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Ukraine: Kyiv TV tower hit, 5 reported dead

March 1, 2022

Ukraine's leader has delivered an emotional speech to the European Parliament seeking EU admission. Emergency services said 5 were killed in a strike on Kyiv's TV tower. Catch up on the latest developments.

Ukraine | Krieg | Fernsehturm in Kiew
Ukraine's Interior Ministry released images of smoke shrouding the TV tower in KyivImage: Carlos Barria/REUTERS
  • Attack on Kyiv TV tower kills 5, knocks out some programming
  • A convoy of Russian tanks, trucks, and artillery is edging toward Kyiv
  • Russian artillery kills 70 Ukrainian troops in Okhtyrka 
  • The cities of Kharkiv and Mariupol have come under heavy shelling
  • The UN has confirmed the deaths of 102 civilians, including seven children
  • Zelenskyy has delivered an emotional address to the EU parliament 

This article was last updated at 00:40 UTC/GMT.

We have now closed these live updates. Head to our new article for all the latest developments.

Baerbock: 'Russia has brutally attacked peaceful order'

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock highlighted the example of Mia, the baby girl born "in a metro station just a few days ago," as she highlighted the plight of millions of Ukrainians seeking shelter, "because of Russia launching a war of aggression."

Baerbock made the comments as she addressed the UN General Assembly in New York. For more on this, click here.

Biden says Putin underestimated West

Ahead of his scheduled State of the Union address, US President Joe Biden took aim at the Kremlin, suggesting President Vladimir Putin had underestimated the Western response to his decision to invade Ukraine.

In prepared remarks, Biden said, "Putin's war was premeditated and unprovoked."

Biden concluded that he thought Putin "could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready."

Apple pauses product sales in Russia

Apple announced it was halting all sales of its popular iPhones, computers and accessories in Russia.

In doing so, Apple becomes the latest company to announce its departure from the Russian market after Russia invaded Ukraine.

A statement from Apple said, "We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of
Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence."

Holocaust remembrance groups in Israel denounce Babyn Yar damage

Organizations in Israel dedicated to remembrance of the Holocaust condemned a Russian airstrike that damaged the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial.

The missile strike on the nearby TV tower killed five people according to Ukrainian authorities. A spokesman for the memorial said a more thorough assessment of damage would be carried out with daybreak.

In a statement, Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid denounced the incident and said Israel would repair any damage.

In a tweet, Lapid wrote, "We are calling for the preservation and respect for this sacred site."

Babyn Yar commemorates the lives of more than 33,000 Jewish people who were slaughtered by Nazi Germany in 1941.

Natan Sharansky, the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial's chairman, said. Russian President Vladimir Putin "seeks to distort and manipulate the Holocaust to justify an illegal invasion of a sovereign democratic country is utterly abhorrent."

Sharansky added, "It is symbolic that he starts attacking Kyiv by bombing the site of the Babyn Yar, the biggest of Nazi massacres.''

What's behind Russia's 'denazification' claims?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly asserted that Ukraine needs to be "denazified" — a term, which in its original context refers to the Allies' policy for Nazi Germany after World War II. DW's fact-checking team has debunked the claim, but why is Putin using it to justify the invasion?

To understand why, you have to look to Russia's past, said Emily Sherwin, DW's former Moscow correspondent, who is now in Berlin after Russia revoked media accreditation for DW employees in January.

"This 'denazification' idea is based on a very emotional past," Sherwin explained.

"The Soviet Union fought against Germany in World War II — which is known in Russia as the 'Great Patriotic War' — and that has almost become a founding myth for Russian identity … especially under Putin."

"Everyone can relate to this horrible story, of all these Soviet soldiers being killed. Almost every family has someone who was killed," Sherwin said.

"So in a way, Nazis are the perfect enemy — even in this context," she said, adding that framing the conflict in Ukraine within his emotional, historical frame "is kind of convenient now for the Russian government."

Orthodox clerics sign open letter against the war

Dozens of Orthodox clerics, though not Patriarch Kirill, have signed an open letter calling for an end to Russia's "fratricidal" invasion of Ukraine. 

Sixty Orthodox clerics signed the letter in a personal capacity. Their text included a mention of the famous biblical saying, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

The letter called "the conflicting parties to dialogue," saying: "Only the capability to hear the other can give hope to leave the abyss in which our countries have been plunged in just a few days."

The letter also said that "the final judgment awaits every person" and seemed to intimate that those involved in "murderous orders" were liable to face "eternal torment." 

"Let yourself and all of us enter the Great Lent in the spirit of faith, hope, and love. Stop the war," the letter concluded, using a popular phrase among Russians calling for a halt to the invasion.

ICJ to hold Ukraine war hearings

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced hearings for March 7 and 8 over the war in Ukraine.

In a statement, the court said, "the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings in the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)."

People of Kyiv 'ready to stand our ground,' says former minister

As Russian troops continue to bear down on Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, local citizens and government officials are prepared to defend the city, Ukraine's former Deputy Minister for European Integration told DW.

Sergiy Petukhov, who now lectures at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, said unless there is indiscriminate shelling, "we have good chances."

"It's not only the army that is opposing Putin, but it's also the people in Kyiv," he said, "We are well organized and ready to stand our ground."

Petukhov added that the people in Kyiv are "ready for whatever comes next."

He also urged for the EU to consider Ukraine's appeal for membership, as a sign of solidarity for the people in Ukraine who have taken to the streets to stop Russian troop advances.

"You could see the video footage from around the country of ordinary people going in front of stopping them. So these people need a reassurance and this clear message from Europe," Petukhov added.

France, Germany and Poland back closer EU-Ukrainian ties

At a meeting in the Polish city of Lodz, the "Weimar Triangle" nations of France, Germany and Poland said they back closer political and economic ties between Ukraine and the EU.

The three countries said they "reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union and its internal market."

On Monday, Ukraine formally applied to join the EU. However, the process is still likely to take years despite the support of some members since Russia's invasion.

Zelenskyy, Biden discuss 'defense assistance' in call

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, tweeting after the call: "The American leadership on anti-Russian sanctions and defense assistance to Ukraine was discussed. We must stop the aggressor as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!"

A White House official said the two leaders spoke for just over 30 minutes.

5 killed after Kyiv television tower hit: Interior Ministry

A Russian airstrike hit the main television tower in the heart of Kyiv, killing five and injuring five, Ukraine's State Service for Emergency Situations said.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said equipment had been damaged and "channels won't work for a while" after a blast sounded in the Babi Yar district.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko shared video of the tower being hit and said an electrical substation that powered the tower and the tower's control room were damaged in the missile strike.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, said on Facebook that a "powerful missile attack" had hit "where th Babyn Yar memorial complex is located."

Babyn Yar is Ukraine's most significant Holocaust memorial.

A blast is seen at a central TV tower in Kyiv, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine
The blast hit the steel-lattice structure of the TV tower, disrupting broadcasts before transmissions were later restoredImage: Carlos Barria/REUTERS

BMW and Volkswagen announce production shutdowns

Production of BMW and Volkswagen (VW) vehicles is shutting down due to a shortage of wiring systems from sites in Ukraine. The announcement from Volkswagen came in a letter company board members sent workers on Tuesday.

"As of today, we will not be able to manufacture in Wolfsburg," at the company's headquarters, the letter said.

Automotive parts supplier Leoni was forced to shutter two plants in Stryji and Kolomyja in Ukraine as a precautionary measure when Russia's invasion started. Up until only one week ago, 7,000 employees were at work manufacturing and delivering wiring systems.

BMW has created a crisis management team to address the problem to secure "alternative production sites and to restart production as quickly as possible," a company spokesman said.

Scholz 'condemns' Russian attacks in call with Zelenskyy

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz "strongly condemned" Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday.

Scholz informed Zelenskyy "about the status of Germany's support and the numerous demonstrations of solidarity in Germany," according to a chancellery statement.

The statement from the German government on the call came after Zelenskyy tweeted that he'd spoken with Scholz.

Zelenskyy said the two discussed the "shelling of residential neighborhoods" as well as Ukraine's appeal for a no-fly-zone over the country.

Western leaders, including NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, have already spoken out against a no-fly-zone, saying such a step would risk widening the war by putting NATO aircraft in direct conflict with Russian forces.

The Ukrainian leader also appealed for the EU to accelerate talks on the possibility of Ukraine joining the European Union.

The German government statement did not mention Ukraine's request to close airspace over Ukraine, nor Kyiv's push to urgently join the EU.

MEP David McAllister: 'We are at a watershed moment'

DW spoke to David McAllister, a Member of the European Parliament, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed a special session of the body.

In an emotional speech delivered from Kyiv, Zelenskyy described recent attacks on Ukrainian cities and accused Russia of targeting children. Zelensky also repeated his appeal for his country's immediate membership into the EU, arguing the bloc would be stronger with Ukraine in it.

"MEPs made clear that we stand in full solidarity with Ukraine in these very dark hours of our European history," McAllister told DW, noting: "Today our message was Ukraine is a European nation."

However, he saw little hope for the immediate accession Kyiv is seeking, describing joining the EU as a "medium and long term" process.

"Article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union is very clear. Any country in Europe, which adheres to our values can apply to join our European Union. Of course, this is a medium and long term process because in the end, a country has to go through the accession negotiations and in the end has to fulfill all the very ambitious judicial, financial, economic and political criteria."

He added, "Ukraine wants to join the European Union, and we are standing in solidarity with Ukraine because Ukrainians are not only fighting for democracy, the rule of law and their own liberty, but also fighting for European values which are under attack now in Kyiv."

"We are at a watershed moment," McAllister said, adding that this was why "the European Union has taken this decision to support Ukraine in its heroic fight against Russian aggression."

One step he noted was that "just two weeks ago, we adopted a new micro financial assistance package of €1.2 billion. In total, we have now supported Ukraine with €17 billion."

McAllister is a longstanding senior MEP for Germany's conservative CDU/CSU, and was state premier of Lower Saxony before heading to Brussels. He was born in West Berlin to a Scottish father and German mother.

Estonia chief urges tougher Baltic defenses

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told a news conference on Tuesday that NATO must improve its defenses of the Baltic states.

Kallas said that, as the most vulnerable part of the military alliance, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania needed to see imminent action.

"This includes, on land, establishing a permanent, increased forward presence. In the air, establishing a credible defense posture."

"And a sense of urgency in developing NATO's upgraded defense plan," Kallas said, after meeting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

G7 considers further measures against Russia

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner says he and G7 colleagues have mulled further measures to sanction Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Sanctions have "already had a massive impact on capital markets and the currency," said Lindner, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the G7.

G7 finance ministers at the meeting in Berlin "exchanged suggestions for further measures that could be taken," Lindner told a press conference.

"We are focusing on maximizing the damage to the Russian economy, Vladimir Putin's supporters and the Russian capital markets," Lindner said.

"The ruble is in free fall, Vladimir Putin's war chest has been hit hard," Lindner said. "In all measures, we want to have an impact on Russia's ability to fight this war."

Chechnya leader admits losses on Russian side

Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Russia's Chechnya Republic, says two Chechens have been killed and six injured in the invasion of Ukraine.

Kadyrov, a former rebel who became an ally of the Kremlin, sent fighters to Ukraine after giving his backing for President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine.

"Unfortunately, there are already losses among the natives of the Chechen Republic," said Kadyrov, who governs Chechnya as his own fiefdom.

More generally, the Russian Defense Ministry admitted on Monday that it had suffered losses but didn't give any numbers.

EU readies for millions of refugees

The EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Tuesday says the bloc must prepare for "millions" more refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Johansson said she hoped the European Council would activate the temporary protection directive on Thursday.

The directive was drawn up after the 1990s war in the Balkans, but never used so far.

It is designed to deal with mass arrivals of displaced persons in the EU, and provides for the same level of protection, for 1 to 3 years, in all EU states.

The includes a residence permit and access to employment and social welfare.

Johansson also said the EU's external border and coastguard agency Frontex would be deployed to secure parts of the border that are overwhelmed from Ukranian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion.

At present, some 400,000 have passed into the bloc.

