Live updates on Ukraine situation

Japan to freeze assets of 4 more Russian banks in line with moves by EU

TOKYO, March 3 (Xinhua) — Japan will freeze assets held by four more Russian banks in another round of sanctions in response to Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said Thursday.

Japan’s latest round of sanctions followed the announcement by members of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday to exclude seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, the main system underpinning global financial transactions.

In a statement, SWIFT said that it would disconnect the seven Russian banks from its network on March 12, as per EU regulations.

“Japan supports the EU’s decision and will firmly implement sanctions with other Group of Seven members,” Suzuki told a press briefing on the matter.

In addition, the Japanese government on Thursday froze the assets of 18 additional Russian officials and seven high-ranking Belarusian officials, along with two Belarusian organizations, informed sources here confirmed.

The Japanese government is also considering slapping more stringent sanctions on Belarus pertaining to export control measures, the statement said.

Japan has already imposed a barrage of sanctions on Russia. Moscow has vowed to retaliate with its own economic repercussions on those countries imposing sanctions on Russia.

According to the Japanese Finance Ministry, its move to restrict Russia from SWIFT will come into effect on April 2.

March 3, 4:19

EU imposes more restrictions on Belarus over Russia-Ukraine conflict

BRUSSELS, March 2 (Xinhua) — The Council of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday imposed sanctions on an additional 22 individuals and further restrictions on trade against Belarus over its role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

March 3, 3:06

Ukrainian FM, U.S. secretary of state discuss new sanctions against Russia

KIEV, March. 2 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed new sanctions against Russia in a phone conversation, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday in a statement on Facebook.

Kuleba and Blinken also talked over the new supplies of defensive weapons for Ukraine.

March 3, 1:04

Russia’s delegation arrives for second round of talks with Ukraine

MOSCOW, March 2 (Xinhua) — The Russian delegation has arrived at the site where the second round of talks between Russia and Ukraine are expected to take place, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said Wednesday.

The Ukrainian side is expected to arrive Thursday morning, and both sides are expected to meet in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the Belarus-Poland border, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing the official.

March 2, 21:20

Russia says it has seized Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant

VIENNA, March 2 (Xinhua) — Russia has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that its forces have taken control of the territory around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said Wednesday.

Grossi said in a statement that Russian diplomats in Vienna told the IAEA that personnel at the Zaporizhzhia plant — Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant — have continued their work on providing nuclear safety and monitoring radiation in normal mode of operation, and “the radiation levels remain normal.”

March 2, 21:05

Ukraine, Russia to hold talks on Wednesday: Ukrainian official

KIEV, March 2 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said that the delegations of Ukraine and Russia will hold the next round of talks on Wednesday.

“Negotiations will take place tonight,” Arestovich told the local Suspilne TV channel.

The composition of the Ukrainian delegation will remain the same, Arestovich said.

March 2, 19:41

Russian delegation ready to talk with Ukrainian side on Wednesday afternoon: Kremlin

MOSCOW, March 2 (Xinhua) — The Russian delegation will wait for the Ukrainian side at the place of negotiations on Wednesday afternoon, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

“This afternoon, probably in the evening, our delegation will be on the spot waiting for Ukrainian negotiators. Our delegation will be ready to continue the conversation tonight,” Peskov said, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.

Peskov didn’t specify the place of the negotiations, but expressed the hope that the Ukrainian side will come to the talks.

March 2, 9:23

EU leader says conflict must end before discussion for Ukraine’s accession

BRUSSELS, March 1 (Xinhua) — Conflict should end before Ukraine’s application to join the European Union (EU) is discussed, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said here on Tuesday.

“Today, the European Union and Ukraine are already closer than ever before. There is still a long path ahead. We have to end this war. And we should talk about the next steps,” von der Leyen said when addressing the European Parliament plenary.

March 2, 7:09

U.S. expels Russian national working for UN

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 (Xinhua) — The United States is expelling a Russian national who is working with the UN Secretariat, said a UN spokesman on Tuesday.

“We regret that we find ourselves in this situation, but are engaging with the host country in line with Section 13b of the agreement,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

He said the U.S. decision is strange as the work contract for the staff member concerned was scheduled to end on March 14.

March 2, 4:03

Ukraine says Russia’s shelling on Kiev TV tower kills five

KIEV, March. 1 (Xinhua) — Five people were killed during Russia’s attack on the Kiev TV tower, said the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on Tuesday.

The country’s interior ministry said earlier that the TV channels will be out of operation due to the attacks.

