Ukraine rejects humanitarian corridors that lead to Russia — as it happened | News | DW | 07.03.2022

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Ukraine rejects humanitarian corridors that lead to Russia — as it happened

Ukraine has said humanitarian corridors out of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy that lead to Russia and Belarus are "immoral." Russia and Ukraine's top diplomats are set to meet later this week.

A woman wrapped up in a blanket sits with her luggage at Poland's Medyka border crossing

The UN estimates around 1.7 million have already fled Ukraine amid the fighting

  • Moscow proposes six humanitarian corridors, including three routes leading to Russia
  • Ukraine accuses Russia of trying to manipulate world leaders 
  • Ukrainian and Russian officials meet for a third round of negotiations
  • China emphasizes 'rock solid' relations with Russia
  • The EU thinks as many as 5 million refugees could eventually flee

Catch up on events in Ukraine from Sunday as attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol failed

These live updates are now closed. For the latest regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine, please click here

Tech giant IBM suspends Russia operations

Technology giant IBM said in a Monday statement that it was suspending all business in Russia. 

In the statement, IBM said it would donate $250,000 (€230,000) each to two humanitarian organizations in the Czech Republic and Poland. It also urged employees to donate to the International Red Cross.

IBM had previously announced in a statement on Thursday that it had stopped selling technology in Russia and would not do business with Russian military organizations.

Pentagon: Russia recruiting Syrians to fight in Ukraine

The Pentagon said on Monday that Russia is recruiting Syrians to fight in Ukraine.

Russia entered the Syrian civil war in 2015 on the side of the Syrian government.

One official told the Wall Street Journal that some fighters are already in Russia. Officials did not say how many fighters could be involved.

Foreign volunteers have already entered the conflict on both sides. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has claimed around 20,000 volunteers have traveled to the country to support the Ukrainian government.

Zelenskyy accuses Russia of impeding evacuation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday accused the Russian army of impeding the evacuation of civilians.

Zelenskyy made the statement in a video posted on Telegram after talks with Moscow.

"There was an agreement on humanitarian corridors. Did that work? Russian tanks worked in its place, Russian Grads (multiple rocket launchers), Russian mines," Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian leader also said he would remain in Kyiv, despite Russian forces approaching the capital.

"I'm staying here, I'm staying in Kyiv... I'm not afraid," he said. 

"Everyone. We are all at war. We all contribute to our victory, which definitely be achieved. By force of arms and our army. By force of words and our diplomacy. By force of spirit, which the first, the second and each of us have," Zelenskyy said.  

UN calls for safe passage of humanitarian aid supplies

The United Nations is calling for the safe passage of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian cities under attack, as more civilians are being killed.

"Civilians in places like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Melitopol and elsewhere desperately need aid, especially life-saving medical supplies," undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs Martin Griffiths told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Monday.

The meeting comes as Russia and Ukraine seek an agreement on "humanitarian corridors" to allow civilians to escape fighting. 

The US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the meeting that the world should be prepared for a " very long and very difficult road ahead."

Russian President Vladimir Putin "is clearly willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of Russian soldiers to achieve his personal ambitions," she added.

Putin says 'conscripts' not fighting in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that "professionals" carrying out "fixed objectives" were fighting the war in Ukraine and denied having sent conscripts or reservists.

"I emphasize that conscript soldiers are not participating in hostilities and will not participate in them. And there will be no additional call-up of reservists," Putin said.

Russia threatens embargo of 'Nord Stream 1' gas deliveries

Russia's vice-premier Alexander Novak said Russia has "the full right" to impose an embargo on gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in response to Germany's decision halting the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Novak said the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which carries Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is "utilized at a maximum of 100%." 

Novak also warned that a ban on Russian energy imports would have "catastrophic" consequences for Europe.

"So far we have not made this decision. Nobody will benefit from this," Novak told Russian state television. "Although European politicians are pushing us to this with their statements and accusations against Russia," he added.

Watch video 01:42

Germany suspends Nord Stream 2 pipeline

France doesn't expect a quick end to conflict

French President Emmanuel Macron has said Monday that a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine could be "weeks" away.

Macron said he has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that a cease-fire is a necessary precursor to any real dialogue. However, Putin has refused this condition, which makes negotiations "difficult."

