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Home中国Ukraine latest: Over 2,500 killed in encircled Mariupol, official says

Ukraine latest: Over 2,500 killed in encircled Mariupol, official says


4:07 Russia has unleashed an invasion of Ukraine after months of massing troops near its borders. The military action, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24, amounts to a full-scale invasion, says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Casualties are mounting on both sides. The repercussions are being felt beyond Europe as rising geopolitical risk and volatile energy and financial markets rock Asia.

For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine crisis page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

Russia and Ukraine fail to agree cease-fire at meeting in Turkey

China’s online pro-Putin fest drowns out anti-war sentiment

Indonesia’s Jokowi calls for cease-fire in Russia-Ukraine war

China signals shift on Ukraine as Russia accused of atrocities

U.S. lawmaker urges India to speak out against Ukraine invasion

Entries include material from wire services and other sources.

Note: Nikkei Asia on March 5 decided to temporarily suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code.

Here are the latest developments:

Monday, March 14 (Tokyo time)

4:47 p.m. More than 2,500 residents of the Black Sea port city of Mariupol have been killed since Russian invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych says in a televised interview. He says he was citing figures from the Mariupol city administration, and accuses Russian forces of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the encircled city on Sunday. Russia says it does not target civilians.

4:46 p.m. Ukraine will try to evacuate trapped civilians through 10 “humanitarian corridors” on Monday, including from towns near the capital Kyiv and in the eastern region of Luhansk, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk says.

“We will, once again, try to unblock the movement of the humanitarian convoy carrying food and medicine to (the port city of Mariupol) from Berdiansk (in southeastern Ukraine),” she says in a video address.

4:07 p.m. Australia says it is imposing new sanctions on 33 Russian oligarchs and business people, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australia supports moves by the U.S., U.K., Canada, the European Union and New Zealand to take action against high-profile Russians.

1:33 p.m. Japan is urging crypto exchanges not to process transactions involving crypto assets subject to asset-freeze sanctions against Russia and Belarus, officials say. The government will work to strengthen measures against the transfer of funds using crypto assets that break the sanctions, the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency (FSA) say in a joint statement. Unauthorized payments to targets under sanctions, including in crypto assets — such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens — are subject to punishment of up to three years in prison or a 1 million yen ($8,488) fine, according to the FSA.

11:20 a.m. Taiwanese personal computer maker ASUS will put in place a plan to “evacuate” its staff and business in Russia, Taiwan’s economy minister says, after a Ukraine minister asked it to leave Russia. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, tweeted a letter on Thursday to ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih calling on the company to end its business in the country. Russia has invaded Ukraine in what Moscow calls a “special operation.”

9:14 a.m. Ukrainian officials negotiating with Russian counterparts are to ensure direct talks between the countries’ leaders that could lead to peace, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says. The next round of Ukraine talks is scheduled for early Monday, via video links. Ukraine has repeatedly called for direct talks between Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, pointing to the Russian leader as the one making the final decisions.

7:30 a.m. Bermuda’s aviation regulator says it is suspending certification of all Russian-operated airplanes registered in the British overseas territory due to international sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The move is expected to affect more than 700 planes. The regulator says it is unable to confidently approve the planes as airworthy due to the impact of sanctions on its ability to conduct safety oversight. Manufacturers are no longer providing parts to Russian airlines as part of the sanctions.

3:06 a.m. Talks between Russia and Ukraine are not taking place right now but will continue on Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency. Peskov made the comments after Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Ukraine and Russia were actively conducting talks on Sunday, with the situation around the besieged city of Mariupol a particular focus.

 A Flag is being waved at half time in support of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion before the Premier League Arsenal vs Leicester City match at Emirates Stadium, London, Britain, Mar.13.

  © Reuters

1:35 a.m. Russia said had attacked the Yavoriv training facility in western Ukraine, adding the strike had killed “up to 180 foreign mercenaries” and destroyed a large amount of weapons supplied by outside nations. Defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that Russia would continue its attacks against what he called foreign mercenaries.

Ukrainian regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said 35 people were killed and 134 wounded in the attack

12:05 a.m. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi will meet in Rome Monday, White House national security council said. Talks will center on “efforts to manage the competition between our two countries and discuss the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security,” Emily Horne said. .

Sunday, March 13

11:23 p.m. An American journalist was shot and killed by Russian forces in the town of Irpin in Ukraine’s Kyiv region and another journalist was wounded, Kyiv regional police chief Andriy Nyebytov said. Nyebytov initially said the dead journalist worked for the New York Times.

