Several missiles have hit an aircraft repair center on the outskirts of Lviv, western Ukraine, the city's mayor said Friday.
The strikes suggest Russian forces are continuing to widen their attack. Lviv has, so far, not been the site of active hostilities, and many Ukrainians have fled to the city.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about the need for peace in Ukraine.
Russia also called a special United Nations Security Council meeting in New York City this morning to discuss the Kremlin's claims that the U.S. is developing biological weapons in Ukraine. The U.S. and Ukraine have denied those claims.
Zelenskyy calls for talks with Russia, says it's time to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Russia to come to the table for talks.
"Meaningful peace and security talks for Ukraine are the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes," he said a video address on Saturday.
"It's time to meet. Time to talk. It is time to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine," Zelenskyy said. "Otherwise, Russia's losses will be such that you will not have several generations to rise."
— Joanna Tan
Biden warns Xi of global backlash
Biden held a nearly two-hour phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Both Biden and Xi agreed on the need to promote peace and assist with the humanitarian disaster created by the invasion. But they disagreed deeply on who is responsible for the suffering in Ukraine, with the Chinese leader refusing to hold Russia singularly accountable for the unprovoked invasion.
Instead, official readouts from Beijing made it clear that Xi's position was that the U.S. and Europe had provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin into attacking Ukraine by expanding NATO into Eastern Europe.
During the call, Biden "described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia," the White House said.
— Christina Wilkie
Canada welcomes Ukrainian refugees
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country has opened a temporary residency program for Ukrainian refugees.
Canada is now taking applications that will allow Ukranians to stay as temporary residents for up to three years under an extended visitor visa program, as opposed to a six-month visa.
The program expedites processing and waives application fees.
— Dawn Kopecki
U.S. targets Abramovich plane, 99 others over Russia export violations
The U.S. Commerce Department will effectively ground 100 airplanes that have recently flown to Russia and are believed to violate U.S. export controls, including a plane used by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, officials told Reuters.
The list, seen by Reuters, includes 99 Boeing airplanes operated by Russian passenger and cargo carriers including Aeroflot, AirBridge Cargo, Utair, Nordwind, Azur Air and Aviastar-TU — as well as Abramovich's Gulfstream G650 — and could further hinder Russian efforts to continue some international flights.
The Commerce Department will warn companies and other entities around the world that any refueling, maintenance, repair, or spare parts or services violate U.S. export controls and subject companies to U.S. enforcement actions that could include "substantial jail time, fines, loss of export privileges, or other restrictions," the department said.
Russia celebrates 8th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea
Russians celebrate the 8th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea.
— Adam Jeffery
Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant expected to be working again next week
Ukrainian officials expect that the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant will be working again next week after the site was damaged by Russian shelling.
Ukrainian engineers are currently repairing one of three disconnected power lines linking the country's largest nuclear power plant to the electricity grid, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi wrote in a statement.
Russian forces took control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant on March 4. A week prior, Russian forces took control of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
– Amanda Macias
State Department denied access to Brittney Griner in Russia
U.S. officials are still working to get access to WNBA star Brittney Griner after she was arrested by Russian authorities nearly a month ago on accusations of smuggling drugs into the country.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. has been consistently denied consular access to American citizens detained in Russia.
Earlier in the week, a Russian court denied the 31-year-old athlete house arrest amid an ongoing pre-trial investigation. Griner is being accused of smuggling hashish oil, a charge that carries up to 10 years in prison.
Griner's arrest came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine triggering international backlash and a slew of punishing sanctions.
– Amanda Macias
Macron raises strikes on civilians on call with Putin
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a little over an hour, an Elysee source confirmed to NBC News.
Macron, according to the person familiar with the details of the call, raised concerns over reports that Russian forces are launching attacks on civilian and nonmilitary sites.
The Elysee source said Putin again placed the blame for the ongoing war and any crimes against humanity in Ukraine on Kyiv.
