use. According to Russian officials, the Kinzhal, carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound.

Zelenskyy says Mariupol terror a war crime — 11:37 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the siege of Mariupol will go down in history for what he’s calling war crimes by Russia’s military.

“To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come,” he said early Sunday in his nighttime video address to the nation.

Zelenskyy told Ukrainians the ongoing negotiations with Russia were “not simple or pleasant, but they are necessary.” He said he discussed the course of the talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.

“Ukraine has always sought a peaceful solution. Moreover, we are interested in peace now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russia’s military isn’t even recovering the bodies of its soldiers in some places, Zelenskyy said.

“In places where there were especially fierce battles, the bodies of Russian soldiers simply pile up along our line of defense. And no one is collecting these bodies,” he said. He described as battle near Chornobayivka in the south, where Ukrainian forces held their positions and six times beat back the Russians, who just kept “sending their people to slaughter.”

Photos: Scenes of resistance in war-torn Ukraine — 10:29 p.m.

By The Associated Press

People gather in a basement, used as a bomb shelter, during an air raid in Lviv, Western Ukraine, Saturday, March 19, 2022.Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

In the western city of Lviv, the country’s cultural capital that until recently was mostly known for its elegant architecture, military veterans train dozens of civilians to use firearms and grenades.

“It’s hard, because I have really weak hands, but I can manage it,” said 22-year-old Katarina Ishchenko.

All around the country, there are scenes of resistance and determination as Ukrainians put up a fight against Russia, which has faced heavier-than-expected losses on the battlefield following its invasion.

Its offensive slowed, Russia uses long-range missiles to devastating effect — 9:13 p.m.

By New York Times

Even as the Russian ground advance on key targets including Kyiv and Odesa remains stalled, it has used long-range rockets in recent days to devastating effect against the Ukrainian military and infrastructure.

As the war grinds on, the strikes are a reminder of how Russia’s vastly superior armaments give it a distinct advantage, even as what was meant to be a lightning blitz to take out the Ukrainian government turns into a grueling war of attrition.

In the first week of the war, it is not clear how many Russian strikes hit their targets, but Piotr Lukasiewicz, an analyst at Polityka Insight, a Warsaw-based research institute, said that they did serious damage to Ukraine’s command and control centers.

Thousands flee Mariupol as Russians advance — 7:39 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Evacuations from besieged cities proceeded on Saturday along eight of 10 humanitarian corridors, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. She said a total of 6,623 people were evacuated, including 4,128 from Mariupol who were taken northwest to Zaporizhzhia.

Russian forces pushed deeper into the besieged and battered port city of Mariupol, where heavy fighting on Saturday shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western help.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on Saturday, March 19, 2022 shows the aftermath of the airstrike on the Mariupol Drama theater, Ukraine, and the area around it. Associated Press

The fall of Mariupol, the scene of some of the war’s worst suffering, would mark a major battlefield advance for the Russians, who are largely bogged down outside major cities more than three weeks into the biggest land invasion in Europe since World War II.

“Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,” Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said from a rubble-strewn street in a video addressed to Western leaders that was authenticated by The Associated Press.

The Mariupol city council claimed Russian soldiers have forced several thousand city residents to be relocated to Russia.

“The occupiers are forcing people to leave Ukraine for Russian territory,” the council’s statement said. “The occupiers illegally took people out of the Levoberezhny district and a shelter in the building of a sports club, where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from constant bombing.”

Ukrainian refugees seek ID cards in Poland — 6:09 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Hoping to restore some normalcy after fleeing the war in Ukraine, thousands of refugees waited in long lines Saturday in the Polish capital of Warsaw to get identification cards that will allow them to get on with their lives — at least for now.

Refugees started queuing by Warsaw’s National Stadium overnight to get the coveted PESEL identity cards that will allow them to work, live, go to school and get medical care or social benefits for the next 18 months. Still, by mid-morning, many were told to come back another day. The demand was too high even though Polish authorities had simplified the process.

“We are looking for a job now,” said 30-year-old Kateryna Lohvyn, who was standing in the line with her mother, adding it took a bit of time to recover from the shock of the Russian invasion.

“We don’t yet know (what to do),” she added. “But we are thankful to the Poles. They fantastically welcome us.”

Maryna Liashuk said the warm welcome from Poland has made her feel at home already. If the situation worsens, Liashuk said she would like to stay permanently in Poland with her family.

Biden draws on long history with ‘war criminal’ Putin in Ukraine crisis — 4:48 p.m.

