Ukraine news – live: Air raid sirens across Ukraine as Russian forces regroup for possible assault on Kyiv

President Zelensky says ‘we will’ beat Russia

Russian forces have again bombarded cities across Ukraine, and appeared to be regrouping for a possible assault on capital Kyiv as the invasion entered the 17th day on Saturday.

Satellite images showed that Russian military units were advancing towards Kyiv and firing towards residential areas.

The main attack force has been stalled on roads north of Kyiv, but images released by private US satellite firm Maxar showed armoured units maneuvering in and through towns close to an airport on the city’s northwest outskirts.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence said Russia appeared to be gearing up for new offensive activity in the coming days that would probably include operations against Kyiv.

However, the Russian ground forces were still making only limited progress, hampered by logistical problems and Ukrainian resistance, it said in its intelligence update.

Earlier, Ukraine’s defence intelligence agency had claimed Vladimir Putin may be planning to launch a “terrorist attack” on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to distract the rest of the world from his brutal assault on the country.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said his country had reached a “strategic turning point” in the war with Russia.


Italy seizes £530m yacht owned by Russian businessman

Russian businessman Andrey Melnichenko’s mega yacht has been seized on Friday, according to a statement from Italy’s finance police.

The vessel called “SY A” is worth about £530m and was in storage at the northeastern port of Trieste.

Mr Melnichenko had been sanctioned by the European Union on 9 March after it noted that he and 36 other business leaders met with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine began to discuss the potential economic impact of EU and US sanctions.

This photograph taken on March 10, 2022, shows a sailing yacht A owned by Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko in Trieste, Italy.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Sravasti Dasgupta12 March 2022 04:30


70 children dead in Russian aggression

More than 70 children have died since Russia started its war on Ukraine, foreign affairs minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday.

“‘Denazification’. ‘Demilitarization’. These are the ‘reasons’ why Putin has sent his army to kill Ukrainians, including children,” the minister said in a tweet.

“Over 70 of them already died. This aggression is a barbaric crime not seen since WWII and I swear we will ensure that each war criminal faces justice.”

On Thursday, Ukraine officials said that a maternity and children’s hospital in the city of Mariupol had been destroyed by Russian air strikes.

Russia has dismissed these claims, and dubbed them as “fake news” by Ukraine. It claimed that the hospital had no patients at the time of the air strikes.

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from the maternity hospital, damaged by shelling


Sravasti Dasgupta12 March 2022 03:55


Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law casts chill

Russia has started implementing its new law under which citizens who spread what it described as “fake” information about the military can be jailed for up to 15 years.

Vera Kotova became one of the first persons to be fined under the law for writing “No to war” in the snow at the foot of a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in a square in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk during a sparsely attended protest rally, reported Reuters.

Ms Kotova has been fined 30,000 roubles (£170) but she has yet to pay it, pending appeal.

The average monthly wage in Russia is about 78,000 roubles.

The fine comes as Russian president Vladimir Putin continues to crack down on protesters taking to the streets to demonstrate against the conflict, which entered its 17th day on Saturday.

More than 5,000 anti-war protesters are reported to have been arrested in Russia


Sravasti Dasgupta12 March 2022 03:37


Ukraine starts repairing damaged power lines at Chernobyl

Ukrainian officials have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that technicians have started repairing damaged power lines to the site of Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

General Rafael Mariano Grossi said the repair work at the Russian-controlled power plant was being undertaken in an attempt to restore electricity supply that was entirely cut off earlier in the week.

Ukraine’s regulatory authority said the work began on the evening of 10 March and had succeeded in repairing one section. But off-site electrical power was still down, indicating damage in other places.

The repair efforts would continue despite the difficult situation outside the site, it said.

It added that at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, also under control of Russian forces, unexploded munitions from 4 March are being detected and disposed of.

Sravasti Dasgupta12 March 2022 03:00


Russian media law amounts to information ‘blackout’, UN says

Russia’s new law that cracks down on journalists is imposing the country under an information blackout, according to independent UN experts tasked with reporting on violations of the freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly and on the situation of human rights defenders.

“Russia’s recent adoption of a punitive ‘fake war news’ law is an alarming move by the government to gag and blindfold an entire population,” three independent UN experts appointed by the Human Rights Council said in a statement.

They also called on a newly-established international commission of inquiry being set up by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate alleged violations of freedom of expression and the media by Russia.

Last week, Russia passed a new law under which citizens who spread what it described as “fake” information about the military can be jailed for up to 15 years as it continues its invasion of Ukraine.

My colleague Matt Mathers explains what the Kremlin’s new law entails:

Sravasti Dasgupta12 March 2022 02:41


Explosions heard near Kyiv as Russian troops inch closer

Several loud explosions could be heard in Kyiv in the early hours of Saturday morning, reported CNN.

Chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward noted “a nonstop volley… of just heavy booms in the distance”.

It’s not clear whether the explosions were Russian or Ukrainian strikes, she added.

On Friday, satellite images from a private US company showed that Russian military units were advancing towards Ukraine’s capital and firing towards residential areas.

Ukrainians soldiers pass an improvised path under a destroyed bridge as they evacuate an elderly resident in Irpin, northwest of Kyiv

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sravasti Dasgupta12 March 2022 02:28


Oil supertanker from Russian port docks in Southampton

A supertanker that sailed from Russia has docked at a port in Southampton with a cargo of crude oil for ExxonMobil.

The Seatribute is one of at least 148 tankers carrying oil and gas that have left Russian ports since the war in Ukraine began, according to shipping data gathered by Greenpeace.

Liam James has the story.

Graeme Massie12 March 2022 01:52


Just 7,144 people evacuated from Ukrainian cities on Friday

A total of just 7,144 people were evacuated from four Ukrainian cities on Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his latests televised address.

The number os significantly lower than managed to escape the embattled cities on the previous two days.

Mr Zelensky accused Russia of refusing to allow people out of the besieged city of Mariupol and said Ukraine would try to deliver much needed food and medicines there on Saturday.

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday, March 11, 2022.


Graeme Massie12 March 2022 01:15


More civilians than soldiers killed in Russia’s war on Ukraine, says Kyiv’s defence minister

More civilians than soldiers have been killed by Russia’s war on Ukraine, according to Kyiv’s defence minister

“I want this to be heard not only in Kyiv but all over the world,” Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday.

At least 549 civilians had been killed in the conflict, 41 of them children, according to statistics verified by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Eleanor Sly12 March 2022 00:46


Pink Floyd removes digital music from Russia and Belarus

The works of Pink Floyd, from 1987 onwards, and all of David Gilmour’s solo recordings are being removed from all digital music providers in Russia and Belarus from today, the band announced on Twitter.

This is in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Eleanor Sly12 March 2022 00:09

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