However the Times said that the journalist had previously worked for the paper but was not currently working for it. The Times named the journalist as Brent Renaud. “We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years,” The Times said in a statement posted on Twitter by its spokesperson.

Nyebytov said that Renaud was shot by Russian forces in Irpin, but did not give details of the incident. He did not identify the wounded journalist.

3:30 p.m. Russian missile attack on a large Ukrainian military facility near the border with NATO member Poland killed 35 people and wounded 134, a Ukrainian official said. Ukraine said foreign military instructors have previously worked at the base, but a NATO official said there were no personnel from the alliance at the base.

12:42 a.m. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Moscow has warned the U.S. “that pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn’t just a dangerous move — it’s an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets.”

12:15 a.m. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a 75-minute phone call with President Putin, with the EU leaders calling for an immediate cease-fire in the war. “The conversation is part of ongoing international efforts to end the war in Ukraine,” a German government spokesperson says, according to Reuters.

A French official who took part in the call says Putin did not appear ready to end the war.

Ukrainian servicemen stand by a destroyed bridge as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Irpin outside Kyiv.

The Kremlin readout of the phone call does not include a mention of a cease-fire, Reuters reported, but says Putin had briefed Scholz and Macron about the state of play in negotiations and responded to their concerns about the humanitarian situation.

Saturday, March 12

11:55 p.m. President Zelenskyy updates the Ukrainian troop death toll, saying about 1,300 soldiers have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion. He adds between 500 and 600 Russian soldiers surrendered on Friday.

3:20 p.m. Ukrainian officials accuse Russia of damaging a cancer hospital and several residential buildings in the southern city of Mykolaiv with shelling from heavy artillery. The hospital’s head doctor, Maksim Beznosenko, said several hundred patients were in the hospital during the attack but that no one was killed, according to AP. The assault damaged the building and blew out windows. Russian forces have stepped up their attacks on Mykolaiv, located 470km south of Kyiv, in an attempt to encircle the city.

6:08 p.m. Russian forces have shelled a mosque in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where more than 80 adults and children, including Turkish citizens, have taken refuge, Ukraine’s foreign ministry says. Ukraine has accused Russia of refusing to allow people out of Mariupol, where a blockade has left hundreds of thousands trapped. Russia blames Ukraine for the failure to evacuate people.

1:00 p.m. Russian regulators say that the country’s internet users will be blocked from accessing Instagram, saying it’s being used to call for violence against Russian soldiers. In Moscow’s latest move to restrict access to foreign social media platforms, communications and media regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement that it’s restricting national access to Instagram. It said the platform is spreading “calls to commit violent acts against Russian citizens, including military personnel.”

This psychiatric hospital was hit by an artillery shell, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, in the village of Oskil, Ukraine, on March 11. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters)

  © Reuters

10:53 a.m. Many Nike stores throughout Russia were still open on Friday afternoon, according to checks made by Reuters, more than a week after the world’s biggest sports retailer said it was temporarily closing down all its shops in the country. Nike says the stores that are open are owned and operated by independent partners, and that it will soon update its store locator online to reflect Nike’s closed owned-and-operated stores.

5:09 a.m. The leaders of Russia and Belarus agreed on Friday that Moscow will supply its smaller neighbor with the most up-to-date military equipment in the near future, the official Belarus Belta news agency says. Belta also reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko agreed at their Kremlin meeting on joint steps for mutual support in the face of Western sanctions, including on energy prices. It did not give details.

A building damaged by shelling is lit up by sunset in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 11. (AP Photo/Andrew Marienko)

  © Reuters

4:39 a.m. Ukraine accuses Russian forces of violating international law — the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols — by abducting the mayor of Melitopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that fell under Russian control during the invasion. Russia has not commented on Mayor Ivan Fedorov. Ukraine says Russian forces kidnapped him after falsely accusing him of terrorism.

3:12 a.m. Ukraine alleges that neighbor Belarus may plan to invade its territory, as Kyiv accuses Russia of trying to drag its ally into the war by staging air attacks on Belarus from Ukrainian airspace. Belarus has served as a staging post for Russian troops, but the country has not deployed its own forces in active battle.

People cross the Irpin river as they evacuate from Irpin town next to a destroyed bridge outside of Kyiv.

