- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have held face-to-face talks in Turkey.
- Ukraine says it has opened seven humanitarian corridors through which civilians can be evacuated to safety.
- Ukrainian officials say a Russian strike on a children’s hospital in the besieged southeastern city of Mariupol killed three people.
- UNICEF says dozens of children have been killed amid Moscow’s offensive.
Here are all the latest updates:
Finland’s president to speak to Putin
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto has told reporters he will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Niinisto’s remarks came after he met with members of the Finnish parliament to discuss options to strengthen the country’s national security.
Lukashenko orders Belarusian specialists to restore Chernobyl power supply: Report
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has instructed specialists from his country to ensure that power is supplied to the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, state news agency Belta has reported.
The reported move came after Kyiv warned on Wednesday that there was a danger of a radiation leak at Chernobyl amid a power cut at the site, which sits near Ukraine’s border with Belarus.
But the UN’s nuclear watchdog said the outage would not have any “critical impact” on safety at the plant.
UK adds Abramovich, six other ‘oligarchs’ to sanctions list
The United Kingdom’s government says it has imposed asset freezes on seven Russian businessmen, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, after they were added to the country’s sanctions list.
“There can be no safe havens for those who have supported [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
In a government document posted online, Abramovich is described as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch” who has had a “close relationship” with Putin for “decades”.
Abramovich has previously denied having close ties with Putin or the Kremlin.
SANCTIONED: 7 Russian oligarchs targeted in £15bn sanction hit – including Abramovich and Deripaska
— Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (@FCDOGovUK) March 10, 2022
Kremlin says it will seek information from military about hospital bombing
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Moscow will seek information from the Russian military over its alleged bombing of a children’s hospital in Mariupol.
“We will certainly ask our military about this, since we don’t have clear information about what happened there. And the military are very likely to provide some information,” Peskov told reporters at a news briefing.
Ukraine opening seven humanitarian corridors
Ukraine is opening seven humanitarian corridors through which civilians can evacuate cities besieged by Russian forces, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.
Evacuees have already started leaving the northeastern city of Sumy under a local ceasefire, the regional governor said.
Three killed in attack on Mariupol hospital, local officials say
At least three people, including one child, were killed when Russia bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol, local officials have said.
“Three people were killed, including a female child, in yesterday’s attack on a children’s and maternity hospital in Ukraine’s besieged Mariupol, according to updated figures this morning,” Mariupol’s city council said on the Telegram messaging app.
Russia has refuted Ukrainian claims that the site was still functioning as a hospital, arguing it had been taken over by troops.
Lavrov and Kuleba begin talks in Turkey
Lavrov and Kuleba have begun talks, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry has said.
“The meeting has started,” Maria Zakharova told reporters.
The pair’s meeting, which marks the first high-level contact between Kyiv and Moscow since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, was being brokered by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
More than 1.4 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since invasion
About 1.43 million people have crossed into Poland from Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, the Polish Border Guard has said.
About 117,600 people crossed the border on Wednesday, the agency said in a tweet.
UK says Russian commanders will be held to account for ‘war crimes’
Russian military commanders as well as people at the very top of the Russian government will be held to account for any war crimes in Ukraine, the UK’s armed forces minister has said.
“Russian commanders need to remember that war crimes are not just committed by those at the very top of the Russian government,” James Heappey told UK broadcaster Sky News.
“They are committed all the way down the chain of command by all who are involved and these atrocities are being watched, they’re being catalogued and people will be held to account.”
Ukraine’s foreign minister in Turkey for talks with Russia’s Lavrov
Kuleba has arrived in Turkey ahead of his scheduled talks with Lavrov, Ukrainian television reports.
More than 10,000 people evacuated around Kyiv
Oleksiy Kuleba, regional governor of Kyiv, says more than 10,000 people have been evacuated from villages and cities around Ukraine’s capital.
Russian column outside Kyiv makes little progress: UK
The UK’s defence ministry has said the large Russian military column northwest of Kyiv has made little progress in more than a week and is suffering continued losses.
As casualties mount, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be forced to draw from across Russian armed forces and other sources to replace the losses, the ministry said in a statement.
There has also been a notable decrease in overall Russian air activity over Ukraine in recent days, it added.
