Latest Ukraine updates: UNGA votes to demand Russian withdrawal

Russia-Ukraine news from March 2: UN General Assembly resolution condemns Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.

Members of the UN General Assembly vote on a resolution during a special session of the General Assembly
Members of the General Assembly approved the resolution during a special session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters. [Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP]


  • Russia claims its forces have captured Kherson, in Ukraine’s south.
  • Local authorities deny Kherson has fallen, but say Russian troops have encircled the city.
  • Deaths mount as Russian attacks pound several cities, including northeastern Kharkiv and Mariupol, in the southeast.
  • Russia’s negotiator says a second round of talks will take place on Thursday, while Ukraine is casting doubt on the plan.
  • The UN says more than 870,000 people have fled Ukraine in search of safety in other countries.
  • An enormous Russian military convoy is now about 25km north of the capital, Kyiv.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Moscow is aiming to “erase” Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Ukraine MAP DAY 7 KHERSON

The live blog is now closed; thank you for joining us. Here are the updates for March 2.

Kherson mayor says Russian troops in the streets

The mayor of the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson, Igor Kolykhayev said Russian troops were in the streets and had forced their way into the city council building, the Reuters news agency reported.

Ukraine’s government had earlier played down reports that Kherson had fallen into Russian hands.

Kolykhayev urged Russian soldiers not to shoot at civilians and publicly called on civilians to walk through the streets only in daylight and in ones and twos. “We do not have the Armed Forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here!” he said in a statement.

US envoy thanks states that voted against Russia at UN

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations, expressed gratitude for the 141 countries that voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution that condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Let us continue to come together to support the Ukrainian people and demonstrate the true power and true purpose of the UN,” Thomas-Greenfield wrote in a tweet.

US postpones ballistic missile test to avoid escalation: Pentagon

The Pentagon announced that the US postponed an intercontinental ballistic missile test previously set for this week to avoid escalation with Russia amid the intensifying crisis.

“In an effort to demonstrate that we have no intention in engaging in any actions that can be misunderstood or misconstrued, the decretary of defense has directed that our Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch scheduled for this week to be postponed,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

“We did not take this decision lightly, but instead to demonstrate that we are a responsible nuclear power.”

Pentagon says Russian advance on Kyiv ‘remains stalled’

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the Russian military’s push towards Kyiv from the north “remains stalled”.

“They haven’t – from our best estimates – have not made any appreciable progress geographically speaking, in the last 24 to 36 hours,” Kirby told reporters.

He said the Pentagon believes the advance has slowed down because Russian forces are deliberately regrouping while also facing unanticipated logistic challenges and experiencing resistance from Ukrainians.

Maternity hospital, civil infrastructure targeted in Mariupol

The mayor of Ukraine’s key southeastern coastal city Mariupol has said Russian forces pummelled the port for hours and were attempting to block civilians from leaving.

Vadym Boichenko said at a news conference that Russian forces hit the city for 14 hours straight. Public transport in the city stopped, cutting off some districts. Some of the city has had no electricity since Friday afternoon and few shops remained open.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the regional military administration, said areas with “no military infrastructure” were being targeted, including a maternity hospital on the city’s Left Bank.

Georgia to apply ‘immediately’ for EU membership

Georgia will “immediately” apply for EU membership, the Black Sea nation’s ruling party has said, a day after the European Parliament backed war-torn Ukraine’s bid to apply for EU membership.

The ruling Georgian Dream party chairman, Irakli Kobakhidze, said the decision was made “based on the overall political context and the new reality.”

Sweden says Russian fighter jets violated airspace

Four Russian fighter jets briefly entered Swedish territory over the Baltic Sea, the Swedish Armed Forces said, sparking a swift condemnation from Sweden’s defence minister.

“The Russian violation of Swedish airspace is of course completely unacceptable,” Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told news agency TT. “It will lead to a firm diplomatic response from Sweden. Swedish sovereignty and territory must always be respected.”

Blinken says US open to diplomacy on Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had made clear to Ukraine it will support Kyiv’s efforts at diplomacy with Russia but it was to hard see a diplomatic path without a military de-escalation.

In a comment addressed to the Russian people, Blinken told a news conference the United States knew many of them wanted nothing to do with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

Powerful explosion in Kyiv near rail station

Ukrainian officials have reported a powerful explosion in Kyiv, between the Southern Railway station and the Ibis hotel, an area near Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

The station was being used to evacuate thousands of women and children, Ukraine’s state-run railway company Ukrzaliznytsya said in a statement.

The station building suffered minor damage and the number of any casualties was not yet known, the statement said, adding trains were still operating.

Zelenskyy’s office told The Associated Press that it was a missile strike.

