Ukraine: Russia shells Mariupol as cease-fire attempts stall — as it happened | News | DW | 05.03.2022

Visit the new DW website

Take a look at the beta version of dw.com. We're not done yet! Your opinion can help us make it better.

  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages
Advertisement

News

Ukraine: Russia shells Mariupol as cease-fire attempts stall — as it happened

A cease-fire attempt in two Ukrainian cities has collapsed, with Russia pushing forward with its military offensive. Meanwhile, Americans are being urged to leave Russia immediately.

Shelling in Mariupol during Russia's invasion

Residential areas have been shelled in the Russian attack on Mariupol

  • Russia assaults Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha after announcing a cease-fire 
  • Poland says nearly 800,000 refugees arrived from Ukraine
  • Aeroflot to halt international flights
  • Putin criticizes the possibility of a no-fly zone, says he will not impose martial law in Russia 

This article was last updated at 23:09 UTC/GMT

This live updates article is closed. For the latest news about the war in Ukraine, please click here.

Zelenskyy urges Ukrainians to fight

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians to drive Russian troops out of the country.

"We have to go outside! We have to fight! Whenever there is an opportunity," Zelensky said in a video message.

Zelensky added that ordinary, unarmed people had opposed Russian units in a number of cities. He said it was important to prevent the establishment of more pro-Russian so-called "people's republics" on Ukrainian territory similar to the two currently self-declared in eastern Ukraine.

Addressing the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Zelenskyy said that if Russians "have not erased you memory through propaganda, if your eyes are not closed in fear - fight, for your rights, you freedom, for Ukraine."

Watch video 02:35

Ukraine and Russia both claim ceasefire violations

Israel to set up field hospital

Israel plans to set up a field hospital for Ukrainian refugees next week, Tel Aviv's Sheba Medical Center said.

The hospital is expected to be set up either in Ukraine or somewhere along its border. It will have several departments, including an emergency room, according to the Sheba Medical Center.

Israel has already sent 100 tons of humanitarian relief supplies to Ukrainian refugees.

Visa, MasterCard suspend international operations in Russia

Credit card companies Visa and MasterCard separately announced on Saturday that they were suspending their cross-border operations in Russia.

"Effective immediately, Visa will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days," Visa said in a statement, adding that cards issued in Russia would not work outside of the country and cards from non-Russian institutions would not work in the country.

MasterCard said in a statement that it was also halting operations in Russia.

"We don't take this decision lightly," Mastercard said, adding that it consulted with customers, partners and governments.

MSF: Situation in Mariupol 'catastrophic'

A senior official from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned on Saturday that the situation in the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol is "catastrophic" and it is vital that civilians be evacuated from the city.

Mariupol is in the Donetsk region of Ukraine and for years lay immediately west of the line of contact between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

The city has been under siege by Russian forces. A Saturday cease-fire that could have established a humanitarian corridor failed to materialize.

"It is imperative that this humanitarian corridor, which could have been created today but which has not really been put in place following non-respect of the ceasefire, is put in place very quickly to allow the civilian population, women and children, to get out of this city," MSF Ukraine coordinator Laurent Ligozat told the AFP news agency.

Ukraine Foreign Minister: 10,000 Russian troops killed, hundreds of vehicles destroyed

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday that more than 10,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine.

The same assertion had previously been made by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"Russians keep bearing devastating losses on the ground, and I cannot understand how mothers, wives and daughters of these Russian soldiers bear this pain, seeing how President Putin sends more and more of their beloved ones to Ukraine," Kuleba said.

The Russian military claimed a substantially lower death toll of 498 on Wednesday.

Kuleba also said in a video message released by the Ukrainian government that Russia had lost dozens of aircraft and hundreds of armored vehicles.

Shell vows to spend profits from Russian oil on aid for Ukraine

Shell said it would use profits from Russian oil it bought to "alleviate the terrible consequences that this war is having on the people of Ukraine." 

The company vowed to work with aid and humanitarian agencies to determine where the money should go.

At the same time, Shell admitted it continued to buy some products from Russia to supply the needs of its refineries and chemical plants.