Speaking at a presidential campaign event in a Paris suburb, Macron added that Russia must also be respected as a country and people because "there is no durable peace if Russia is not [part of] a ... grand architecture of peace on our continent."

Zelenskyy asks American Jews for help

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared Russia's military invasion to actions of Nazis during WWII.

"This is just pure Nazi behavior," Zelenskyy said during a Zoom call with the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, according to comments carried by the Reuters news agency.

The Ukrainian leader accused Russian forces of not letting civilians evacuate and keeping away food and water.

"All of this happened during Nazi times," said Zelenskyy, who is Jewish. "The survival of the Ukrainian nation — the question will be the same as antisemitism... All of these millions of people are going to be exterminated."

Russian negotiator: Ukraine looking over Moscow's proposals

During the third round of talks between Ukraine and Russia, negotiators raised issues of Ukraine's neutrality, the status of Russian language, and demilitarization, said a member of Russia's negotiating team Leonid Slutsky.

Speaking to Rossiya 24 broadcaster, Slutsky said these issues were important and solving them would take some time.

He described his Ukrainian counterparts as "tough negotiators who are representing a position which is in many areas diametrically opposed to ours, but consultations are ongoing nevertheless."

The Russian lawmakers also said Russia has brought concrete written proposals to the talks, and that Ukraine representatives took the documents to process them.

Biden speaks with top European allies

US President Joe Biden discussed Ukraine in a "secure video call" with the leaders of Germany, the UK, and France,  the White House said in a statement.

Biden, together with Germany's Olaf Scholz, France's Emmanuel Macron, and the UK's Boris Johnson "affirmed their determination to continue raising the costs on Russia for its unprovoked and unjustified invasion." The four leaders also pledged to continue security, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

After the call, Chancellor Scholz decried the "unacceptable aggression" against Ukraine and said the West "must prevent this bloodshed from continuing." 

"Now we have to hope that our clear stance, that our sanctions ... make an impression that this opens up a little bit of a space for diplomatic efforts," he said.

Zelenskyy to address UK parliament

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak to British lawmakers via video-link on Tuesday afternoon, according to statement cited by the Reuters news agency.

"Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House," Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle was quoted as saying.

Levi's halts Russia operations

Jeans-making giant Levi's said they were "temporarily  suspending" their business in Russia, including new investments.

The San Francisco-based clothing company also said it would donate $300,000 (€275,600) to support people affected by the conflict.

"Any business considerations are clearly secondary to the human suffering experienced by so many," the company said in a statement.

Watch video 03:44

Airbnb provides free housing for Ukraine refugees

Russia and Ukraine end latest round of talks

Delegates from Russia and Ukraine have concluded the third round of talks in Belarus. The two sides achieved "small positive [developments]" regarding the logistics of humanitarian corridors, according to Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak.

He also said intensive consultations were ongoing regarding cease-fires and security guarantees.

Meanwhile, Russia's top negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said Moscow's expectations from negotiations were "not fulfilled."

Medinsky, who serves as an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he hopes that talks would soon continue.

"We hope that next time we will be able to take a more significant step forward," Medinsky said.

Watch video 03:43

Lviv residents fear war edging closer: Alexandra von Nahmen

Boeing suspends titanium purchases from Russia

US aerospace giant Boeing said it would no longer by titanium from Russia.

"Our inventory and diversity of titanium sources provide sufficient supply for airplane production, and we will continue to take the right steps to ensure long-term continuity," the company said in a statement. 

Russia's VSMPO-Avisma reportedly supplies a third of Boeing's titanium needs.

EU could see up to 5 million Ukraine refugees

If the war in Ukraine continues, up to 5 million refugees could flee to the European Union, said the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell.

"That is a reasonable estimate," Borrell said after meeting EU development ministers in France. "We have not seen such a large movement of refugees since the end of World War II."

The EU will make available nearly €100 million (around $109 million) in its first emergency response to help the refugees, Borrell said.

Ukraine has a population of around 41.5 million people. The UN estimates that around 1.7 million people have already left the country.

Truck crashes through the gates of Russian embassy in Dublin, man arrested

Irish police arrested one man and opened an investigation after a truck crashed through the gates of Russian embassy in Dublin. No injuries were reported. Anti-war protesters previously rallied around the embassy building.

Separately, Russia called on France to protect its diplomatic missions and said someone threw a Molotov cocktail on Russia's science and cultural center in Paris.