Photo taken on Feb. 27, 2022 shows the empty street in the early morning in Kiev, capital of Ukraine. (Xinhua/Li Dongxu)

March 2, 0:59

Ukrainian FM urges Poland, France, Germany to provide more weapons, aid

KIEV, March 1 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Tuesday called on the foreign ministers of Poland, France and Germany to increase sanctions pressure on Russia and provide more weapons and financial support to Ukraine.

March 1, 23:44

Chinese, Ukrainian FMs hold phone talks

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) — Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation at request with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday.

Kuleba briefed Wang about the first round of Ukraine-Russia talks, saying that the end of the fighting is the top priority for Ukraine.

China has played a constructive role in the Ukrainian issue, said Kuleba.

Wang said that the situation in Ukraine has changed rapidly, and that China laments the outbreak of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and is extremely concerned with the harm to civilians.

March 1, 23:08

2nd round of Russia-Ukraine talks could happen Wednesday: TASS

MOSCOW, March 1 (Xinhua) — The second round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine could take place on Wednesday, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday citing sources.

March 1, 20:56

Russian forces hit 1,325 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects — spokesman

MOSCOW, March 1 (Xinhua) — The Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 1,325 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects since the start of the operation, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday.

Photo taken on March 1, 2022 shows armed personnel in Donetsk. (Photo by Victor/Xinhua)

March 1, 19:46

Russia’s airstrike hits center of Ukraine’s second largest city

A massive airstrike conducted by Russian forces hit the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv on Tuesday, the State Service for Emergencies said.

March 1, 19:00

Russian forces to continue operation in Ukraine until goals achieved — Shoigu

MOSCOW, March 1 (Xinhua) –Russia will continue its special military operation in Ukraine until achieving the main goal of defending itself from Western threats, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.

“The main thing for us is to protect Russia from the military threat posed by Western countries that are trying to use the Ukrainian people in the fight against our country,” Shoigu said during a video conference with top defense officials.

The Russian military is not occupying Ukrainian territory and is taking all measures to preserve the lives and safety of civilians, he reiterated.

“I would like to stress that the strikes are carried out only against military targets and exclusively with high-precision weapons,” Shoigu said.

March 1, 16:58

China welcomes Ukraine-Russia negotiations, hopes for continuation: spokesperson

China has always supported and encouraged all diplomatic efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and welcomes the launch of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

March 1, 6:49

Chinese envoy warns against politicization of humanitarian aid to Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy on Monday warned against the politicization of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

What is unfolding in Ukraine is indeed heart-wrenching. China calls on all parties concerned to exercise restraint, de-escalate the situation, and avoid civilian casualties. The safety of life and property of all civilians, including those of foreign nationals, and their humanitarian needs should be effectively guaranteed, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

March 1, 5:37

UN ready to scale up humanitarian operations in Ukraine once security permits

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The United Nations and partners are preparing to scale up humanitarian operations in Ukraine once the security situation permits, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

March 1, 5:15

Ukraine officially appeals for EU membership

KIEV, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday signed an official appeal for the European Union (EU) asking for an accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure, the presidential spokesman Sergii Nykyforov said.

Photo taken on May 24, 2018 shows flags of Ukraine and European Union outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)

March 1, 5:08

Russian UN ambassador regrets U.S. decision to expel 12 members of his mission

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, on Monday regretted a U.S. decision to expel 12 staff members of the Russian UN mission.

March 1, 3:26

Chinese envoy calls for efforts to promote direct negotiations on Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy on Monday called for efforts to create an enabling atmosphere and conditions for direct negotiations over the Ukraine conflict.

The situation in Ukraine is changing sharply and has evolved to a point where China does not wish to see and where it is not in the interests of any party, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

March 1, 2:55

U.S. sanctions Russian central bank, other financial tools

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday announced a fresh round of sanctions targeting Russia’s central bank, the country’s financial tools as well as a relevant individual, in response to Moscow’s ongoing military operations in Ukraine.

March 1, 0:42

Next round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks to be held on Belarusian-Polish border

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The next round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks will take place on the Belarusian-Polish border in the coming days, according to Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation at the talks held in Belarus, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.

Photo shows a view of the talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations held in the Gomel region in Belarus on Feb. 28, 2022. (Belta news agency via Xinhua)

March 1, 0:28

Switzerland to follow EU packages of sanctions against Russia

GENEVA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The Swiss Federal Council, Switzerland’s top administrative body, on Monday decided to adopt the packages of sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) against Russia, including freezing the assets of a number of Russian individuals and companies.

March 1, 0:25

Hungary forbids EU weapon delivery to Ukraine across its territory

BUDAPEST, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Hungary will not allow deliveries of weapons destined to Ukraine across its territory, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.

