- 4 Mar 2023 - 16:29(16:29 GMT)
Death toll in Zaporizhzhia attack rises to 11: Officials
The death toll from a Russian missile attack that hit an apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia has risen to 11 after a woman’s body was found in the debris, the state emergency service has said.
One child was among those killed in the early-morning attack on a five-storey residential building, the service said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.
Officials from the regional administration said in another post that a Russian S-300 missile had hit the building.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 16:02(16:02 GMT)
Zelenskyy eyes start of Ukraine-EU accession talks this year
Speaking at a meeting with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola in Lviv, Zelenskyy says Ukraine is working to fulfil recommendations to join the European Union.
“Ukraine is working to complete the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission as soon as possible and begin negotiations on joining the EU this year,” he said.
Metsola reassured Zelenskyy of EU’s support in the war against Russia. In a tweet, she said, “Together in Ukraine again. For Ukraine. For Europe. For peace. For freedom. For justice. For all our people.”
Together in Ukraine again.
For Ukraine. For Europe.
For peace. For freedom. For justice.
For all our people.
Знову разом в Україні.
Для України. Для Європи.
За мир. За свободу. За справедливість.
Для наших народів.@ZelenskyyUa pic.twitter.com/nne5pSgmfk
— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) March 4, 2023
- 4 Mar 2023 - 15:13(15:13 GMT)
Ukrainian athletes hoping to compete at Paris Olympic Games
Preparing for an Olympics is never easy but it is an even greater challenge for Ukrainians, training in the middle of war.
Those athletes are also anxiously awaiting the IOC’s decision on whether they will allow Russians and Belarusians to compete in Paris as neutrals.
Al Jazeera’s Gemma Nash reports.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 14:36(14:36 GMT)
Germany also wants Switzerland’s Leopard 1 tanks: Swiss newspaper
In addition to Leopard 2 tanks, German armaments company Rheinmetall wants to buy 96 Leopard 1 tanks from Swiss defence firm Ruag to send to Ukraine, the Swiss newspaper Tages- Anzeiger has reported.
The deal involves used and non-operational Leopard 1 tanks, which Ruag bought in 2016 in Italy and which are still there.
“Rheinmetall wanted to buy the vehicles and made it clear that they would be delivered to Ukraine after being reconditioned,” a spokesperson for Ruag told Tages-Anzeiger.
Ruag requested a non-binding preliminary clarification from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and received a negative answer, according to Tages-Anzeiger.
The deal could however still go through and is likely to be discussed by Switzerland’s Federal Council. When, exactly, is unclear.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 14:05(14:05 GMT)
Cancel culture: Russian artists and performers shunned by West
A year since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian artists and performers say they are victims of cancel culture in the West.
Several prominent artists have been shunned and performances have been cancelled. Russia says its artists are being discriminated against and its culture being appropriated by Western powers.
Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports from Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, Russia.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 13:18(13:18 GMT)
Civilians flee embattled Bakhmut as Ukrainian pullout looms
Pressure has mounted on Ukrainian troops and civilians hunkering down in Bakhmut, as Kyiv’s forces tried to help residents flee the beleaguered eastern city amid what Western analysts say may be preparations for a Ukrainian withdrawal.
A woman was killed and two men were badly wounded by shelling while trying to cross a makeshift bridge out of Bakhmut on Saturday, according to Ukrainian troops who were assisting them.
A Ukrainian army representative who asked not to be named for operational reasons told The Associated Press that it was now too dangerous for civilians to leave the city by vehicle and that people had to flee on foot instead.
Bakhmut has for months been a key target of Moscow’s grinding eastern offensive, with Russian troops, including large forces from the private Wagner Group, inching ever closer to Kyiv’s key eastern stronghold.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 12:40(12:40 GMT)
North Korea’s state media calls for probe into pipeline blast
North Korean state media has weighed in on allegations that Western nations were involved in blasts that damaged Russia’s undersea Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, in the latest move by Pyongyang to express support for Moscow.
In an article carried by North Korean state news agency KCNA, international affairs critic Ahn Cheol-hyuk backed Russian calls for an impartial investigation, saying the world needs to be aware of the “vicious coerciveness, war and conspiracy maneuvers of the United States”.
Western officials have denied those accusations.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 12:19(12:19 GMT)
EU parliament chief urges Ukraine entry into bloc
The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, called on Saturday during a visit to Ukraine for the country to be allowed to begin EU membership negotiations this year.
“I am hopeful that accession negotiations can begin already this year,” Metsola said in the western city of Lviv. “Ukraine’s future is in the European Union.”
Brussels granted Kyiv formal candidate status in June last year, four months after Russia launched an all-out invasion, but the process of joining the European Union usually takes several years.
“The pace with which the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine parliament) and the government is making progress on the EU application impresses me,” she said.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 11:56(11:56 GMT)
Rheinmetall in talks on building tank factory in Ukraine: Report
German defence contractor Rheinmetall is in negotiations about building a tank factory in Ukraine, the newspaper Rheinische Post has reported, citing an interview with its CEO Armin Papperger.
“A Rheinmetall plant can be set up in the Ukraine for around 200 million euros ($212.64m), which can produce up to 400 Panthers a year,” Papperger was quoted as saying. Panthers are the company’s latest battle tank models.
“Talks with the Ukrainian government are promising and I hope for a decision in the next two months,” he added.