"Cargoes from alternative sources would not have arrived in time to avoid disruptions to market supply," Shell said in a statement.

Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba lashed out at the energy giant for continuing to do business with Russia.

"One question to Shell: doesn't Russian oil smell (like) Ukrainian blood for you?'' Kuleba said on Twitter. "I call on all conscious people around the globe to demand multinational companies to cut all business ties with Russia."

Shell said it will "choose alternatives to Russian oil, wherever possible, but this cannot happen overnight."

These purchases are necessary, "to keep Europe moving and in business," Shell said.

Zelenskyy asks US lawmakers to 'close the skies or give us planes'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged US lawmakers to support a no-fly zone over his country, suspend credit card access, and ban the purchase of Russian oil.

Over Zoom, Zelenskyy made a "desperate plea" to nearly 300 US congressional lawmakers to help his country get more planes.

Zelenskyy told senators he needed planes and drones more than other security tools. 

His message was simple: "close the skies or give us planes," Senator Ben Sasse said. 

Senator Lindsey Graham underscored that NATO countries had such warplanes. "So let's get them the planes and drones they need," Graham said in a video posted on Twitter. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "Congress was working on a $10 billion (€9.14 billion) aid package.

"We will get that assistance of over $10 billion in economic, humanitarian and security assistance to the Ukrainian people quickly," Schumer asserted.

Israel's Bennett meets Putin in Moscow

Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, offering to mediate the conflict in Ukraine.

An Israeli official said the Kremlin talks lasted three hours.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies they were "discussing the situation in Ukraine."

No further details were released, but Bennett's office said he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after his talks with Putin.

Bennett left Moscow for Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, days after their meeting in Israel. The two leaders are expected to meet later on Saturday evening, according to DW sources, with a press release likely to follow. 

Israel maintains good relations with both Russia and Ukraine.

Watch video 06:58

Israeli Prime Minister Bennett in Moscow for talks – DW's Tania Krämer

Americans urged to leave Russia 'immediately'

The US warned Americans in Russia to "depart immediately." 

"If you plan to stay in Russia, understand the US Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist US citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may change suddenly," the State Department warned on its website.

The agency also advised its people not to travel to Russia, citing "the potential for harassment against US citizens by Russian government security officials."

Russia, Ukraine to hold third round of talks on Monday

Representatives from Ukraine and Russia will meet on Monday for a third round of talks, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on Facebook.

Ukraine said on Saturday that the first two rounds of talks had not produced results but would keep pursuing negotiations.

On Thursday, the sides agreed to open humanitarian corridors to allow civilians out of some combat zones. The planned civilian evacuations from Mariupol and Volnovakha, however, failed as both sides accused each other of ceasefire violations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requests for NATO's assistance were not helping talks.

He said Moscow was ready for a third round.

Russia says cease-fire in Mariupol, Volnovakha ends

Russia said it is resuming its attacks on the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha after a temporary cease-fire.

Moscow accused Ukraine of breaking the cease-fire deal for the two cities. 

Russia announced the cease-fire earlier in the day, with Ukraine claiming that Russian shelling has not stopped. 

Ukrainian authorities said thousands of civilians remained trapped in the two southern cities.

Authorities in Mariupol asked people to return to their homes

"For security reasons, the evacuation is therefore postponed," they said on Telegram, adding that negotiations continued with Russia on how to "ensure a safe humanitarian corridor."

Russia's accused Ukrainian "nationalists" of preventing civilians from leaving.

Britain said the proposed ceasefire was probably an attempt to deflect international condemnation while giving itself a chance to reset its forces for a renewed offensive. 

"By accusing Ukraine of breaking the agreement, Russia is likely seeking to shift responsibility for current and future civilian casualties in the city," the British defense ministry wrote on Twitter.

Red Cross offers to help civilians fleeing from Mariupol and Volnovakha

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it was trying to ensure the safe passages of civilians from Ukraine's southern cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha. 

Ukrainian officials accused Russia of breaching a ceasefire to allow civilians to flee from the cities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine forces of sabotaging the effort. He claimed the actions of Ukraine's leadership called into question the future of the country's statehood.

"If this happens, it will be entirely on their conscience,'' he said.

