Ukraine′s Zelenskyy pressures Israel for air-defense systems — as it happened | News | DW | 20.03.2022

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Ukraine's Zelenskyy pressures Israel for air-defense systems — as it happened

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the Knesset why Israel would not supply air-defense. Meanwhile, Mariupol's city council said Russia bombed a school where 400 civilians were sheltering.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Zelenskyy made the appeal during an address to Israeli lawmakers

  • Zelenskyy addresses Knesset, compares Russian invasion to actions of Nazi Germany
  • Mariupol city council says residents forcibly evacuated to Russia
  • UNHCR says war displaced 10 million people
  • Turkey says Russia, Ukraine 'close to agreement'
  • Russia says it fired more hypersonic missiles

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

Ukraine refuses to surrender Mariupol — report

Local media in Ukraine has reported that Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says there will be no surrender of the port city of Mariupol after Russia earlier called for Ukrainians to lay down their arms.

News agency Ukrainska Pravda cited Vereshchuck as saying: "There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms."

This was in response to Russia's demands for Ukrainian forces to lay down their weapons in the eastern city.

"We have already informed the Russian side about this," Vereshchuck is reported to have said.

Kyiv mayor reports blasts in historic neighborhood

The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, says there have been a number of explosions in the Podilskyi district of the capital city.

Klitschko posted a photo on Twitter showing fires burning and a road strewn with debris.

The mayor said emergency personnel were on site and that a large fire at a shopping center was being extinguished.

German police union says refugee numbers are higher than reported

The German Police Union says the number of people who have arrived in Germany having fled the war in Ukraine is far higher than the 210,000 war refugees officially registered.

Speaking to news channel Bild TV on Sunday, the trade union's deputy chair Manuel Ostermann said official numbers were low.

"We assume that the number of unreported cases is many times higher than that," Ostermann said, pointing out that there were no controls at the border.

Ostermann also said the time it took to register people at local municipalities meant a time delay in reporting those figures.

The trade union chair called for better border controls in order to "guarantee humanitarian aid in a structured manner."

David Beckham gives Ukrainian doctor 'control' of Instagram

Former England footballer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham has handed over control of his Instagram account to a doctor in Kharkiv.

Its giving his 71.5 million followers an inside look at the work being done in the besieged city's perinatal unit.

Beckham announced in a post that he was handing over his social media to a doctor identified as Iryna, who is head of the Regional Perinatal Centre in Kharkiv.

The child anaesthesiologist gave Beckham's followers an account of the work being done under extremely challenging circumstances.

Ukraine's second largest city has been under Russian bombardment for days, with hundreds of civilians reported to have been killed or injured. 

German police warn of 'fake video' aimed at incitement

Police in the German city of Bonn are warning the public about disseminating a "fake video" online.

Police posted a notice on Twitter saying that a video is being shared, showing a 16 year old youth appearing to be beaten to death in the Euskirchen area, allegedly by Ukrainians.

Police stressed that they have received no report of a violent attack, let alone a death in that specific area, but are investigating the matter.

According to a statement, police believe it is a "fake video" and that it is "intended to stir up hatred." Bonn police have asked for the video not to be shared online.

Watch video 02:07

Solidarity with Ukraine: Protesters in Bonn form human chain

Russia calls on Ukraine's soldiers in Mariupol to surrender

Russia has called on Ukrainian troops in the eastern port city of Mariupol to surrender, saying a humanitarian disaster was taking place there.

"Lay down your arms," said Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian National Center for Defense Management, in a briefing distributed by the Russian Defense Ministry.

"A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed," Mizintsev said. "All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol."

He said humanitarian corridors would be opened out of Mariupol at 1000 Moscow time (0700 UTC) on Monday.

The Russian call for capitulation came as Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said 3,985 people had been evacuated on Sunday from Mariupol to the city of Zaporizhzhia.

She said the Kyiv government planned to send nearly 50 buses to Mariupol on Monday for further evacuations.

The city is being besieged by invading Russian troops and some 400,000 remaining residents are largely without water, electricity or food supplies amid almost constant bombardment.

Vereshchuk said that altogether 7,295 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Sunday, with four of seven planned exit routes working. 

Greek diplomat in Mariupol hailed as hero arrives in Athens

Greek Consul General Manolis Androulakis, who stayed in besieged Mariupol during the bombardment, said Sunday after flying back to Athens that the destruction of Mariupol would rank with "Guernica, Stalingrad, Grozny, Aleppo."

Androulakis, who has been hailed as a hero in Greece, called on people to "unite their voices to ask for a truce, a ceasefire."

"We tried to save as many expatriates as we could," Androulakis said.

He added, "Heroes are the people who stayed there and will try to make their lives from scratch."

US Defense Secretary says Russia 'stalled'

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told CBS Sunday that Ukraine's resistance to Russia's invasion means Putin's ground forces "are essentially stalled."

"It's had the effect of him moving his forces into a woodchipper," Austin said.

He also would not "confirm or dispute" whether Russia used hypersonic weapons in the war but added they have not been a "game changer."

DW's Nick Connolly said the use of hypersonic weapons "seems to be targeted to the US." He added it seemed designed to show "what sort of weapons Russia still has at its disposal." 

"It's another sign that Moscow isn't going to back down," Connolly concluded. 

Watch video 04:49

Hypersonic missiles show 'Russia is not going to back down': DW's Nick Connolly from Lviv

Deputy Russian naval commander killed

Ukrainian officials said a senior naval commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet was killed during fighting in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant later reported that Russia confirmed the death, citing a mayor in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

The death of post-captain Andrei Paily, deputy commander of the fleet, was initially announced by Mariupol Governor Mikhail Razozhayev on Telegram.

Nestle insists not profiting from business in Russia

A day after a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed protests in the Swiss capital Bern calling for a boycott of Nestle and further sanctions against Russian oligarchs, Nestle said it is not profiting from its business in Russia.

Nestle said many of the company's activities are being wound down.

"We have suspended all imports and exports, except for vital products," a spokesperson told AFP.

On March 11, Nestle announced it had suspended delivery of certain products to Russia such as Nespresso but certain basic items like baby food and cereals are exempt.

Zelenskyy to Israel's Knesset: 'Why can't we get weapons from you?'

Addressing the Israeli Knesset, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Israeli air-defense system, the Iron Dome, is the best in the world, adding that he believes it could protect Ukrainians.

"Why can't we get weapons from you? Why can't you impose strong sanctions on Russia?" Zelenskyy asked after noting his country's sizeable Jewish population. 

"You can definitely help our people," adding that the Knesset could help to "save the lives of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian Jews."

The Ukrainian leader began his speech to Israeli lawmakers by saying that "we compare our histories," noting, "Our war for survival and the Second World War" requires we "just hear what they are saying in the Kremlin."

"Listen to what the Kremlin says. Just listen! There are even terms that sounded then (during World War II)," he said. 

Zelensky said, "Ukraine made the choice to save Jews 80 years ago. Now it's time for Israel to make its choice."

Zelenskyy is one of three Jewish heads of state in the world. Israel has a significant Ukrainian as well as Russian diaspora

Watch video 03:31

Ukrainian president addressed Israeli Knesset: DW's Tania Krämer from Jerusalem

Mariupol residents forcibly evacuated to Russia: city council

Residents of the besieged port city of Mariupol are being moved against their will to Russia, the city council has said.

''The occupiers are forcing people to leave Ukraine for Russia. Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been taken to the Russian territory,'' a statement from the council said.

It is not possible to independetly verify the claims.

Ukrainian lawmaker Inna Sovsun told the UK's Times Radio that the residents are being taken to so-called filtration camps.

She said they are then being ''relocated to very distant parts of Russia, where they're being forced to sign papers that they will stay in that area for two or three years and they will work for free in those areas.''

Mariupol has suffered the heaviest Russian bombardment of the invasion, and many of the 400,000 residents remain trapped, more than three weeks into the conflict.

The US Ambassador do the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN the reports were ''disturbing.''

"I've only heard it. I can't confirm it," she said. "It is unconscionable for Russia to force Ukrainian citizens into Russia and put them in what will basically be concentration and prisoner camps." 

Watch video 01:28

Fighting still continues in heavily destructed Mariupol

Mayor says shell hits near Kyiv apartment block, wounding 5 people

A shell struck near a Kyiv apartment block, wound five, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said on Telegram.

Two of the injured had to be hospitalized and six people needed to be rescued, Klitschko said.

A ten-story building in the Sviatoshyn district in the city's northwest was badly damaged. Windows were blown out and fire broke out.

A spokeswoman for the state emergency service, Sviatlana Vodolaga, told the AFP news agency that "It was lucky" there were not more casualties.

One resident told AFP, "Please NATO, close the skies." 

Watch video 00:45

Zelenskyy: No fly zone 'too much to ask?'

Ukraine receives 500 Strela anti-aircraft missiles: report

Ukrainian government sources told Germany's Welt am Sonntag that 500 Strela anti-aircraft missiles from Germany arrived three days ago.

The Strela missiles were given over to Poland, a German Defense Ministry spokesperson said because of "operational and security aspects."

If possible, Germany is prepared to deliver more Strela missiles, according to the official.

The Soviet-designed missile comes from the supplies of the former East German armed forces.

Watch video 05:46

Germany to ship anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine: DW's Richard Walker

Berlin 'Sound of Peace' concert draws thousands

Fresh protests have been held in several German cities in opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Around 20,000 people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for the "Sound of Peace" concert

People gather in front of the Brandenburg Gate for the solidarity rally Sound of Peace. Several well-known artists were set to perform and express their support for Ukraine

People gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate for the solidarity rally "Sound of Peace." Several well-known artists were set to perform and express their support for Ukraine

Some 3,000 rallied in central Hamburg in a protest organized by the youth wings of political parties, the Fridays for Future climate movement and the city's Ukrainian community.

Other protests took place in Bremen, Bonn, Cologne and Dusseldorf, where demonstrators created a human chain in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and walked from the Rhine river to the state chancellery. 

Fighting underway inside city: report

Fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces is going on inside the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Reuters news agency reported, citing a televised interview with regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

The strategic port on the Azov Sea has been under Russian bombardment for over three weeks and has seen some of the worst horrors of the war.

In recent days, Russian forces have entered the city, cutting it off from the sea.

Many of the city's 400,000 residents have been trapped with no power and little food and water.

Ukrainian authorities said Russia on Saturday had bombed a school sheltering 400 people in the city.

"Yesterday, the Russian occupiers dropped bombs on art school No 12," the city council said on Telegram, adding that around women, children and elderly people had been sheltering there. 

Nearly 1,000 reportedly detained in Russian anti-war protests

The Russian protest monitor OVD-Info said at least 937 people were detained across Russia in demonstrations against the war in Ukraine.

Protests took place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladivostok and elsewhere, the monitoring group said.

On Telegram, OVD-Info said fines were issued in addition to arrests being made. Opponents of the war are being targeted for criminal prosecution as well.

OVD-Info reports at least 37 active cases against 43 people who openly oppose the war in Ukraine.

Watch video 05:44

Russia: Protests against Putin despite risks

Zelenskyy laments Ukraine's lack of NATO membership

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia would not have invaded if his country had been admitted to NATO earlier.

"If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn't have started," Zelenskyy told CNN, adding that he was grateful for the aid provided by the military alliance since the conflict started on February 24.

He said Ukraine was left in a "dubious position where we don't understand whether you can accept us or not," and urged the West not to leave the country to “straddle two worlds.”

The president also renewed his plea for talks with his Russian counterpart, conceded that negotiations were the only way to "end this war."

"I'm ready for negotiations with him," Zelensky said through a translator. 

Watch video 02:28

Zelenskyy calls on Russia to engage in meaningful talks

Polish trucks backed up at Belarusian border due to protest

A group of protesters blocking the Koroszczyn border point into Belarus has resulted in a line of trucks backed up trying to enter into Belarus for some 40 kilometers (25 miles).

For some two weeks, the protesters comprised of Ukrainians and Poles, have blocked access in an effort to place pressure on supply lines into Russian ally Belarus.

Early Sunday, roughly 950 trucks were waiting to enter Belarus, Michal Derus of the local tax office said.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's Prime Minister, has asjed the EU to block land and sea trade with Russia.

Spanish farmers march against skyrocketing fuel prices

As many as 150,000 farmers have rallied in Madrid over soaring energy and fertilizer prices exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Led by tractors with their horns blasting, many of them waved Spanish flags as they walked through the central avenues of the capital.

The farmers decried what they was a lack of action by the Spanish government to offset the sudden huge cost of energy, which they say has forced them to sell their produce at a loss.

The price of fuel and electricity rose more than 70% in Spain last year, and have continued to rise since the conflict in Ukraine broke out on February 24.

Spanish lorry drivers this week began a separate open-ended strike over fuel prices, setting up roadblocks and holding protests that threatened deliveries to factories and stores.

UN says millions displaced by Russia's war in Ukraine

Russia's "devastating" war on Ukraine has driven 10 million people from their homes, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.

"The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled either displaced inside the country or as refugees abroad," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi wrote on Twitter.

Some 6.5 million were displaced internally, while almost 3.4 million refugees have left Ukraine.

Poland has taken in more than 2 million refugees. Nearly 220,000 refugees have made their way to Germany.

Pope calls for an end to the 'senseless massacre' in Ukraine

Pope Francis has denounced the conflict in Ukraine as an unjustified "senseless massacre" and asked leaders to stop "this repugnant war."

"The violent aggression against Ukraine is unfortunately not slowing down," he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his weekly Sunday address and blessing.

"It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated," he said.

On Friday, the Pontiff told European Catholic representatives that Ukraine had the right to exist as a sovereign state and defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Germany and Netherlands deploy air defense systems in Slovakia

The first units deploying Patriot air defense systems from NATO partner countries have arrived in Slovakia.

Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said on Facebook the US-made system would initially be deployed at the Sliac airport.

German and Dutch soldiers would operate them as part of NATO moves to strengthen air defenses in Eastern Europe.

Nad stressed they wouldn't replace Slovakia's Russian-made S-300s.

Earlier in the week, he said Slovakia's was prepared to send long-range surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine provided that Western allies give them a "proper replacement."

Turkey says Ukraine and Russia closer to an agreement

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russia and Ukraine were getting closer to an agreement on "critical" issues.

He also told Hurriyet daily there had been "rapprochement in the positions of both sides on important subjects, critical subjects."

Cavusoglu hosted foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine for talks in the Turkish resort town of Antalya earlier this month.

He also spoke to both ministers after traveling to Russia and Ukraine last week.

"We can say we are hopeful for a ceasefire if the sides do not take a step back from the current positions," he said, without elaborating.

Shelling hits Mariupol art school, sheltering 400 civilians

Authorities in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol said Russian forces bombed an art school in which 400 residents had taken shelter.

City officials say the building was destroyed on Saturday night, but the number of casualties was not yet known.

This follows the bombing of a theatre in Mariupol where civilians took shelter last week.

Hundreds of people were trapped beneath rubble in a basement shelter.

Mariupol has been encircled by the Russian troops, cut from energy, food and medical supplies.

Local authorities have said the siege has killed at least 2,300 people and some of them had to be buried in mass graves.

Russia says it has fired more hypersonic missiles

The Russian military said it has used more hypersonic missiles to attack Ukraine's military infrastructure.

"Kinzhal aviation missile systems with hypersonic ballistic missiles destroyed a large storage site for fuels and lubricants of the Ukrainian armed forces near the settlement of Kostyantynivka in the Mykolaiv region," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

On Saturday, Russia claimed to have used a hypersonic ballistic missile for the first time since it began its invasion of Ukraine. The launch took place on Friday close to the border with Romania, who is a NATO member.

Hypersonic weapons can travel much faster than five times the speed of sound, making them difficult to detect and posing a challenge to missile defense systems.

Watch video 03:59

Possible hypersonic missile use 'a worrying signal from the Russians'

Zelenskyy suspends pro-Russian parties

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has suspended 11 political parties allegedly tied to Russia.

"Given a large-scale war unleashed by the Russian Federation and links between it and some political structures, the activities of a number of political parties is suspended for the period of the martial law," Zelenskyy said.

Included on the list is the Opposition Platform for Life, one of the largest pro-Russian parties represented in Ukraine's parliament. Russian President Vladimir Putin is godfather to the party's chairman Viktor Medvedchuk's daughter.

Also on the list is the Nashi (Ours) party led by Yevheniy Murayev. Before the Russian invasion, the UK accused Russia of seeking to install Murayev as the leader of a puppet government in Kyiv. Putin has denied the charge.

Watch video 12:30

Russian exiles and the war in Ukraine

UK warns of further shelling and civilian casualties

British defense intelligence said Russia has made only limited progress in Ukraine over the past week.
An intelligence update said Russia would likely continue to "use its heavy firepower to support assaults on urban areas" and risk further civilian casualties.


In a similar assessment, the US-based Institute for the Study of War said a stalemate now persists in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy says Mariupol siege a 'war crime'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia's siege of Mariupol would "go down in history of responsibility for war crimes."

"To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come,'' Zelenskyy said in a video address.

Mariupol, a southern Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov, had been cut off for more than two weeks. Some 400,000 people have been trapped in the city.

According to local authorities, the heavy bombardment has severed electricity, heating, and water supplies.

"Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,'' Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said.

On Friday, Russia's Defense Ministry said that its forces were "tightening the noose" around Mariupol and that fighting had reached the city center.

Its fall would link Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, to eastern territories controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

Zelenskyy's advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said the nearest forces that could assist Mariupol were already struggling against "the overwhelming force of the enemy" and that "there is currently no military solution to Mariupol."

Watch video 02:14

Many join the Ukrainian territorial defense forces

One of Europe's biggest steel works damaged by Russian siege

According to Ukrainian officials, the Azovstal iron and steel works in Mariupol has been badly damaged as the city faces a siege from Russian forces.

Azovstal is one of the biggest iron and steel works in Europe.

"One of the biggest metallurgic plants in #Europe destroyed. The economic losses for #Ukraine are huge. The environment is devastated," Ukrainian lawmaker Lesia Vasylenko said in a tweet.

Azovstal is part of the Metinvest group, which is controlled by Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov. Akhmetov was considered pro-Russian before Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but has since accused Russian forces of "crimes against humanity."

War will have 'adverse effect on the global economy'

The Chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Beata Javorcik, told the AFP news agency that the war in Ukraine will have a major "adverse effect on the global economy."

Javorcik said that although large parts of Ukraine are still functioning, the figure of $100 billion (€90 billion) for rebuilding estimated by the Ukrainian government is equivalent to about two thirds of the country's GDP. She added that around half of Ukrainian firms have closed down.

Javorcik estimated that the number of refugees from Ukraine could reach 6 million if the conflict continues. She added that in the aftermath of the war Ukrainian refugees could stay in their new countries of residence and "serve as a bridge" to Ukraine and help strengthen economic ties.

"Even if the war stopped today, the consequences of this conflict would be felt for months to come," Javorcik said, adding that commodity prices are likely to continue increasing and that higher energy prices will lead to inflation.

"The conflict happened at a time when there was already a slowdown in the global economy, so higher energy prices are going to put more brakes on growth."

"This has implications for poverty and political stability," Javorcik added.

Javorcik said that the short-term impact of sanctions in Russia will include less international trade and lower consumer confidence.  She added that even after the conflicts ends Russia could be seen as a "risky destination for investment."

Watch video 03:35

Turkey: Navigating Russian sanctions

China's foreign minister: Beijing on 'right side of history'

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a Saturday statement that Beijing stands "on the right side of history" in its position on the war in Ukraine.

The comments come after US President Joe Biden warned China of the "consequences" it could face if it gave support to Russia.

"We have always stood for maintaining peace and opposing war," Wang said.

"China's position is objective and fair, and is in line with the wishes of most countries. Time will prove that China's claims are on the right side of history."

Meanwhile, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said that Western sanctions against Russia were increasingly "outrageous."

Australia increases support for Ukraine

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced further financial, material and humanitarian support for Ukraine, according to the public broadcaster ABC.

Morrison said that Australia will provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with an additional AU$21 million (€14 million, $15.6 million) in military assistance. This brings Australia's total military support to Ukraine up to around AU$91 million (€61 million, $67.5 million).

Morrison also announced that Australia would add AU$30 million (€20 million, €22.3 million) in emergency humanitarian assistance to the AU$35 million (€23.5 million, $26 million) already provided.

Australia's prime minister said that the country had already granted 5,000 visas to Ukrainians and was putting Ukrainian applications at the top of the list. Ukrainian arrivals will be offered a temporary humanitarian visa valid for a period of three years and which gives visa holders the right to work, study and access public healthcare.

Morrison said that Australia would also donate 70,000 tones of thermal coal to Ukraine.

Australia's government has also imposed an immediate ban on Australian exports of bauxite, alumina and aluminium to Russia. Australia is the world's largest producer of bauxite according to the Australian Aluminium council.

Ukrainian authorities: 260 dead in Kharkiv region since start of war

Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday night that at least 260 civilians have been killed in the fighting around the country's second-biggest city, Kharkiv, since the start of the Russian invasion.

Among the dead were 14 children, Ukrainian authorities said.

Kharkiv continues to be shelled by artillery and several residential buildings were hit on Saturday evening, Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reported.

Ukrainian authorities said that three civilians had died over the past 24 hours as a result of Russian shelling in the Kharkiv region.

Belarusian rail connections to Ukraine reportedly cut

Belarusian railway workers have reportedly cut off all rail connections between their country and Ukraine.

Ukrainian railway chief Olexander Kamyshin thanked Belarusian railway workers for this claimed act of sabotage on Saturday.

"As of today, I can say there is no rail traffic between Belarus and Ukraine," Kamyshin was quoted as saying by Ukraine's Unian news agency. Kamyshin said that he would not give further details.

Franak Viacorka, advisor to exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, tweeted about the incident and said that it had been confirmed by Belarusian railway workers, while declining to provide details.

Although Russia has moved many of its troops and military equipment into Ukraine through Belarus, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has not committed Belarusian troops to the offensive.

Summary of Saturday's events in Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The Russian invasion has brought 30% of the Ukrainian economy to a standstill, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said.

Vitaly Kim, the head of the regional administration of Mykolaiv, said Saturday that Russian air raids were taking place over the southern Ukrainian city.

Ukraine said it had evacuated 6,623 people through humanitarian corridors on Saturday.

The deputy head of the president's office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said that 4,128 had been evacuated from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, besieged by Russian forces.

In a bid to secure alternatives to Russian energy, Germany's Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck travelled to Qatar. Habeck recently visited Norway and is soon to visit the UAE.

The UN human rights office said 847 civilians were killed in Ukraine since the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine was launched.

China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said the Cold War was at the root of the war in Ukraine and attacked Western sanctions against Russia.

Russia's Defense Ministry claimed it used hypersonic weapons to destroy targets in Ukraine.

kb, ar, nm, lo, sdi/fb,jsi (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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