On the road in eastern Ukraine, everywhere is the front line

After Russia crossed the border on February 24, it was not so much a matter of if the port city in eastern Ukraine would be targeted in the advance, but when.

Mariupol’s eastern suburbs, 10km (six miles) from the front line with Russian-backed separatists, have already suffered years of violence, but during the last week, Russian troops have moved in from every direction and the area has been pounded incessantly with rockets and other projectiles.

Read more here.

One week in, Russia’s war on Ukraine has rocked the world

A week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there have already been a number of historic firsts.

As Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and other major cities came under their first attack since World War II, the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom unleashed the deepest and broadest sanctions on such a large economy as Russia’s for the first time.

European countries have made historic foreign and defence policy moves, while nuclear tensions have risen to their highest level since the Cold War.

Read more here.

Intense fighting ongoing in Mariupol

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Dnipro, said witnesses spoke of intense fighting in the last couple of hours in the port city of Mariupol, located on the Azov Sea.

Members of a convoy organised by the Greek consul to evacuate its nationals described fierce fighting taking place in the evening. At least one bridge has been destroyed.

Stratford said taking over Mariupol was a strategic military goal as it would enable Russia to link Crimea with Donbas.

Abramovich puts Chelsea up for sale

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich has said he will sell Chelsea Football Club, amid calls for the metals magnate to be hit by sanctions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich said he told his aides to set up a charitable foundation which would receive all net proceeds from the sale.

“The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine,” Abramovich said in the statement.

EU’s eastern countries to leave Soviet-era banks

Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania will quit two Soviet-era international banks which count Russia as their largest shareholder following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, their finance ministries have said.

The move follows the announcement by the Czech Republic on Friday which said it would quit the International Bank for Economic Cooperation (IBEC) and the International Investment Bank (IIB) and called on other EU member states to do likewise.

Russia says talks with Ukraine to resume on Thursday

Russia expects Ukrainian officials to arrive in Belarus for the next round of talks on Thursday morning, when a ceasefire is set to be discussed, Russian news agencies has cited Moscow’s negotiator Vladimir Medinsky as saying.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak suggested the exact timing of talks had not yet been determined.

The first round of talks on the Belarusian border on Monday ended with no agreement except to keep talking.

Lavrov says Russia aiming to disarm Ukraine

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said “Ukraine has the capability and the technology to manufacture a nuclear weapon… The mission is clear: to disarm Ukraine and not deploy and manufacture any weapons that threaten Russia’s security.”

Lavrov added Russia had made its requests clear. “President Putin has repeatedly expressed our position, which our delegation conveyed in the talks with Ukraine in Belarus: Crimea is part of Russia; recognising the Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples Republics within the borders of the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk; the eradication of Nazism as was the case with Nazi Germany,” he said.

UN approves resolution condemning Russia

The United Nations General Assembly has approved a non-binding resolution condemning Russia for the invasion of Ukraine and demanding an immediate withdrawal.

The resolution, supported by 141 of the assembly’s 193 members, passed in a rare emergency session called by the UN Security Council.

Russia was joined by Belarus, which has served as a launch pad for Russian invasion forces, Eritrea, North Korea and Syria in voting against the resolution. Thirty-five members, including China, abstained.

“People in Ukraine desperately need peace and people around the world demand it,” UN head Antonio Guterres said in an interview after the vote.

Interactive showing how countries voted.
(Al Jazeera)

US launches task force to pursue ‘corrupt Russian oligarchs’

US Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced the launch of a task force to pursue “corrupt Russian oligarchs” and violators of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“The Justice Department will use all of its authorities to seize the assets of individuals and entities who violate these sanctions,” Garland said in a statement announcing the launch of ‘Task Force KleptoCapture.’

Read more here.

Ukrainian minister draws standing ovation at UN rights body

Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister has received a standing ovation at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva after calling for support for a draft resolution to set up a UN investigation into alleged crimes committed by Russia.

“We are under inhumane attack,” Emine Dzhaparova said.

More than 100 diplomats walked out during an address by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday.

India urges its students to immediately leave Kharkiv

India’s foreign ministry has issued a new advisory urging Indian students to immediately leave Kharkiv.

“We have issued this advisory based on inputs that the Russian side has given,” foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters in New Delhi. He did not specify how many Indian students were currently in Kharkiv.

The advisory said students must reach nearby cities and settlements by any means of transport or on foot by 16:00 GMT, “under all circumstances”, for their own safety.

It was issued a day after an Indian student was killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv.

Before Moscow launched its attack, Indian nationals made up about a quarter of the 76,000 foreign students in Ukraine, by far the largest number, according to Ukrainian government data.