Watch video 03:58

Ukraine: Video Diaries from the War

EU agrees to examine Ukraine's membership bid

The EU's executive branch will start examining membership requests from Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, EU officials said on Monday. The EU Commission might take years to provide an opinion on the bid, with all 27 member states then needing to agree to start long, complex and open-ended ascension process that usually requires at least a decade of reforms in the country requesting the membership. 

But the move to examine applications of the three ex-Soviet states is seen as symbolic as the EU accuses Russia of trying to bring the countries back to their sphere of influence.

Trudeau announces new sanctions with assistance from Navalny

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in London for talks on Ukraine, with Trudeau announcing new sanctions on 10 individuals he said are "complicit" in the Russian invasion.

At a press conference alongside his British and Dutch counterparts, Trudeau said the sanctions would target "former and current senior government officials, oligarchs and supporters of the Russian leadership." Trudeau added that the names came from a list compiled by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

"The sanctions put increased pressure on Russia's leadership," Trudeau said. The latest measures come in addition to those already announced by Canada, including heavy tariffs on Russian and Belarusian imports.

Fresh talks between Ukraine and Russia start in Belarus

Delegates from Ukraine and Russia have started third round of talks on Monday, two hours later than previously scheduled. Previous talks secured a deal on humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians, but the inititative broke down as both sides accused each other of sabotaging it.

In addition to talks between the two delegations in Belarus, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Turkey on Thursday. This would be the highest-level summit since the war started on February 24th.

Navalny's spokeswoman urges women to protest

Anti-war protests continue in Russia despite mass arrests. Kira Yarmush, spokeswoman for jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, called on women to rally against the invasion on International Women's Day on Tuesday.

"Women do not disappear when war begins," Yarmysh said in a video message.

"They are in its very center, giving birth, rescuing, protesting and worrying," she said. "They live in it just like men and carry the same burden as men, sometimes even greater because they did not choose that war, they did not send there their children and husbands."

Separately, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock praised women in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.

"We see you, we stand by you," she said while attending an event dedicated to the International Women's Day in Berlin "These are your sons that have to go into fighting they did not ask for."

The minister also noted women in Russia were risking their freedom protesting against the war.

"I bow down to your courage," she said.

Ukraine officials say at least 13 civilians killed in attack on bread factory

Ukraine emergency services said they have recovered bodies of 13 civilians following an air strike on a bread factory in the Ukrainian town Makariv, near Kyiv. Five people have been saved.

A total of 30 people were believed to be at the factory at the moment of the attack, indicating that more people might be trapped below the rubble.

Germany's conservatives want sales tax for oil, gas, gasoline to be suspended

Germany needs an "absolute brake on energy prices" as the war in Ukraine drives them up, said Bavarian Premier Markus Söder. The conservative politician's comments were echoed by leading figures from his Christian Social Union (CSU) and its sister party, the Christian Democrats (CDU).

"Sales tax should thus be reduced as much as possible — perhaps even to zero in agreement with the European Union," Söder told the broadcaster ZDF.

Söder also expressed skepticism about ceasing energy imports from Russia, saying prices were rising enough already. This course was also rejected by Germany's left-leaning Chancellor Olaf Scholz. However, a YouGov poll showed 54% of respondents approved a ban on energy imports from Russia even if it put their own energy supply at risk. Thirty percent were "completely and utterly" in favor, while 24% were less emphatic in their view, according to the survey conducted for the daily Handelsblatt.

Watch video 00:25

China maintains 'strategic partnership' with Russia despite war

Russia says 'unfriendly states' will be paid in rubles

Russian officials published a list of "unfriendly" countries which includes the US, the UK, Australia, all the EU members, and many others. All corporate deals with companies and individuals from these countries would need to be approved by a state commission.

Also, debts to creditors from those countries would be paid in rubles if they surpass 10 million rubles (around $66,000 or just under €60,900) according to Monday course.

Germany says it will not sanction energy imports from Russia

Berlin supports tough measures against Russia but will keep energy deliveries exempt, according to Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The German leader said Russian energy was essential for daily life.

"Europe's supply with energy for heating, for mobility, power supply and for industry cannot at the moment be secured otherwise," Scholz said in a statement. The chancellor also said Germany and the EU were working on alternatives but the job could not be done overnight.

"It was therefore a deliberate decision to allow the continued activities of German businesses with Russia related to energy supply," he said.