"Regardless of whether humanitarian corridors are implemented in the coming days, parties must continue to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure under international humanitarian law bot for those who choose to leave and those who remain," the ICRC said.

The organization offered to help facilitate the safe passage of people.

"Any initiative from the parties that gives civilians a respite from the violence and allows them to voluntarily leave for safer areas is welcome," it said.

Italy's TV RAI suspends reporting in Russia

Italy's public broadcaster RAI is suspending its operations in Russia,

RAI said it was necessary to "safeguard the safety of its journalists in the place as well as the maximum freedom of information about the country."

Several international news organizations, including CNN and Bloomberg, have also suspended their operations after President Vladimir Putin signed a law that punishes the spreading of "fake news" with jail terms of up to 15 years.

A number of international news websites, including DW, the BBC and Meduza, are no longer accessible in Russia. On Friday, Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor said access to the websites had been "limited."

US top diplomat Blinken meets refugees in Poland

During a diplomatic trip to Poland, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited a refugee center and met people fleeing the war in Ukraine. 

Some 3,000 people are currently staying in a former shopping mall in Korczowa, close to the Ukrainian border.

A 48-year-old woman from the Ukrainian town of Kropyvnytskyi said she reached Poland by a bus with her four adopted children and was hoping to reach her brother in Germany. Her home town is 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) from the refugee center. The woman's husband stayed behind.

"There they bombed planes at the airport," she was quoted as saying by the AP news agency. "Of course we were afraid."

The people housed in Korczowa are but a fraction of over 750,000 refugees who have reached Poland, with hundreds of thousands more fleeing to other countries.

UN confirms at least 351 civilians killed in Ukraine

The United Nations says at least 351 civilians have been killed and 707 injured in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

It believes the actual numbers were probably "considerably higher," but the UN only reports casualties it has confirmed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says information from some places where there was intense fighting over the last few days was delayed, and many reports were being corroborated.

Ukrainian officials claim many more civilians have died in the conflict.

Watch video 26:00

Ukraine-Russia war: A week that shook the world

UK says its citizens should 'consider leaving' Russia

UK officials advise against "all travel to the whole of Russia" in light of economic volatility and air traffic disruptions triggered by the Ukraine invasion.

The also urged British nationals already in Russia to "consider leaving by remaining commercial routes" if their presence is not essential.

"If you are in Russia, you should be aware that it may not be possible to fly directly to the UK, or via EU countries, and should amend any travel plans accordingly," the UK Foreign Office said on their website. "Connecting flights, largely via the Middle East and Turkey are operational for travel from Russia to the UK and other destinations."

The US issued a similar travel advisory last week with France following suit two days ago.

Germany to build a LNG terminal to reduce reliance on Russia

The German government is funding a terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), officials said on Saturday, as the war in Ukraine has the EU's largest economy reconsider its energy dependence on Moscow.

Currently, Germany has no LNG terminals and imports around 55% of its gas via pipelines from Russia.

The LNG terminal will be located in Brunsbüttel in northwest Germany, where the river Elbe flows into the North Sea. The authorities hope to eventually repurpose it for import of hydrogen, a sustainable energy source.

Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck restated Germany's position that gas would serve to bridge the gap to sustainable energy.  

"And it is also necessary to reduce the dependency on imports from Russia, this is urgent at least since Russia's attack on Ukraine," he said in a statement.

Turkey's Erdogan will urge Putin to stop the Ukraine war 'immediately'

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to speak with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Sunday, and will call on the Russian president to "end this war immediately."

"The president will convey to him the message that we have repeated from the start: end this war immediately, give the ceasefire and negotiations a chance, establish a humanitarian corridor and carry out evacuations," Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told the NTV broadcaster.

Erdogan will also try to facilitate talks between Russia and Ukraine "at the leaders' level" in Turkey. 

Separately, Erdogan told EU Council President Charles Michel that NATO member Turkey would continue all its efforts to achieve peace.

Putin: Russia will see no-fly zone over Ukraine as joining conflict

Russia's President Vladimir Putin warned against Kyiv's plea for NATO to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. NATO has already rejected the idea on Friday.