Rheinmetall makes ammunition, other military equipment and also the Leopard tanks that Germany decided to send to Ukraine, which the company produces jointly with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 11:35(11:35 GMT)
German sanctions against Russian oligarchs advancing slowly: Reuters
Germany is making slow progress in enforcing sanctions against Russian oligarchs and institutions, according to government numbers seen by Reuters news agency.
Berlin has frozen about 5.25 billion euros ($5.57bn) in assets belonging to sanctioned oligarchs since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the German finance ministry, Reuters said.
The figure was 4.28 billion euros six months ago.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 11:11(11:11 GMT)
Africa gives Russians green light for Paris Olympics
Africa’s National Olympic Committees have followed their Asian counterparts in giving the green light on Saturday for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Russia and its ally Belarus have been sidelined from most Olympic sports since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last February.
The motion – to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete under a neutral flag – was passed unanimously by the executive committee of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) at their meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
“The members came out unanimously in favor of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in all international competitions,” the ANOCA said in a statement.
It said ANOCA president, the Algerian Mustapha Berraf, had reiterated that the body “aligns itself with the position of the International Olympic Committee and its President Dr Thomas Bach”.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 10:48(10:48 GMT)
Russia ‘must pay’ for crimes in Ukraine: European Commission president
Ursula von der Leyen says Russia “must pay” for its crimes, adding she was “proud” of the agreement to start an international centre for prosecuting the crime of aggression in Ukraine.
“We must do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice,” she tweeted.
Russia must pay for its crimes.
Proud of the agreement to set up the International Centre for Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in The Hague.
A key step towards prosecuting the crime of aggression.
We must do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice. pic.twitter.com/fk0VGZhAL7
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 4, 2023
- 4 Mar 2023 - 10:15(10:15 GMT)
A year on, what do young Russians think of the war in Ukraine?
Finding out what young Russians really think about the war in Ukraine is not easy.
Polls have suggested that even though they are the least likely to support the invasion, many still back it.
We spoke to six Gen Z Russians about their views:
Kim, 18, originally from Novosibirsk, now living in the United States
“Since we lived in Russia, the war affected us quite a lot. My mother and I were very afraid for our lives, so the decision was made to leave. We were nervous so we left in a hurry. With the move, my life has changed dramatically.
“I am against any war. This special operation is complete nonsense and an absurdity that no one needed. Although Ukraine is a much smaller country, it is strong patriotically. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is just another man who has been in power too long. After all, what are elections for?
Read more here.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 09:53(09:53 GMT)
Start Here: The Wagner Group explained
The Wagner Group and its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, provide guns for hire in a murky global operation with links to Putin and the Russian state.
Who are they? What do they do? And how has the war in Ukraine shifted things for the group?
- 4 Mar 2023 - 09:25(09:25 GMT)
Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 374
Here’s the situation as it stands on Saturday, March 4, 2023
- The commander of a Ukrainian drone unit active in Bakhmut said in a video that his unit had been ordered to withdraw immediately from the city.
- US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met in the Oval Office on Friday, declaring themselves in “lockstep” on maintaining pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
- A senior European Union official has said Beijing giving Moscow weapons would be an “absolute red line” and the EU would respond with sanctions, Reuters news agency reported.
Read more here.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 08:35(08:35 GMT)
UK says Ukraine forces under increasingly severe pressure defending Bakhmut
Ukrainian forces in the eastern city of Bakhmut are facing increasingly strong pressure from Russian forces, British military intelligence has said.
Kyiv is reinforcing the area with elite units, while regular Russian soldiers and forces of the Russian private military Wagner group have made further advances into Bakhmut’s northern suburbs, the British defence ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 08:08(08:08 GMT)
Russian defence minister holds inspection of Ukraine front line: Ministry
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has carried out an inspection of the front line in eastern Ukraine, the ministry said on Saturday, as fighting rages around the eastern city of Bakhmut.
The defence ministry said Shoigu had “inspected a command post on the front” in the direction of the southern Donetsk region, without specifying the exact place or time.
The ministry released a video that showed Shoigu travelling in a helicopter, then talking to a soldier in front of damaged buildings.
- 4 Mar 2023 - 08:05(08:05 GMT)
Russia continues bombardment of Bakhmut
Russian artillery has pounded the last routes out of Bakhmut, aiming to complete the encirclement of the besieged Ukrainian city and bring Moscow closer to its first major victory in half a year after the bloodiest battle of the war.
Meanwhile, the head of Russia’s Wagner private army said the city, which has been blasted to ruins in Russia’s more than seven-month onslaught, was almost completely surrounded with only one road still open for Ukraine’s troops.
Russia-Ukraine updates: Civilians flee Bakhmut as battle rages
All the updates from March 4 as they happened.
The live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. These were the updates on the Russia-Ukraine war on March 4:
- Kyiv forces try to help residents flee Bakhmut as Russian fighters press to capture the beleaguered city in eastern Ukraine.
- Russian artillery has bombarded the last routes out of Bakhmut, aiming to complete the encirclement of the besieged Ukrainian city and bring Moscow closer to its first major victory in half a year.
- The head of Russia’s Wagner private army said the city was almost completely surrounded with only one road still open for Ukraine’s troops.
- Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has carried out an inspection of the front line in eastern Ukraine, the ministry announced.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies