It's been more than three weeks since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin's operational progress has been "significantly blunted" due to its failure to control Ukrainian airspace, the UK Defense Ministry said.
After the meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and China, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that Beijing will "never accept any external coercion or pressure," and that it opposes "any groundless accusations or suspicions targeted against China."
Overnight, Russian artillery attacks continued to bombard residential areas in Kyiv, killing hundreds. Kyiv's military administration said 229 people, including four children, have been killed since the start of the war. Russia has killed 847 Ukrainian civilians, including 64 children, since Russia attacked Ukraine, the United Nations said.
Meanwhile, Russian forces are deporting thousands of Ukrainian citizens against their will to Russia, Mariupol's City Council claimed in a Telegram post. The information has not yet been verified by U.S. officials or CNBC.
Time will prove China is on the right side of history, China's foreign minister says
China is on the right side of history with regard to the Ukraine crisis — and time will prove it, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, according to Chinese state media.
"We have always stood for maintaining peace and opposing war," Wang said, according to CGTN News.
His comments came after the Friday meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S President Joe Biden, during which Biden warned of "consequences" if China were to provide material support to the Kremlin in its war against Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters a day after the U.S.-China meeting, Wang said Beijing will make its own assessment of the situation in an objective and fair manner.
"We will never accept any external coercion or pressure, and we will also oppose any groundless accusations or suspicions targeted against China," he added.
Beijing has so far refrained from condemning Russia, and has refused to call the violence in Ukraine an "invasion."
About 30% of Ukraine's economy has been shut down, finance ministry says
Nearly one-third of Ukraine's economy has been shut down as a result of the Russian invasion, said Ukraine's Finance Ministry, according to NBC News.
Preliminary calculations show that "about 30% of the economy is now either not working or temporarily not working," said the head of the finance ministry, Serhiy Marchenko.
He said Ukraine will now have to borrow to meet its financial needs.
"Now the situation is such that our tax revenues do not cover our needs, the main channel is borrowing, internal and external," he said "We finance the needs for the army and other important thing from the budget."
— Joanna Tan
Moscow has failed to gain control of Ukrainian airspace, says UK Defense Ministry
Russia has failed to gain control of the air in its war against Ukraine — and failure to do so has "significantly blunted their operational progress," the UK's Defense Ministry said in its latest intelligence report.
"The Ukrainian Air Force and Air Defence Forces are continuing to effectively defend Ukrainian air space," the ministry said.
As a result, the Kremlin is now relying heavily on stand-off weapons launched from Russian airspace to strike targets within Ukraine, according to the update.
— Joanna Tan
Ukrainians queue for ID cards in Warsaw, Poland
Thousands of Ukrainian refugees have been standing in line to obtain ID cards in the Polish capital of Warsaw, the Associated Press reported.
Ukrainians who obtain the PESEL identity cards will be allowed to get a job, go to school, and gain access to health care and social benefits at least for the next 18 months.
Polish authorities told the AP that over 123,000 refugees have been given the ID numbers since the program's launch on Wednesday.
In three weeks, Poland has received more than two million refugees forced to flee from Ukraine, the UN Refugee Agency said.
"This has been a tremendous effort from the people, local communities, municipalities and government of Poland in receiving and hosting new arrivals," said Christine Goyer, UNHCR's Representative in Poland.
— Joanna Tan
Athletes show support for Ukraine while competing at the World Athletics Indoor Championships
Athletes wear Ukrainian colors in support of Ukraine amid Russia's invasion in Ukraine while competing at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
Convoy of donated emergency vehicles prepare to travel to Polish-Ukraine border
A convoy of donated emergency service equipment, organized by Fire AID and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), leaves Kent, U.K. for the Polish border with Ukraine.
About 3.2 million people have fled Ukraine, according to Reuters, many to countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, Solvakia and Moldova, creating a refugee crisis across Europe.
— Adam Jeffery
U.S. lawmakers visit Poland refugee reception centers, urge support
A bipartisan delegation of U.S. lawmakers led by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., visited reception centers for refugees from Ukraine in eastern Poland.
"The most urgent action that we can take is to make sure that the Ukrainian fighters — those valiant patriots who are fighting for their freedom — have every bit of equipment, every bit of supply, every bit of support that we can possibly deliver to them," Lynch said.
Other members of the delegation included Reps. Lori Trahan, D-Mass, Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, Jake LaTurner, R-KS, Pat Fallon, R-TX, and Nancy Mace, R-SC.
— Associated Press
Satellite images show before and after views of the Mariupol Drama Theater bombed by Russia
Before and after satellite views of shows the Mariupol Drama Theater aftermath of an airstrike, in Mariupol, Ukraine. This building had been used as a shelter for hundreds of Ukrainian civilians. Notably, the word children is written in large white letters (in Russian) in front of and behind the theater.
Ukraine's human rights ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova said Friday that 1,300 people were still stuck in the basement and 130 people had been rescued. Russia denied responsibility for the bombing.
— Maxar Technologies
Ukraine says 489 educational institutions damaged, 69 destroyed
Shelling and bombing damaged 489 educational institutions in Ukraine, with 69 of those being completely destroyed, according to Ukraine's Committee on Education, Science, and Innovation.
"We will definitely rebuild everything after our victory, but we will never forget or forgive! Fascist Russia will be fully responsible for this genocide of education!" Serhiy Babak, head of the Verkhovna Rada committee, said in a Telegram post translated by NBC News.
Babak said 25 educational institutions were damaged, and five of those were destroyed, in the last 24 hours.
Russian artillery attacks continue to pound residential areas in Kyiv
EDITOR'S NOTE: Photos contain graphic content
Russian artillery attacks continue to target residential areas in Kyiv.
The city has experienced shelling since the start of Russia's invasion into Ukraine but attacks have increased in recent days. Kyiv's military administration said 229 people, including four children, have been killed since the start of the invasion.
Mariupol claims Russian forces are deporting thousands to Russia
Russian forces are deporting thousands of Ukrainian citizens against their will to Russia, Mariupol's City Council claimed in a Telegram post. The information has not yet been verified by U.S. officials or CNBC.
"What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War II, when the Nazis forcibly captured people. It is hard to imagine that in the 21st century people will be forcibly deported to another country," Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said in the post translated by NBC.
Officials said the occupiers removed people from the Left Bank district and shelters "in the building of a sports club," where mostly women and children were taking cover. The Mariupol residents were taken to "filtration camps," where their cell phones and documents were checked, it added. After the inspection, some were taken to Russia, the post said.
Chinese official calls sanctions on Russia increasingly 'outrageous'
A senior Chinese government official said sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia over Ukraine are increasingly "outrageous".
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng also acknowledged Moscow's point of view on NATO, saying the alliance should not further expand eastwards, forcing a nuclear power like Russia "into a corner".
"The sanctions against Russia are getting more and more outrageous," Le said at security forum in Beijing, adding that Russian citizens were being deprived of overseas assets "for no reason".
"History has proven time and again that sanctions cannot solve problems. Sanctions will only harm ordinary people, impact the economic and financial system... and worsen the global economy."
Ukraine will receive additional Stinger and Javelin missiles within days, official says
In the next few days, Ukraine will receive U.S. weapons including Javelin and Stinger missiles, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Saturday, according to Reuters.
Facing pressure from Congress to do more to help Ukraine, the White House recently released an exhaustive list of defensive weapons that President Joe Biden has committed to sending to Ukraine, with a price tag totaling $800 million. The list included 800 Stinger systems, used to shoot down aircraft, and 2,600 Javelin systems, primarily used to shoot tanks and armor.
Russia stepped up threats against incoming weapons shipments this week, with a foreign minister saying that cargo in Ukraine with weapons is "fair game."
— Kif Leswing
At least 228 people, including four children, have been killed in Kyiv, city's military admin says
At least 228 people, including four children, have been killed in Kyiv since Russian forces began a full-scale invasion, according to a Telegram post from Kyiv's military administration.
At least 912 people, including 16, children have been injured in the Ukrainian capital, according to the post.
Russian forces have sought out Kyiv as a key target. The city has experienced shelling since the start of the invasion, but attacks have mounted in recent days, including airstrikes on residential buildings.
UK Prime Minister says invasion is a turning point for world
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a "turning point for the world," arguing that victory for President Vladimir Putin's forces would herald "a new age of intimidation."
Speaking to a Conservative Party conference, Johnson claimed Putin was "terrified" that the example of a free Ukraine would spark a pro-democracy revolution in Russia.
He said "a victorious Putin will not stop in Ukraine, and the end of freedom in Ukraine will mean the extinction of any hope of freedom in Georgia and then Moldova, it will mean the beginning of a new age of intimidation across eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea."
— Associated Press
At least 847 Ukrainians killed, including 64 children, since Feb. 24, UN says
Russia has killed 847 Ukrainian civilians, including 64 children, since Russia began its armed attack against Ukraine on Feb. 24, the United Nations said.
At least an additional 1,399 people, including 78 children, have been injured from Feb. 24 through March 18.
The majority of casualties recorded have been caused by the use of explosive weapons with a "wide impact area," the agency said. That includes shelling from heavy artillery and air strikes.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it believes the actual number of casualties are "considerably higher," since information from areas with intense fighting is delayed and some reports are being corroborated.
Ukraine says it has killed fifth Russian general since start of war
Ukrainian officials said Russian Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev was killed in battle. Russian officials have not confirmed his death.
Mordvichev is the fifth Russian general killed in Ukraine since the start of war on Feb. 20, which is an unprecedented rate of leadership losses in modern warfare.
About 20 Russian generals are in Ukraine as part of the war, the New York Times reported last week, citing Western officials.
— Kif Leswing
700 people evacuate from Luhansk Oblast via humanitarian corridor
About 700 residents were evacuated from Luhansk Oblast in Eastern Ukraine through a humanitarian corridor, the Stet Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a Telegram post.
The regional governor previously announced a temporary ceasefire, or "regime of silence," to allow for evacuations on Saturday.
SES Ukraine also said that the Russians had violated the agreement and prevented some evacuations by continuing to fire shells in Popasna, a city in the region.
— Kif Leswing
Ukraine claims 14,400 Russian forces killed
Editor's note: Graphic content. This post contains a photo of casualties in Ukraine.
Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed Saturday about 14,400 Russian armed forces have been killed since the start of the invasion.
Intelligence has varied widely on the number of Russian deaths. American intelligence estimates more than 7,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, The New York Times said Wednesday. Russia, meanwhile, has claimed fewer than 500 deaths, the paper reported.
The mounting deaths come as nearly all of the troops Russia amassed on the border are now fighting inside the country. President Joe Biden previously said Moscow had 190,000 troops prepared. Still, Russia has struggled with logistics, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier in the day, with forces not advancing as quickly as they thought they would.
The Ukrainian government also detailed a list of weapons Russians have lost. It says Russian losses include 466 tanks, 213 artillery pieces, 3 vessels and 44 anti-aircraft warfare systems.
Zelenskyy calls on Swiss government to freeze oligarchs' bank accounts
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the Swiss government to freeze the bank accounts of all Russian oligarchs.
Swiss public broadcaster SRF reported that Zelenskyy, who spoke via livestream to thousands of antiwar protesters in the Swiss city of Bern, said "in your banks are the funds of the people who unleashed this war. Help to fight this. So that their funds are frozen. (...) It would be good to take away those privileges from them."
SRF also reported that the Ukrainian president criticized the Swiss multinational food conglomerate Nestle, which has decided not to withdraw from Russia for the time being, as opposed to many other international companies.
— Associated Press
U.S. DOD Secretary says Russian military has struggled
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia hasn't progressed as quickly as they would have liked to.
"They've struggled with logistics," Austin said in an interview with CNN. "We've seen a number of missteps along the way."
Austin said the Pentagon hasn't seen any evidence that the Kremlin is making good use of intelligence reports or integrating air combat with its ground assaults.
"So there are a number of things that we would expect to have seen that we just haven't seen ... Many of their assumptions have not proven to be true as they entered this fight," he said.
He added that Russia has not yet been able to achieve their goal of seizing Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.
— Annie Nova