Russia says claim that it bombed a children’s hospital is ‘fake news’
Russia has refuted a Ukrainian claim that it bombed the children’s hospital in Mariupol as “fake news”, saying the building was a former maternity hospital that had long been taken over by troops.
“That’s how fake news is born,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, tweeted.
Polyanskiy said Russia had warned on March 7 that the hospital had been turned into a “military object”.
That’s how #Fakenews is born. We warned in our statement back on 7 March (https://t.co/OpSeejBais) that this hospital has been turned into a military object by radicals. Very disturbing that UN spreads this information without verification #Mariupol #Mariupolhospital https://t.co/99v8avyThS pic.twitter.com/JsHgsv5YfQ
— Dmitry Polyanskiy (@Dpol_un) March 9, 2022
US ban on Russian oil imports heads to vote in House of Representatives
A majority in the US House of Representatives has voted to impose a ban on imports of Russian oil and other energy products.
With the vote still under way, the Democratic-controlled House was poised to pass the bill after President Joe Biden used his executive powers to impose such a ban.
US House passes Ukraine aid, gov’t funding measure
A majority in the US House of Representatives has voted to approve a $1.5 trillion bill that would provide $13.6bn in aid for Ukraine and fund the federal government through September 30.
The vote was still under way. If approved by the House, the sweeping legislation would move on to the Senate.
UNICEF says at least 37 children killed in Ukraine
At least 37 children have been killed and 50 injured “in less than two weeks”, UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell has said, adding that more than one million children were forced to flee.
“Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – including hospitals, water and sanitation systems and schools – are unconscionable and must stop immediately,” Russell said in a statement.
“The children of Ukraine desperately need peace.”
US speeds licensing for gun, ammunition shipments to Ukraine
The US is rapidly processing requests from Americans to export firearms and ammunition to Ukraine, the US commerce department has said.
The department said it had imposed export controls on Russia to “degrade its ability to sustain military aggression” and Americans should check agency regulations to see if a licence was needed to ship specific firearms to Ukraine.
“The department has been processing requests rapidly for the export of firearms and ammunition to Ukraine under its existing processes and authorities,” a department spokesperson said.
Americans are donating thousands of sets of body armour and millions of rounds of ammunition in response to Ukraine’s pleas for military support.
Zelenskyy says 35,000 civilians evacuated from Ukrainian cities
At least 35,000 civilians were evacuated from besieged Ukrainian cities on Wednesday, Zelenskyy has said.
In a video address, the Ukrainian leader said three humanitarian corridors had allowed residents to leave the cities of Sumy, Enerhodar and areas around Kyiv.
War-related inflation may drive protests and riots, World Bank warns
Soaring energy and food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could exacerbate existing food security concerns in the Middle East and Africa, and may fuel growing social unrest, World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart has said.
“There will be important ramifications for the Middle East, for Africa, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, in particular,” which had already been experiencing food insecurity, Reinhart told Reuters news agency.
“I don’t want to be melodramatic, but it’s not a far stretch that food insecurity and riots were part of the story behind the Arab Spring,” she said, adding that successful and unsuccessful coups had increased over the past two years.
Zelenskyy believes Russia’s Putin will soon ‘negotiate’
Zelenskyy has said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will eventually enter negotiations and end the invasion, after seeing Russian forces encounter fierce resistance from Ukrainians.
“I think he will. I think he sees that we are strong,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with Vice from Kyiv, adding “we need some time”.
“How to stop this war? Only dialogue,” he said.
When asked what his message to Putin would be, Zelenskyy said: “Stop the war. Begin to speak. That’s it.”
Biden to discuss developments with Turkey’s Erdogan
US President Joe Biden will hold a phone call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the latest developments involving Russia and Ukraine, the White House has said.
Top US, Ukraine diplomats discuss additional aid for Ukraine
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in a phone call, discussed additional security and humanitarian support for Ukraine, the State Department has said.
Blinken and Kuleba also discussed Russia’s “unconscionable attacks harming population centers,” the statement said.
For his part, Kuleba said his call with Blinken was “on further steps to strengthen Ukraine’s defence capabilities”.