"Any movement in this direction [toward establishing a no-fly zone] we will see as taking part in the armed conflict by the country from whose territory originate threats for our troops," Putin said on Saturday.

"This same second we will perceive them as parties to the military conflict" regardless of organizations they may be members of, according to the Kremlin chief.

Putin also claimed that Russian forces have almost finished their task of destroying Ukraine's military infrastructure. 

The military leadership was targeting "arms depots, munitions depots, airforce, air defense systems," he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "That work is practically completed."

He praised the course of military action as "absolutely right," saying that simply reinforcing pro-Russian separatists on the previously existing frontlines would have been counterproductive.

Watch video 02:11

Ukraine: Evacuations of two besieged cities delayed

The comments come as many Western observers deem the Russian offensive to be delayed or stalled due to heavy resistance and logistical failures.

But Putin said he had no doubt that the Russian military would fulfill all of its goals.

"This is clear from the entire process of the operation," he said. "It is following the plan, the chart."

The Russian president rejected allegations that he was going to impose martial law, saying it wasn't necessary at the moment. He described Western sanctions as a "declaration of war."

German public broadcasters stop reporting from Russia

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have joined other non-Russian media outlets including BBC News and Bloomberg News in suspending reporting from Russia.

The move comes after Russia passed new legislation that foresees jail terms for anyone, including foreigners, if found publishing "false information" about the military.

Russian media have been instructed to take information only from official sources, which refer to Moscow's ongoing invasion of Ukraine as a "special mission." 

Watch video 07:00

Can people in Russia still get uncensored information about the war? DW's Konstantin Eggert

Russia's Aeroflot halting international flights

Russia's flagship carrier Aeroflot has said it will stop all flights to other countries from March 8, with the exception of those to Belarus.

A statement on the company's website cited new "circumstances that impede the operation of flights."

The move comes amid massive Western sanctions over Moscow's invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Earlier, Russia's aviation agency, Rosaviatsiya, advised all Russian airlines with foreign-leased planes to halt all flights abroad.

It said there was a high risk of such planes being impounded amid Western sanctions that ban leasing of planes to Russia.

Mariupol evacuation delayed amid alleged cease-fire violations

The Mariupol city council has halted the evacuation of its citizens through a humanitarian corridor, alleging that Russian troops are violating a cease-fire meant to allow civilians to leave the city within a five-hour window.

"Due to the fact that the Russian side does not adhere to the cease-fire and has continued shelling both of Mariupol itself and its environs and for security reasons, the evacuation of the civilian population has been postponed," city officials said in a statement on social media.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a televised broadcast that Russia was not observing the cease-fire.

DW correspondent Fanny Facsar, who is in the southwestern Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi, said that there had been some skepticism anyway about whether cease-fires would actually eventuate despite promises made at a second round of talks between the two sides on March 3.

Mariupol deputy mayor, Serhiy Orlov, also earlier told British broadcaster BBC: "The Russians are continuing to bomb us and use artillery. It is crazy...There is no cease-fire in Mariupol and there is no cease-fire all along the route. Our civilians are ready to escape but they cannot escape under shelling."

According to the Ukrainski Novini news agency, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier appealed to those who were capable of defending the city to stay on and "continue the fight."

"If everyone leaves, then whose city will it be?" he said.

Watch video 01:50

Ukrainian families torn apart as most men stay to fight

Meanwhile, Moscow outlet RIA Novosti carried a Russian Defense Ministry claim that Ukrainian "nationalists" were preventing civilians from leaving.

Almost 800,000 refugees from Ukraine in Poland: Border officials

The Polish Border Guard says more than 787,300 people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine have entered Poland.

In a tweet, it said 106,400 people arrived from Ukraine on Friday alone. That is the highest number since the invasion began 10 days ago, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Szefernaker.

F1 team Haas fires Russian driver Nikita Mazepin

US-based Formula One team Haas has decided to end its contract with 23-year-old Russian driver Nikita Mazepin "with immediate effect." They also gave up a sponsorship deal with Russian mining company Uralkali, where the driver's father Dmitry Mazepin works as a non-executive director.

The deal reportedly brought in some €40 million (around $47 million) to the US-based racing team per year.

"As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict," the company said.

The Mazepin family is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the young driver posting a photo of himself and his father meeting the Russian president in October 2020.

Mazepin was racing for Haas alongside Mick Schumacher, the 22-year-old son of racing legend Michael Schumacher. The Russian national has been with the team for one season but failed to register any points during the championship.

It was not immediately clear who will replace Mazepin less than two weeks before the season officially opens in Bahrain.

Ahead of the Saturday announcement, Haas had already dropped Uralkali branding from their cars. On Thursday, Formula One organizers said they had ended their contract with Russian Grand Prix organizers and would not hold races there.

EU suspends Russia, Belarus from Council of the Baltic Sea States

The European Union said it had agreed with other members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) to suspend Russia and Belarus from the council's activities.

"This decision is a part of the European Union's and like-minded partners response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the involvement of Belarus in this unprovoked and unjustified aggression," it said in a statement.

It said the suspension will "remain in force will remain in force until it is possible to resume cooperation based on respect for fundamental principles of international law."

Russia is one of the co-founders of the council, and Belarus is a CBSS observer state. The body aims to promote regional cooperation.
Besides the EU, other members of the council are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Russia says ring around Mariupol being tightened

Pro-Russian separatists are "continuing to tighten the encirclement ring around Mariupol," said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashev. 

Konashev also confirmed that the Russian forces declared a localized cease-fire was in effect in Mariupol and Volnovakha, with the humanitarian corridors and evacuation routes agreed with the Ukrainian side. 

According to the spokesman, Russian forces are "conducting advancement on a wide front" in Ukraine.

A map showing Mariupol's proximity to Crimea

Mariupol, on the Azov Sea, is a strategic port city allowing important maritime access and its capture could see Moscow's troops, coming from the annexed Crimean peninsula, connect with the forces of separatist-controlled Donbas

Ukraine says over 60,000 men returned from abroad to fight

Ukraine's defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said on Saturday that more than 60,000 Ukrainian men had returned from abroad to help defend their country against the Russian invasion.

He said their return enabled the formation of 12 more combat brigades.

Poland’s Border Guard said last Sunday that some 22,000 people had crossed into Ukraine since the preceding Thursday, when Russia invaded the country.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the first of 16,000 foreign fighters were making their way to Ukraine "to protect freedom and life for us, and for all." That number has not been independently verified.

Russian, Ukrainian forces cease fire for humanitarian corridors

Starting 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700 UTC), Russian troops will stop firing to allow humanitarian corridors out of the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha in the eastern Donetsk region, the Russian Defense Ministry said. 

The mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boychenko, has said the evacuation of civilians will begin at 0900 UTC, with Russia's RIA news agency citing city authorities as saying the corridor will be open for five hours.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators had agreed to set up humanitarian corridors in parts of Ukraine badly hit by fighting. Another round of talks is expected this weekend.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian negotiator and adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said "humanitarian evacuation corridors are being prepared for opening." 

"The parties temporarily ceased fire in the area of ​​the corridors," he added. 

The southeastern port city of Mariupol, home to around 450,000 people, has been encircled and under Russian fire for days. Its mayor said there was no more running water, electricity or heating.

According to RIA, Russia's Defense Ministry said its troops will nonetheless continue a "broad offensive" in Ukraine. 

Watch video 02:31

Ukrainian cities come under increasing attack

PayPal shuts down services in Russia

The online payments company Paypal PayPal Holdings Inc. on Saturday joined many other financial and tech companies in suspending operations in Russia over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Reuters news agency reported.

The company's president and CEO, Dan Schulman, said PayPal "stands with the international community in condemning Russia's violent military aggression in Ukraine," according to Reuters.

The company had already stopped accepting new users in Russia on Wednesday.

The move comes after Ukrainian government officials urged PayPal to drop its services in Russia and to help them raise money to support charities assisting the Ukrainian population.

PayPal said on Friday that it had succeeded in raising more than $150 million (€137 million) for such charities.

Russia working to encircle Kyiv and Kharkiv, says Ukrainian army

Russian troops are looking to encircle the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the eastern city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian armed forces have said.