EU sanctions 22 Belarus officers over Ukraine invasion

The European Union has imposed sanctions on 22 senior Belarusian military officers over what it said was Minsk’s role in aiding Russia’s invasion.

The six generals and 16 colonels were added to the EU blacklist because “Belarus is participating in a Russian unprovoked invasion against Ukraine by allowing military aggression from its territory,” the official sanction document said.

The blacklist bans travel into the bloc and imposes asset freezes.

Amid war, an independent Russian radio station goes silent

One of Russia’s best-known radio stations has gone silent.

On Tuesday night, listeners who tuned in to Echo of Moscow, one of the handful of independent news outlets remaining in the country, heard nothing but the hissing noise of static.

It was the latest development in an intense squeeze by Moscow on domestic reporting of its war in Ukraine.

Read more here.

WHO says first medical aid for Ukraine to arrive in Poland Thursday

A first shipment of medical aid for Ukraine will arrive in Poland on Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Six tonnes of trauma care and emergency surgery supplies will be delivered to meet the needs of 1,000 patients, and other health supplies to meet the needs of 150,000 people, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing in Geneva.

He also stressed the need for a humanitarian corridor to be created to ensure the supplies reached the people most in need.

A doctor is seen taking shelter in a basement in Kyiv
Ukraine is facing problems distributing medicines to pharmacies and hospitals due to the Russian invasion, the country’s health minister has said [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

Do not call Ukraine invasion a ‘war’, Russia tells media, schools

The Kremlin has been working hard to promote its version of events as Russia’s bloody assault on Ukraine continues.

Read more on Moscow’s efforts to control the narrative here.

Reports of ‘heavy casualties’ in Mariupol: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Zaporizhzhia, a city in southeastern Ukraine, says there are reports of “heavy casualties” in Mariupol, a key port city in the country’s south.

“The mayor … is alleging that Russian forces are blocking the exit of civilians from the city,” Stratford said.

“We know that there was a large tank column and a lot of Russian weapons moved into positions to the west of the city over the last couple of days,” he added.

“We also know that there has been a lot of shelling on the east of the city as well, since this war started.”

Stratford said the Russians appeared to be “desperately trying to create a land corridor” linking the northern part of the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, with the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

“And it certainly looks as if there has been so far today what can only be described as an escalation as Russia tries to push further forwards in multiple locations around the country,” he added.

EU bans RT, Sputnik over Ukraine disinformation

Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik will be banned in the EU with immediate effect for promoting what the bloc says is systematic disinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The unprecedented move means that EU operators will be prohibited from broadcasting, facilitating or otherwise contributing to the dissemination of any RT and Sputnik content.

‘We burned our clothes to stay warm’: Somali details Ukraine exit

Mustafa Mohamed, a Somali national, has described to Al Jazeera his ordeal to find refuge in Poland following Russia’s invasion.

After 10 years in Ukraine, he left behind his life in Vinnytsia when a blast hit the city, in west-central Ukraine, and headed for the border.

Along the way, he found hardship and despair among the throngs of crowds attempting to reach safety elsewhere.

Click here to read his account.

Kyiv asks pope to talk to Putin about humanitarian corridors

Ukraine has asked the pope to talk to Putin about allowing humanitarian corridors to assist civilians affected by Moscow’s incursion, the country’s deputy prime minister has said.

“I hope the conversation will take place,” Iryna Vereshchuk said on live television in Ukraine.

UK PM says Putin guilty of ‘war crime’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he believes Russia’s actions in Ukraine qualify as a “war crime”.

“What we have seen already from Vladimir Putin’s regime in the use of the munitions that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians … in my view already fully qualifies as a war crime,” Johnson told the United Kingdom’s Parliament.

The humanitarian situation: What we know

The numbers of dead and wounded are incredibly difficult for anyone to verify, given the chaotic events on the ground.

Ukraine’s emergency services said on Wednesday that more than 2,000 civilians had been killed since the invasion began on February 24.

“Children, women and defence forces are losing their lives every hour,” it said in a statement.

Russia has not commented in detail on casualties, either in terms of Ukrainian civilians or losses among its troops.

Emergency service workers are seen carrying a victims body on a stretcher in Kharkiv
Emergency service workers carry away a body in central Kharkiv [Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters]

On Monday, the UN said 136 people, including 13 children, had been killed.

However, the world body did warn the real figure was likely to be “much higher”.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the death toll.

Meanwhile, more than 870,000 people have now fled Ukraine in search of safety in other countries, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

Russians to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ at Winter Paralympics

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has said Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete as neutrals at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing.

The IPC added that athletes from the two countries will compete under the Paralympic flag and will not be included in the medal table. It said it would not hold events in either country “while the present situation continues”.