March 1, 0:10

Russia-Ukraine peace talks end in Belarus — media reports

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus have ended, TASS news agency reported Monday.

Feb. 28, 23:46

All Russia’s security concerns must be taken into account for settlement in Ukraine — Putin

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — All Moscow’s security concerns must be taken into account for settlement in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Feb. 28, 23:44

NATO allies boost military, practical support to Ukraine

BRUSSELS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies have boosted support to Ukraine with military equipment, financial assistance and humanitarian aid, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday via Twitter.

Feb. 28, 22:50

Russia’s nuclear triad put on high alert: defense ministry

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin on Monday that the country’s nuclear deterrence forces have begun combat duty with reinforced staff.

Feb. 28, 22:49

Russia bans flights for airlines from 36 countries in retaliatory move

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Russia has banned airlines from 36 countries from using the country’s airspace, local media citing aviation authorities reported Monday.

These restrictions will affect airlines from Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada and Portugal, among others.

Feb. 28, 22:03

U.S. suspends operations at embassy in Belarus, authorizes departure at embassy in Russia

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Department of State said in a statement Monday that it has suspended operations at the U.S. Embassy in Belarus and authorized the voluntary departure of “non-emergency” employees and family members at the U.S. Embassy in Russia.

Feb. 28, 21:09

AL chief urges diplomatic settlement of Russia-Ukraine conflict

CAIRO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Monday called for restoring dialogue and seeking to settle the Russian-Ukrainian conflict via diplomatic ways to avoid escalations and expanding the area of tensions, the AL said in a statement.

Feb. 28, 18:24

Russia-Ukraine talks kick off in Gomel region — media

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations have started in the Gomel region in Belarus, media reports said Monday.

Feb. 28, 18:10

Russia’s central bank hikes key rate to 20 pct

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Russia’s Central Bank announced Monday it has decided to increase its key interest rate to 20 percent.

Feb. 28, 17:49

Zelensky says future 24 hours crucial for Ukraine

The next 24 hours will be crucial for Ukraine’s fight with Russia, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday during a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the National News Agency of Ukraine (Ukrinform) reported.

Feb. 28, 16:49

Ukrainian delegation arrives for talks with Russia — report

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — A Ukrainian delegation arrived at the place for talks with the Russian side in the Gomel region in Belarus on Monday, Sputnik reported. 

Feb. 28, 16:18

Russian forces hit 1,114 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects — spokesman

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The Russian Armed Forces have hit 1,114 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

Feb. 28, 16:16

Russian air forces dominate airspace of Ukraine — Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The Russian air forces have gained air supremacy over the entire territory of Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted by local media as saying on Monday.

Feb. 28, 15:54

Ukraine says Kiev still under control

KIEV, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The Ukrainian army said on Monday that the situation in Kiev was still under its control.

Feb. 28, 15:48

Russia-Ukraine talks to start at 0900 GMT Monday

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations are expected to start at 0900 GMT on Monday, head of Russian delegation was quoted by Sputnik as saying.

Feb. 28, 13:28

Ukrainian delegation for talks with Russia is in Belarus — Sputnik

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The Ukrainian delegation for talks with Russia is now in Belarus, Sputnik reported on Monday.

The talks are expected to start on Monday morning, it added.

Feb. 28, 12:40

Long lines of Ukrainian refugees at western border

Our correspondents have just entered Ukraine through Poland and are on their way to Lviv. How is the situation at the western border of Ukraine? Take a look.

A family from Ukraine pose for a photo in Przemysl, Poland, Feb. 26, 2022. (Xinhua/Meng Dingbo)
Photo taken with a mobile phone shows a police officer maintaining order in Medyka, Poland, Feb. 26, 2022. (Xinhua/Chen Chen)

Feb. 28, 11:00

Ukraine mobilizes 100,000 troops amid conflict with Russia

Ukraine has mobilized about 100,000 troops amid the conflict with Russia, Valery Zaluzhny, chief commander of the armed forces of Ukraine, said Sunday on Facebook.

About half of the mobilized forces belong to the Territorial Defense Forces of the armed forces of Ukraine, Zaluzhny said.

Feb. 28, 7:45

UNSC adopts resolution requesting UNGA emergency session on Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Sunday adopted Resolution 2623 that calls for an “emergency special session” of the UN General Assembly to consider and recommend collective action on the Ukraine crisis.

It is the first such a resolution that the council has adopted in four decades, according to the Security Council Report.

Feb. 28, 5:44

France asks nationals to leave Russia, Belarus immediately

PARIS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Due to the closure of European Union airspace to Russia, French Foreign Affairs Ministry asked on Sunday its nationals to leave immediately Russia.

