Logistics problems, Ukraine defenders still thwarting Russian attacks; talks fail to yield cease-fire

 This has been CNBC's live blog covering updates on the war in Ukraine. [Follow the latest updates here.]

Talks between Russia and Ukraine have failed, with foreign ministers from both countries making no progress on a potential cease-fire agreement.

The discussions came a day after Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol — an attack which Ukrainian authorities say killed three people, including one child.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov played down the "so-called atrocity" to CNBC on Thursday, but presented no evidence for his claim that the hospital was in the control of Ukrainian radicals.

Ukrainian resistance, logistical problems thwart Russian troops

Russian forces continue to make limited progress in their ground invasion of Ukraine, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said Friday.

Logistical problems, combined with "strong Ukrainian resistance," are still hampering Russia's invasion of its smaller neighbor, the ministry said in an intelligence update.

"It remains highly unlikely that Russia has successfully achieved the objectives outlined in its pre-invasion plan," the ministry said.

Military analysts have had their pre-invasion assumptions about Russian military prowess upended by determined Ukrainian defenders and Russia's apparent inability to iron out its supply and transport deficiencies.

As the war has dragged on, Russian forces have resorted to more indiscriminate weapons and increasingly targeted cities filled with Ukrainian civilians.

A senior U.S. Defense official on Thursday told CNBC that Russian forces have made some progress in their advance on Kyiv, closing to within 10 miles (16 km) of the capital.

— Ted Kemp

Yellen expects Russia's invasion of Ukraine will contribute to stubborn inflation

The war is exacerbating inflation, says Janet Yellen
The war is exacerbating inflation, says Janet Yellen

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said inflation will likely stay high for another year — and she believes Russia's attack on Ukraine will contribute to lofty prices.

"We have seen a very meaningful increase in gas prices and my guess is that next month we'll see further evidence of an impact on U.S. inflation of Putin's war on Ukraine," she told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

"Russia, in addition to exporting oil … Ukraine and Russia are major producers of wheat," Yellen added. "We're seeing impacts on food prices, and I think that can have a very severe effect on some very vulnerable emerging market countries." 

— Jacob Pramuk

Russian forces could be as close as 10 miles from Kyiv city center, U.S. Defense official says

A woman crosses the street as anti-tank constructions are seen in central Kyiv, Ukraine March 7, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters

Russian forces have made some progress in their advance on Kyiv in the past 24 hours, a senior U.S. Defense official said Thursday.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share new details from a Pentagon assessment, said Russian troops are approximately 15 kilometers or 10 miles away from Kyiv's city center.

The Pentagon still believes that Russian forces intend to encircle Kyiv, the official added.

– Amanda Macias

Russian missile systems can reach the majority of Ukraine, U.S. Defense official says

Civilians continue to flee from Irpin due to ongoing Russian attacks in Irpin, Ukraine on March 07, 2022.
Wolfgang Schwan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russia has placed its arsenal of surface-to-air missile systems within range of nearly all of Ukraine's territory, a senior U.S. Defense official said Thursday.

"There's very little territory of Ukraine that is not covered in some way or in some fashion by Russian surface-to-air missile systems," the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told reporters.

Russian forces have about 90% of their combat power available after 15 days of war, the official added.

– Amanda Macias

Russia has launched more than 775 missiles so far, U.S. Defense official says

A car burns after the destruction of a children's hospital in Mariupol on March 9, 2022, in this still image from a handout video obtained by Reuters.
Ukraine Military | via Reuters

Russian forces have launched more than 775 missiles since the start of the Ukraine invasion, a senior U.S. Defense official said Thursday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the missiles are of "all stripes" and of "different varieties" including short-range, medium-range, ballistic and cruise missiles. The official said that the Pentagon has observed a rise in missile launches amid stalled ground movements.

"We certainly have seen an increase in what we call long-range fires, bombardment, missile launches, both from aircraft as well as from mobile launchers on the ground," the official said.

– Amanda Macias

U.S. stocks fall as investors watch Russia's war in Ukraine

U.S. stocks slid Thursday as investors eye Russia's attack on Ukraine.

A lack of resolution in peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv contributed to the drop in equities.

— Jacob Pramuk

JPMorgan is the latest bank to say it will back out of Russia

U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase said Thursday it will wind down its Russia operations, the latest financial institution to dial back its business in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"In compliance with directives by governments around the world, we have been actively unwinding Russian business and have not been pursuing any new business in Russia," company spokeswoman Tasha Pelio said in an e-mail.

The bank's dealings related to Russia were "limited" to "helping global clients address and close out pre-existing obligations; managing their Russian-related risk; acting as a custodian to our clients; and taking care of our employees," she added.

JPMorgan's move follow's Goldman Sachs' announcement Thursday morning that the bank would exit its Russian operations. JPMorgan shares were 1.3% lower and Goldman shares were 1.5% lower with about 40 minutes left in the trading day.

— Maggie Fitzgerald

A no-fly zone will not stop Russian missiles and artillery, U.S. intelligence chief says

An aerial view shows a residential building destroyed by shelling, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the settlement of Borodyanka in the Kyiv region, Ukraine March 3, 2022.
Maksim Levin | Reuters

The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency told lawmakers Thursday that enacting a no-fly zone would not stop Russian forces from pummeling Ukrainian cities.

When asked before the Senate Intelligence Committee if a no-fly zone would inhibit missiles, rockets and artillery from hitting targets in Ukraine, DIA Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said that it would not. The U.S. has resisted calls for a no-fly zone, which would bar Russian aircraft from flying over Ukraine, because it could increase the chances of a direct NATO conflict with Russia and an escalation of the war.

Since the start of the Feb. 24 invasion, the Pentagon has observed Russian forces launch more than 710 missiles into Ukraine.

– Amanda Macias

Twitter takes down Russian embassy tweets, citing misinformation

A 3D-printed Twitter logo displayed in front of Russian flag is seen in this illustration picture, October 27, 2017.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Twitter said Thursday that it took down two tweets by Russia's embassy in the United Kingdom for what the social media giant called "the denial of violent events" during Russia's attack on Ukraine. 

In one of those tweets, Russia's embassy claimed that a pregnant woman seen in a photo of casualties at a children's hospital, which was destroyed by a Russian airstrike Wednesday in the besieged port city of Mariupol, was actually a Ukraine "beauty blogger" and suggested that the photo was staged propaganda.

That tweet contained two separate photos of women the embassy claimed are the same person. However, another tweet referencing the claim remained online Thursday after two of the other posts were taken down by Twitter.

— Dan Mangan and Jennifer Elias

U.S. aims to prevent 'world war,' White House says

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States' strategy to aid Ukraine and oppose Russian military aggression is rooted in a desire to avoid global war.

"I would say what our assessment is based on is how to prevent a world war here," Psaki told reporters.

That is a "significant weight" that President Joe Biden and his top advisors are always considering, Psaki said.

She had been asked about the Biden administration's resistance to a proposal from Poland to hand over its MiG-29 fighter jets to the U.S., with the understanding that it could then transfer those jets to Ukraine.

"There is an escalation ladder," she said. "And there is a difference between an anti-tank weapon, a shoulder-fired missile, an aircraft and a fighter jet that could cross a border and actually conduct operations on Russian soil."

The U.S. is aiming to support Ukraine in the most effective ways it can, while avoiding "steps that would be further escalatory," Psaki said.

Kevin Breuninger

Biden thanks Turkish President Erdogan for peace-seeking efforts in Ukraine

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint news conference with Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani (not pictured) in Ankara, Turkey March 1, 2022.
Presidential Press Office | Reuters

President Joe Biden in a phone call thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his country's diplomatic efforts to end Russia's attack on Ukraine, the White House said.

Biden and Erdogan "discussed their shared concern about Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine," according to a readout of the call. "They reaffirmed their strong support for the government and people of Ukraine, underscored the need for an immediate cessation of Russian aggression, and welcomed the coordinated international response to the crisis."

"President Biden expressed appreciation for Turkey's efforts to support a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, as well as Turkey's recent engagements with regional leaders that help promote peace and stability," the White House said.

"In addition, the presidents discussed opportunities to strengthen bilateral ties," the readout said.

Kevin Breuninger

Ukraine's rising civilian death toll from Russian invasion includes more than 40 kids, UN says

An injured pregnant woman walks downstairs in a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Evgeniy Maloletka | AP

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed at least 549 civilians, 41 of whom were children, the United Nations said, while warning the actual toll is believed to be "considerably higher."

Another 957 civilians at least have been injured in Ukraine since the Russian military invaded, the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide
impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and
air strikes," that office said.

The report came as Ukrainian officials condemned a Russian airstrike on a children's hospital in the port city of Mariupol as a war crime. Three people, one of them a child, were killed in the attack, which left others children trapped under rubble, officials said.

— Dan Mangan

VP Harris says U.S. and Poland are 'united' with Ukraine during Warsaw visit

US Vice President Kamala Harris and Polish President Andrzej Duda hold a press conference at Belwelder Palace in Warsaw, Poland, March 10, 2022.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris during a visit to Poland reaffirmed that Washington and Warsaw are working together to aid Ukraine amid Russia's invasion.

"I want to be very clear the United States and Poland are united in what we have done, and are prepared to do to help Ukraine and the people of Ukraine. Full stop," Harris said during a news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw.

Duda touched on a recent disagreement between the countries over Poland's proposal to offer its MiG-29 fighter jets to the U.S., which could in turn transfer those aircraft to Ukraine.

"We're ready to provide our equipment free of charge, but we wanted NATO as a whole to make a common decision," he said.

Harris, who flew into Poland on Wednesday, also visited the American School of Warsaw to thank staff from the U.S. embassies in Kyiv and Warsaw for their efforts responding to Russia, a White House official said.

Kevin Breuninger

Putin argues sanctions against Russia will backfire

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with government members via a video link in Moscow, Russia March 10, 2022.
Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday argued international sanctions against Russia would backfire against the countries that levied them in response to his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Putin said during a government meeting that the economic sanctions would hurt countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and European Union members through higher energy and food prices, according to Reuters. He also said that Russia "will overcome" the measures, which have clobbered the country's economy and sent the ruble tumbling.

Putin claimed Russia had "absolutely nothing to do" with high inflation driven in part by rising energy prices. While decisions by the U.S., U.K. and EU to ban or scale back Russian energy imports helped to send oil prices higher this week, prices had climbed since Moscow attacked its neighbor last month.

Russia's war in Ukraine has isolated Moscow as nations try to hamstring the Russian economy and more companies suspend their operations in the country. International outrage has grown in recent days as more reports emerge of attacks on Ukrainian civilians.

— Jacob Pramuk

Former VP Pence visits Ukraine's border

Former Vice President Mike Pence visited the Ukrainian border Thursday with the evangelical Christian group Samaritan's Purse and Edward Graham, a grandson of Billy Graham.

In a tweet, he said he met with Ukrainian women and children fleeing the war.

"The impact of the Russian invasion on these families is heartbreaking and the need for support is great," Pence wrote.

— Kevin Breuninger

Putin may have overestimated China's desire to help Russia offset sanctions, CIA director says

CIA Director William Burns speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on March 08, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

CIA Director William Burns told lawmakers Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have overestimated Beijing's willingness to help Moscow offset sanctions.

"I think he may be overestimating the extent to which the Chinese leadership will be able or willing to help him deal with quite severe economic consequences of his invasion of Ukraine," Burns said before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I think because President Xi [Jinping] is probably a little bit unsettled, as he watches the way in which President Putin has driven Americans and Europeans more closely together and strengthened the transatlantic alliance," Burns added.

Burns said U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that Putin will not have "an easy out" in dealing with U.S. economic consequences.

– Amanda Macias

Russia has deployed a staggering missile arsenal in Ukraine

Russia's Land-Based Missiles

From cruise to intercontinental ballistic to hypersonic, Russia has one of the world's largest missile arsenals in the world — and has deployed it to devastating effect in Ukraine.

"Russia has historically put disproportionate focus on artillery and missile-based strike capabilities," said Tom Karako, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"As their ground vehicles are stalled in Ukraine, their rockets and missiles are increasingly being brought to bear," added Karako, who oversees the Missile Defense Project at CSIS.

Since the Kremlin's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon assesses that Russian forces have launched more than 710 missiles.

– Amanda Macias

Zelenskyy vows to punish those complicit in war crimes in Ukraine

Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, as people cannot bury their dead because of the heavy shelling by Russian forces.
Evgeniy Maloletka | AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to punish those complicit in Russia's war in Ukraine, including by targeting the assets of Russia's wealthy, as reports of attacks on civilians mount.

"We will do our best to confiscate it, wherever it is. You love a rich life. Love prosperous countries. You will not have this anymore. And this is just the beginning. You will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes," Zelenskyy said in a video, according to an NBC News translation.

"War is never isolated. It always beats both the victim and the aggressor. The aggressor just realizes it later. But he always understands and always suffers," Zelenskyy added.

– Amanda Macias

Goldman Sachs is the first big Wall Street investment bank to close Russia business

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Goldman Sachs became the first leading Wall Street investment bank to bail on doing business in Russia.

"Goldman Sachs is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements," a bank spokeswoman told CNBC. "We are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the wellbeing of our people."

Goldman Sachs has a relatively small business presence in Russia. The bank is estimated to have $940 million in total exposure, including $650 million in credit. It represents just 0.1% of its total assets, according to Bank of America analysts.

Goldman follows a wave of other major non-bank companies that have exited Russia or suspended their business there after the country invaded Ukraine two weeks ago. Earlier this week, within hours of each other, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Starbucks and McDonald's said they would suspend business in Russia.

More than 330 Western companies have paused or abandoned business there since the attack on Ukraine, according to a spreadsheet maintained by the Yale University School of Management.

— Dan Mangan and Hugh Son

War has made more than 1 million children refugees, U.N. charity says

Refugee girl from Ukraine who arrived from Przemysl is seen on a train at the main railway station in Krakow, Poland on March 7, 2022.
Beata Zawrzel | Nurphoto | Getty Images

UNICEF, the U.N. children's charity, said Thursday that the number of child refugees fleeing Ukraine had exceeded 1 million.

Most of those children had fled with their families to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania, the organization said.

The charity issued an appeal for $349 million to prevent "further deterioration of the welfare of children in Ukraine and neighboring countries."

It said six trucks carrying almost seven tons of supplies had already arrived in Ukraine.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine says 63 hospitals damaged since start of war

A woman walks outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Evgeniy Maloletka | AP

Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Thursday that 63 hospitals have been damaged across the country since Russia's invasion began on Feb. 24.

He also said 5 medical workers had been killed by "the bullets of Russian terrorists," in a statement published on Facebook.

— Chloe Taylor

Zelenskyy signs law allowing state seizure of Russian property

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law on Thursday that will allow the nationalization of all Russian-owned property in Ukraine without any compensation to its owners.

The decision to "forcibly confiscate" property owned by the Russian Federation and its residents had been made by Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, a government statement said, "given the full-scale aggressive war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people."

— Chloe Taylor

U.S. announces additional funding for Ukraine and eastern Europe

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meets Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the Chancellery in Warsaw, Poland, on March 10, 2022.
Mateusz Wlodarczyk | Nurphoto | Getty Images

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has announced nearly $53 million in additional humanitarian assistance for civilians impacted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The funding, which adds to almost $54 million in U.S. aid announced in recent weeks, will be paid through the U.S. Agency for International Development. It will include support for the U.N. World Food Program to provide emergency food assistance to those displaced within the country and refugees fleeing Ukraine.

Harris announced the fresh funding on Thursday during a trip to Warsaw, Poland.

— Chloe Taylor

Watch Ukraine's foreign minister talk with CNBC's Hadley Gamble

Watch CNBC's full interview with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba
Watch CNBC's full interview with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba

Russians deliberately attacking civilians in Mariupol, Ukraine says

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Evgeniy Maloletka | AP

Russian forces are deliberately attacking civilians in the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukrainian officials have said.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential Office, said in a briefing on Thursday that while authorities would do everything they could to evacuate the city, Russian troops were "deliberately disrupting the evacuation of civilians."

He accused Moscow of changing tactics in recent days to terrorize the civilian population.  

Mariupol was one of seven Ukrainian cities to have humanitarian corridors opened on Thursday for the evacuation of civilians and import of vital aid supplies. Previous attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol have been halted, with Ukraine accusing Russian forces of violating cease-fire agreements in the city.

Mariupol City Council said on Telegram Thursday that the city was under attack by Russian forces, despite arrangements for evacuations.

"Bombs hit homes," the council said, adding that the State Technical University and a theater in the city center had also been damaged.

The council added: "Information about the victims is being clarified. Russians are purposefully attacking the civilian population of Mariupol!"

— Chloe Taylor

Zelenskyy says Russia is lying about bombed children’s hospital

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 27, 2022, in this still image taken from a handout video.
Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that Russia is lying about there being no patients in a maternity hospital hit by missiles.

"Like always, they lie confidently," he said in a televised address, according to a translation by Reuters. Ukrainian authorities have said three people, including one child, were killed in the attack on the hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday.

Zelenskyy also said that 60,000 civilians had been evacuated from occupied Ukrainian territories the previous day.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine foreign minister says Russian leaders ‘live in their own reality’

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba holds a press conference after Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkiye on March 10, 2022.
Orhan Cicek | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hit back at claims made by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, saying the leadership in Moscow "live in their own reality."

Sergey Lavrov earlier denied that Russian forces had targeted civilians in the bombing of a children's hospital and maternity ward, saying hospital patients had been removed from the hospital days ago, despite video evidence showing pregnant women being carried from the hospital.

"Unfortunately, I can confirm that the Russian leadership, including Minister Lavrov, live in their own reality," Kuleba said.

"In our talks, behind closed doors and in the absence of the media, he told me looking in my eyes that the pictures of pregnant women being taken from under the rubble of the maternity house are fake, that they hit the maternity house as a military target because the Russian military was absolutely sure that it was under the control of Ukrainian army."

Talks between Russia and Ukraine's foreign ministers in Turkey on Thursday appear to have ended in failure, with no progress made on establishing a cease-fire or safe passage for civilians trying to flee the besieged city of Mariupol.

The discussions, between Lavrov and Kuleba, lasted just 1.5 hours.

— Matt Clinch

Russia’s Lavrov denies that hospital attack was targeting civilians

A car burns after the destruction of a children's hospital in Mariupol on March 9, 2022, in this still image from a handout video obtained by Reuters.
Ukraine Military | via Reuters

Ukrainian authorities have said that a Russian attack on a children's hospital in Mariupol has killed three people, including a child.

Asked by CNBC's Hadley Gamble at a press conference on Thursday how Moscow could justify such an attack, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was "not the first time we've seen shouting in response to so-called atrocities."

Presenting no evidence for the claim, Lavrov repeated a Kremlin line that the hospital had already been captured by Ukrainian "ultra-radicals."

Also, despite video evidence to the contrary which showed pregnant women being carried from the hospital, Lavrov said hospital patients had been removed from the hospital days ago.

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine foreign minister says he’s ready for further talks with Russia

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba holds a press conference after Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkiye on March 10, 2022.
Orhan Cicek | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters that he and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov have agreed to continue efforts to resolve the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine.

"I will be ready to meet again in this format if there are prospects for a substantial discussion for seeking solutions," he said at a press conference following talks with Lavrov in Antalya, Turkey.

"I believe that when two foreign ministers meet, they have a mandate to negotiate issues of peace, a mandate entrusted in them by their leaders, by their parliament, and I am ready to continue this engagement with the purpose of ending the war in Ukraine, stopping the suffering of Ukrainian civilians, and liberating our territories from the Russian occupying force."

Kuleba said he had done his best during Thursday's negotiations "to find a diplomatic solution to the humanitarian tragedy," but it appeared Lavrov was not in a position to agree to a cease-fire.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukrainian state energy firm warns of potential ‘catastrophe’ at nuclear power plant

Employees at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya and Chornobyl nuclear power plants continue to work "under the barrels of machine guns," Ukrainian officials have said.

In a Telegram post on Thursday, Ukrainian state-run energy company Energoatom said both plants were under the control of Russian forces.

"Of the four power lines [of] the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant itself, two have already been damaged by the occupiers," Energoatom said. "If two more are damaged, there will be a catastrophe."

Last week, a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhya plant — the largest nuclear power plant in Europe — after Russian shelling.

Energoatom also said Thursday that the Chornobyl nuclear power plant was being used as a military base, and part of the station remained de-energized. "Emergency diesel generators are currently in operation, but not for long," it said.

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday that while the disconnection of the Chornobyl plant from the power grid was a violation of a key safety pillar, it currently posed "no critical impact on safety."

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine says 3 people killed in attack on children’s hospital

Ukrainian emergency employees work at a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Evgeniy Maloletka | AP

Three people were killed in the bombing of a children's hospital in the city of Mariupol on Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities have said.

"As of today, it is known that the terrorist bombing of a children's hospital in Mariupol by Russian aircraft resulted in 17 people injured (children, women, doctors), three dead, including one child — a girl," Mariupol City Council said in a Telegram post this morning.

In a video address following the attack on Wednesday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the bombing as a war crime.

British Prime Minister described the attack as "depraved," while White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Wednesday that it was a "barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians."

— Chloe Taylor

Russia says it has alternative buyers for oil and gas

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov adjusts his glasses during a news conference after meeting with his counterparts Ukrainian Dmytro Kuleba and Turkish Mevlut Cavusoglu, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Antalya, Turkey March 10, 2022.
Stringer | Reuters

Asked about Russia's response to Western sanctions on oil and gas, the country's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow had other buyers for its fuel.

Citing Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who oversees the Russian energy sector, Lavrov told reporters: "We're not going to try to persuade [the West] to buy oil and gas from us. If they want to replace it that's fine — we have our sales market elsewhere."

Lavrov was speaking at a press conference in Antalya, Turkey, following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

— Chloe Taylor

Nintendo suspends shipments to Russia

Visitors play Nintendo's new video game console Switch during its presentation in Tokyo.
Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

Nintendo says it is suspending shipments to Russia "for the foreseeable future," becoming the latest big brand to join a growing corporate boycott of the country over the Ukraine war.

The Japanese video game giant said it could no longer sell its Switch consoles and other products in Russia due to logistical challenges in shipping its products there.

Nintendo has also decided to postpone the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, a military-themed strategy game, "in light of recent world events."

It comes after Sony's PlayStation division said it has halted all product sales in Russia.

— Ryan Browne

Putin not refusing to meet Zelenskyy, Russia’s Lavrov says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov holds a press conference after the Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkiye on March 10, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to meeting his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday.

"Putin is not refusing to meet with Zelenskyy, but in order for this to happen we need to do some preliminary work," Lavrov told a press briefing following talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in the Turkish city of Antalya.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine says no progress made on cease-fire in talks with Russia

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba holds a press conference after the Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkiye on March 10, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told a press briefing that no progress was made toward achieving a cease-fire in negotiations with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday.

The two ministers met in the Turkish city of Antalya on Thursday for talks on the conflict in Ukraine, marking their first meeting since the Russian invasion of the country on Feb. 24.

— Chloe Taylor

UK sanctions seven Russian oligarchs, including Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich

Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich applauds as players celebrate their league title win at the end of the Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge in London on May 21, 2017.
Ben Stansall | Afp | Getty Images

Billionaire Roman Abramovich, the outgoing owner of soccer team Chelsea FC, is among seven Russian oligarchs to be hit by U.K. sanctions on Thursday.

The U.K. government's new sanctions list includes further members of Putin's inner circle, such as Oleg Deripaska, Dmitri Lebedev and Igor Sechin.

All seven men will see their assets frozen and travel restricted.

— Karen Gilchrist

Over 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine

Refugee children fleeing Ukraine are given blankets by Slovakian rescue workers to keep warm at the Velke Slemence border crossing on March 09, 2022 in Velke Slemence, Slovakia.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

More than 2.3 million people have fled the conflict in Ukraine as of March 10, the International Organization for Migration said on Thursday.

The IOM — a U.N. organization — said more than 112,000 of the people who had left Ukraine were third-country nationals.

— Chloe Taylor

Huge Russian convoy making little progress toward Kyiv, UK says

A Ukrainian serviceman aims towards Russian positions outside the city of Brovary, east of Kyiv, on March 9, 2022.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

A huge Russian military convoy that has been heading toward Kyiv for more than a week has made little progress in reaching the capital, the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

The convoy has suffered losses at the hands of the Ukrainian armed forces, the ministry added in its daily intelligence update.

Meanwhile, recent days had seen a notable decline in overall Russian air activity above Ukraine, U.K. officials said, noting that this was "likely due to the unexpected effectiveness and endurance of Ukrainian Air Defense forces."

The U.K. also confirmed that Russia had deployed conscript troops to Ukraine, despite public assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that conscripted personnel would not be sent to the country.

"As casualties mount, President Putin will be forced to draw from across the Russian armed forces and other sources to replace his losses," the intelligence update said.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukrainian Foreign Minister arrives in Turkey for talks with Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a news conference after meeting with his counterparts Russian Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Mevlut Cavusoglu, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Antalya, Turkey March 10, 2022.
Murad Sezer | Reuters

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has shared footage of Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba arriving in Turkey, where he will participate in talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the resort city of Antalya.

— Chloe Taylor

Russia quits Europe’s leading human rights organization

Russia said Thursday that it will no longer participate in the Council of Europe, claiming that the EU and NATO were abusing their absolute majority in the group to create a platform for "Western superiority and narcissism."

The Council of Europe describes itself as the continent's leading human rights organization. The organization is comprised of 47 countries, including all 27 of the EU's member states. The majority of NATO's member countries are also members of the Council of Europe.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it would cease to take part in the council, claiming that the EU and NATO would continue "the line of destroying the Council of Europe and the common humanitarian legal space in Europe," Russian state-controlled news agency Tass reported.

"Let them enjoy communicating with each other, without Russia," the ministry said.

— Chloe Taylor

Oil markets jittery following dramatic sell-off

A low-cost Prio gas station on the eve of a fuel price increase on March 6, 2022, in Portugal.
Horacio Villalobos | Corbis News | Getty Images

Oil prices were trading higher on Thursday morning, stabilizing at elevated levels following a dramatic sell-off in the previous session.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were last seen trading at $116.86 a barrel, up around 4.8%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $112.61, around 3.5% higher.

The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday it would call on other members of OPEC+, an influential energy alliance, to boost output given the sanctions on Russian oil over the country's invasion of Ukraine.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei has since sought to temper this message, however, saying via Twitter the country remains committed to the OPEC+ agreement.

Oil prices plunged on Wednesday. Brent futures settled 13% lower at $111.14, registering its biggest one-day drop since April 2020. Brent had climbed to $139 at the start of the week, its highest level since 2008.

WTI futures, meanwhile, tumbled more than 12% to settle at $108.7 per barrel, notching its worst day since Nov. 26. WTI had briefly topped $130 per barrel to hit a 13-year high earlier in the week.

— Sam Meredith

Hitachi suspends exports and manufacturing in Russia

A Hitachi ZX330 excavator at work at the construction site of the Fiztekh Station on the northern extension of Line 10 of the Moscow Underground on 22 November, 2021.
Vladimir Gerdo | Tass | Getty Images

Japanese tech giant Hitachi said on Thursday it was suspending exports to Russia and pausing all manufacturing activities within the country "for the time being."

Products, services and support for electrical power equipment are "indispensable to the daily lives of people" in Russia will be exempted from the suspension, however.

Hitachi said revenues from the Russian market account for around 0.5% of its consolidated revenues forecast for the financial year ending March 2022.

— Chloe Taylor

Ukraine announces evacuation routes from 7 cities

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said there will be seven civilian evacuation routes on Thursday.

Six of the routes will take civilians fleeing heavy fighting in Trostyanets, Krasnopillya, Sumy, Mariupol, Volnovakha and Izyum to other parts of the country, while another will transport people from the outskirts of Kyiv into the center of the city.

Many attempts to evacuate civilians have been halted in recent days, with Ukrainian authorities accusing Russian forces of violating cease-fire agreements, attacking the agreed evacuation routes, and only permitting civilians to flee to Russia.

— Chloe Taylor

'Close the sky and stop the bombing': Ukraine's Zelenskyy urges allies to create a no-fly zone

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.
Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has renewed his call for Western allies to create a no-fly zone over the country, saying any further delay will be "too late" to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

"We are speaking about closing the sky. You can't decide to close or not to close, you can't decide," Zelenskky said in an interview with Sky News.

"Don't wait [for] me asking you several times, a million times, to close the sky. No. You have to phone us ... our people who lost their children and say: 'Sorry we didn't do it yesterday, one week ago. We didn't push Putin, we didn't speak with him a lot, we didn't find the dialogue with him. We did nothing.'"

"And it's true. Yesterday, the world did nothing. I'm sorry but it is true," Zelenskky said, calling on policymakers to act faster to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

"Close the sky and stop the bombing," he said.

When asked about Western concerns of a no-fly zone bringing about a direct confrontation with Russia, making the situation even worse, Zelenskky replied: "So, it would be worse for whom? For our families? No, for whom? For them? No, who knows? Nobody knows. But we know that exactly that now is very bad. And in future, it will be too late."

— Sam Meredith

Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers to meet for talks

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba briefs media after a General Assembly meeting discussing the situation in Ukraine at the U.N.'s headquarters.
Lev Radin | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is set to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday for talks.

The two ministers will hold separate press conferences following the meeting.

— Chloe Taylor

IMF approves $1.4 billion in emergency funding to Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund expects the developing world to "fall further behind" if global fragmentation continues.
Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund has approved $1.4 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine's economy, citing the devastating humanitarian crisis and destruction of infrastructure as a result of Russia's invasion.

More than 2 million people are estimated to have fled Ukraine since Russia's onslaught started two weeks ago.

"The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has been responsible for a massive humanitarian and economic crisis," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

"The tragic loss of life, huge refugee flows, and immense destruction of infrastructure and productive capacity is causing severe human suffering and will lead to a deep recession this year. Financing needs are large, urgent, and could rise significantly as the war continues," she added.

Earlier this week, the World Bank approved a package of grants and loans totaling $723 million to Ukraine.

— Sam Meredith

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