The Kremlin's readout of the call said Putin stressed that "Russian Armed Forces are doing everything possible to save the lives of civilians, including by organizing humanitarian corridors for their safe evacuation."
Macron and Putin have spoken at least a dozen times in the past month.
– Amanda Macias
China says Biden and Xi discussed need for peace in Ukraine
President Joe Biden held a nearly two-hour phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The call was seen as a critical test of whether Biden can convince China to stay on the sidelines of the conflict in Ukraine, and to turn down Russian requests for military or economic aid.
According to a readout of the call from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Xi told Biden that the United States and China each had an obligation to promote peace.
The White House has yet to issue a formal readout of the call, but said it began just after 9 a.m. and lasted just shy of two hours. That's an unusually long time for a presidential call with the leader of a U.S. adversary.
— Christina Wilkie
U.S. senators plan trip to Germany and Poland
A bipartisan delegation of 10 U.S. senators will travel to Poland and Germany this weekend to meet with U.S. military leaders, NGOs and Ukrainian refugees.
The delegation will include Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Angus King, I-Maine; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan. and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.
"We will return with better insight on how Congress can and should continue to support the Ukrainian people and our NATO allies and see firsthand the heartbreaking humanitarian impact of Putin's war of aggression," the 10 senators wrote in a joint statement ahead of their trip.
– Amanda Macias
Injured children evacuated from Mariupol receive treatment
Editor's note: Graphic content. The following post contains photos of injured children.
Kids injured in Russia's attack on Mariupol receive treatment in Zaporizhzhia as evacuations from Mariupol continue.
— Adam Jeffery
U.S. accuses Russia of abusing its UN Security Council membership
Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused Russia of abusing its power to convene the UN Security Council, moments before a meeting of the powerful body at which Russia was expected to falsely accuse Ukraine of developing biological and chemical weapons.
"It is Moscow that has long maintained a biological weapons program in violation of international law, not Ukraine. It is Moscow that has a well documented history of using chemical weapons, not Ukraine. And it is Moscow that started the senseless war," Thomas-Greenfield said.
"Russia is abusing his responsibilities and privileges as a permanent member of the security council," she added.
"Our mandate is to serve as a venue for achieving peace through diplomacy. Russia's subversion of our mission, and its horrific campaign of violence against the Ukrainian people, are deeply shameful," said Thomas-Greenfield.
--- Christina Wilkie
Biden speaks to China's Xi as war enters fourth week
President Joe Biden's call with Chinese President Xi Jinping began at 9:03 a.m. ET, a White House official confirmed to NBC News.
In the days before the call, Washington warned that the world's second-largest economy should avoid financial support to Russia as global sanctions levied in response to the Kremlin's war in Ukraine set in.
The call follows an intense seven-hour meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials in Rome on Monday. The U.S. delegation, led by national security adviser Jake Sullivan, conveyed to Beijing's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, that China should not assist Russia as it attacks Ukraine.
– Amanda Macias
Lviv stages protest in fresh call for no-fly zone
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi posted a picture on Telegram Friday that showed a protest in the city's Rynok Square.
Empty strollers were placed in the square in memory of the 109 children that Ukrainian authorities say have been killed since the beginning of the war.
"We call on all adults around the world to stand as one shield to protect Ukrainian children and give them future." Sadovyi said. "Urge the governments of other countries to close the sky over Ukraine."
NATO members Lithuania and Estonia have formally called for a closure of Ukraine's skies in recent days. But the leaders of NATO, the U.S. and the U.K. have said imposing a no-fly zone would escalate the war and cause more suffering.
— Chloe Taylor
Ukraine’s European path has begun, EU’s von der Leyen says
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday that "Ukraine's European path has now begun."
In a tweet, von der Leyen also said she had told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the EU was disbursing a "second tranche of around €300 million of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine."
— Chloe Taylor
Colombian body-armor creator gears up to meet demand for Ukraine
The governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Spain and Belgium placed orders with MC Armor, a Colombian body-armor manufacturer based in Bogota, for bulletproof vests and helmets to be donated to Ukraine.