Russia is facing a slew of punitive measures over its invasion of Ukraine. However, the threat of an import ban on Russian oil and gas has sent their prices soaring, with Brent crude trading at $139 (€128), the highest level since July 2008. Gas prices in Europe have also reached $381 per cubic meter on Monday — the price was under $80 before the invasion started 12 days ago.

Watch video 02:17

Ukraine rejects humanitarian corridors to Russia, Belarus

Moscow reiterates demands for Ukraine

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that Russia could stop its invasion "in a moment" if Kyiv were to accept its demands.

These consist of

  • Ukraine putting down its weapons
  • A constitutional amendment declaring Ukraine neutral, blocking it from joining NATO or the EU
  • Recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea
  • Recognition of independence of Luhansk and Donetsk

"We really are finishing the demilitarization of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot," Peskov said.

He also said that Kyiv was aware of the demands, ahead of the talks set to take place between the two sides on Monday afternoon on the border between Poland and Belarus.

Macron slams Russia's 'hypocrisy' over humanitarian corridors

French President Emmanuel Macron said Moscow's proposal to evacuate Ukrainians to Russian cities was "hypocritical."

"All this is not serious, it is moral and political cynicism, which I find intolerable," he told LCI television in an interview.

Moscow had said its proposal followed a "personal request" from Macron, a claim that a French presidential official later denied. 

"I don't know many Ukrainians who want to seek refuge in Russia. That's hypocrisy," he said. 

The issue won't be solved via "corridors which are being threatened right away," he added.

Watch video 03:24

Humanitarian corridors: Is Russia negotiating in bad faith?

Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers to meet in Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has announced that Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitro Kuleba later this week.

The meeting is to take place on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. It would be the highest-level talks to take place since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Ankara has strong relations with both Kyiv and Moscow and has tried to play a more neutral role in the conflict, separating itself from its NATO partners.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the TASS news agency that an agreement for the meeting was reached during a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "on the initiative of the Turkish leader."

Gas prices reach record levels amid Russian supply fears

Europe and UK natural gas prices soared to record highs on Monday following fresh supply fears after the US proposed an embargo on Russian crude oil.

Europe gas reference Dutch TTF rocketed more than 60%, reaching a record peak of €345 ($373,76) per megawatt hour.

Meanwhile, UK gas prices hit an all-time high of 800 pence per therm. British Brent North Sea crude oil surged close to $140 per barrel, a near 14-year high.

It comes as the White House and allies consider banning oil imports from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is one of the world's biggest crude producers and is also a leading supplier of natural gas.

Paris denies Macron requested evacuations to Belarus, Russia

Russia's Defense Ministry, announcing humanitarian corridors, had said it was at the "personal request" of French President Emmanuel Macron. 

But a French presidency official denied the claim, and said Macron insists on "the respect of international humanitarian law, the protection of civilian populations and the supply of aid."

"That means that protection of civilians must be organized and humanitarian access allowed," the official told the AFP news agency. 

Town near Kyiv reports mayor's death by Russian fire

Authorities at the town of  Gostomel said Russian forces have killed the mayor. 

Gostomel is a town around 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) away from Kyiv. It is home to the strategic Antonov military airport, which was the site of fierce battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the first days of the war.

"The head of Gostomel, Yuri Illich Prylypko, died while distributing bread to the hungry and medicine to the sick," the city said on its Facebook page.

"No-one forced him to go under the occupiers' bullets," it said. "He died for his people, for Gostomel. He died a hero." 

Authorities said  Prylypko was shot dead along with two others. It wasn't clear when he was shot. 

Lithuania calls for 'forward defense'

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that a policy of deterrence was no longer enough, adding that "forward defense" was now needed. 

Nauseda predicted that "Putin will not stop in Ukraine if he will not be stopped. It is our collective duty as a nation to help all Ukrainians with all means available. By saying all, I mean, indeed all means, if we want to avoid the Third World War. The choice is in our hands." 

Nauseda's remarks came as Blinken started a tour to three Baltic states increasingly on edge due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking alongside Blinken, Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis called for embargoes on Russian energy sales.

"Energy sources which we import pay for the Russian military operation. We cannot pay for oil and gas with the blood of Ukraine," Landsbergis told a joint news conference.

Watch video 12:34

Are the Baltic republics ready?

Zelenskyy calls for new sanctions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to impose further sanctions on Russia, boycott Russian oil and provide Ukraine with military aircraft. 

"If the invasion (of Ukraine) continues and Russia has not abandoned its plans against Ukraine, then a new sanctions package is needed... for the sake of peace," he said in a video address.

"Boycott imports to Russia — if they do not adhere to civilised rules, then they should not receive goods and services from civilisation — let the war feed them," he said.

Over 5,000 detained in Russia at Sunday anti-war protests: monitor

Russian police took at least 5,020 people into custody on Sunday at protests in some 60 cities against Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the OVD-Info group said on Monday.

The number — unprecedented for a single day — cannot be independently verified.

OVD-Info, which monitors arrests during protests in Russia, said 2,394 people had been arrested in the capital, Moscow, and at least 1,253 in Saint Petersburg.

The group said police had sometimes used electric shockers on protesters.

Anti-war protests have been growing in Russia despite the fact that protesters risk possible prison sentences by taking to the streets.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has called on Russians from his prison cell to demonstrate daily against the Kremlin's invasion.

Many people were also arrested during a wave of protests against his imprisonment in January 2021 on charges critics say are politically motivated.

Watch video 05:14

What do Russians think of Putin's war?

Ukraine rejects humanitarian corridors that lead to Russia

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said a Russian proposal to evacuate civilians out of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy is not an acceptable option as the humanitarian corridors mostly lead to Russian cities.

Earlier on Monday, Russia proposed six humanitarian corridors. Three of them exited to Russian cities, one to Belarus and two to central and southeastern Ukraine.

Vereshchuk called on Russia to agree to a cease-fire from Monday morning to allow Ukrainians to evacuate toward the western Ukrainian city of Lviv instead.

Ukraine received Russia's proposal early on Monday morning after French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vereshchuk told a televised briefing.

"I hope that French President Emmanuel Macron understands that his name and sincere desire to help... in reality is being used and manipulated by the Russian Federation," she said. 

Watch video 01:25

Russian shelling kills Ukrainian civilians trying to flee

Russia declines to attend UN top court hearing on invasion

Russia failed to send an envoy to attend a hearing at the UN's top court, the head judge said. 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is hearing an injunction Ukraine has sought against Russia under the UN Convention against Genocide. The United Nations court is tasked with settling disputes between two countries.

Kyiv wants the UN judges to classify the Russian attack as genocide and at the same time reject Moscow's claim that Ukraine was committing genocide against the Russian minority in the east of the country.

The Kremlin's lawyers were expected to vehemently reject the case as Russia denies the jurisdiction of the court in The Hague. Moscow argues that since no genocide is being committed by Russia, there is no case and therefore no court that would have jurisdiction.

Moscow proposes 6 humanitarian corridors, most lead to Russia

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Moscow was opening six humanitarian corridors around Ukrainian cities:

  • From Kyiv to Gomel, southeastern Belarus
  • From Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine
  • From Mariupol to Rostov-on-Don, southern Russia
  • From Kharkiv to Belgorod, southern Russia
  • From Sumy to Belgorod
  • From Sumy to Poltava, central Ukraine

"Detailed information about the humanitarian corridors was given to the Ukrainian side in advance," Konashenkov said.

Ukrainian officials have so far said the proposed routes were unacceptable.

Iryna Vereshchuk, a Ukrainian deputy prime minister, said Russia's proposal to evacuate Ukrainian citizens to Russian territory was "ridiculous" and "cynical." 

Up to 5 million Ukrainian refugees expected, says EU's Borrell

As many as 5 million Ukrainians could flee their country if Russia continues with its military assault, the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has said.

"We must prepare to receive around 5 million people … We must mobilize all the resources of the EU to help those countries receiving people," he told reporters in Montpellier, France, ahead of a meeting of EU development ministers.

"We will need more schools, more reception centers, more of everything," he said.

Borrell also said the EU would review aid spending in countries that have either given diplomatic support to Russia during the invasion or failed to criticize its actions. 

Watch video 04:15

Ukrainians arrive in Poland in record numbers

Are Russian forces in Ukraine a threat to Moldova?

Vladimir Solonari, a Moldovan-American professor at the University of Central Florida, told DW that the fall of Odesa would pose a "very big" risk for Moldova and Romania.

"Moldovan forces will not be able to resist the Russians at all," he said.