Russia's offensive has entered its tenth day with aerial support and the use of high-precision weapons, a report from the Ukrainian forces said on Saturday, according to news agency dpa.

Russia also continued its attempt to reach the administrative borders of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions as it looks to create a land corridor from Russian-annexed Crimea to the separatist regions, the report added.

Elon Musk says Starlink won't block Russian news sources

Space X chief Elon Musk has said that his Starlink satellite internet provider will not block Russian news sources.

Musk claimed in a tweet that some countries, which did not include Ukraine, have told Starlink to block Russian news sources.

"We will not do so unless at gunpoint," Musk said. "Sorry to be a free speech absolutist."

The tech mogul had on Thursday warned that Starlink internet service could be targeted by a Russian attack.

Musk had also recently sent Starlink antennas to Ukraine to help civilians stay online amid the invasion.

Musk's statement comes as Russia blocked Facebook and passed a law that gave Moscow stronger powers to clamp down on independent journalism.

Journalists have also said that they were instructed by Russian authorities to only publish information based on official sources, which describe the war as a "special military operation" and claim it is intended to "liberate" Russian-speaking communities in Ukraine. 

Watch video 06:02

New law 'makes critical media impossible' in Russia: DW's Emily Sherwin

Singapore sanctions Russia

Singapore has announced sanctions against Moscow in the strongest stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine by a Southeast Asian nation so far.

The sanctions include a ban on dealing with four Russian banks and an export ban on electronics, computers and military items as a response to what Singapore said was Russia’s "dangerous precedent" in Ukraine.

It is rare for the international shipping hub to impose sanctions of its own. However, Singapore said it would not allow the export of items that could inflict harm on or subjugate Ukrainians or help Moscow launch cyber attacks.

"We cannot accept the Russian government's violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another sovereign state," Singapore's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. "For a small state like Singapore, this is not a theoretical principle, but a dangerous precedent. This is why Singapore has strongly condemned Russia's unprovoked attack."

UN Security Council to meet on humanitarian crisis

The United Nations Security Council will convene an emergency meeting on the humanitarian crisis triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, diplomats said on Friday.

Following the public session scheduled for Monday, the 15 members of the Security Council will meet behind closed doors to mull over a possible draft resolution, news agency AFP reported, citing a diplomat. 

The closed-door meeting has reportedly been proposed by Mexico and France. 

The two countries have been pressing for a draft that urges an end to hostilities in Ukraine and calls for a flow of humanitarian aid and protection of civilians.

Russia, as a permanent member with the power to veto any Security Council resolution, is extremely unlikely to allow any resolution against it to pass.  

Over 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

Attacks on Kyiv and Mariupol

Several Ukrainian cities have come under renewed assault as the war enters into its second week.

The southeastern port city of Mariupol has been encircled and shelled. Mariupol is located on the Azov Sea coast, immediately west of the previous line of contact between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces.

According to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko, the city had no water, heat or electricity and was running out of food after five days under attack. Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said Mariupol was "partially under siege."

Meanwhile, Kyiv came under renewed assault and explosions could be heard from the city center. A Russian armored column had been stalled outside the city for days.

Arestovych said battles involving airstrikes and artillery continued northwest of Kyiv.

He added that the northeastern cities of Kharkiv and Okhtyrka came under heavy fire.

Summary of events in Ukraine-Russia crisis on Friday

Russia came under heavy criticism on Friday over shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Russian troops took control of the power plant after fighting early Friday morning.  

Watch video 00:37

'The world narrowly averted nuclear catastrophe'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy slammed NATO for its decision not to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

"Knowing that new strikes and casualties are inevitable, NATO deliberately decided not to close the sky over Ukraine," Zelenskyy said in a video published by the presidency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation imposing harsh jail terms for publishing "fake news" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The move led several news organizations to reevaluate their operations in Moscow. Other international news agencies, including DW, have been blocked inside Russia along with the social media networks Facebook and Twitter. The move has serious implications for Russians' ability to access independent sources of information.

Watch video 26:02

Ukraine fighting for survival: Has Russia’s dirty war only just begun?

sdi/sms (AFP. AP. dpa, Reuters)

Audios and videos on the topic