“Due to the increasing restrictions on air traffic between Russia and Europe, it is strongly recommended that non-resident French nationals in Russia make arrangements to leave the country without delay by existing air links,” the French ministry said in the latest travelling notice.

Feb. 28, 4:43

EU to ban Russian flights over Europe over Ukraine crisis

BRUSSELS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Sunday that the EU would shut its airspace to Russian airlines in response to its “special military operation” in Ukraine since early Thursday.

Feb. 28, 0:48

Russian forces destroy world’s biggest cargo plane Mriya in Ukraine

KIEV, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Russian forces have destroyed Ukraine’s flagman aircraft An-225 Mriya, the world’s biggest cargo plane, Ukraine’s state defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom said Sunday on Telegram.

The world's biggest plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, gets ready to take off from an airport outside Kiev, Ukraine, April 3, 2018. (Xinhua/Chen Junfeng)

Feb. 27, 21:55

Ukraine to send delegation for talks with Russia at Belarus border

KIEV, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Ukraine agreed to hold talks with Russia at Belarusian-Ukrainian border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday via social media.

Feb. 27, 21:28

Putin puts Russian deterrence forces on combat duty

MOSCOW, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country’s deterrence forces to be placed on “a special mode of combat duty” in a meeting with top defense officials on Sunday. 

Feb. 27, 16:39

Kiev still controlled by Ukrainian army: official

KIEV, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Kiev is still under the control of Ukrainian forces as of Sunday morning, the Kyiv City State Administration said in a statement.

Feb. 27, 16:38

Ukraine ready for talks with Russia but not in Belarus: Zelensky

KIEV/MOSCOW, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected Russia’s offer to hold negotiations in Belarus, suggesting alternative cities including Budapest and Warsaw for talks.

Feb. 27, 14:24

Russian forces hit 975 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects — spokesman

MOSCOW, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — The Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 975 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Sunday.

A total of 471 Ukrainian servicemen have been detained and will be sent to their families after paperwork, he added.

Feb. 27, 11:55

Chinese, German FMs hold phone talks over Ukrainian situation

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Wang said that China pays close attention to the development of the situation in Ukraine, and supports all efforts that are conducive to de-escalating the situation and achieving a political settlement.

On the issue of European security, the legitimate concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, he noted, adding that following five consecutive rounds of NATO’s eastward expansion, Russia’s legitimate security appeal should be solved in a proper way.

Feb. 27, 11:15

Russian forces continue advancing “in all directions” as Kiev refuses to hold talks

MOSCOW/KIEV, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Russian forces have been instructed to resume their advance into Ukraine “in all directions” after Kiev refused to hold negotiations, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.

All units were ordered to mount an offensive in accordance with the operation plan, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said during a briefing Saturday.

Feb. 27, 9:51

U.S., Europe to remove some Russian banks from SWIFT

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — The White House announced Saturday that the United States, joined by European nations and Canada, will remove some Russian banks from SWIFT, the payment system used for most international financial transactions.

This is a major move to escalate the West’s economic sanctions against Moscow for its ongoing military operations in Ukraine.

Feb. 27, 0:08

U.S. provides 350 mln USD worth of weapons to Ukraine

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that the United States is offering 350 million U.S. dollars worth of “lethal defensive” weapons to Ukraine to help defend itself against the ongoing Russian military operations.

Feb. 26, 22:59

Siege of Kiev main aim of Russia’s offensive: Ukrainian Armed Forces

KIEV, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — The siege of Kiev is the primary purpose of Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said Saturday on Facebook.

(Kiev has extended its curfew by several hours. Xinhua’s Lu Jinbo shows what’s it like at night in Kiev.)

Feb. 26, 22:51

UN chief pledges solution to Russia-Ukraine conflict, urges protection of civilians

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the world body will not give up on finding a solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, while calling on conflicting parties to better protect civilians.

“We must give peace another chance. Soldiers need to return to their barracks. Leaders need to turn to the path of dialogue and peace,” he said.

Feb. 26, 22:49

Moscow ready to cooperate with “all constructive forces” on settlement in Ukraine, says Russian FM

MOSCOW, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow is preparing for negotiations with “all constructive forces” on a settlement in Ukraine.

Feb. 26, 22:11

Kremlin says Kiev refuses to talk as Ukraine describes conditions as “unacceptable”

MOSCOW, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) — The Kremlin said Saturday that Kiev has refused to hold talks with Moscow, causing Russian forces to resume operations in Ukraine.

Also on Saturday, Oleksiy Arestovich, advisor to the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said Kiev refused to negotiate with Russia because the conditions Russia proposed are “unacceptable” for the country, calling those conditions as “an attempt to force us to surrender.”

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