The separatist region of Transnistria, that shares a long border with Ukraine and has close relations with Moscow, could also pose a threat. Russian forces could enter that region "without any fight," Solorani explained.

He also said that their recent renewed request for independence may have been a ploy. "It could be a first step — they've asked to leave Moldova and because they haven't received a response, they could request unification with Russia."

"This is a real danger… If Russian troops occupy Odessa, they will get to Tiraspol [the capital of Transnistria] very quickly," he added.

Solonari believes the Russians "will find a pretext or they will just enter without any pretext."

He has also changed his mind about Moldova uniting with Romania — the two countries share cultural similarities — saying "before, I wasn't in favor of unification, for many reasons, but now I would prefer it, as a means of security."

Ukraine: Russia's corridors proposal 'completely immoral'

Ukraine has slammed Russia's proposal on humanitarian corridors as "completely immoral," as several of the suggested routes by Moscow exited to Belarus or Russia. 

"This is a completely immoral story. People's suffering is used to create the desired television picture," a spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to Reuters news agency. 

The spokesperson also accused Russia of deliberately hampering previous evacuation attempts.

According to Reuters, Oleksiy Arestovich, an advisor to the Ukrainian president's chief of staff, said negotiations with Moscow on establishing humanitarian corridors were ongoing. However, Arestovich said they were unlikely to be set up as long as Russian forces were trying to advance.

Map showing movement of refugees from Ukraine

China says Russia relations are still 'rock solid'

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized China's "rock-solid" friendship with Russia and said the prospects for cooperation between the two countries are very broad.

At a press conference explaining Beijing's position on the conflict, Wang called on both sides to settle disputes by peaceful means, through dialogue and negotiation, and "respect and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries."

China has offered to act as a mediator in the conflict and denounced trade and financial sanctions against Russia.

The Chinese Red Cross will provide humanitarian help to Ukraine, Wang added.

Poland: Over 1 million refugees arrived from Ukraine

The Polish Border Guard has said more than 1 million refugees have arrived from Ukraine to Poland since the Russian invasion started on February 24. 

It added that traffic on the Polish-Ukrainian border was increasing, with 42,000 people crossing Monday morning. 

Watch video 02:18

UN: Europe's fastest refugee crisis since WWII

UK intelligence: Russia trying to reduce Ukrainians' access to news

The British Defence Ministry said in an intelligence update that Russia is seeking to restrict access to reliable news sources in Ukraine. 

"Russia is probably targeting Ukraine's communications infrastructure in order to reduce Ukrainian citizens' access to reliable news and information," it said on Twitter. 

"Ukrainian internet access is also highly likely being disrupted as a result of collateral damage from Russian strikes on infrastructure." 

DW Correspondent Nick Connolly said internet access was "gone" in Mariupol, adding that it was "the real psychological difference" to other places in Ukraine, where internet connections were still present. 

"Previously people were in difficult situations, but at least they had those communication links out, could find out what’s going on outside, could talk to their relatives and friends and give them a message that they were okay," he said. 

"Without that, people are getting a lot more nervous." 

Watch video 03:35

Fact check: 5 fakes of the war in Ukraine

Russia announces another cease-fire for humanitarian corridors

The Russian Defense Ministry said forces will stop firing at 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700 UTC) to allow civilians to evacuate, according to the Interfax news agency.

Moscow said it will open humanitarian corridors in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy. Evacuation routes published by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, citing the Defense Ministry, show that civilians will be able to leave to Russia and Belarus

Those who want to leave Kyiv will also be able to be airlifted to Russia, according to the ministry. 

The move comes at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, the ministry said.

There has initially been no confirmation from the Ukrainian side

On Saturday and Sunday, Russia had declared a temporary cease-fire that could have established humanitarian corridors out of two cities. However, it failed to materialize, as Ukrainian officials halted the evacuations and accused Russian forces of violating the truce. 

Meanwhile, Russia blamed Ukraine for the failure of past attempts. In the Russian Defense Ministry's statement on Monday, it said it would use drones to monitor the evacuation and "attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the whole civilized world... are useless this time."

Watch video 02:02

Mariupol evacuation halted as ceasefire broken

DW Correspondent Nick Connolly said Ukrainians believe that such announcements are "just Russia stalling, trying to win time with negotiations." 

Russian forces have so far had several logistical issues, Connolly said. "They didn't think Ukraine will put up so much of a fight." 