  © Reuters

2:18 a.m. The U.S. assesses that Russian strikes in western Ukraine during the past 24 hours are aimed at preventing airfields from being used by Ukrainian forces, a senior American defense official says. The mayor of Lutsk says four people were killed and six wounded in an attack on an airfield there, a rare strike on a target deep in western Ukraine far from the battlefields in the north, east and south.

Friday, March 11

10:35 p.m. The electricity supply to the Chernobyl nuclear power station has not been restored, Ukraine’s nuclear regulator says, despite Russia’s energy ministry claiming it was restored by Belarusian specialists on Thursday. Ukraine has warned of an increased risk of a radiation leak if the high-voltage power line, damaged in fighting, is not repaired. The plant is occupied by Russian forces.

6:18 p.m. Wen Wei Po, China’s state-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, has lambasted public support for Ukrainians shown by businesses and university student groups, calling it “political interference.” The broadsheet criticized a Ukrainian restaurant for “inciting people to be anti-government,” after the business voiced support and asked for donations on social media.

A new safe confinement structure can be seen over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in April 2018.

  © Reuters

The paper also called university groups “anti-China rioters” for posting a statement to support Ukraine. Meanwhile, a public opinion research group cancelled its release of a poll on the war after it was also targeted in the paper.

2:20 p.m. The Japanese government is disbursing 8.8 billion yen ($75.3 million) from fiscal 2021 reserve funds for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine following its invasion by Russia. Japan will offer the assistance to relevant international organizations including the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and back the activities of Japanese nongovernmental organizations helping Ukraine, the finance ministry said. The amount is part of the emergency humanitarian aid worth $100 million that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged last month.

President Joe Biden plans to announce on March 11 that, along with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries, the U.S. will move to revoke “most favored nation” trade status for Russia.

  © AP

1:30 p.m. President Joe Biden will announce that, along with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries, the U.S. will move to revoke “most favored nation” trade status for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, AP reports, citing sources. Biden’s move comes as bipartisan pressure has been building in Washington to revoke what is formally known as “permanent normal trade relations” with Russia.

12:00 p.m. Twitter will place labels on and limit the spread of posts from Belarus state media and their senior staff, the company says, in a move aimed to curb misinformation from Russia’s ally over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Social media services, including Twitter, in recent years have begun labeling accounts of state broadcasters and news websites to note that the organizations are government-backed. Labelled accounts and their posts are limited in search results and recommendations on Twitter.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, told reporters the company would label about 15 Belurasian outlets, the largest among them news agency BelTa, which has nearly 37,000 followers. “We’ve seen evidence that these outlets, as well as their affiliates in Russia, have engaged in information warfare and are employing media and other assets that they control to propagate favorable narratives and to confuse and distract the public about what is going on,” Roth said.

5:00 a.m. More than 2.3 million refugees have fled the war in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, says about $500 million in funding is needed for relief activities in Ukraine and neighboring nations.

2:30 a.m. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discusses the Ukraine conflict in a 45-minute phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Erdogan said Turkey continues to make efforts for a political solution, describing the country as an important facilitator able to talk with both the Russian and Ukrainian sides, according to a readout of the call from the Turkish presidency’s communications office.

Erdogan said he expects Turkey’s request to buy 40 new F-16 fighter jets to upgrade its fleet should be concluded as soon as possible, adding that lifting all “unjust” sanctions on the Turkish defense industry was long overdue.

1:30 a.m. Russia’s energy ministry says Belarusian specialists restored electricity supply to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. But the International Atomic Energy Agency says it does not have confirmation that power has been restored at the plant.

Chernobyl lost power amid fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via teleconference in Moscow on March 10. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

12:30 a.m. Vladimir Putin strikes a defiant tone on Western pressure against Russia’s economy, saying he expected the sanctions.

“Together with our partners, those who don’t recognize these illegal actions, we will undoubtedly find solutions to all those problems that they’re trying to create for us,” Interfax quotes Putin as telling a meeting of government officials.

“We need to go through the period,” the Russian president also says. “We will continue import substitution in all areas, and in the end all this will lead to our greater independence, self-reliance and sovereignty.”

He also says Russia will find “legal solutions” to seize assets based in the country from multinationals that have decided to close their operations over the Ukraine invasion.

Goldman Sachs becomes the first big Wall Street firm to withdraw from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

  © Reuters

12:10 a.m. Goldman Sachs becomes the first big Wall Street firm to withdraw from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Thursday, March 10

11:07 p.m. Russia bans exports of telecom, medical, automotive, agricultural, electrical and tech equipment, as well as some forestry products, until the end of 2022, in retaliation for Western sanctions on Moscow. Over 200 items are on the suspension list, which also covers railway cars, containers, turbines and other goods.