“What we have decided upon is the harshest possible punishment we can hand down within our constitution and the current IPC rules,” IPC President Andrew Parsons said in a statement.

Ukraine needs humanitarian corridor, health minister says

Ukraine is facing problems distributing medicines to pharmacies and hospitals due to the Russian invasion and wants to establish a humanitarian corridor for them, Health Minister Oleh Lyashko says.

Lyashko also raised the issue of supplying medical oxygen to coronavirus patients, but added that there were still enough stocks for the moment.

Russian cruise missile strikes Kharkiv city council building, official says

Russian forces have fired a cruise missile into the city council building in Kharkiv, the deputy governor of the region, Roman Semenukha, says.

A key Russian target, Kharkiv has come under intense shelling over the past two days.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify Semenukha’s claim.

Ukrainian official claims Kherson not captured by Russia

An adviser to Ukraine’s president has denied Russia’s claims that its forces have captured Kherson.

Oleksiy Arestovych said street fighting is conyinuing in the city, which is home to about 300,000 people and sits at the Dnieper River’s exit into the Black Sea.

“The city has not fallen, our side continues to defend,” he said.

More than 870,000 people have fled Ukraine, UN says

More than 870,000 people have now fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, according to the UNHCR.

Many have fled into neighbouring Poland, which has received more than 450,000 people so far.

The overall number has risen rapidly since Moscow started its onslaught and is expected to continue to climb quickly.

UAE reimposes visa requirements on Ukrainians

The Ukrainian embassy in the United Arab Emirates says the Gulf country is reimposing visa requirements on Ukrainians.

The embassy posted on its Facebook page that the measure, which means any Ukrainian passport holders wanting to visit the UAE will now need a visa first, had taken effect from Tuesday.

The energy-rich UAE, which relies on Russian and Ukrainian wheat exports, is home to some 15,000 Ukrainian residents among its roughly eight million foreign residents and one million Emirati citizens.

Like other Gulf Arab states, it does not recognise individuals fleeing war and has not permitted refugees from Syria, Iraq and other wars to seek asylum or seek resettlement.

Last week, it abstained during a UN Security Council vote condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lavrov says Russia will not let Ukraine obtain nuclear weapons: Report

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said Moscow will not allow Ukraine to obtain nuclear weapons, according to a report by the country’s TASS news agency.

Lavrov’s reported remarks came a day after he alleged at a Geneva disarmament meeting that Kyiv has been seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

“Ukraine still has Soviet technologies and the means of delivery of such weapons,” he told the Conference on Disarmament in a pre-recorded address. “We cannot fail to respond to this real danger.”

Lavrov delivered his speech to a thin crowd after diplomats from many countries staged a walk-out to protest against Russia’s invasion. Moscow has moved to put its own nuclear forces on high alert in recent days.

INTERACTIVE- Nuclear warheads per country

‘Four killed’ as Russia raids pound Kharkiv

Emergency services and the mayor of Kharkiv say four more people have been killed in the city as Russian air and rocket attacks continue.

Nine others have been wounded, they said.

“Kharkiv is a Russian-speaking city. Every fourth person in Kharkiv has relatives in the Russian Federation. But the city’s attitude to Russia today is completely different to what it ever was before,” Mayor Ihor Terekhov said in a video posted online.

“We never expected this could happen: total destruction, annihilation, genocide against the Ukrainian people – this is unforgivable.”

There was no immediate comment on the allegations from Russia, while Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.

Russian police allegedly detain children for taking anti-war signs to Ukraine’s embassy in Moscow

Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading independent newspaper, has reported that children have been detained by Russian police for laying flowers and anti-war signs at the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow.

“In the Presnensky police department, children and their parents are left overnight,” the newspaper tweeted in Russian, alongside a photo of the children and their parents.

“The police detained them when they laid flowers at the Ukrainian embassy,” it added.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify Novaya Gazeta’s reporting.

Kyiv mayor says Russia is massing troops closer to the capital

Russia is gathering troops closer and closer to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital’s mayor says.

“We are preparing and will defend Kyiv,” Vitali Klitschko said in a statement on Facebook. “Kyiv stands and will stand.”

He also reminded the city’s residents to continue obeying a city-wide curfew in effect from 8pm to 7am each day.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Kyiv MAP DAY 7

Russia says it’s ready for more talks today

The Kremlin has said Russian officials are ready to hold a second round of talks with Ukraine later today, but added it was not clear if Ukrainian officials would turn up.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there was contradictory information regarding the talks. A meeting between delegations from the two countries on Monday ended without any agreement except to keep talking.

Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that Russia must stop bombing Ukrainian cities before further discussions could take place.

Navalny spokeswoman calls for daily anti-war protests in Russia

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny’s spokeswoman has called for daily anti-war protests in Russia.

“The most important [thing]: to spread information. If you are afraid of reposting (although it’s late for fear) – at least spread it among your acquaintances by word of mouth … No war,” Kira Yarmysh tweeted.

Yarmysh called for protesters to stage daily demonstrations at 7pm local time in the main squares of all Russian cities, and for rallies to be held at 2pm local time on weekends.

Several rounds of anti-war protests have already taken place in cities across Russia. More than 6,800 people have been arrested for taking part in the demonstrations, according to protest monitoring group OVD-Info.

Russia cancelled Black Sea passage bid of four warships: Turkey

Russia has cancelled a bid to send four of its warships through Turkish waters into the Black Sea at Turkey’s request, according to the Turkish government.

Read more here.

EU approves new sanctions against Belarus

EU diplomats have approved new sanctions against Belarus for its supporting role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the French Presidency of the EU Council says.

The sanctions will target Belarusian figures alleged to have played a role in the assault, the French Presidency said on Twitter, and will also hit “some economic sectors, and in particular timber, steel and potassium”.

The presidency of the EU Council rotates among the bloc’s member states every six months.

Why hasn’t Russia mobilised its vast air power against Ukraine?

Before Russia’s invasion, the United States had predicted Moscow would launch a blistering assault that would quickly mobilise its vast air power to dominate Ukraine’s skies.

But recent days have seen those expectations confounded, with Russia acting far more delicately with its air power.

Read more here.

Empty shelves, spy hunt: Kyiv residents brace for Russian assault

In the Ukrainian capital, residents and servicemen alike hunt for Russian spies in the Ukrainian capital while supermarkets struggle to keep their shelves stocked.

All of this while an enormous Russian military convoy lumbers towards the city, raising fears of an imminent uptick in fighting there.

Read more here.

A woman is seen looking at empty shelves in a Kyiv shop
A woman stares at empty shelves at a store in the capital [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
Ukrainian forces are seen on a road in the centre of Kyiv
Tension in Kyiv is increasing as a miles-long Russian military convoy edges towards the city [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
People line up in front of a pharmacy in Kyiv
Except for queues in front of essential stores, such as pharmacies, Kyiv’s streets are largely empty [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

EU Commission proposes temporary residence rights for Ukrainian refugees

The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, has proposed that the bloc grant temporary residence rights to people fleeing Ukraine.

Designed to deal with mass arrivals of displaced persons inside the EU, the new legislation will provide the same level of protection to Ukrainians in all 27 of the bloc’s member states and allow them to obtain residence permits as well as access to employment and social welfare.

The proposal will be discussed by EU interior ministers on Thursday.

Zelenskyy adviser says more Russia talks being considered

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has said that Kyiv is discussing whether to hold more negotiations with Russia.

A meeting between delegations from the two countries on Monday ended without any agreement except to keep talking.

Podolyak told the Reuters news agency that a “substantial agenda” was needed for any follow-up meeting.

Russian attacks ‘aimed at depriving Ukraine access to Black Sea’: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull, reporting from the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, says there appears to be a “pattern of Russian attacks aimed at depriving Ukraine of access to its Black Sea coast”.

“The Russians are said to be in control of Kherson and are also encircling Mariupol, a much bigger port city down on the Black Sea coast between Crimea and the breakaway regions,” he said, citing the DPR and LPR in eastern Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE- Ukraine Russia head-to-head

‘Nothing is normal any longer in Ukraine’

Kateryna Shynkaruk, a Ukrainian political scientist and lecturer at the Kyiv-based National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, says “nothing is any longer normal in Ukraine” following Russia’s invasion.

“It has been such a dramatic change,” Shynkaruk told Al Jazeera from the western city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, where she fled to on Tuesday from the capital.

“And all these circumstances have brought to light things that were debated for decades – about whether Ukraine belongs in Europe or not … and what kind of state Russia is,” she added. “It is a terrorist state.”

Mariupol under heavy shelling, mayor says

Mariupol is under constant shelling from Russian forces, its mayor says.

“We are fighting, we are not ceasing to defend our motherland,” Vadym Boichenko said live on Ukrainian TV.

The intensity of the attacks meant it was proving impossible to evacuate those who had been wounded, he added.

Paramedics are see moving a patient in Mariupol
Mariupol has come under intense shelling from Russian forces in recent days [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP]

Russian paratroopers land in Kharkiv, clashes erupt

The Ukrainian military says immediate clashes have erupted after Russian paratroopers landed in Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on the seventh day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

“Russian airborne troops landed in Kharkiv … and attacked a local hospital,” the army said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

“There is an ongoing fight between the invaders and the Ukrainians,” it added.