A map showing potential refugee routes from Ukraine
Hundreds of thousands of people have already fled Ukraine, with millions expected to flee in the coming months

Italy to move embassy from Kyiv to Lviv

Italy's Foreign Ministry has announced that it will be moving its embassy in Kyiv to the western city of Lviv as the situation in the capital becomes increasingly uncertain.

"Owing to the deterioration of the security situation in Kyiv, and the consequent impossibility of guaranteeing full functionality, the Italian embassy in Kyiv is being transferred to Lviv," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Rome's decision follows several other countries, such as Israel, Australia, and Canada, completely moving their diplomatic corps to Lviv.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that all embassy staff, as well as other Italian nationals living in Kyiv, had moved to the ambassador’s residence temporarily. Most of them were expected to leave the city today.

In a speech to the Senate in Rome, Draghi said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had underestimated Europe.

"Perhaps Putin had thought us impotent, divided or intoxicated by our wealth. He was wrong. We were and are ready to respond and fight back," he said.

The prime minister praised Europe's "prompt, consistent, quick" and "united" response to the invasion of Ukraine, saying that the bloc was not trying to expand its influence but rather "defend our values."

Adidas cuts ties with Russian Football Federation

German sports apparel giant Adidas said it has suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Federation. 

"Adidas is suspending its partnership with the Russian Football Federation (RFS) with immediate effect," a company spokesman said. 

Meanwhile, several German domestic sports leagues, including the football Bundesliga, confirmed that individual players from Russia and Belarus playing their trade in Germany will not face suspensions as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine. 

While Handball's continental governing body excluded Russian and Belarusian clubs from international competitions, Germany's domestic HBL will not impose sanctions on players at German teams. Russian ice hockey players in the DEL will also be permitted to play, a spokesperson said.  

Russia says sanctions will not 'change our position'

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Western sanctions will not change the course of the war. "They probably think that they can force us to change our position with sanctions," the Interfax news agency quoted Peskov as saying. 

"It is obvious that there is no question of that, no one will change their position," said Peskov, who has also personally been hit with sanctions. "We have no assets in the West, we have no accounts in the West, punish us," Peskov said. 

Russia's top security official, Dmitry Medvedev, shot back at French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire promising to wage an economic and financial war against Russia. 

"Watch your tongue, gentlemen! And don't forget that in human history, economic wars quite often turned into real ones," Medvedev, a former Russian president, wrote in French on his Twitter account. 

Germany: Russia must end Ukraine 'bloodshed'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday that Russia must immediately withdraw its troops and end the "bloodshed" in Ukraine.

He also warned that Moscow could face more sanctions if it continued its invasion.

"We will certainly add more to the packages [of sanctions] that we have decided so far," he told reporters in Berlin, adding that "Ukraine is literally fighting for survival."

Russia should "immediately stop all hostilities, withdraw Russian troops to Russia and return to dialogue," Scholz said.

German former chancellor Schröder's staff quit

The entire staff of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's office at the chancellery have quit, while the retired statesman faces criticism for ties to Russian businesses.

Staffer Albrecht Funk told Reuters that he and three other employees at Schröder's office had asked to be reassigned to other jobs in the chancellery. According to Reuters, Funk declined to comment on the reason for the request.

Schröder, of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), took several jobs at Russian energy companies after leaving office in 2005.

SPD leaders and former French prime minister Francois Fillon urged Schröder to give up his Russian posts over the weekend. The SPD is the senior party in Germany's ruling coalition.

Schröder criticized Russia's invasion on Thursday, while also saying that mistakes had been made "on both sides."

Indian student killed in Kharkiv shelling

India's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that an Indian student was killed by shelling in Kharkiv, as Delhi stepped up demands for safe passage to evacuate thousands of its nationals from Ukraine.  

Roughly a quarter of the 76,000 foreign students in Ukraine are from India, by far the largest number of any nation, according to Ukrainian government data. 

The Indian government has sent four ministers to countries neighboring Ukraine to assist in the rescue efforts of the students.

So far, 4,000 Indians have been evacuated, but 16,000 remain trapped since the invasion, the Foreign Ministry said. 

European Council head says Russia chose 'geopolitical terrorism'

European Council President Charles Michel, mixing French and English in a speech to EU parliamentarians, demanded that Russia "stop the war, go home."

"Once again, blood and war are on the soil of Europe," he said, adding that Putin "did it for only one reason," he said. "You, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, you the people of Ukraine, in Maidan, you made the choice of democracy."

Michel said Russia's choice, in response, was one of "geopolitical terrorism pure and simple."

'We have proven our strengths,' Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the European Parliament in an emotional message, explaining that he was doing so amid a break in missile strikes.

The president outlined his belief that Ukraine deserved to be part of the EU and had shown so in its fight for survival and to be "equal" members of Europe.

"I believe that we, today, we're giving lives for the desire to be equal, as much as you are. We are giving away our best people."

"Nobody is going to break us. We are strong. We are Ukrainian," Zelenskyy added. "We have proven our strengths. We have proven that as a minimum we are exactly the same as you are."

"Prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you indeed are Europeans."

Zelenskyy delivers impassioned speech to EU Parliament

European Parliament chief condemns 'Putin's war' 

Ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address, European Parliament chief Roberta Metsola said she condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine "in the strongest possible states."

"We are here in the dark shadow of Putin's war, a war we did not provoke. A war we did not start. An invasion of a sovereign independent state."

She said the EU would support war crimes investigations against both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Metsola also underlined the EU's sanctions against Russia and said: "This must be our whatever it takes moment."

Kyiv resident: 'Ukraine fights alone'

Ukraine president to address European lawmakers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is about to make a virtual address to a special sitting of the European Parliament.

Zelenskyy is urging the bloc to immediately accept his country amid Russia's onslaught, saying he is convinced Ukraine had earned the right to be admitted.

Kyiv's push to be accepted comes on the sixth day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and amid rising concerns about civilian casualties.

Parliament chief Roberta Metsola tweeted that Zelenskyy would "join and speak to the world" when EU lawmakers debate the war.

The presidents of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia on Monday all signed an open letter calling for Ukraine to receive EU candidate status.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday also backed the membership plea for Ukraine, as well as Moldova, Hungary and Georgia.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has spoken in favor of Ukraine joining the EU, but the decision must be taken unanimously by all EU member states rather than the executive arm in Brussels.

However, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday cautioned against a hasty accession of Ukraine.

"EU accession is not something that can be achieved in a few months," Baerbock said, while emphasizing that Ukraine is "part of the house of Europe."

NATO urges Russia to withdraw its forces

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine on Tuesday.

"The Russian assault is totally unacceptable and it is enabled by Belarus," Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg added that NATO would not send troops or combat jets to support Ukraine.

"NATO is a defensive alliance, we do not seek conflict with Russia," Stoltenberg said. "Russia must immediately stop the war, pull all its forces from Ukraine and engage in good faith in diplomatic efforts."

Italy's Draghi calls for action against Russian oligarchs

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi urged tougher action against Russian oligarchs on Tuesday, adding that more pressure should be exerted on Russia's Central Bank.

Draghi said in a Senate address that Italy is "ready for further restrictive measures, should they be necessary."

"In particular, I have proposed to take further targeted measures against oligarchs," Draghi said.

"The idea is to create an international public register of those with assets of more than €10 million."

Draghi said that the international community should "intensify further the pressure on Russia's Central Bank" and urged the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to participate in sanctions.

South Korea announces sanctions on Russian banks

South Korea announced sanctions on a number of Russian banks on Tuesday.

The country's Finance Ministry said it would suspend financial transactions with seven major Russian banks — Sberbank, VEB, PSB, VTB, Otrkitie, Sovcom and Novikom. This would include subsidiaries subject to US sanctions.

On Monday, South Korea said it would tighten export controls on Russia and ban shipments of strategic items that may include electronics, semiconductors and computers.

Refugee numbers 'exponentially increasing,' says UN

More than 660,000 refugees have fled the conflict in Ukraine for neighboring countries since Russia invaded six days ago, the UN Refugee Agency said Tuesday.

"The numbers are exponentially increasing," spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo told reporters in Geneva. "At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe's largest refugee crisis this century."

She said there were reports of people waiting for up to 60 hours to enter Poland. Queues of people waiting at the Romanian border were 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) long, she said.

Ukrainian refugees arrive in Poland

Maersk to stop taking new orders to and from Russia

Danish shipping firm Maersk said on Tuesday that it would stop taking new nonessential orders to and from Russia.

"Bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with exception of Foodstuffs, Medical and Humanitarian supplies", Maersk said.

Maersk added that it would attempt to honor bookings placed before the imposition of Western sanctions against Russia.

"We will keep monitoring the situation and reviewing impacts from sanctions to return our offering in Russia back to normal as soon as we are able to ensure stability and safety of our operations via Russian seaports," the company said.

TotalEnergies to cease financing projects in Russia

French energy giant TotalEnergies announced on Tuesday that it will no longer finance new projects in Russia. It added that it has not withdrawn from current projects.

"TotalEnergies supports the scope and strength of the sanctions put in place by Europe and will implement them regardless of the consequences (currently being assessed) on its activities in Russia," TotalEnergies said in a statement.

Russia's Lavrov: Ukraine still has 'Soviet nuclear technology'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov alleged on Tuesday that Ukraine still has Soviet nuclear technology, adding that Russia must respond to this danger, Russian news outlet RIA novosti reported.

Lavrov urged Western countries not to build military facilities in the territory of the former Soviet Union, adding that US nuclear weapons in Europe should be returned home.

Lavrov added that Russia is ready to engage in work with the United States over joint stability, while accusing the European Union of opting for the path of sanctions rather than dialogue with Russia.

Lavrov added that Moscow is taking all possible measures to prevent the appearance of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The foreign minister's comments were part of a pre-recorded address to a disarmament meeting in Geneva. However, only a few people were there to hear him speak since many diplomats, including France and Britain, staged a walk-out to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

UK adds Sberbank to sanctions list

Britain's Treasury said on Tuesday that it was adding banking firm Sberbank to its list of sanctioned Russian entities.

The move comes after the UK government said on Monday that it would freeze the UK assets of all Russian banks.

The company had earlier been sanctioned by the European Union. The European Central Bank said on Monday that the company was facing "bankruptcy or probable bankruptcy."

As of late February, Sberbank held around one-third of total Russian bank assets.

SWIFT ban to have 'material impact' on Russia

Port of Mariupol holds out, loses power

The southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea has been left without electricity following attacks from advancing Russian forces, the head of the region Pavlo Kyrylenko said Tuesday.

Along with the smaller city of Volnovakha, Mariupol lies between territory held by Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula that was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Mariupol, a port city of between 400,000 and 500,000 people, has been under attack since Russia launched its invasion last week. Volnovakha, meanwhile, has a population of some 20,000.

"Mariupol and Volnovakha are ours!" Kyrylenko wrote on Facebook. "The two cities are under pressure from the enemy but they are holding on. In Mariupol, electricity lines have been cut and the city is without power."

The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, has said he hopes troops fighting on Moscow's behalf can encircle the city today (Tuesday). 

Munich mayor sacks philharmonic conductor

Munich's mayor, Dieter Reiter, has sacked the chief conductor of the city's philharmonic orchestra, Valery Gergiev, after he did not condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Reiter had given Gergiev a deadline of Monday to denounce Russia's actions. Reiter said on Tuesday that Gergiev had made no such statement.

In 2014, Gergiev signed an artists' petition backing the Russian annexation of Crimea.

German foreign minister urges EU unity

Ahead of talks with her French and Polish counterparts, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for EU-wide unity when it comes to Russia's war in Ukraine. 

"Our unity has become a question of survival for Europe, has become a question of survival today," she said.

"If our three countries pull together — as they are doing now in their Ukraine support — Europe pulls together," she added, referring to the three countries, which comprise the so-called Weimar Triangle. 

Ukrainians seek refuge in Poland

France: Russian economy will collapse under sanctions

France said on Tuesday that sanctions against Russia will cause the Russian economy to collapse.

"We will bring about the collapse of the Russian economy," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the Franceinfo broadcaster. He spoke a day after a new round of sanctions was announced by France and the EU.

"The economic and financial balance of power is totally in favor of the European Union which is in the process of discovering its own economic power," he added.

"We are waging total economic and financial war on Russia."

Hungary's Orban: no transit for weapons deliveries to Ukraine

Hungarian President Viktor Orban said that Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine will not be allowed to transit across Hungary.

"We have decided that we won't allow any such deliveries," Orban said in a statement distributed by the Hungarian news agency MTI.

Orban said that the security of Ukraine's ethnic Hungarian minority would be endangered by allowing the shipments. There are around 100,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine's southwestern Zakarpattia region.

"It's in the interests of the Hungarian people that Hungary stay out of this war," said Orban.

YouTube blocks RT and Sputnik across Europe

Video-sharing platform YouTube has blocked the Russian channels RT and Sputnik in Europe "taking into account the ongoing war in Ukraine."

"We are blocking the YouTube channels of RT and Sputnik in the whole of Europe with immediate effect," the company said. 

"Our systems need a little time before being fully operational," YouTube added.

The actions come after Facebook parent company Meta on Monday said it would restrict access to television network RT and Sputnik.

Twitter Inc has also said that it will reduce the visibility of Russian state-controlled media tweets and label them accordingly. 

Russian troops shell Kharkiv's central square

Advancing Russian forces Tuesday shelled the central square of Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, regional governor Oleg Sinegubov said.

The attack hit the building of the local administration, he said. "This morning the central square of our city and the headquarters of the Kharkiv administration was criminally attacked," Sinegubov said in a video.

"Russian occupiers continue to use heavy weaponry against the civilian population," he said, adding that the number of victims was not yet known.

Russia launched GRAD and cruise missiles on Kharkiv, said Sinegubov, who added that the city's defenses were holding.

"Such attacks are genocide of the Ukrainian people, a war crime against the civilian population!" he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pressed for more international sanctions against Russia after what he said was a "barbaric" attack. "Barbaric Russian missile strikes on the central Freedom Square and residential districts of Kharkiv."

"Putin is unable to break Ukraine down. He commits more war crimes out of fury, murders innocent civilians," Kuleba said.

UK suggests trying Putin for war crimes

The UK government said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin could face prosecution for war crimes.

British justice secretary Dominic Raab said during an interview for BBC that for Putin, as well as for Russian generals and soldiers, "there's a very real risk that they'll end up in the dock of a court in The Hague."

"If and when the [International Criminal Court] decides to take action, I'm sure the UK and allies will want to support them practically, logistically."

Raab said that Britain and its allies would wait as long as it takes to bring any violators to court.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv said that Russian shelling had destroyed a school. At least 11 civilians died in the attack, according to Kharkiv's mayor.

Additionally, Amnesty International reported on Sunday that cluster munitions had two days earlier hit a preschool in the northeastern Ukrainian town of Okhtyrka, killing three civilians, including one child. Amnesty said that the attack "[appeared] to have been carried out by Russian forces."

350,000 refugees have entered Poland: deputy minister

Around 350,000 refugees have entered Poland from Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik said on Tuesday.

"Over the last 24 hours, 100,000 people crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border," Wasik told public broadcaster Polskie Radio 1, as cited by Reuters.

"In total, since Thursday, there have already been 350,000 refugees."

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the number of people fleeing the war in Ukraine has risen to over half a million.

Meanwhile, a Polish government spokesperson said that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki would discuss support for Ukraine's accession to the European Union in Brussels on Tuesday.

Morawiecki will discuss the topic with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

UK Defense Ministry: Russian advance on Kyiv made 'little progress'

Britain's Ministry of Defense said in a Tuesday intelligence update that the Russian advance on Kyiv had made "little progress" over the past 24 hours.

The ministry cited "logistical difficulties" as the reason for the lack of progress made by Russian forces.

According to the update, Russian forces have "increased their use of artillery" north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and in the vicinities of the northeastern city of Kharkiv and northern city of Chernihiv.

The ministry added that "Russia has failed to gain control of the airspace over Ukraine," prompting it to engage in night operations as a way to reduce losses.

Turkey's Erdagon speaks with Belarus' Lukashenko

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's office said early on Tuesday that he had spoken with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko over the phone.

Erdogan and Lukashenko discussed cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine, Erdogan's office said.

Erdogan's office told Lukashenko that Turkey will continue to make efforts to stop the war.

Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey would not abandon its ties with Russia or Ukraine. He added that Ankara would implement provisions of an international pact which allow Turkey to block the passage of warships through straits in Turkish waters leading to the Black Sea.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits. On Sunday, Turkey called Russia's invasion a war, allowing it to invoke the convention and block the straits to warships.

Turkey had previously offered to mediate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two countries with which it shares maritime borders.

70 Ukrainian troops killed in Okhtyrka

More than 70 Ukrainian troops were killed when Russian troops shelled a military base in the town of Okhtyrka, regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said on Facebook.

Okhtyrka is located between Kyiv and Kharkiv in Ukraine's northeastern Sumy region, which borders Russia.

Zhyvytskyy also posted photographs showing the charred shell of a four-story building and rescuers searching rubble.

Mastercard blocks financial institutions

Mastercard Inc. said late on Monday that it had blocked multiple financial institutions from its payment network as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia.

Mastercard said in a statement that it would continue to work with regulators in the coming days. The company also promised to contribute $2 million (€1.8 million) for humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

Visa also said in a statement that it was taking action to ensure compliance with sanctions.

Hollywood companies 'pause' releases in Russia

US Film company Warner Bros said it will be halting the release of "The Batman" in Russia.

A spokesman for the studio said it was due to the "humanitarian crisis in Ukraine."

On Monday, Walt Disney Co. said it was "pausing" the release of films in Russia, citing the "unprovoked invasion" as the reason.

Sony followed suit, saying it would delay its release of the comic book film "Morbius'' in Russia.

Australia commits millions in ammo and hardware

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided more detail on the plan to provide Ukraine with funds.

Canberra has committed $50 million (€44.6 million) to provide both lethal and non-lethal defensive support to Kyiv. Morrison said most of the support "will be in the lethal category."

Convoy of military vehicles longer than initially thought

A massive Russian military convoy consisting of hundreds of tanks, trucks, towed artillery pieces and support vehicles has been pictured slowly making its way toward Kyiv. 

Satellite images provided by the US company Maxar Technologies show the convoy spanning a distance of about 40 miles (65 kilometers). The Ukrainian news agency UNIAN also reported the same length early on Tuesday.

The convoy, which is longer than previously thought, is inching slowly toward the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

Up until now, Ukrainian forces have managed to slow the Russian invasion, but it is unclear just how long they will be to fend off the Russian push for the capital.

A satellite image showing part of a Russian convoy north west of Kyiv, Ukraine
This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the northern end of a convoy northwest of KyivImage: Maxar /AP/picture alliance

UN confirms more than 100 civilian casualties

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has confirmed the deaths of 102 civilians, including seven children, since the Russian invasion began on Thursday. Hundreds more had been injured, and the figures provided were likely to be undercounted. 

Residents of Kyiv who have remained in the city have hunkered down in the subway stations. 

Summary of events in Ukraine-Russia crisis on Monday

Russia and Ukraine broke off peace talks Monday, which were held on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border. A follow-on round will take place in the coming days.

Ukraine had demanded an immediate Russian cease-fire and troop withdrawal as its delegation arrived in Belarus for talks with Russian negotiators.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a formal request for his country to join the European Union as EU leaders said they might discuss the possibility of Ukraine joining the 27-nation bloc at an informal summit in March.

The UN said that more than 500,000 people had fled the country and were seeking safety in neighboring countries.

The US ordered 12 members of Russia's diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York to be expelled, mandating their departures by March 7, said Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya.

Sanctions have taken a toll on Russia's economy, with the Central Bank announcing that it will raise its key interest rate to an unprecedented 20%, up from 9.5%, in the face of new sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. 

The Russian ruble plunged almost 30% against the dollar.

On Monday, hundreds of anti-war protesters were arrested in both Russia and Belarus, according to human rights watchdogs.

kb, rs, ar/msh, jsi (AP, Reuters, dpa, AFP)