9:10 p.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba fail to agree on a cease-fire during a 90-minute meeting near the Turkish resort city of Antalya. Kuleba had hoped to organize a humanitarian corridor from the besieged southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol and reach an agreement for a 24-hour truce.

8:35 p.m. Japanese clothing company Fast Retailing is suspending operations in Russia, where it operates 50 Uniqlo stores. Fast Retailing is reversing course after CEO Tadashi Yanai said the company planned to keep its stores open amid sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. His comments drew a backlash on social media.

8:30 p.m. The U.K. government announced sanctions against seven oligarchs, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, and industrialist Oleg Deripaska, freezing their assets in the country and banning them from travelling there.

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the U.K. which means that all his assets in the country are now frozen.

  © Reuters

“Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in a statement.

5:15 p.m. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says that “in handling relations with Russia, the U.S. side must not impose so-called sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction on Chinese enterprises and individuals, and must not harm China’s legitimate rights and interests.”

“Otherwise,” he warns, “China will firmly strike back.”

3:22 p.m. Rio Tinto says it will end its business with Russian companies. Though the Anglo-Australian resources giant doesn’t disclose reasons, the decision is seen as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company operates aluminum refineries in the country’s east together with Russian aluminum producer Rusal International.

3:01 p.m. Sony Group’s game division and Nintendo say they have suspended software and hardware shipments to Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine.

3:01 p.m. Russia says the Ukrainian claim that it bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol is “fake news” because the building is a former maternity hospital that had long been taken over by troops. “That’s how fake news is born,” tweeted Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

1:54 p.m. Japan’s Hitachi announces its decision to suspend operations in Russia following a request from the Ukrainian government. The company says in a statement it will stop exports and cease most operations in Russia except for those involving vital electrical power facilities.

1:29 p.m. China’s government is walking a fine line on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stopping short of condemning Moscow but repeatedly calling for peace talks. A quick scroll through Chinese social media platforms like Weibo suggests that in recent days the public has been much more pro-Russia than the official narrative. But experts say the true picture of Chinese sentiment is more complex. Read more.

8:03 a.m. The International Monetary Fund’s executive board approves $1.4 billion in emergency financing for Ukraine to help meet urgent spending needs and mitigate the economic impact of Russia’s military invasion. The global lender said Ukrainian authorities had canceled an existing stand-by lending arrangement with the IMF but would work with the fund to design an appropriate economic program focused on rehabilitation and growth when conditions permit.

6:15 a.m. Ukraine informs the International Atomic Energy Agency that the Chernobyl nuclear plant has been disconnected from the electricity grid and lost its supply of external power.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA’s director general, says the disconnection will not have a critical impact on essential safety functions at the site, where radioactive waste management facilities are located. But it likely will further weaken operational radiation safety at the site, he says, noting that around 210 technical experts and guards essentially have lived there around the clock since Russian forces took control of the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

3:00 a.m. Russia’s foreign-currency revenues have plunged as more overseas buyers steer clear of its crude oil over the invasion of Ukraine, eroding its purchasing power for key imports.

The country already faces an acute shortage of foreign currencies after the majority of its reserves were frozen by international sanctions. A continued decline in oil-related income would squeeze its ability to pay for cars, semiconductors and other largely imported products. Read more.

2:50 a.m. U.S. stocks are rallying on an easing of crude oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 800 points, or 2.4%, in early afternoon trading. The broader S&P 500 index is up 2.8%.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down 14% from the previous day.

The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington, Yousef AL Otaiba, says in a statement to the Financial Times: “We favor production increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels.”

An image taken from video provided by the Mariupol City Council shows the aftermath of an alleged Russian attack on a hospital on March 9. Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the air strike an “atrocity.”

  © AP

1:50 a.m. Ukraine has denounced what it said was an Russian air strike on a children’s hospital in Mariupol.

Ukrainian authorities say the attack came during an agreed ceasefire period. Reuters quotes regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko as saying 17 people were wounded.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately comment, but a spokesperson blamed the Ukrainian side for problems with the civilian evacuations, saying they “did not yield the expected results.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the WHO has verified 18 attacks on health facilities, health workers and ambulances, including 10 deaths and 16 injuries.

1:00 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have discussed the situation in Ukraine over the phone, Interfax reports, citing the Kremlin press service.