Read more here.

‘Russian soldiers seen on the streets of Kherson’: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Lviv, says there are reports of “Russian soldiers being seen on the streets of Kherson”.

“This is a strategic city because it links the annexed Crimean Peninsula to the mainland of Ukraine,” Simmons said.

He added Russian forces were now trying to take control of Mariupol.

“There is a colossal fight going on there,” Simmons said.

Ukraine has enough for current spending despite war, finance minister says

Ukraine has enough funds to cover all current spending, the country’s finance minister has said, noting the scale of international support amid Russia’s assault.

“We have huge international support … We carry out all social payments, pensions, salaries and financial support for the army,” Sergiy Marchenko told Ukrainian TV in an interview, adding the ministry would continue issuing domestic war bonds.

Russia aims to ‘erase us’, Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says

Zelenskyy has claimed that nearly 6,000 Russians have been killed during Moscow’s invasion and warned the Kremlin it will not be able to take control of Ukraine with bombs and air raids.

In a video address, the Ukrainian president said a Russian missile strike in the capital on Tuesday which hit a Holocaust memorial complex “proves that for many people in Russia our Kyiv is absolutely foreign”.

“They don’t know a thing about Kyiv, about our history. But they all have orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all,” he added.

Russia has not publically declared how many of its troops have been killed and Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided by Zelenskky.

Russia claims capture of Kherson: Report

Russia’s defence ministry says the country’s armed forces have captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, according to a report by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

If the city has fallen, it would be the largest to be captured by Russian forces since Moscow launched its offensive.

Local authorities deny Kherson has fallen, but say Russian troops have encircled the city.

People leaving Russia limited to carrying $10,000 as sanctions bite

Russian residents are no longer allowed to leave the country with more than the equivalent of $10,000 as the Kremlin tries to keep capital inside the country.

The rule affects the movement of foreign currency, too, and seems designed to make sure that people attempting to leave Russia – as sanctions are slapped on the country – don’t take all of their hard currency with them.

Long queues are now common at cash machines that still have bank notes as people try to withdraw their holdings, against the backdrop of a rouble that is rapidly losing most of its value in light of the sanctions. Prices of imported goods are shooting up and people are trying to purchase some items, like new phones, before they become unaffordable.

Vendors count Russian ruble banknotes at a market in Omsk
Russia’s rouble has plummeted in value amid a flurry of Western sanctions [File: Alexey Malgavko/Reuters]

Germany is prepared if Russia stops gas exports: Economy minister

Germany is prepared should Russia stop exporting gas to the country, which is Europe’s largest economy, Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said.

Asked by radio station Deutschlandfunk what the government would do if Russia stops gas exports, Habeck replied: “We are prepared for that. I can give the all-clear for the current winter and summer.”

“For the next winter, we would take further measures,” he added, pointing to planned new legislation to ensure gas storage is full for winter.

“So we are also taking precautions for the worst case, which has not happened yet because the Russians are delivering,” he said, adding that in a worse-case scenario Berlin could keep “coal-fired power plants in reserve, maybe even keep them running,” but that it was committed to moving to renewables in the medium term.

At least 21 killed, 112 wounded in shelling of Kharkiv: Ukrainian official

At least 21 people have been killed and 112 wounded in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, regional governor Oleg Synegubov has said.

The authorities said Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Ukraine’s second-largest city, including residential areas and the regional administration building.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.

More than 450,000 people have fled to Poland, minister says

More than 450,000 people have fled to Poland from Ukraine since the Russian invasion started, Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Szefernaker has said.

Szefernaker also told private radio station Radio Zet that the number of people entering Poland fell slightly on Tuesday to 98,000 from a record number of more than 100,000 a day earlier.

Russia’s largest lender Sberbank quits Europe

Russia’s largest lender Sberbank has said it is quitting the European market after coming under pressure from Western sanctions levelled against the state bank.

“In the current environment, Sberbank has decided to withdraw from the European market,” the lender said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The bank’s European subsidiaries were facing “abnormal cash outflows and threats to the safety of employees and branches,” the statement said.

Google blocks RT, Sputnik from Play app store in Europe

Alphabet Inc’s Google has said it has blocked mobile apps connected to RT and Sputnik from its Play store, in line with an earlier move to remove the Russian state publishers from its news-related features.

A number of tech companies have limited distribution and advertising tools to Russian news outlets in recent days as the European Commission readies a ban on them out of concern that they are spreading misinformation about the war in Ukraine.

Moscow Exchange won’t resume stock trading on Wednesday

Russia’s central bank has kept stock market trading on the Moscow Exchange suspended for a third day in a row, but says it will allow a limited range of operations for the first time this week.

