U.S. President Joe Biden plans to travel to Brussels next week to meet with NATO allies about bolstering support for Ukraine as it fights to fend off Russia's unprovoked attack.
The "extraordinary summit" on March 24 will bring together North American and European leaders to discuss "further strengthening NATO's deterrence & defence," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
The alliance is expected to call on its military commanders Wednesday to send more troops and missile defenses to eastern Europe, Reuters reported. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also scheduled to address U.S. lawmakers Wednesday morning.
Russia military 'struggling' to conduct operations as losses mount
Russia is transferring troops to Ukraine from as far away as its Pacific Fleet and is recruiting more mercenaries as it tries to replace lost personnel, according to an assessment from the U.K. Defence Ministry.
"As a result of these losses, it is likely Russia is struggling to conduct offensive operations in the face of sustained Ukrainian resistance," the ministry said. "Continued personnel losses will also make it difficult for Russia to secure occupied territory."
Russia's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is unclear how many Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine since the invasion began in late February. Ukraine officials said over the weekend that Ukraine has lost 1,300 soldiers.
Moscow is redeploying troops from as far away as Armenia, its Eastern Military District, and the Russian Pacific Fleet, the ministry said.
The Pacific Fleet is based in Vladivostok, Russia. By air, Vladivostok is more than 4,400 miles (7,100 km) from Kyiv.
The U.K. Defence Ministry said Russia is seeking mercenaries from Syria and "private military companies," the term used to describe Russia-based firms that hire out armed fighters.
Moscow will likely use those mercenaries to hold seized Ukrainian territory so it can shift more of its regular troops to fight Ukrainian forces and "renew stalled offensive operations," the U.K. ministry said.
Russian corporate fighters have been accused of committing human rights abuses in Syria, Libya and the Central African Republic while working on behalf of Moscow.
Such mercenary services already operated in eastern Ukraine prior to Russia's current invasion, according to the U.S. government.
In 2017, the U.S. Treasury placed sanctions on the biggest Russian mercenary company, PMC Wagner, and its founder, Dmitriy Utkin, for "actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine."
The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said last year that Moscow provided security and military services through private mercenary companies to the government of the Central African Republic in exchange for the right to extract gold, uranium and diamonds.
— Ted Kemp
Surveying the damage from a rocket attack in Kharkiv
First responders work in a building that was struck by a Grad rocket attack in Kharkiv.
NATO to begin planning for more troops on eastern flank
NATO is set to tell its military commanders on Wednesday to draw up plans for new ways to deter Russia following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, including more troops and missile defenses in eastern Europe, officials and diplomats said.
Defense ministers will order the military advice at NATO headquarters, just over a week before allied leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, gather in Brussels on March 24.
Ministers will also hear from their Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov, who is expected to plead for more weapons from individual NATO countries, as Russian attacks on Ukraine's cities continue and the Russian military seeks control of Kyiv.
"We need to reset our military posture for this new reality," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier Tuesday. "Ministers will start an important discussion on concrete measures to reinforce our security for the longer term, in all domains," he told reporters.
Ukrainian journalist working for Fox News dies while on assignment
A second journalist on assignment for Fox News in Ukraine has died, the television news network confirmed.
Oleksandra Kuvshynova, affectionately called Sasha, died alongside cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski after their vehicle was struck by incoming fire on Monday.
The confirmation of Kuvshynova's death follows that of Zakrzewski.
"Sasha was just 24 years old and was serving as a consultant for us in Ukraine. She was helping our crews navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources. She was incredibly talented and spent weeks working directly with our entire team there, operating around the clock to make sure the world knew what was happening in her country," CEO Suzanne Scott wrote in a statement.
"Her dream was to connect people around the world and tell their stories and she fulfilled that through her journalism," Scott wrote.
— Amanda Macias
State Department says Russia isn't negotiating in good faith
The State Department said the U.S. is prepared to engage with Russia on ending the war in Ukraine, but Moscow has yet to take negotiations seriously.
"We have yet to find a Russian interlocutor that is either able or willing to negotiate in good faith and certainly not in the context of de-escalation," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
"A number of our partners are engaged directly with the Russian Federation at high levels. I think what is clear is that none of these engagements have yet resulted in a diminution of violence or in a reduction of the loss of life that we've seen across Ukraine," Price added.
President Joe Biden last spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 12., nearly two weeks before Russian troops began their invasion of Ukraine.
— Amanda Macias
Russia has launched more than 950 missiles into Ukraine
Russian forces have launched more than 950 missiles since the start of the Ukraine invasion, a senior U.S. Defense official said, adding that the Pentagon has observed a steady rise in missile launches amid stalled ground movements.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Russian arsenal includes short-range, medium-range, ballistic and cruise missiles.
The official said "Kyiv remains under bombardment by long-range fires" and targets include residential areas. The official said Russian forces have not appreciably advanced on Kyiv and are approximately 10 miles northwest of the capital and about 13 miles to the east.
— Amanda Macias
U.S. lobbyists connect Ukraine officials with powerful allies to help in war against Russia
Lobbyists are working to connect Ukrainian officials with powerful allies in the U.S., including mayors, governors and representatives of at least one firearms dealer, in an effort to help the war-torn country in its fight against Russia.
At least one U.S. firm and a separate lawyer each recently disclosed to the Department of Justice's Foreign Agents Registration Act unit that they started pro-bono work for Ukrainian government officials since the start of Russia's invasion. These advisors have started to help Ukrainian leaders as Western sanctions have led lobbyists to distance themselves from Russian-backed entities. The powerful lobbying firm Sidley Austin dropped VTB Bank as a client after the Biden administration sanctioned the financial institution.
Your Global Strategy, a lobbying and communications firm co-founded by international political strategists Shai Franklin and Michael Steiner, is working to connect local Ukrainian government officials with American mayors and governors, Franklin told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday. He later noted that he is the sole lobbyist from Your Global Strategy working on this effort.
Steiner previously worked closely with Russia as the Moscow-Russia CEO for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, winning a special citation from the Russian Federation for "contributions to the development of nationalities," according to his bio.
— Brian Schwartz
Large Russian convoy heading for Kyiv is stalled, Pentagon says
A large Russian military convoy, widely tracked by satellite imagery, appears to have made little progress for nearly a week, according to U.S. military estimates.
"We have no updates on the convoy. It is still stuck," a senior U.S. Defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told reporters Tuesday when asked about the latest satellite imagery provided by Maxar Technologies.
Last week, the official told reporters that "the convoy is not really going anywhere" and that it was not immediately clear how many vehicles are in the Russian convoy.
— Amanda Macias
'That is just the beginning': White House says more Russian yachts and assets set to be seized
White House press secretary Jen Psaki had a strong warning for Russian oligarchs: the United States and its Western allies are not done seizing their yachts.
"That is just the beginning," Psaki said after she confirmed U.S. allies had seized a number of yachts around the world.
President Joe Biden's administration recently announced a taskforce that would seek to deprive Russian oligarchs of assets and other tools used to evade sanctions following their country's invasion of Ukraine.
Psaki confirmed that five additional yachts owned by Russia's wealthiest executives have been seized by authorities, including a nearly 300-foot superyacht owned by Sergey Chemezov. Psaki said the yacht was seized in Spain. Chemezov, the CEO of Russian conglomerate Rostec, was sanctioned by Biden's administration.
The yacht is named Valerie and is worth about $100 million, according to Superyacht Fan.
— Brian Schwartz
Biden will head to Brussels for NATO summit
U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Brussels for a March 24 NATO summit about how to respond to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Biden will discuss "ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia's unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine, as well as to reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our NATO allies."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced what he called an "extraordinary" meeting earlier in the day.
"We will address #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine, our strong support for Ukraine, and further strengthening NATO's deterrence & defence," Stoltenberg wrote in a tweet. "At this critical time, North America & Europe must continue to stand together."