Call with @SecBlinken on further steps to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities. Grateful to the U.S. for the new package of tough sanctions on Russia. Pressure must be elevating until Russia stops its brutal aggression and barbaric war crimes against Ukrainians.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 9, 2022
Zelenskyy calls hospital bombing ‘war crime’
Ukraine’s Zelenskyy has described the attack on a children’s hospital in the southeastern city of Mariupol as a “war crime” after it prompted international condemnation.
“We have not done and would never do anything like this war crime in any of the cities of the Donetsk or Luhansk regions, or of any region … because we are people. But are you?” Zelenskyy said, switching to Russian to make his point.
“What kind of a country is Russia, that it is afraid of hospitals and maternity wards and destroys them?” he said. “The air bomb on the maternity hospital is the final proof. Proof that the genocide of Ukrainians is taking place.”
Zelenskyy also reiterated his call for Western powers to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine to prevent more attacks.
“Together we must return courage to some Western leaders. So that they finally do what they had to do on the first day of the invasion. Either close the Ukrainian sky from Russian missiles and bombs, or give us fighter jets so that we can do everything ourselves,” he said.
Timeline: Week two of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
As the war in Ukraine enters its third week, Al Jazeera examines the major events that marked the second week of hostilities, from a US ban on Russian oil and gas imports to attempts to evacuate civilians from Ukrainian cities under siege and the displacement of more than two million refugees.
Read more here.
IMF approves $1.4bn emergency funding for Ukraine
The International Monetary Fund has said its executive board approved $1.4bn in emergency financing for Ukraine to help meet urgent spending needs and mitigate the economic effect of Russia’s military invasion.
“The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has been responsible for a massive humanitarian and economic crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, predicting a deep recession in Ukraine this year.
“Financing needs are large, urgent and could rise significantly as the war continues,” she said. Once the war was over, Ukraine was likely to need additional “large support”.
The global lender said Ukrainian authorities had cancelled an existing stand-by lending arrangement with the IMF, but would work with the fund to design an appropriate economic programme focused on rehabilitation and growth when conditions permit.
White House dismisses Russia’s claims of US involvement in biological warfare labs
The White House has said Russia’s claims about alleged US involvement in biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine were false.
“We took note of Russia’s false claims about alleged US biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a series of tweets.
She said Russia could possibly be laying the groundwork for the use of chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine “or to create a false flag operation using them” but did not offer evidence.
We took note of Russia’s false claims about alleged U.S. biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine. We’ve also seen Chinese officials echo these conspiracy theories.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) March 9, 2022
Ukrainian MP says people forced to drink ‘contaminated water’
Ukrainian Member of Parliament Lesia Vasylenko says it is currently impossible for many Ukrainians to access clean water amid the fighting, forcing many to drink contaminated water and causing several cases of dehydration.
“It’s impossible to get food or water,” Vasylenko told Al Jazeera. “People are drinking contaminated water from the sewage system or children are forced to take snow or what remains of the snow just to stay hydrated.”
The situation, she added, demonstrates “how inhumane” the methods Russia is using against the Ukrainian civilian population are.
Caterpillar suspends operations in Russia
Caterpillar Inc has said it was suspending operations in its manufacturing facilities in Russia, joining a growing number of companies that have halted business in the country.
“Operations in Russia have become increasingly challenging, including supply chain disruptions and sanctions, and we are suspending operations in our Russian manufacturing facilities,” a company spokesperson said.
UN humanitarian chief decries strike on hospital as ‘deeply shocking’
The UN’s humanitarian affairs chief has denounced the attack on a Ukrainian children’s hospital in Mariupol as an “appalling breach” of international humanitarian law.
“It’s deeply shocking in all kinds of different ways. It’s shocking because it’s a medical facility, which under international humanitarian law is protected,” Martin Griffiths told Al Jazeera.
“It’s shocking because it kills babies, newborns and it’s shocking because this is the kind of thing that happens appallingly in the war like the one we are seeing in Ukraine.
He added: “I hope we will find out in due course who did this and hold them to account.”
UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths speaks to @AJEnglish about the humanitarian crisis brought on by the war in #Ukraine, as well as the “deeply, deeply shocking” attack on a children’s hospital in Mariupol: pic.twitter.com/dY6Xshrf0q
— Amanda Price (@amandaruthprice) March 9, 2022
UK’s Johnson commits to further tighten sanctions on Russia
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukraine’s Zelenskyy he is committed to further tightening sanctions to impose the maximum economic cost on Russia, a Downing Street spokesperson has said.
More than 1,200 civilians have died in siege of Mariupol, mayor says
A total of 1,207 civilians have died during a nine-day siege by Russian forces of Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol, its mayor has said.
The first nine days of the Russian siege saw “1,207 peaceful Mariupol residents dying”, the city authorities posted on Telegram along with a video message by Mayor Vadym Boychenko.
UN chief condemns ‘horrific’ attack in Mariupol
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has decried what Ukrainian officials said was a Russian attack on a hospital in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol.
“Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific,” Guterres said on Twitter.
“Civilians are paying the highest price for a war that has nothing to do with them. This senseless violence must stop. End the bloodshed now.”
Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific.
Civilians are paying the highest price for a war that has nothing to do with them.
This senseless violence must stop.
End the bloodshed now.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 9, 2022
Russian banks can lend to firms owned by non-residents
Russian banks will be allowed to lend to companies controlled by non-residents, the finance ministry has said amid sanctions that have prompted many Western firms to pull out or suspend operations.
“This decision was taken so that companies wishing to continue their business activities in Russia can work normally and receive loans from domestic banks,” the ministry said in a statement, without providing details.
US weighs sanctions on Russian nuclear power supplier
The US was weighing sanctions on Russian nuclear power supplier Rosatom, Bloomberg has reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
No final decision has been made and the White House is consulting with the nuclear power industry about the potential effects of imposing sanctions on Russia’s state-owned atomic energy company, which is a major supplier of fuel and technology to power plants around the world, the report added.
Russia’s uranium production is controlled by Rosatom, which was formed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007. The company is an important source of revenue for Moscow.
Pentagon does not support more jets for Ukraine
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has informed his Polish counterpart that Washington does not back Warsaw’s plans to transfer its Russian-made MiG-29 jets to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has said.
He said the effectiveness of Russia’s “significant” air force has already been limited by Ukraine’s air defences.
“Polish generosity is clearly on display for the whole world to see,” Kirby said. “But at this time, we believe that provision of additional fighter aircraft provides little increased capabilities at high risk.”
He added that transferring the jets to Ukraine would risk an escalation with Russia.
Lavrov arrives in Turkey for talks with Ukrainian counterpart
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has landed in Antalya, Turkey, ahead of planned talks with Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday.
The meeting would be the first between the nations’ top diplomats since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago.
Ukraine evacuates 40,000 civilians in one day: official
Ukraine has evacuated more than 40,000 people in one day but has fallen short of the target of 100,000, one of the negotiators in the talks with Russia said.
David Arakhamia said in a post on social media said that evacuations remained problematic around the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol.
Ukrainian official says 67 children killed since Russian invasion began
Ukraine’s top security official Oleksiy Danilov says 67 children have been killed since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
Danilov also joined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in urging Kyiv’s allies to enforce a no-fly zone over the country.
The US, UK and NATO have ruled out that call, saying a no-fly zone would risk escalating the conflict and leading to a direct military confrontation with Russia.
No evidence of weapons of mass destruction produced in Ukraine: UN
The UN has seen no evidence of weapons of mass destruction allegedly produced in Ukraine, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is “unaware of any activity on the part of the Ukrainian government, which is inconsistent with its international treaty obligations, including on chemical weapons or by biological weapons”.
The UN statement follows Russian allegations that Ukraine is developing nuclear or biological weapons.
IAEA chief to join Russia-Ukraine meeting in Turkey
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, will fly to Turkey later today, as the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are set to meet.
“In meetings there I hope to make progress on the urgent issue of ensuring the safety and security of #Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We need to act now!” Grossi wrote on Twitter.
Russia has seized a nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia and radioactive waste facilities near the defunct nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. Ukrainian staff are still operating both but in conditions Grossi has said put the facilities’ safety at risk.
At the invitation of #Turkey’s Foreign Minister @MevlutCavusoglu I will travel tomorrow to Antalya. In meetings there I hope to make progress on the urgent issue of ensuring the safety and security of #Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We need to act now!
— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) March 9, 2022
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Wednesday, March 9, here.