As Ukrainian and Russian officials are expected to hold further talks on Monday, Connolly said, "The suspicion here in Kyiv is that the Russians are negotiating in bad faith just to win time to keep on fighting." 

Watch video 02:35

Ukraine, Russia both claim cease-fire violations

Ukraine armed forces: Russian troops to storm Kyiv

The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said in a Monday bulletin that Russian troops were preparing to storm Kyiv.

The statement said that Russian troops were aiming to take full control of Irpin and Bucha, two cities on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Russian troops were "trying to provide a tactical advantage to reach the eastern outskirts of Kyiv through the Brovarsky and Boryspil districts," according to the bulletin.

Interior Ministry advisor Vadym Denysenko said on Ukrainian television that a "fairly large amount of Russian military equipment and Russian troops are concentrated at the approaches to Kyiv," as cited by Ukrayinska Pravda.

"We understand that the battle for Kyiv is a key battle which will be fought in the coming days."

Ukrainian reservists get married at Kyiv checkpoint

Two Ukrainian reservists have got married at a Kyiv checkpoint.

The bride and groom wore military uniforms during the ceremony.

Groom Valerii Filimonov told DW that they decided get married because "we live in challenging times and you never know what's going to happen to you tomorrow."

"That's why it's better to do it sooner than later."

New Zealand to expand Russia sanctions

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that the country would expand its sanctions on Russia.

Ardern said that the government will pass a bill this week which will allow for extensive sanctions on those associated with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The bill could also ban the entry of Russian ships and aircraft into New Zealand waters or airspace.

Ukraine and Russia to meet for negotiations

Ukraine and Russia are expected to meet for a third round of negotiations, which both sides said could take place on Monday.

The location and exact time of the talks were initially unclear.

The two delegations last met in Belarus for two rounds of peace talks and agreed to put in place humanitarian corridors to allow evacuation from Mariupol and Volnovakha.

The attempt to evacuate Mariupol failed on Sunday, and Russia and Ukraine both blamed each other for the collapse of the cease-fire.

Russian gymnast sports pro-invasion insignia at medals podium

The International Gymnastics Federation asked for disciplinary proceedings to be opened against Ivan Kuliak after the Russian gymnast sported an insignia linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Kuliak wore a shirt with the letter "Z" on it as he accepted a bronze medal on Sunday. The "Z" has been seen painted on Russian tanks and vehicles in Ukraine.

Kuliak stood next to Ukraine's Kovtun Illia, who was the gold medalist.

Belarusian and Russian gymnasts will be banned from future competitions starting from Monday, a measure decided on before Kuliak received his bronze medal.

Blinken: US and allies discuss banning Russian oil imports

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States and its European allies were exploring banning imports of Russian oil.

Meanwhile, the White House coordinated with congressional committees developing their own ban.

US House of Representatives explores banning Russian oil imports

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House of Representatives was discussing legislation to further isolate Russia from the global economy.

Measures explored by the House include banning the import of Russian oil and energy products in to the US.

Pelosi added that Congress intended to enact $10 billion (€9.2 billion) in aid for Ukraine this week.

Summary of events in Ukraine-Russia crisis on Sunday

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that more than 20,000 people from 52 countries had volunteered to fight in Ukraine.

Watch video 05:32

Supplying weapons to the other side 'is part of the game'

Ukrainian authorities said that Russian forces increased the shelling of a number of Ukrainian cities, including Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mykolaiv.

The Ukrainian presidential office said that several hundred thousand Ukrainians must be evacuated immediately, adding that the situation in several dozen towns in eight regions was catastrophic.

Watch video 12:31

The first days of the war in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video statement that current sanctions imposed on Russia are not sufficient

According to a statement by Russian NGO OWD-Info, more than 4,400 people were arrested throughout Russia amid anti-war protests on Sunday. This included 2,035 people in Moscow and 1,150 in St. Petersburg. In total there were anti-war protests in some 60 cities across the country.

Poland's border guard said over a million refugees from Ukraine have crossed the Polish border. UN refugee chief Fillippo Grandi said that 1.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the invasion begun almost two weeks ago, with those not entering Poland fleeing to Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania.

Video-sharing app TikTok cut off live streaming and new content to its video service in Russia after the Kremlin introduced a new law that could jail anyone for intentionally spreading "fake" news.

fb, sdi/rt (dpa, AP, Reuters, AFP)