Putin and Scholz “discussed options of political and diplomatic efforts, including the results of the third round of the talks between the Russian delegation and representatives of the Kyiv authorities,” Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.

Putin also briefed Scholz on efforts to create humanitarian corridors.

Wednesday, March 9 (Tokyo time)

10:39 p.m. Britain plans to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles to help it defend its skies from Russian invasion, Defense Minister Ben Wallace tells Parliament, noting that the technology falls within the definition of defensive weapons.

9:32 p.m. Russia must prioritize grain supplies to domestic bakeries over export markets, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said. According to Reuters, he also unveiled fresh measures to support the domestic economy in the face of international sanctions over Ukraine.

9:20 p.m. The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on 160 more Russian individuals, including 14 oligarchs and prominent businesspeople, and freeze transactions with the Belarus central bank related to the management of reserves or assets, the EU Commission says.

The new sanctions include restricted provision of SWIFT services to Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, as well as their Belarusian subsidiaries.

The new safe confinement arch over reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in December 2019. A power outage to the plant opens up the risk of radiation leaks in the next 48 hours. 

  © Getty Images

9:13 p.m. Radioactive substances could be released from Ukraine’s infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant because it cannot cool spent nuclear fuel after its power connection was severed, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom says.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also tweeted that the “reserve diesel generators have a 48-hour capacity” to power the Chornobyl NPP.” Once that capacity is exhausted, “cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent.”


7:05 p.m. The International Monetary Fund has approved $1.4 billion in emergency support for Ukraine to finance government expenditures and shore up the country’s balance of payments, central bank Gov. Kyrylo Shevchenko said in a statement.

6:55 p.m. Toyota Motor says it will donate up to 2.5 million euros ($2.7 million) for Ukraine through organizations such as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross. The Japanese carmaker will donate 500,000 euros unconditionally, while its European wings will contribute up to 2 million euros, or four times the amount employees across Europe donate.

In addition, Toyota will allow up to 40 paid hours a year per employee if they offer Ukrainian refugees temporary housing in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and other countries, or if they provide language assistance for refugees.

Toyota Motor says it will donate up to 2.5 million euros ($2.7 million) for Ukraine through organizations such as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross.

  © Reuters

6:00 p.m. The number of people fleeing Ukraine since the Russian invasion began has probably now reached 2.1 million to 2.2 million people, according to the head of the UNHCR, the United Nation’s refugee agency. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says in a news conference during a visit to Stockholm that “the time is now to try to help at the border” rather than discuss how to distribute refugees between countries. Grandi added that Moldova, which is not a member of the European Union, in particular is facing a tide of refugees.

4:24 p.m. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the bloc has bought enough liquefied natural gas that it should be independent of Russian imports up until the end of the winter. Von der Leyen also told Germany’s ARD television that sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine were designed to cause maximum impact on Moscow while causing the least damage possible to Western economies.

3:12 p.m. Britain says Ukraine’s air defenses are having success against Russian jets, likely preventing Russia from controlling the airspace. “Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air,” the defense ministry says in an intelligence update posted on Twitter.

People walk past a damaged building in the town of Irpin outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as they flee from advancing Russian troops on March 8.

  © Reuters

2:24 p.m. An air alert was declared Wednesday morning in and around Kyiv, with residents urged to get to bomb shelters as quickly as possible. “Kyiv region — air alert. Threat of a missile attack. Everyone immediately to shelters,” regional administration head Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram. For days, as Russian forces have laid siege to Ukrainian cities, attempts to create corridors to safely evacuate civilians have stumbled amid continuing fighting.

12:00 p.m. Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called for a cease-fire in the war between Russia and Ukraine and said continued dialogue rather than economic sanctions on Russia is the way to resolve the crisis. Speaking in an exclusive face-to-face interview on Tuesday with Nikkei Editor-in-Chief Tetsuya Iguchi, Widodo said sovereignty and territorial integrity “must be respected by all parties.”

11:59 a.m. Yum Brands, parent company of fried chicken chain KFC, says it is pausing investment in Russia, a key market that helped the brand achieve record development last year. Yum also says it is suspending operations of its 70 KFC company-owned restaurants in the country and finalizing an agreement to suspend all Pizza Hut restaurant operations in Russia, in partnership with its master franchisee. Yum has at least 1,000 KFC and 50 Pizza Hut locations in Russia, nearly all of them independent franchisees.

To catch up on earlier developments, see here.

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