— Jacob Pramuk
White House press secretary holds briefing on Ukraine, Covid
Fox News cameraman killed while working in Ukraine
Pierre Zakrzewski, a cameraman for Fox News, was killed on Monday while reporting from Ukraine, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott announced to employees in a memo.
"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news this morning regarding our beloved cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski. Pierre was killed in Horenka, outside of Kyiv, Ukraine. Pierre was with Benjamin Hall yesterday newsgathering when their vehicle was struck by incoming fire," Scott wrote.
Scott wrote that Zakrzewski, a long-time war zone photographer with dispatches from Iraq and Syria, traveled to Ukraine in February. She said he had "vast" talents and "did it all under immense pressure."
Scott offered condolences to Zakrzewski's family and noted that Benjamin Hall, a Fox correspondent injured in Ukraine, remains hospitalized.
On Sunday, award-winning American filmmaker and journalist Brett Renaud was killed in Ukraine, the first U.S. reporter to die in the conflict.
— Amanda Macias
U.S. imposes sanctions on Russians over human rights violations
The United States imposed sanctions on Russians it accused of gross human rights violations and slapped fresh measures on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, increasing pressure on Moscow and its close ally amid the war in Ukraine.
The U.S. Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on four people and one entity it accused of playing a role in concealing events around the death of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky or of being connected to human rights violations against human rights advocate Oyub Titiev.
The Treasury statement also said it was adding to its sanctions against Lukashenko and also targeting his wife.
Russia bars Clinton, Biden, Blinken and others
Russia said has barred U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top officials from entering the country.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also named to Russia's "stop list" along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA chief William Burns and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. They were included on a list of 13 individuals banned from Russia in response to sanctions imposed by Washington on Russian officials.
But the foreign ministry said it was maintaining official relations with Washington and if necessary would make sure that high-level contacts with the people on the list could take place.
NATO has no plans to deploy nuclear-capable weapons systems amid Russia threat, Stoltenberg says
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the 30-member military alliance has no plans to shift mobile nuclear-capable weapons systems closer to Russia's borders, disputing a previous claim by Moscow.
In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his nation's nuclear forces on high alert amid tensions with the West over his invasion of Ukraine. At the time, Putin said he ordered the elevation because of "aggressive statements" made against Russia by NATO.
"We have no plans to deploy nuclear-capable intermediate-range land-based systems in Europe," Stoltenberg said ahead of a two-day NATO defense ministers meeting.
"At the same time, we need to be able to make sure that we are able to respond and protect all allies in the new security environment where Russia has deployed more nuclear-capable missiles," he said, adding that the alliance would invest in "readiness and the ability to monitor and detect" missile threats.
"We also need to make sure that NATO's nuclear deterrence remains safe and secure and effective and that's exactly what we're doing," he added.
— Amanda Macias
Russian missile strikes residential building in Kharkiv
Rescuers remove debris from a residential building damaged by an airstrike in the city of Kharkiv, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues.
— Adam Jeffery
NATO chief Stoltenberg says he is concerned Russia is weighing chemical weapons use
NATO is increasingly concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering the use of chemical weapons in his invasion of Ukraine, the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg said that the Kremlin has started to spread false propaganda that Ukraine and its allies are developing chemical weapons, leading the NATO chief to worry whether Putin himself is weighing the use of the illegal munitions.
"Any use of chemical weapons will be a violation of international law," Stoltenberg said at a news conference from NATO headquarters in Brussels. "We are concerned Moscow could stage a false flag operation in Ukraine, possibly with chemical weapons."
— Thomas Franck
Biden slated to authorize $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine
President Joe Biden is slated to sign into law a massive $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package that contains aid for Ukraine.
The 2,741-page bipartisan appropriation measure, known as H.R. 2471 or the Consolidated Appropriations Act, also includes $13.6 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
"We will make sure Ukraine has weapons to defend against the invading Russian force. We will send money and food and aid to save Ukrainian lives. We will welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms," Biden said via Twitter.
— Amanda Macias