By Jess Bidgood, Globe Staff

Russia had seized the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine after a swift military action in 2014, but then-Vice President Joe Biden, who traveled to the region shortly afterward, sounded skeptical that the former Soviet state would ever reclaim its place at the very center of US foreign policy.

“We no longer think in Cold War terms,” Biden told The New Yorker that year, saying no other country was even close to equaling the United States. “Other than being crazy enough to press a button, there is nothing that Putin can do militarily to fundamentally alter American interests.”

Eight years later, Vladimir Putin, the Russian autocrat, is conspicuously reminding the world of the presence of those nuclear buttons as his military brutalizes Ukraine, and Biden is at the helm of something he once seemed to think far-fetched: a combustible crisis that feels hotter than the Cold War.

Biden, a president who wanted to end American wars, is now trying to stop the next one from starting. He is seeking to punish Putin and shore up the global order he spent years tending as a senator and as vice president without pulling the United States into World War III — a task that will depend in part on his ability to read Putin, a tyrant who has only become more vexing, more isolated, and to some eyes more irrational with time.

American lost in Ukraine flew into war to help sick partner — 3:11 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Katya Hill tried to talk her brother out of it. She urged Jimmy Hill to postpone his trip to Ukraine as she saw reports of Russian tanks lining up at the border. But he needed to help his longtime partner, who has been suffering from progressive multiple sclerosis.

“He said, ‘I don’t know what I would do if I lost her, I have to try to do everything I can to try to stop the progression of MS,’” Katya said. “My brother sacrificed his life for her.”

James “Jimmy” Hill, 68, was killed in a Russian attack on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv that was reported Thursday, as his partner Irina Teslenko received treatment at a local hospital. His family says she and her mother are trying to leave the city, but because of her condition they would need an ambulance to help and it was unclear when or if that could happen.

Pope visits Ukrainian children in hospital — 1:44 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Pope Francis has paid a visit to some of the Ukrainian children who escaped the Russian invasion and are currently being treated at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital in Rome.

The Vatican says the Bambino Gesu hospital is currently tending to 19 Ukrainian refugees, and that overall some 50 have passed through in recent weeks.

Some were suffering oncological, neurological and other problems before the war and fled in the early days. Others are being treated for wounds incurred as a result of the invasion.

The Vatican says Francis travelled the short distance up the hill to the hospital on Saturday afternoon. He met with all the young patients in their rooms before returning back to the Vatican.

Francis has spoken out about the “barbarity” of the war and especially the death and injury it has caused Ukrainian children.

Ukraine’s celebrities are dying in the war, adding dimension to the nation’s shock — 1:17 p.m.

By New York Times

A male ballet dancer. An award-winning female actor. A biathlete. An actor who posted glamorous selfies on Instagram to his nearly 13,000 followers until he joined up and uploaded two final shots of himself looking stylish in camouflage.

These are some of the Ukrainian celebrities killed since Russia invaded Feb. 24. Their deaths add an extra dimension to the country’s shock and anguish over the war.

Putin isn’t yet ready for talks with Zelensky, Turkish official says — 1:15 p.m.

By New York Times

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine called publicly Saturday for direct negotiations with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, but a senior Turkish official said that Putin was not ready for such talks.

“Zelensky is ready to meet, but Putin thinks that the positions to have this meeting at the leaders’ level are not close enough yet,” said Ibrahim Kalin, a chief adviser and spokesperson for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

A Russian attack on Kyiv would be a long and bloody conflict with Ukrainians ready to resist — 12:14 p.m.

New York Times

The city of Kyiv covers 325 square miles and is divided by a broad river. It has about 500,000 structures — factories, ornate churches and high-rise apartments — many on narrow, winding streets. Roughly 2 million people remain after extensive evacuations of women and children.

To the northwest and to the east, tens of thousands of Russian troops are pressing toward the city, Ukraine’s capital, backed by columns of tanks, armored vehicles and artillery. Inside Kyiv, Ukrainian soldiers and civilian volunteers are fortifying the downtown with barriers, anti-tank mines and artillery.

Kyiv remains the biggest prize of all for the Russian military; it is the seat of government and ingrained in both Russian and Ukrainian identity. But capturing it, military analysts say, would require a furious and bloody conflict that could be the world’s biggest urban battle in 80 years.

How two journalists in Ukraine managed to share the horror stories of Mariupol with the world — 10:37 a.m.

Washington Post

If it were not for two Associated Press journalists in the besieged city of Mariupol, the world might not have learned what has been happening there as immediately as we have — nor in such irrefutable, horrifying detail.

For three weeks, Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka have documented the destruction of the southern seaport by Russian forces who have encircled the city and trapped its people there. The journalists have reported on mass graves filling with the bodies of children, the desperate measures to which the hungry populace is turning and the destruction of a maternity hospital.

Maloletka’s photo last week of medics carrying a pregnant woman covered in blood ran on the front page of every major American newspaper the following day. Chernov also filmed the scene. On Wednesday, they published an account of Mariupol’s devastation, including jarring details of the deaths of individual children by shrapnel and how, cut off from water, people have been reduced to boiling snow – stories that contradict Kremlin claims that its forces are not attacking civilians.

A photo by Evgeniy Maloletka in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 10.Evgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press

Washington Post

Elon Musk recently challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to a one-handed fistfight for the future of Ukraine. But the entrepreneur’s real defense of the besieged country is his effort to keep Ukrainians online with shipments of Starlink satellite Internet service.

Starlink is a unit of Musk’s space company, SpaceX. The service uses terminals that resemble TV dishes equipped with antennas and are usually mounted on roofs to access the Internet via satellite in rural or disconnected areas.

When war broke out in Ukraine, the country faced threats of Russian cyberattacks and shelling that had the potential to take down the Internet, making it necessary to develop a backup plan. So the country’s minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted a direct plea to Musk urging him to send help. Musk replied just hours later: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”

Ukraine has already received thousands of antennas from Musk’s companies and European allies, which has proved “very effective,” Fedorov said in an interview with The Washington Post Friday.

“The quality of the link is excellent,” Fedorov said through a translator, using a Starlink connection from an undisclosed location. “We are using thousands, in the area of thousands, of terminals with new shipments arriving every other day.”

Russia fires at Kyiv suburbs, eastern Donetsk — 7:56 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Over the past 24 hours, Russian forces have fired at eight cities and villages in the eastern Donetsk region, using aviation, rocket, and heavy artillery.

Ukraine’s National Police said in a statement on Telegram Saturday that at least 37 residential buildings and infrastructure facilities were damaged; dozens of civilians were killed and injured as a result of the attacks. The Russian military were firing at Mariupol, Avdiivka, Kramatorsk, Pokrovsk, Novoselydivka, Verkhnotoretske, Krymka, and Stepne.

The statement said that “among the civilian objects that Russia destroyed are multistory and private houses, a school, a kindergarten, a museum, a shopping center, and administrative buildings.”

Kyiv northwestern suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel, Irpin and Moshchun have also been under fire on Saturday. The Kyiv regional administration reported that the city of Slavutich north of the capital was “completely isolated,” and that Russian military equipment was spotted in the region northeast and east of Kyiv.

Grassroots groups help rescue Holocaust survivors in Ukraine — 7:28 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Since the shelling began to intensify in Kyiv and Kharkiv about a week ago, Julia Entin has been working feverishly — thousands of miles away in Los Angeles — to evacuate Holocaust survivors in Ukraine who find themselves trapped in yet another conflict.

For the last six years, the 39-year-old paralegal at Beth Tzedek Legal Services has helped connect Holocaust survivors with local services. Now, Entin is coordinating rescue efforts in Ukraine because she says she feels a personal connection to their painful predicament.

Russian forces kidnapped journalist, Ukraine says — 7:19 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The office of the Prosecutor General in Ukraine has accused Russian security and military forces of kidnapping a Ukrainian journalist covering the Russian offensive in the east and the south of Ukraine.

In a Facebook statement Saturday, the Prosecutor General’s office alleged that Russia’s Federal Security Service, or the FSB, and the Russian military abducted the journalist of Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske on Tuesday in Berdyansk, an occupied port city in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region. The statement didn’t identify the journalist, but went on to say that the reporter’s whereabouts are currently unknown and a criminal investigation has been launched.

Hromadske on Friday tweeted that they lost contact with reporter Victoria Roshchyna last week.

“As we learned from witnesses, at that time the journalist was in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk. On March 16, we learned that the day before (probably March 15), Victoria Roshchyna was detained by the Russian FSB. Currently, we do not know where she is,” the outlet tweeted.

The FSB and the Russian military haven’t yet commented on the allegations.

China’s vice foreign minister blames NATO for war in Ukraine — 7:18 a.m.

By The Associated Press

China’s vice foreign minister reiterated blame against NATO for the war in Ukraine and criticized sanctions against Russia in a speech delivered at a conference in Beijing Saturday.

Le Yucheng said NATO was a “Cold War vestige” and that its expansion could result in “repercussions too dreadful to contemplate” from a major power like Russia.

His comments come after the U.S. President and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a conversation about the war Friday.

China has consistently blamed the security bloc, led by the U.S., as pushing things to a crisis point between Russia and Ukraine.

Le went on also to criticize the economic sanctions against Russia.

“Sanctions against Russia are now going to such lengths that globalization is used as a weapon, even people from the sports, cultural, art and entertainment communities are not spared,” Le said.

China’s government tried to distance itself from Russia’s offensive, but has avoided the criticism many other nations have leveled at Moscow, and continues refrain from calling it an invasion.

Britain’s foreign secretary says Putin uses Ukraine talks to up violence — 6:43 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Britain’s foreign secretary has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using talks with Ukraine as a “smokescreen” while he ramps up violence against the country.

Liz Truss told the Times of London newspaper that she was “very skeptical” about Russia’s seriousness in the talks, accusing Russian forces of trying to create space to regroup and unblock their stalled campaign.

She said that “we don’t see any serious withdrawal of Russian troops or any serious proposals on the table” and said Russia would resort to “worse and worse” violence as its military campaign falters.

The head of Britain’s defense intelligence agency, Lt. Gen. Jim Hockenhull, says Russian forces have shifted to a “strategy of attrition” after failing to take major Ukrainian cities during the three-week invasion.

Germany’s federal police has registered more than 200,000 Ukrainian refugees — 6:41 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Germany’s federal police has registered more than 200,000 Ukrainian refugees in the country since the outbreak of the war more than three weeks ago.

The country’s interior ministry said 207,747 Ukrainian refugees had arrived as of Saturday. However, the real number of Ukrainian refugees in Germany is expected to be much higher.

Ukrainians don’t need a visa to come to Germany, and federal police only register refugees entering Germany by train or bus. There are not thorough border controls inside the European Union’s internal borders, so Ukrainians coming to Germany from Poland by car are normally not registered. Those who stay with family and friends in Germany are also not counted unless they apply for financial aid from German authorities.

Bulgaria won’t send military aid to Ukraine — 6:17 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has ruled out providing military aid to Ukraine but says his country, a NATO ally, will continue to provide humanitarian assistance.

“Being so close to the conflict, right now I have to say that currently we will not be able to send military assistance to Ukraine. This will not be possible,” Petkov said Saturday at a news conference in the Bulgarian capital with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Bulgaria, which does not border Ukraine but has received thousands of refugees, has agreed to host a new contingent of NATO troops as part of the alliance’s push to reinforce its eastern flank. That contingent includes about 150 US Army infantry soldiers.

Curfew imposed in city of Zaporizhzhia — 6:16 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Zaporizhzhia regional governor Oleksandr Starukh has announced a 38-hour curfew in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, to last from 4 p.m. local time on Saturday until 6 a.m. on Monday.

Starukh said on Telegram on Saturday: “For your safety, do not go out into the streets and other public places during this time.”

Two missile strikes on the suburbs of Zaporizhzhia killed nine people on Friday, wounded 17 more, and left five others with injuries, a spokesman of the Zaporizhzhia regional administration Ivan Arefiev reported Saturday.

Local authorities continue to evacuate people from settlements taken over by the Russians and deliver humanitarian aid to them, he said.

Key things to know about the conflict — 5:43 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Fighting raged on multiple fronts in Ukraine on Saturday, with intense combat in the besieged port city of Mariupol — site of some of the war’s greatest suffering. Ukrainian officials say their forces there are battling the Russians over the Azovstal steel plant, one of the biggest in Europe.

Here are some key things to know about the conflict.

Ukraine says 10 corridors agreed with Russians — 5:16 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced Saturday that 10 humanitarian corridors have been agreed on with the Russians.

They include a corridor from the besieged port city of Mariupol, several in the Kyiv region and several in the Luhansk region.

She also announced plans to deliver humanitarian aid to the city of Kherson, which is currently under control of the Russian forces.

In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces are blockading the largest cities with the goal of creating such miserable conditions that Ukrainians will cooperate. He said the Russians are preventing supplies from reaching surrounded cities in central and southeastern Ukraine.

Satellite images on Friday from Maxar Technologies showed a long line of cars leaving Mariupol as people tried to evacuate. Zelensky said more than 9,000 people were able to leave the city in the past day.

Russian military says it used hypersonic missile in strike — 5:15 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The Russian military says it used its latest hypersonic missile, Kinzhal, for the first time in combat during its offensive in Ukraine.

Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the hypersonic missiles destroyed an underground warehouse storing missiles and aviation ammunition of Ukrainian troops in the western Ivano-Frankivsk region.

Konashenkov also said that the Russian forces used the anti-ship missile system Bastion to strike Ukrainian military facilities near the Black Sea port of Odesa. Russia first used the weapon during its military campaign in Syria in 2016.

Norway says 4 US troops killed during exercise — 4:37 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The prime minister of Norway says four US service members have died in a plane crash during NATO drills.

Jonas Gahr Støre tweeted that the service members were participating in the NATO exercise “Cold Response,” which is taking place in northern Norway.

He wrote: “Our deepest sympathies go to the soldiers’ families, relatives and fellow soldiers in their unit.”

The annual drills in Norway are unrelated to the war in Ukraine. This year they included around 30,000 troops, 220 aircraft and 50 vessels from 27 countries. Non-NATO members Finland and Sweden are also participating.

The exercises began on March 14 and end on April 1.

According to the Norwegian police, the American V-22B Osprey aircraft that crashed belonged to the U.S. Marine Corps.

The aircraft had a crew of four and was out on a training mission in Nordland County on Friday. It was on its way north to Bodø, where it was scheduled to land just before 6 p.m. Friday.

The plane crashed in Gråtådalen in Beiarn, south of Bodø. Police said a search and rescue mission was launched immediately. At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, the police arrived at the scene and confirmed that the crew of four had died.

Africa mostly quiet amid widespread condemnation of Russia — 4:36 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently remarked that Russia’s war on Ukraine should be seen in the context of Moscow being the “center of gravity” for Eastern Europe.

His son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, was more forceful, declaring that most Africans “support Russia’s stand in Ukraine” and “Putin is absolutely right!”

Amid a worldwide chorus of condemnation, much of Africa has either pushed back or remained noticeably quiet. Twenty-five of Africa’s 54 nations abstained or didn’t record a vote in the U.N. General Assembly resolution earlier this month condemning Russia.

The reason? Many nations on the continent of 1.3 billion people have long-standing ties and support from Moscow, dating back to the Cold War when the Soviet Union supported anti-colonial struggles.

Ukraine says 112 children died in war so far — 4:24 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The Prosecutor General’s office in Ukraine says a total of 112 children have been died in the country since the start of the Russian invasion.

The office says more than 140 children have been wounded since Feb. 24.

According to the UN children’s agency, more than 1.5 million children had fled Ukraine.

Most families have fled to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.

UNCIEF says women and girls travelling on their own are especially at risk of gender-based violence.

Big steel plant ‘being destroyed’ in Mariupol — 4:00 a.m.

By The Associated Press

In the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian and Russian forces are fighting for the Azovstal steel plant, one of the biggest in Europe, said Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, in televised remarks on Saturday.

“Now there is a fight for Azovstal. … I can say that we have lost this economic giant. In fact, one of the largest metallurgical plants in Europe is actually being destroyed,” Denysenko said.

Ukraine’s cultural capital no longer distant from the war — 3:30 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Until the missiles struck within walking distance of the cathedrals and cafes downtown, Ukraine’s cultural capital was a city that could feel distant from the war. The early panic had eased, and the growing response to morning air raid sirens was not to head downstairs but roll over in bed.

But Friday’s Russian airstrikes at dawn in Lviv, just outside the international airport, made nearby buildings vibrate and shook any sense of comfort as thick black smoke billowed.

Still, the hours after the airstrikes were absent of the scenes in other Ukrainian cities that have horrified the world: shattered buildings and people fleeing under fire. Lviv was already returning to its centuries-old role as an ever-adapting crossroads.

A man stood next to a wrapped sculpture in Lviv’s downtown, western Ukraine, March 4, 2022. Bernat Armangue/Associated Press
Relatives and friends attended a funeral ceremony for four of the Ukrainian military servicemen, who were killed during an airstrike in a military base in Yavoriv, in a church in Lviv, Ukraine, March 15, 2022. Bernat Armangue/Associated Press
A cloud of smoke rose after an explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine, March 18, 2022. Associated Press

Denied easy victory, Russia presses reduced goals in Ukraine — 12:31 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The signs are abundant of how Ukraine frustrated Vladimir Putin’s hopes for a swift victory, and how Russia’s military proved far from ready for the fight.

A truck carrying Russian troops crashes, its doors blown open by a rocket-propelled grenade. Foreign-supplied drones target Russian command posts. Orthodox priests in trailing vestments parade Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag in defiance of their Russian captors in the occupied city of Berdyansk.


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