Taiwan president to donate salary for Ukraine relief efforts

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has said that she, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang will each donate one month’s salary to help with humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine.

Twitter to comply with EU sanctions on Russian state media

Twitter will comply with the EU’s sanctions on Russian state-affiliated media RT and Sputnik when the EU order takes effect, the social network has said.

“The European Union (EU) sanctions will likely legally require us to withhold certain content in EU member states,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“We intend to comply with the order when it goes into effect.”

Outside the EU, Twitter would continue to focus on reducing the visibility of content from these outlets as well as labelling it.

UNGA will censure Russia over Ukraine invasion

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is set to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and demand that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces, a move that aims to diplomatically isolate Russia at the world body.

While UNGA resolutions are non-binding, they carry political weight.

The draft text “demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”.

UN: 13 children killed in Russian invasion

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) says at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine last week.

Liz Throssel, an OHCHR spokeswoman, said 400 others were wounded.

“The real toll is likely to be much higher,” she said, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Biden: US stands with the Ukrainian people

The US president has sharply criticised his Russian counterpart and led a standing ovation for the embattled Ukrainian people in a State of the Union speech.

“Let each of us if you’re able to stand, stand and send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world,” Biden said. The lawmakers stood, applauded and roared, many waving Ukrainian flags.

“While he [Putin] may make gains on the battlefield, he will pay a continuing high price over the long run,” Biden said, adding that the US is working to seize yachts and apartments of Russian oligarchs, saying: “We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.”

Boeing suspends parts, support for Russian airlines

Boeing Co says it is suspending parts, maintenance and technical support for Russian airlines as well as major operations in Moscow.

“As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region,” said a spokesperson for the US aeroplane manufacturer.

World’s biggest shipping lines halt Russian deliveries

Danish shipping giant Maersk, Switzerland-based MSC and France’s CMA CGM say they will no longer take bookings for goods from Russia and will suspend most deliveries.

Citing the impact of sanctions, “bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies”, Maersk said in a statement.

MSC announced similar measures, saying it would “continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods”. CMA CGM said it was suspending all bookings “in the interest of safety”.

Read more here.

Visa, Mastercard block Russian financial institutions

US payment card firms Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc have blocked multiple Russian financial institutions from their network, complying with sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some 80,000 Ukrainians return to fight Russia: Ministry

Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs says 80,000 Ukrainians have returned from overseas to join in the fight against Russia.

In a Telegram post, the ministry said the vast majority of returnees were men and they had joined the military ranks and other territorial defence forces.

US to ban Russian flights from American airspace: Officials

The US government is set to announce a ban on Russian flights in American airspace following similar moves by the EU and Canada, according to government and industry officials.

The precise timing is unclear but is expected within the next 24 hours, the sources told Reuters news agency.

ExxonMobil to withdraw from key Russian oilfield

US oil giant ExxonMobil says it will begin a phased withdrawal from the major oilfield it operates in Russia on behalf of a consortium including Russian, Indian and Japanese companies, citing Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In response to recent events, we are beginning the process to discontinue operations and developing steps to exit the Sakhalin-1 venture,” the group said in a statement.

Four dead in Russian attack on Zhytomyr: Official

An adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister says four people, including a child, were killed when homes in the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr were hit by a Russian cruise missile.

Anton Herashchenko said on his Telegram channel that the missile was apparently aimed at a nearby base of the 95th Airborne Brigade in Zhytomyr, 120km (75 miles) west of Kyiv.

Residential buildings near the base were on fire and “so far, four people have died. Including a child,” he said.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.

Seven killed in raid on Kharkiv building: Governor

Russian forces are continuing to bombard Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv, firing on residential neighbourhoods as well as the city’s main square, according to a local official.

Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said in a Telegram post that seven people were killed in an attack on a government building and 24 people, including a child, were wounded.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.

US lawmakers urge Biden to shield Ukrainians from deportation

More than 40 members of the US House of Representatives have signed a letter to Biden urging him to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which would shield Ukrainian nationals in the US from deportation.

“The United States has a moral and humanitarian responsibility to support Ukrainians during this ongoing conflict,” the legislators wrote.

Italy’s Eni to pull out of Russia-Turkey pipeline

Italian oil giant Eni says it will withdraw from the Blue Stream gas pipeline linking Russia to Turkey in which it has a 50 percent stake.

A spokesman said “Eni intends to sell its stake” in the Blue Stream pipeline which links Russia and Turkey via the Black Sea. Rivals BP and Shell have also divested from Russia-linked projects.

Biden to condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine as ‘Putin’s war’

Biden will condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in strong terms during a State of the Union address later on Tuesday evening, comparing it with World War II, according to the White House.

“Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos. They keep moving. And, the costs and threats to America and the world keep rising,” Biden will say in his speech.

Putin misjudged Western response to Ukraine invasion: Biden

Biden says Putin underestimated the powerful response his invasion of Ukraine would illicit from Western nations.

“Putin’s war was premeditated and unprovoked,” Biden said in prepared remarks released ahead of his annual State of the Union address.

“He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And, he thought he could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready.”

United Airlines suspends flying over Russian airspace

United Airlines confirms it has temporarily suspended flying over Russian airspace, joining other major US carriers.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Parcel Service all said this week they had halted flights over Russia as the White House considers following Canada and the EU in banning overflights of US airspace by Russian carriers.

INTERACTIVE- Closed airspace and cancelled flights over Ukraine

US’s Yellen: G7 ready to impose further financial pressure on Russia

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the Group of Seven (G7) nations will convene a task force to focus on freezing and seizing assets of Russian elites.

“We stand ready to impose further financial pressure, as necessary,” Yellen said in a statement after a G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors on the situation in Ukraine.

World Bank preparing $3bn aid package for Ukraine

The World Bank says it is preparing a $3bn aid package for Ukraine, which will include at least $350m in immediate funds.

The first tranche of the aid “will be submitted to the Board for approval this week, followed by $200m in fast-disbursing support for health and education,” the World Bank said in a joint statement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF will consider the country’s latest request for emergency financing “as early as next week.”

Russia: We see ‘no desire’ from Ukraine to find solution

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva says Moscow sees “no desire on the part of Ukraine” to try to find a legitimate and balanced solution to the problems between the two countries.

Gennady Gatilov told a Lebanese television station that Russia “supports diplomacy based on respect for the positions of all countries and equality, but for now, we don’t see that”, according to the Russian news agency RIA.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held a first round of talks on Monday but made no substantial progress, merely agreeing to meet again. No date was set for a second round.

World Bank, IMF race to get aid to Ukraine, warn of ‘treacherous period’

The heads of the World Bank and IMF say they are racing to provide billions of dollars of additional funding to Ukraine in the coming weeks and months, warning that the war threatened to create “significant spillovers” to other countries.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass warned that commodity prices were rising, which risked further fueling inflation, and disruptions in financial markets would continue to worsen should the conflict persist.

The leaders said they were deeply shocked and saddened by the war, but did not explicitly mention Russia, which is a shareholder in both institutions.

EU bans Russian media outlets, banks

The EU has banned Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik from broadcasting in the bloc while banning “certain” Russian banks from the SWIFT bank messaging system, the EU’s rotating presidency said.

The moves, due to come into force on Wednesday after publication in the official journal of the EU, come as Brussels intensifies its sanctions regime on Moscow in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy asks Biden to ‘stop the aggressor’

Ukraine’s president has spoken with his American counterpart, telling him that it is important to stop “aggressor” Russia “as soon as possible”.

The phone call came ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address.

100,000 Ukrainians join self-defence units: Official

Svitlana Zalishchuk, a foreign policy adviser to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, told Al Jazeera Ukrainians are fearful yet determined as fighting increases across the country.

“We are scared that Putin is not going to stop,” Zalishchuk said from Beregovo, a city in western Ukraine.

Approximately 100,000 people joined have so-called territorial defence units in recent days in response to Russia’s advance, she said. That includes her brother, who “has nothing to do with [the] army but he took a gun and went to protect one of the towns at the entrance of Kyiv.”

Miles-long Russian convoy appears stalled near Kyiv: US official

An enormous Russian military convoy is lumbering towards Kyiv raising fears of an imminent uptick in fighting there.

A senior US defence official told reporters the convoy appeared to stall on Tuesday, however, due to a number of factors, including the Ukrainian resistance that the Russian troops have faced.

“We also believe that a part of the stall could be – and I emphasise the word ‘could’ – could be a result of their own self-determined sort of pause in operations – that they are possibly regrouping, rethinking, reevaluating,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Apple ‘pauses’ all product sales in Russia

Tech giant Apple has announced a halt to all product sales in Russia, adding that: “Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country.”.

The iPhone maker also announced Apple Pay and other services have been limited, while Russian state-owned media RT and Sputnik are no longer available for download outside Russia.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” the company statement said.

Ukrainian refugees stream into Hungary

More than 85,000 people have crossed from Ukraine into Hungary since the start of Russia’s invasion.

Along the 135km (84-mile) frontier, refugees are met with hot tea, locally made sandwiches, and logistical help – calls to embassies, free ticket booking, and even entertainment for children. Read more here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Tuesday, March 1, here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies