As it happened: Cities pulverized and thousands dead in first 3 weeks of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

A firefighter comforts a woman outside a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022.
A firefighter comforts a woman outside a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 15, 2022.AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
  • Since Feb. 24, Russian troops have shelled multiple Ukrainian cities, including residential buildings and hospitals.

  • Ukrainians have launched a fierce resistance, and the two countries' negotiations are ongoing.

  • The US estimates thousands of troop deaths on both sides. The UN reported more than 600 civilian deaths on Mar. 14.

  • Here's a recap of what happened.

Ukraine says it sees 'possible room for compromise' after negotiations with Russia on Tuesday

russia ukraine
A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.Associated Press

Ukraine's government said it sees 'possible room for compromise' after negotiations with Russia on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video early Wednesday that Russia's demands were becoming "more realistic."

Russian and Ukrainian delegations met via videoconference and will meet again on Wednesday.

Control of an investment firm linked to sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich switched to one of his close business associates the day Russia invaded Ukraine, report says

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen on the stand during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge
Roman Abramovich.Getty/Clive Mason

Control of an investment company linked to sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich shifted to one of his close business associates the day Russia invaded Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ownership of the company, Norma Investments, was transferred on February 24 to David Davidovich, who has frequently invested in companies with Abramovich, The Journal said Tuesday. Forbes once described Davidovich as "Abramovich's much lower-profile right-hand man."

Multiple sources have linked Abramovich to Norma. A 2020 filing by London-listed AFC Energy, seen by Insider, names Abramovich as one of its shareholders "through Norma Investments." Pitchbook lists the billionaire as the only executive on Norma's investing team.

The Journal said Tuesday that corporate disclosures dating back several years identified Abramovich as being in control of Norma.


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Zelenskyy tells Russian soldiers if they surrender 'we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated — as people'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.UKRINFORM/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed directly to Russian troops in an address on Tuesday.

"On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I give you a chance, a chance to survive," he said in an address to Russian troops, according to a translation provided on the video. "If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated — as people."

"In a way you were not treated in your army. And in a way your army does not treat ours," he added.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. In the weeks since, Russian forces have shelled towns across the eastern European country.


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Russia's reliance on 'humanitarian corridors' in Ukraine comes from its playbook in Syria, experts say

A crater caused by Russian bombing outside the maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.
A crater caused by Russian bombing outside the maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.Associated Press

Russia is touting its "humanitarian corridors" in Ukraine as evidence it does not wish to wage war on Ukraine's civilian population. But experts familiar with its use of such corridors in Syria — and those observing their implementation today in Ukraine — say that Moscow is only using them as a deceitful accessory with the aim of gaining ground in its war against Ukraine.

Ukraine's deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Tuesday that at least 9 humanitarian corridors were opened in conjunction with Russia, with 150,000 civilians escaping areas like Mariupol, Kyiv and Sumy.

But the news comes in the backdrop of the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian NGO leaders repeatedly accusing Russian forces of shelling humanitarian corridors, laying landmines along them and generally disrupting the safe passage of aid workers and medical supplies.

Oleksandra Matviychuk, chair of the Center for Civil Liberties, a Ukrainian humanitarian NGO founded in 2007, is still based in the country. She told Insider that much of her group's day-to-day work involves coordinating which corridors are open — and having volunteers monitor them to see if they can actually evacuate people safely.


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Putin thought Russia's military could capture Kyiv in 2 days, but it still hasn't in 20

Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin summons meeting of Russia's Security Council at Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on February 21, 2022.Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

When Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion on February 24, he expected a swift and decisive victory, seeming to believe his own propaganda about the strength of his armed forces and people's willingness to fight for a country, Ukraine, that he has defined as an integral part of his own.

Within minutes of his televised war declaration, explosions were reported across Ukraine — including in the capital city, Kyiv, home to nearly 3 million people.

CIA Director Bill Burns told lawmakers last week that Putin's strategy for the war was centered on "seizing Kyiv within the first two days of the campaign." US intelligence likewise assessed that the city could fall soon after the invasion.

It has now been roughly three weeks. Instead of quickly conquering Ukraine, the Russian military made strategic mistakes — failing to take out the country's air defenses; deploying tens of thousands of troops without adequate supply lines — and were met by a steadfast Ukrainian resistance that was underestimated by Washington and Moscow alike.
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Polish prime minister says 'future of us all hangs in the balance' after traveling to Kyiv to meet with Zelenskyy

The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia meet in Kyiv on Tuesday.
The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia meet in Kyiv on Tuesday.Mateusz Morawiecki / Twitter

As Russia's assault on Ukraine nears the three-week mark, Poland's Prime Minister issued a grave warning: The future of Europe is at stake.

"It is here that the future of us all hangs in the balance," Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted after meeting with European leaders in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Morawiecki added: "It is here, in war-torn Kyiv, that history is being made. It is here that freedom fights against the world of tyranny."

Morawiecki, Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša traveled to Ukraineon Tuesday on behalf of the European Union Council to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.


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Biden expected to travel to Europe next week for an emergency NATO meeting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Biden
President Joe Biden speaks about domestic manufacturing, unions and electric vehicles in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, on February 8, 2022.AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Joe Biden will travel to Europe next week for an emergency NATO meeting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Tuesday's announcement comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy begs the alliance to do more to save his country.

"President Biden @POTUS comes to @NATO HQ next week to participate in an extraordinary meeting of the leaders of all #NATO Allies," the US Mission to NATO wrote on Twitter.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden wanted to meet "face to face" with his counterparts.

"His goal is to meet in person, face to face, with his European counterparts and talk about where we are in the conflict with Russia," she told reporters. It is not yet determined if Biden will try to meet with Zelenskyy himself or if he will visit refugees in Poland.


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Chernobyl workers are blasting the Ukrainian national anthem every morning to defy their Russian captors, WSJ reported

Maxar satellite imagery closeup of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.
Maxar satellite imagery closeup of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.Maxar Technologies via G

Workers being held hostage by Russian forces at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine have been blaring the Ukrainian national anthem every morning in defiance of their captors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

More than 200 staffers at the plant have been held there at gunpoint to complete around-the-clock routine tasks since Russian forces seized control of the site on the first day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly three weeks ago.

The poorly-fed technicians and support staff — some of whom need medicine — are battling immense exhaustion after spending roughly 500 hours since February 23 on the job at the site of the world's worst nuclear-power disaster, according to the Journal.

But workers have started to defy their captors.


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Russian state TV worker who interrupted broadcast with an anti-war protest was interrogated for 14 hours and fined

An anti-war protestor interrupts a Russian-state TV broadcast
An anti-war protestor interrupts a Russian-state TV broadcastInsider screenshot

An editor at a Russian state TV channel who staged a protest during a live broadcast said she went without sleep for two days while police detained her.

Her fine amounts to $273 and is for a prerecorded video explaining her reasoning for the demonstration, not the on-air interruption itself, according to The New York Times, which cited Sergey Badamshin, the chairman of a Moscow bar association.

Her demonstration, if considered "false information," could cost her up to 15 years in prison per a new Russian wartime censorship law that prevents media from calling the war "a war" — which goes against the Kremlin's dubious portrayal of its invasion of Ukraine, according to The Times.


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Zelenskyy says Ukraine 'must admit' it won't join NATO and its people must 'rely on themselves and our partners who help us'

Ukrainian President
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses nation in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022.Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country "must admit" that it won't join NATO.

"It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, we understand that, we are adequate people," Zelenskyy said in a meeting with leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force.

"For years we have heard about the supposedly open door, but we have also heard [lately] that we should not enter, and this is true and we must admit it," he said of Ukraine's attempts to join NATO, which started as early as 2008.

Zelenskyy said, however, that security guarantees from NATO allies would be necessary to keep Ukraine safe amid Russia's invasion of the eastern European country.


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A Fox News cameraman was killed in the shooting that wounded correspondent Benjamin Hall in Ukraine

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed on Monday after his car was hit by gunfire outside of Kyiv on Monday, the network confirmed in a statement shared with Insider.

The statement, from Fox CEO Suzanne Scott, said Zakrzewski was "newsgathering" when his "vehicle was struck by incoming fire."

"Today is a heartbreaking day for FOX News Media and for all journalists risking their lives to deliver the news," Scott said in the statement."

Zakrzewski was with Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who was also injured in the attack.

"We extend our deepest condolences to Pierre's wife Michelle and family — please keep them all in your prayers," Scott wrote in the statement.


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Pro-Russia mayor of occupied Ukrainian city tells locals to 'adapt' to new reality after the last mayor was kidnapped

A crowd of Ukrainian men stand outside in Melitopol holding up signs in protest of the abduction of their mayor.
A crowd of Ukrainian men stand outside in Melitopol in protest of the abduction of their mayor.Via Reuters

The new Russia-backed mayor of an occupied Ukrainian city told locals to "adapt" to the new reality after the region's elected mayor was abducted by Russian forces, according to reports.

Galina Danilchenko, the newly installed mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine, and a former member of the city council, made the comments in a televised address over the weekend as she called on the city to stop committing "extremist acts," Sky News reported.

"Our main task now is to adapt all the mechanisms to the new reality so that we can begin to live in a new way as soon as possible," Danilchenko said in her address, according to a translation by Sky News.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said last week that the elected mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, had been kidnapped by Russian forces on Friday amid Russia's more than two-week invasion of Ukraine.
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Russia stops athletes in Putin's favorite sport, judo, from entering global competitions

Israel's Peter Paltchik (white) and Russia's Tamerlan Bashaev compete in the judo mixed team's bronze medal B bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo
Israel's Peter Paltchik and Russia's Tamerlan Bashaev compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.Getty/Jack Guez

Russia has chosen to withdraw its athletes from international judo competitions citing fears for their safety amid the fraught international atmosphere after the invasion of Ukraine.

Following Russia's invasion, the International Judo Federation (IJF) cancelled its events in Russia, however did not ban Russian athletes, saying it would allow them to compete under a neutral flag — a move also taken up by a number of other sports.

The Russian Judo Federation (FDR), however, said in a statement Monday that it was suspending it athletes from competing.

"Under the current conditions, the national team's access to most countries where international competitions are held is significantly difficult," the FDR said.


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An Olympic gold medal-winning skater married to Putin's spokesman is the latest Russian sports star slapped with sanctions

Tatiana Navka attends the screening of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals
Tatiana Navka.Getty/Pascal Le Segretain

A former Russian figure skater who once dressed as holocaust victim for a routine has been sanctioned by United States over her links to the Kremlin.

Tatiana Navka, who won ice dancing gold at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, is the wife of Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov was targeted by the US on March 3 and sanctions have now been issued to Navka and Peskov's two adult children, Nikolay Peskov and Elizaveta Dmitriyevna Peskova.

The US Departure of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) said Friday: "Today, OFAC is designating three of Peskov's family members, all of whom live luxurious lifestyles that are incongruous with Peskov's civil servant salary and are likely built on the ill-gotten wealth of Peskov's connections to Putin.


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Former Ukrainian president wearing camouflage vest tells reporter he and his fighters are 'not waiting for the NATO troops'

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks to CNN.CNN

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said during an interview on Tuesday that he and his fellow fighters aren't waiting for NATO troops to help fight the Russians.

"We are not waiting for the NATO troops — NATO soldiers — but we definitely need everything from nutrition to ammunition, from anti-aircraft to anti-tank," Poroshenko told Sky News from Kyiv.

Poroshenko could be seen in the interview wearing camouflaged straps, standing in front of a group of armed individuals, and issued a plea to NATO for a weapons delivery.

"Please deliver for us, not only anti-tank and anti-aircraft, but jet fighters especially," he said. "You should understand, we fight not only for our soil, we fight for the democracy — for the freedom and for the West.


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UN agency says more than 3 million Ukrainians have fled since Russia invaded

People rest at a refugee reception center at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing in Korczowa, Poland, March 5, 2022.
People rest at a refugee reception center at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing in Korczowa, Poland, March 5, 2022.Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters

More than 3 million Ukrainians have fled the eastern European country since Russia launched its attack on February 24, the United Nations announced on Tuesday.

"3 Million women, children and vulnerable people separated from their loved ones," António Vitorino, chief of the UN's International Organization for Migration, said in a statement on Twitter. "We need an immediate cessation of hostilities."

On Monday, the UN's Refugee Agency estimated that at least 2 million more people were displaced within Ukraine.


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Kyiv mayor warns of 'difficult and dangerous moment' as Russia continues to shell capital

Kyiv city head Vitali Klitschko attends the Kyiv Security Forum 2021, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.
Kyiv city head Vitali Klitschko attends the Kyiv Security Forum 2021, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.Hennadii Minchenko/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko warned Tuesday is a "difficult and dangerous moment" as Russian forces continue their assault on Ukraine's capital city.

"Today is a difficult and dangerous moment. This is why I ask all Kyivites to get prepared to stay at home for two days, or if the sirens go off, in the shelters," Klitschko said, according to the BBC.

Klitschko placed a curfew on the city from Tuesday evening until Thursday morning due to Russian bombing.

"It is prohibited to move around the city without special permission, except to go to bomb shelters," he said.

2 people killed after Kyiv apartment block hit, emergency services say

Firefighters extinguish fires in an apartment building after being hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022.
Firefighters extinguish fires in an apartment building after being hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 15, 2022.AP Photo/Felipe Dana

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said on Facebook on Tuesday morning that a fire broke out in a 16-story residential building after an attack.

It said two people were killed, and 46 people were rescued.

The Associated Press reported that Ukrainian authorities said artillery strikes were heard across Kyiv, and that shelling started the apartment building fire.

The leaders of three EU countries are visiting Ukraine on Tuesday to support Zelenskyy

Mateusz Morawiecki at his office in Warsaw, May 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Mateusz Morawiecki, now Poland's prime minister, at his office in Warsaw in May 2017.Thomson Reuters

The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia are traveling to Kyiv on Tuesday to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

All three of those countries are European Union and NATO countries. Zelenskyy applied to join the EU on February 28 and has repeatedly called on NATO to help defend against Russian attacks.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister, wrote on Facebook that he was traveling with the other leaders "to show Ukrainians our solidarity."

"It is our duty to be where history is being made. Because it's not about us, it's about the future of our children who deserve to live in a world free from tyranny," he said.

Zelenskyy thanks Russian state TV journalist who protested on air as Kremlin dismisses stunt as 'hooliganism'

Russia 1 anti-war banner Maria Ovsyannikova
A still of a broadcast from Russia's Channel 1 TV network showing Maria Ovsyannikova (back) holding a banner on March 14, 2022.Channel One

Ukraine's president thanked the Russian state TV journalist who interrupted a live news broadcast with an anti-war sign, while the Kremlin said she had engaged in "hooliganism."

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor with Russia's on Channel One, walked behind the host during a news show on the channel on Monday.

She held up a banner that read "they are lying to you" and shouted "stop the war!"

In an early Tuesday morning video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Ovsyannikova.

"I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth. To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones," he said.

"And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war," he said.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: "As far as this woman is concerned, this is hooliganism."

"The channel and those who are supposed to will get to the bottom of this," he said, according to Reuters.


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Ukrainian presidential advisor says invasion should be over by early May at the 'latest'

Ukraine volunteer fighters carry rifles
Volunteer fighters carry rifles under a destroyed bridge to reinforce Ukrainian troops in Irpin, March 1, 2022.MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via GETTY

Reuters reported that Oleksiy Arestovich, advisor to the Ukrainian president's chief of staff, said in a video published by Ukrainian outlets: "I think that no later than in May, early May, we should have a peace agreement, maybe much earlier, we will see, I am talking about the latest possible dates.

"We are at a fork in the road now: there will either be a peace deal struck very quickly, within a week or two, with troop withdrawal and everything, or there will be an attempt to scrape together some, say, Syrians for a round two and, when we grind them too, an agreement by mid-April or late April."

Both US officials and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russia was trying to recruit Syrian fighters. The human rights group said more than 40,000 had signed up to do so.

Russian rockets hit Dnipro airport, destroying its runway, official says

Dnipro damage
Photo shows debris after an airstrike in Dnipro, Ukraine, on March 11, 2022.State Emergency Service of Ukraine

The governor of Ukraine's Dnipro region said on Tuesday that Russian rockets hit the airport's main civilian airport and destroyed its runway, Reuters reported.

The region is a strategic one: Dnipro sits on the Dnieper River, which runs from Russia through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea, a major area for maritime trade.

Earlier this week the UK Ministry of Defence said Russia had blockaded the Black Sea coast, effectively cutting Ukraine from maritime trade routes.

SpaceX's Starlink app tops download charts in Ukraine

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk next to rocket launch
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Downloads of the SpaceX Starlink app surged in Ukraine after CEO Elon Musk sent shipments of the company's satellite internet terminals to the country, data shows.

Across Apple's App Store and Google's Play store, Starlink was the most-downloaded free app on Sunday, with about 21,000 downloads that day, Sensor Tower, an analytics firm, told Insider. Most downloads came from Ukraine, the firm added.

On Sunday, the Starlink app hit the top spot among free iPhone apps on Ukraine's App Store, Sensor Tower said. It went on to spend part of Monday in the top spot before ending the day in second place behind Air Alarm, which alerts users to air raids.


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China may be open to offering Russia military and financial aid for Ukraine war, according to US reports

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a ceremony at the Friendship Palace in Beijing, China, on April 26, 2019.Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Getty Images

China has signaled that it may be open to providing some military assistance and financial support to Russia amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, two Biden administration officials told The Associated Press on Monday.

Similarly, CNN reported that the "US has information suggesting China has expressed some openness to providing Russia" with financial and military support, citing a US diplomat and a Western official.

And Reuters reported that Moscow received a "positive" response from Beijing regarding its assistance requests, citing a diplomatic cable sent to US embassies that instructed them to disseminate the relevant information to their host governments.


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US astronaut Mark Vande Hei will return to Earth aboard a Russian spacecraft amid tensions over US-Russia space relations

nasa astronaut mark vande hei floating inside international space station with supplies equipment
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei seen aboard the International Space Station's Harmony module on June 9.NASA

NASA gave reassurances on Monday that US astronaut Mark Vande Hei would be returning to Earth from the International Space Station in a Russian spacecraft as planned despite concerns over the state of US-Russia space relations.

Speaking to members of the press, Joel Montalbano, a senior space station program manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, said that Vande Hei will be hitching a ride on a Soyuz capsule back to Earth and is due to land in Kazakhstan on March 30.

Vande Hei will share the spacecraft with Russian astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, who are currently aboard the ISS.

News of Vande Hei's confirmed return comes amid concerns that US-Russia space relations have deteriorated following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On February 25, Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that US sanctions imposed on Russia for the invasion could "destroy" both countries' cooperation on the ISS.


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Spain seizes $153 million super-yacht linked to Russian oligarch Sergei Chemezov

Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Spain said it seized a $153 million super-yacht that was later linked to Russian oligarch Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Russian state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.

"Today we have temporarily immobilized a yacht of one of Russia's most prominent oligarchs, and there will be more to come," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told the LaSexta television channel in an interview, according to the Associated Press.

Sanchez didn't name the owner of the yacht, Valerie. However, Reuters, citing two sources, reported that it belonged to Chemezov, who once worked with Putin as a KGB spy.


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Madison Cawthorn says Ukraine's government is 'well known for corruption'

Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina in the House chamber ahead of the State of the Union address on March 1, 2022.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn claimed that Ukraine is one of the "major sex trafficking hubs of the entire world."Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images

North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn has doubled down on his stance on Ukraine, saying he thinks its government is "very vile" and "well known for corruption."

During an event on Friday at the Rutherford County GOP headquarters in North Carolina, the congressman told members of the press that propaganda emerging from the Ukraine-Russia conflict had made things "murky and hard to understand."

"But before we all jump to conclusions and say we're going to go defend democracy in Eastern Europe, we have to realize that ... the Ukrainian government is so well known for corruption," he said.

"I will just tell you honestly, both governments in both Russia and in Ukraine are incredibly corrupt and very vile," Cawthorn added.


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Anti-war protestor interrupts Russian-state broadcast shouting 'No War'

An anti-war protestor interrupts a Russian-state TV broadcast
An anti-war protestor interrupts a Russian-state TV broadcastInsider screenshot

Maria Ovsyannikova, whose father is Ukrainian, ran out during a live Russian state TV broadcast shouting her opposition to the invasion of Ukraine and carrying a sign telling viewers that they are being lied to.

"Stop the war! No to war! Stop the war! No to war!" she shouted during her brief interruption of the broadcast.

The sign she carried bore the messages, "Don't believe the propaganda" and "They are lying to you here."


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'Fear': Ukrainians from Zaporizhzhia, where Russia attacked a nuclear plant, faced a harrowing journey to Poland

Citizens wait for evacuation trains, Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine on March 7, 2022.
Citizens wait for evacuation trains, Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine on March 7, 2022.Dmytro Smoliyenko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto/Getty Images

LUBLIN, Poland — It took Katerina Kompaniets and the seven family members traveling with her over a week to get from Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine to safety across the border in Poland. Normally, that journey takes roughly 15 to 16 hours by car.

At one point, a train they were traveling on from Zaporizhzhi to Lviv, in western Ukraine, was stopped due to an air raid alarm. The power was shut off. They were packed into a train car with roughly 250 people, all of them worrying it could be targeted by a Russian airstrike. When asked what was going through her head during that tense moment, Kompaniets offered a one-word response: "Fear." She and her family spoke to Insider from Lublin's main train station on Friday, which has become one of many transit hubs for Ukrainians fleeing the war, where they were hoping to move on to Germany.

Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine has made travel in the country a harrowing, potentially life-threatening ordeal. More than 2.5 million Ukrainians have left their country — by foot, train, bus, and car — since the war began in late February. A lot of Ukrainians fleeing into Poland have traveled for 24 hours or more, and have to wait for hours at the border before crossing, after already experiencing a hellish situation in their home cities and towns.


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Russia's former chief prosecutor says Roman Abramovich amassed his fortune through a 'fraudulent scheme'

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen on the stand during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.Getty/Clive Mason

Russia's former chief prosecutor, Yuri Skuratov, has told the BBC that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich gained his wealth through "fraudulent deals."

A BBC investigation looked into how Abramovich made his money, focusing on deals that he conducted with the Russian government in the 1990s.

According to the report, in 1995 Abramovich purchased Russian oil company Sibneft from the government at an auction for $250 million – and old it back for $13 billion a decade later.

The report, citing Skuratov and a confidential source, alleged that Abramovich initially bought the company at a "rigged auction" through a "fraudulent scheme" with his former business associate, Boris Berezovsky.


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An investigative reporter concerned for her safety flees Russia following threats made by the head of the Chechen Republic

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov at a microphone in front of a Russian flag.
Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov speaks during a review of the Chechen Republic's troops and military hardware, February 24, 2022.Yelena Afonina/TASS via Getty Images

An official in the Chechen region of Russia called investigative reporter Elena Milashina a "terrorist" and made public threats against her. Concerned for her safety, the Russian journalist was forced to flee the country in search of refuge.

Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, demanded that Milashina and Igor Kalyapin, head of the Committee Against Torture, be arrested adding that Chechen authorities "always destroy terrorists," according to a Telegram post in late January.

He also accused Milashina, who reports on human rights abuses in Chechnya, of "making money off the subject of the Chechen Republic and the Chechens."

"I take all these threats really, of course, seriously, I understand that the danger is high," Milashina said in a February 4 interview.


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Video shows Ukrainian amphibious vehicle's cannon destroying Russian armor in besieged Mariupol

A video circulating online shows a Ukrainian amphibious vehicle damaging one piece of Russian armor and destroying another in the vicinity of Mariupol, a Ukrainian port city under siege by Russian forces.

The video, posted by a Twitter account that tracks weapons in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, shows a Ukrainian BTR-4 damaging a Russian T-72B3M tank and destroying a BRM-1K armored vehicle. The Ukrainian BTR-4, known as "Bucephalus," is an 8x8 wheeled armored personal carrier designed in Ukraine and first developed in 2008. The BTR-4 can be used as an armored vehicle in infantry units or to provide fire support in combat, and has a 30mm mounted gun on its roof that can be fired remotely.


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UN secretary-general says nuclear war is 'back within the realm of possibility

protester with sign
A protester holds a placard warning of a nuclear disaster, during the demonstration. Thousands of protesters gathered outside Downing Street in support of Ukraine as Russia continues its attack.Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said nuclear war is "back within the realm of possibility" as Russia gave new orders to its nuclear forces as the war on Ukraine drags on.

"Raising the alert of Russian nuclear forces is a bone-chilling development," Guterres said while addressing media on Monday in New York. "The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility."

He added: "It's time to stop the horror unleashed on the people of Ukraine, and get on the path of diplomacy and peace."


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Ukrainian authorities accused Russian troops of detonating ammo at Europe's largest nuclear power plant

Rafael Mariano Grossi points to a diagram showing the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks at a press conference about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, March 4, 2022.AP Photo/Lisa Leutner

Ukrainian authorities accused Russian troops on Monday of detonating ammunition at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

In a statement, Ukraine's communications center alleged that Russian forces blew up explosives next to the nuclear plant and that authorities were waiting for a response from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Ukrainian officials also alleged that Russian forces plan to continue with explosions at the plant, and that staff had fled.

Energoatom, Ukraine's state nuclear energy company, said in a Telegram statement that 11 representatives of Rosatom, Russia's state atomic energy corporation, were at the nuclear plant when the explosions were reported.

"It is obvious that the detonation of ammunition on the site of the station is carried out with their direct participation," Energoatom wrote in the statement. "So it turns out that Rosatom is also involved in this terrorism."

Energoatom added: "All established international rules and requirements for nuclear and radiation safety are violated by this company."


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Russia may be cut off from the world's lender of last resort as bonds head toward default

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video link at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on March 11, 2022Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

As Russia sits on the brink of default, the world's top economies have vowed to prevent it from tapping emergency funding that was used in a prior debt crisis.

On Friday, G7 nations pledged to cut off Moscow's access to lenders like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as Russia ramps up its assault on Ukraine.

"Russia cannot grossly violate international law and expect to benefit from being part of the international economic order," according to a statement from the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, who also pledged to curtail its international trade with the West.

Sources of emergency funding were key during a previous Russian currency and debt crisis. The government received a $22.5 billion bailout from the IMF and other lenders in 1998 as it defaulted on sovereign debt.

Now, the effort to block IMF and World Bank funding comes as Russia suffers another debt crisis after sanctions froze Moscow's foreign currency and gold reserves.

Russia must make a $117 million debt payment Wednesday on two dollar-denominated bonds. But the finance ministry has said its sovereign bond payments depend on Western sanctions, and if it does pay — it'll do so in rubles.


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Russia's wild theories about secret bio-labs and 'crisis actors' in Ukraine are crafted to appeal to US conspiracists, experts say

Russian ambassador, UN Security Council
Russia Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia shows documents promoting disinformation about the Ukraine conflict during a UN Security Council emergency meeting, in New York on March 11, 2022.TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

New conspiracy theories about the Ukraine conflict are sweeping social media, promoted by Russia and embraced by swaths of the Western far-right.

At a UN Security Council Meeting on Friday, Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia claimed the US established secret labs in Ukraine to research bio-weapons.

An aim of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said, was to destroy those labs and eliminate a threat to humanity.

He went on to claim that pregnant women pictured bloodied and injured after Russia bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 10 were "crisis actors," playing the part of victims in an elaborate plot to frame Russia.


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Activists stormed a Russian oligarch's mansion in London and unfurled a sign saying the property had been 'liberated'

Squatters occupy Oleg Deripaska's mansion in London
Police officers prepare to enter a mansion reportedly belonging to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who was placed on Britain's sanctions list last week, as squatters occupy it, in Belgravia, London, Britain, March 14, 2022.REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Activists in London stormed a mansion said to belong to a Russian oligarch on Monday and hung a sign saying the property had been "liberated."

The group intends to "house Ukrainian refugees and refugees from all nations," one member told reporters, The Telegraph reported.

The squatters entered the mansion in Belgrave Square, a luxury residential area in central London, around 1 a.m. local time Monday, the London Metropolitan Police said. It was unclear if anyone was home at the time the activists entered the house.

The front door of the building appeared to be broken.

They unfurled two signs from the property: one said "Putin go fuck yourself," while the other said "This property has been liberated." They also danced on the house's balcony, The Telegraph reported.


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US stocks rise as Russia and Ukraine enter a new round of cease-fire talks

US stocks were mostly higher on Monday on optimism for a halt in Russia's war against Ukraine as the two countries began new discussions.

The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials pushed higher while the Nasdaq Composite slipped. Tech stock investors cast an eye toward the 10-year Treasury yield which rose to its highest since 2019 as it reached above 2%. Stocks dropped last week, led by a more than 3% fall for the Nasdaq Composite.

The fourth round of talks between Russia and Ukraine was reportedly underway. A Ukrainian official told the BBC that Russia appeared ready to start "constructive negotiations."


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Trump's former national security advisor says China is 'providing cover' for Russia's 'mass murder' of Ukrainian civilians

US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is seen in a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.
US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is seen in a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump's former national security advisor said on Monday that China is "providing cover" for Russia's "mass murder" of Ukrainians.

HR McMaster, who served as Trump's advisor from 2017 to 2018, said in an interview with CBS Mornings that Russians were killing "innocent civilians."

China has been "spouting the same narrative that this isn't really a war, calling it a 'special military operation,' also supporting these kinds of false claims of military biolabs in Ukraine," McMaster said, referring to baseless allegations by Russia that Ukraine and the US have bioweapons labs in the country.

He added: "I think this ought to be hung around China's neck, this horrible assault on Ukraine."


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Exiled Russian oligarch says blocking all Putin's bankers and sanctioning all oligarchs is the 'only thing' that will stop Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former owner of one of Russia's largest oil companies, attends a panel discussion during the Forum 2000 Conference on October 13, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Matej Divizna/Getty Images

An exiled Russian oligarch who was once the country's richest person says the West needs to block all of President Vladimir Putin's bankers and that sanctions need to be extended to every oligarch to deter Russia from continuing to invade Ukraine.

"That's the only thing that will stop the war," Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former CEO of the Russian oil giant Yukos and an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, told CNN.

Western countries and trade blocs have placed heavy financial sanctions on Russia after Putin sent troops to attack Ukraine. The measures include banning transactions with Russia's central bank, cutting off some Russian banks' access to the SWIFT international payments system, blocking the trade of luxury goods, and freezing assets of Putin, other Kremlin leaders, and individual oligarchs.

The sanctions are intended to hobble Russia's economy and cut off funding to its military and have so far sent the ruble to a record low and contributed to soaring inflation. But some critics say the sanctions haven't gone far enough because they haven't persuaded Putin to call off the invasion.

"The blow to the financial system has been enormous," Khodorkovsky told CNN. "But at the moment, only 70% of the cash flows have been blocked."

"I've never advocated sanctions against Russia as a whole, but the financial flows need to stop," Khodorkovsky said.


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Poland calls the Russian missile strike near its border 'highly provocative' and said it threatened NATO

wounded ukrainian soldi
A man wounded in air strikes at a nearby military complex is assisted by medical staff outside Novoiavorivsk District Hospital in Novoiavorivsk, Ukraine, on March 13, 2022.Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Poland's deputy foreign minister said that a deadly Russian missile attack near its border on Sunday was an attempt to "threaten" NATO.

"I do believe that the Russian army knows very well where the border is, and this is not only the border between Poland and Ukraine but between NATO and a non-NATO country," Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told Sky News on Sunday.

Russia fired more than 30 rockets at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Ukraine on Sunday, killing 35 people and injuring 134 others, USA Today reported, citing a local official.


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Ukraine-Russia peace talks stall again

Ukrainian officials said peace talks with Russian representatives have been paused and are set to resume tomorrow.

No ceasefire has yet been reached.

"Negotiations continue..." Mykhailo Podoliyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote on Twitter.

Former top Trump official says China is 'providing cover' for Russian attacks on civilians

HR McMaster
Former National Security Advisor HR McMaster.Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Former Trump national security advisor HR McMaster accused China of "providing cover" for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying attacks on civilians should be "hung around China's neck."

McMaster told CBS Mornings that China has been "spouting the same narrative that this isn't really a war, calling it a 'special military operation,' also supporting these kinds of false claims of military biolabs in Ukraine."


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White House sent National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to meet a top Chinese official after warning of 'consequences' if China helps Russia evade sanctions

U.S. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks to the news media about the situation in Ukraine during a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 11, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan see in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2022.REUTERS/Leah Millis

Jake Sullivan and Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, are meeting in Rome on Monday to "discuss the impact of Russia's war against Ukraine on regional and global security," the White House said on Sunday.

The trip followed multiple reports over the weekend that Russia asked China for economic support and military equipment to help it bolster its invasion of Ukraine.

Sullivan told CNN on Sunday the US told China there "will absolutely be consequences" if it tries to help Russia evade Western sanctions.


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Power is back on at Chernobyl but IAEA chief still 'gravely concerned' about nuclear accidents

View of the Chernobyl Nuclear power after the explosion on April 26 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
View of the Chernobyl nuclear power on April 26, 1986, after the explosion.Photo by SHONE/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Sunday that Ukraine informed it that power had been restored to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant after a power line was repaired.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the agency's director general, said the power was gone for four days amid Russia's invasion, and that the outage did not result in any major safety issues.

But he added: "However, I remain gravely concerned about safety and security at Chornobyl and Ukraine's other nuclear facilities."

Russia-installed mayor in captured Ukrainian city says it's now airing Russian state TV, which is heavily censoring news of the war

A crowd of Ukrainian men stand outside in Melitopol holding up signs in protest of the abduction of their mayor.
A crowd of Ukrainian men stand outside in Melitopol in protest of the abduction of their mayor.Via Reuters

The newly installed mayor of a Ukrainian city occupied by Russian forces said the city and surrounding region would start broadcasting "Russian TV channels."

Russian troops kidnapped and detained mayor Melitopol Ivan Fedorov on Friday after they occupied the city. They replaced him with Galina Danilchenko.

Danilchenko said on Sunday that Russian TV was now broadcasting across the region. Russian TV has heavily censored Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Danilchenko said: "Today, we are experiencing an acute lack of authentic information. Because of that, from today on the territory of Melitopol and Melitopol region starts a digital broadcast of Russian TV channels.

"Reconfigure your receivers to obtain reliable information."


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Video shows 9-story Kyiv apartment block destroyed by Russian air strike, killing 2

An apartment block in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, was destroyed on Monday morning.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko said on Telegram that two people were killed, and Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council also retweeted a post that said two bodies were found.

That post included video of firefighters working on the building after the impact:


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Russia and Ukraine are due to resume talks on Monday, and Ukraine suggested they could be more constructive this time

Firefighters work on a hit building
A photo shared by Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko of the aftermath of an air strike on a Kyiv apartment block on March 14, 2022.Anton Gerashchenko

Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet again for talks on Monday, both countries said.

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agency TASS on Sunday that representatives for the two nations would speak virtually on Monday.

Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine's interior minister, said on Monday that the two countries would talk by video, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that his negotiators' goal was to secure a chance for him to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported.

"Our delegation has a clear task: To do everything to ensure a meeting of the presidents. The meeting that I am sure people are waiting for," he said. Ukraine is also expected to repeat calls for a cease-fire.

Negotiators for both sides have met multiple times since Russia began its invasion, but made little progress. But Ukraine suggested that talks could now be more productive.

Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of office for Zelenskyy, told the BBC's "Today" program on Monday that Russia's position appeared to have shifted: "Instead of giving us an ultimatum or red lines or asking Ukraine to capitulate, they now seem to start the constructive negotiations."

Russian influencers left in tears after their country bans Instagram

Olga Buzova
Reality TV star Olga Buzova cried while saying goodbye to her 23.3 million followers on Instagram.Screenshot from Instagram

Some Russian influencers have been left in tears following their country's decision to ban Instagram from Monday.

Reality TV star Olga Buzova, who has 23.3 million Instagram followers, posted a nearly seven-minute video on Sunday of herself sobbing over the impending loss of her audience.

"I am not afraid of admitting that I do not want to lose you," she said in Russian. "I do not know what the future holds. I don't know," she continued.

"I just shared my life, my work, and my soul. I did not do this all as a job for me, this is a part of my soul. It feels like a big part of my heart, and my life is being taken away from me," Buzova added.


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Russian Orthodox church in Amsterdam breaks ties with Moscow Patriarchate

Russian Patriarch Kirill holds two lit candles
Russian Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and an ally of President Vladimir Putin.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

A Russian Orthodox Church in Amsterdam announced on Saturday that it would split from the Moscow church over threats it has received for its stance against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The parish of St. Nicholas of Myra in Amsterdam said it had held a special meeting to discuss "the threat to the parish and the clergy," it said in a statement on its website.

"During the meeting, the clergy unanimously announced that it is no longer possible for them to function within the Moscow Patriarchate and provide a spiritually safe environment for our faithful," the statement read.


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Russia can't use nearly half of its $640 billion foreign currency war chest due to sanctions

A digital board shows the exchange rate of the rouble against the US dollar and euro in Moscow, Russia.
The ruble has plunged after the West imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia.Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images.

Russia's finance minister has admitted that the country can't use nearly half its foreign exchange reserves, which are seen as a crucial tool for countering Western economic sanctions.

In an interview with Russian state television Sunday, Anton Siluanov said Russia held about $640 billion in foreign reserves, and about $300 billion of that amount was frozen under sanctions imposed by the US, Europe, and other Western nations, according to a report by Interfax, the independent Russian news agency.


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Corporate leaders who criticize Russia could face arrest, officials warn: report

Men walk in front of the McDonald's flagship restaurant at Pushkinskaya Square in central Moscow on March 13, 2022, McDonald's last day in Russia.
Men walk in front of the McDonald's flagship restaurant at Pushkinskaya Square in central Moscow on March 13, 2022, McDonald's last day in Russia.AFP/Getty Images

Prosecutors in Russia have issued stark warnings to Western companies that pull out of the country or criticize its government, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Companies from various business sectors have been told that their corporate leaders could be arrested if they criticize Russia and that companies shutting down operations in the country could have their assets seized, sources told The Journal.

Russia said last week that it could seize the assets of companies that suspended operations in Russia. Droves of major US and European companies have pulled out of the country after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.


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Russia has asked China for military support, US officials say

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Beijing, China on February 4, 2022.Getty Images

Senior US officials told multiple outlets that Russia has asked China for military and economic aid for their invasion of Ukraine.

The New York Times first reported that officials did not reveal additional details on what military equipment was requested as to not give away the way they collect information on Russia's requests.

On Sunday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN that the administration is concerned if China helps Russia.

"We also are watching closely to see the extent to which China actually does provide any form of support, material support or economic support, to Russia. It is a concern of ours. And we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions," Sullivan said.

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Ukrainian foreign minister: 'We do not expect' that NATO will defend Ukraine if Russia deploys chemical weapons

Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba sat the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 22, 2022.Carolyn Kaster/Pool via Reuters

Ukraine's foreign minister said he does not think NATO would come to Ukraine's defense if Russia uses chemical weapons to attack the sovereign nation.

"When you're asking me whether NATO will defend us, well, we do not expect that," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Margaret Brennan from Kyiv on Sunday's "Face the Nation" on CBS News.

Russia has recently circulated false claims that the US is harboring chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine. The White House has said that could mean the Kremlin is planning to use such weapons themselves.

On Sunday, Kuleba said Ukrainians cannot rule out the possibility that Russia will use prohibited weapons, as they have used chemical weapons and violated international laws in the past.


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UK housing official says he wants to 'explore' the idea of using the sanctioned properties of Russian oligarchs to aid refugees

UK Housing Minister Michael Gove said he wants to "explore" the idea of using the properties of sanctioned Russian oligarchs to house refugees fleeing Ukraine.

"I want to explore an option which would allow us to use the homes and properties of sanctioned individuals for as long as they are sanctioned for humanitarian and other purposes," Gove told BBC Television on Sunday, Reuters reported.

"There is quite a high legal bar to cross and we're not talking about permanent confiscation," Gove added, per the outlet. "But we are saying, 'you're sanctioned, you're supporting Putin, this home is here, you have no right to use or profit from it' and ... if we can use it in order to help others let's do that."


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Leaked Kremlin war memo instructs Russian state media to feature Fox News host Tucker Carlson 'as much as possible,' says Mother Jones report

Tucker Carlson speaks about Russian President Vladimir Putin on Fox News.
Tucker Carlson speaks about Russian President Vladimir Putin on Fox News.Fox News

The Kremlin instructed Russian state media to feature Fox News host Tucker Carlson "as much as possible," according to Mother Jones.

A leaked 12-page war memo, titled "For Media and Commentators," told Russian media that it is "essential" to use more Carlson segments in their coverage because of his positions on the war in Ukraine, Mother Jones reported.

Carlson "sharply criticizes" the actions of the United States and NATO and their "negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine," the memo said, per the media outlet.

He is also critical of the "defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally," the memo continued.

The document was provided to Mother Jones by a Russian state media contributor who asked not to be identified. According to metadata reviewed by the media outlet, it was produced by a Russian government agency called the Department of Information and Telecommunications Support.

Mother Jones said that Carlson was the only Western journalist mentioned by name in the document.


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Pentagon says 'an armed attack against one is considered an armed attack against all' if Russian forces strike in Poland

John Kirby.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.Alex Brandon/AP

The Pentagon reaffirmed its commitment to NATO on Sunday as Russia continues to cause chaos in eastern Europe.

While Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said US troops will not be going to fight in Ukraine, he did say the US would maintain its commitment to its NATO allies.

"An armed attack against one is considered an armed attack against all," Kirby said on ABC News on Sunday. "We've made it very clear to Russia that NATO territory will be defended not just by the United States, but by our allies."

The comments come after Russian forces attacked a military base in western Ukraine near the Polish border on Sunday, targeting the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) in Yavoriv and killing at least 35 people.
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National security advisor: Russia claiming that US, Ukraine are using chemical weapons is 'a tell' that Russia could be 'preparing to do so'

National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday called Russia claiming that both the United States and Ukraine are employing nuclear weapons "a tell."

"It is a very legitimate concern, fear that Russia would use chemical weapons in Ukraine," Sullivan said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday when asked about the possibility of Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine.

"They're right now accusing the United States and Ukrainians of potentially using chemical and biological weapons which is a tell. It's a tell that they themselves may be preparing to do so, and then trying to pin the blame on someone else," Sullivan added.


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Ukraine's Ministry of Defense posted a video of the Eiffel Tower getting blown up in a message apparently intended for NATO

ukraine protest
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2022/02/27: A protester holds a placard during the demonstration. Thousands of Ukrainians and their supporters gathered at Trafalgar Square to protest Russian invasion of Ukraine. They demanded the World to support and help Ukrainians to fight against the Russian troops.Hesther Ng/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine posted a startling video to its Twitter on Saturday depicting a military attack on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The 45-second video, intended to be a message for NATO, shows the Western city being bombed and urges NATO to "close the sky over Ukraine!"

"Just think if this were to happen to another European capital," a caption in the video said.
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Mayor or Kyiv fears he is a target as second Ukrainian mayor is abducted

Kyiv city head Vitali Klitschko attends the Kyiv Security Forum 2021, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.
Kyiv city head Vitali Klitschko attends the Kyiv Security Forum 2021, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.Hennadii Minchenko/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Russian forces have abducted a second Ukrainian mayor, this time targeting the leader of the southern town of Dniprorudne, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister said.

The abduction comes after the Russians kidnapped mayor Ivan Fedorov of the city of Melitopol and installed an acting mayor in his stead.

"Today, Russian war criminals abducted another democratically elected Ukrainian mayor, head of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matveyev. Getting zero local support, invaders turn to terror," Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told CNN on Sunday that the kidnappings make him worry that he will be a target of a similar abduction.

"Right now, it's every Ukrainian is target, every Ukrainian. And Russians told it's not the war against civilian. Every mayor," Klitschko said. "It's a war against whole population."


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Trump says Biden needs to put an end to the Ukraine-Russia conflict: 'This could lead to World War III'

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday night said the war between Russia and Ukraine has to stop and slammed President Joe Biden for his handling of it.

Addressing a crowd at a South Carolina rally, Trump said Biden can still "end this tragedy without getting Americans snared into a gruesome and very bloody war."

If the invasion continues, he said, it will lead to another world war.

"This could lead, by the way, this could lead to World War III," Trump said. "I see what's happening. Because if you think Putin is going to stop, it's going to get worse and worse. He's not going to accept it and we don't have anybody to talk to him."


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Bus carrying over 50 Ukrainian refugees overturned in Italy, leaving one woman dead

luggage on bus
Luggage of Ukrainians in the bus to ItalyPhoto by Davide Pischettola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A bus carrying about 50 Ukrainian refugees overturned on a major highway in northern Italy at dawn on Sunday, killing one person, Italian firefighters said.

Italian state radio said there were several injured in the accident on the A14 autostrada near Forli', a town in the Emilia-Romagna region in northeastern Italy. It said the rest of those aboard were safely evacuated.

The bus landed on its side on a grassy slope just beyond a highway guardrail and near a farm field. Firefighters used two cranes in an operation to set the bus upright and remove it.
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A no-fly zone wouldn't have prevented Russian missiles attack on Ukrainian military training base near Polish border, Pentagon press secretary says

John Kirby.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.Alex Brandon/AP

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Sunday imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would not have prevented Russian forces from striking a Ukrainian military training base.

Russian soldiers fired more than 30 rockets at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC), also called the Yavoriv Military Range, Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytsky said. At least 35 people were killed according to the regional governor, per the Spectator Index.

A "no-fly zone has a nice air policing kind of sound to it, but I participated in one as a young officer on an aircraft carrier way back in the early 90s," he said on ABC's "This Week." "It is combat. You have to be willing to shoot and to be shot at. President Biden has made it clear that US troops are not going to be fighting in Ukraine."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on Western leaders to impose a no-fly zone. But NATO said implementing a no-fly zone would escalate the Ukraine-Russia conflict into "a full-fledged war in Europe, involving many more countries and causing much more human suffering."

The attack in Lviv marks the third strike in western Ukraine, Kirby said.

"This is the third now facility or airfield that the Russians have struck in Western Ukraine in just the last couple of days, so clearly, at least from an airstrike perspective, they're broadening their target sets," he said.

American journalist shot and killed in Ukraine 'paid his life' for covering war, Kyiv police chief says

An American journalist was killed while covering the Russian war in Ukraine, a regional police chief in Kyiv said.

"A 51-year-old world-renowned media correspondent was shot in Irpen today," police chief Andriy Nebytov wrote on Facebook. "Another journalist is injured. Now they are trying to remove the victim from the war zone."

The social media post identified the journalist as award-winning documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud. The post shared images of Renaud's passport and a press pass for the New York Times.

The deputy managing editor of The New York Times tweeted Sunday that Renaud was not on duty for the newspaper while he was in Ukraine, but added that the news organization is "deeply saddened" to learn of his death.

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Russians install a new mayor in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol after abducting its elected mayor

A crowd of Ukrainian men stand outside in Melitopol holding up signs in protest of the abduction of their mayor.
A crowd of Ukrainian men stand outside in Melitopol in protest of the abduction of their mayor.Via Reuters

Russia installed a new mayor in Melitopol, where Russian soldiers kidnapped the city's democratically elected mayor, Ivan Fedorov.

The new mayor, Galina Danilchenko, was introduced as the city's acting mayor on local TV, CNN reported, citing a statement from the Zaporozhye regional administration website.

In a televised statement posted to Telegram, Danilchenkso said her "main task is to take all necessary steps to get the city back to normal," CNN reported. She said there are people in Melitopol who are trying to disrupt "the situation and provoke a reaction of bad behavior."

"I ask you to keep your wits about you and not to give in to these provocations," Danilchenko said. "I appeal to the deputies, elected by the people, on all levels. Since you were elected by the people, it is your duty to care about the well-being of your citizens."

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Russian forces abduct Dniprorudne mayor, Ukraine's foreign minister says

Russian forces have abducted the mayor of the southeastern city of Dniprorudne, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday.

Yevhen Matveyev would be the second Ukrainian mayor to be abducted by Russian troops in the past three days.

Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov was detained on Friday.

Russia launched missiles at a military base in western Ukraine just miles away from the Polish border

LVIV, UKRAINE - 2022/02/04: Ukrainian soldiers ride on top of the BTR-4 "Bucephalus" during the weapons training exercise at the training ground at the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security
LVIV, UKRAINE - 2022/02/04: Ukrainian soldiers ride on top of the BTR-4 "Bucephalus" during the weapons training exercise at the training ground at the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security.Pavlo Palamarchuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Russia fired more than 30 rockets at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) on Sunday, Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytsky said.

At least 35 people were killed according to the regional governor, per the Spectator Index.

The Guardian reported a higher death toll of 20 people, citing an emergency worker.

It is located in Yavoriv, in the Lviv region, about 15 miles from the border with Poland — a NATO and European Union member nation.

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Some Ukrainian and Russian seafarers are being denied entry to US

Port of Houston
Port in Texas.Getty

Shipping industry groups said Ukrainian and Russian seafarers with valid US visas are being denied entry to some US ports.

Kathy J. Metcalf, the president and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping of America, told Insider her organization suspects that Customs and Border Protection officials are worried that the seafarers won't catch their flights back home to Russia or Ukraine and instead might "disappear into the US."

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1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have died so far, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian soldiers ride in a military vehicle
Ukrainian soldiers ride in a military vehicle in Mariupol, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.AP Photo/Sergei Grits

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have died since Russia began its invasion, on Saturday.

The United Nations also announced on Saturday that 579 Ukrainian civilians have died and 1,002 have been injured.

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White House approves $200 million in weapons for Ukraine

Biden
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Joe Biden authorized $200 million worth of defense aid for Ukraine, including arms, equipment, military education, and training, The White House announced on Saturday.

The US Senate this week also approved $13.6 billion in emergency humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine as part of a $1.5 trillion government funding bill.

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Former Ukrainian president stationed in Kyiv says 'we are not giving up' as Russian forces inch closer

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks to CNN.CNN

The former president of Ukraine referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "war criminal" amid the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine.

"Please don't trust Putin. Please don't trust Russia. I think Putin is a war criminal," former president Petro Poroshenko told CNN from the frontlines of Kyiv. "He is a mad person."

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VP Harris: Russia's invasion threatens 'democracy and security across Europe'

Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on February 19, 2022.AP Photo/Michael Probst

Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday warned that the Russian invasion "threatens democracy and security across Europe.

Speaking at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting in Washington, DC, Harris said that the US "stands firmly with the Ukrainian people in defense of the NATO alliance."

"The ocean that separates us will not leave us untouched by this aggression," she said.

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Putin offers battle-hardened fighters from the Middle East up to $3,000 a month to reinforce Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Russian tanks roll on the field in Leningrad, Russia.
Russian tanks roll on the field during military drills in Leningrad region, Russia on February 14, 2022.Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

Russia plans to enlist battle-hardened fighters from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries to reinforce the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday approved 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East to be deployed alongside his Russian soldiers.

According to a senior US Defense Department official, Putin is planning to recruit from Syria.

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Russian energy officials traveled to Ukraine and seized control of largest nuclear power plant

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine on June 12, 2008.Stringer/Reuters

Ukraine said Russian energy officials have claimed control of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Station.

Russian energy officials on Friday arrived in Zaporizhzhya, the country's largest nuclear power plant. They announced that the plant is now part of their company, according to Energoatom, Ukraine's state nuclear energy company.

The Zaporizhzhya plant was previously seized by the Russian military on March 4 amid intense fighting and a fire that caused international concern of a possible nuclear accident.

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Russia warns US that convoys 'pumping Ukraine with weapons' will be considered 'legitimate targets'

Armoured vehicles on a snowy road in Crimea
A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022AP Photo

Russia on Saturday gave a stern warning to the United States, alerting the country that any convoys carrying weapons into Ukraine will be considered "legitimate targets."

"We warned the United States that pumping Ukraine with weapons from a number of countries orchestrated by them is not just a dangerous move, but these are actions that turn the corresponding convoys into legitimate targets," said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov while speaking on the state-run Channel One.

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Captured Russian pilot admits to bombing civilians, urges Russia to stop assault

A captured Russian pilot admitted to targeting Ukrainian civilians and urged Russia to call off the assault on Ukraine.

Lieutenant Colonel Krishtop Maxim Sergeevich was shot down on March 6 and taken into custody by Ukrainian forces, Interfax Ukraine reported. At a press conference on Friday, Krishtop said he carried out three bombing missions, Newsweek reported.

"In the process of completing the task, I realized that the target was not enemy military facilities, but residential buildings, peaceful people," Krishtop said, per Newsweek. "But I carried out the criminal order."

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Here are the nine Russian generals and commanders known to have been killed in combat so far

The Ukraine-Russia conflict has been ongoing for more than two weeks now, with Ukraine putting up a fierce fight.

Ukraine claims to have killed more than 12,000 Russian soldiers so far. The US estimates are considerably lower but still hover between 5,000 and 6,000. Insider is unable to independently verify the number of fatalities of Russian soldiers.

Among the dead are Russian major generals and other senior officers.

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Ukrainian technicians have begun to restore electricity in Chernobyl after Russian forces took control of the site

Maxar satellite imagery closeup of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.
Maxar satellite imagery closeup of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.Maxar Technologies via G

Ukrainian technicians have begun repairing damaged power lines at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Friday that technicians are restoring electricity to the power plant after Russian forces took control of the site.

Without consistent electricity and maintenance, the site runs the risk of leaking radioactive materials. Additionally, a prolonged loss of power might stall or disrupt the radioactive material cooling process that's vital to maintaining the site.

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Russia shells a Kharkiv care home for 330 adults and children with disabilities

Damaged building in Kharkiv
Firefighters work to contain a fire at the Economy Department building of Karazin Kharkiv National University, allegedly hit during recent shelling by Russia, in Kharkiv on March 2, 2022.SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images

Russian forces on Friday bombed a care home for people with disabilities in Kharkiv, according to Region Head Oleg Synegubov.

About 330 residents live in the home, and 63 were evacuated ahead of the strike. The status of the rest of the residents is unknown.

Several residents were severely disabled. Sinegubov characterized 50 of the residents as "sedentary" and said 10 of them used wheelchairs.

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At least 41 Ukrainian children have been killed in Russian invasion, UN says

A woman fleeing Russian invasion of Ukraine hugs a child at a temporary camp in Przemysl, Poland, February 28, 2022
A woman fleeing Russian invasion of Ukraine hugs a child at a temporary camp in Przemysl, Poland, February 28, 2022REUTERS/Yara Nardi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

At least 41 Ukrainian children have been killed in Russia's war against Ukraine, the United Nations said.

The United Nations said Friday that at least 564 civilians, including 41 children, have been killed in the conflict, although the organization noted that the real death toll is estimated to be much higher.

The UN added that some 982 Ukrainians have been injured, bringing the total number of confirmed casualties to 1,546.

Ukrainian journalist Nika Melkozerova, the executive editor of New Voice Ukraine, said on Twitter that the real death toll is nearly twice what the UN has reported.

"Every day I and many other fellow female colleagues and friends think: Thank God I don't have children yet. As of today, 79 children died in 17 days of the Russian shelling of Ukraine. More than 1000 were wounded," Melkozerova tweeted.

Ukraine officials claim Russia is stockpiling corpses of Ukrainian soldiers to use in a 'false flag' attack on Chernobyl

Maxar satellite imagery closeup of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.
Maxar satellite imagery closeup of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on March 10, 2022.Maxar Technologies via G

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense claimed that Russia is "stockpiling" the corpses of Ukrainian soldiers to use in a "false flag" attack at Chernobyl.

In a Facebook post published Friday, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense said Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to launch a "terrorist attack" at Chernobyl.

Russian vehicles traveled around Antonov airport in Gostomel rounding up dead Ukrainian soldiers, the post said.

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Chances of coup against Putin in Russia is rising, expert says

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 11, 2021, in Samolva village outside of Pskov, Russia.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Google Trends data shows that searches for "Putin coup" are at an all-time high.

The prospect of Russian President Vladimir Putin being overthrown is "a lot higher than it was a month ago," an expert told Insider.

But a culture of fear and a band of "Musketeers" is likely to protect him from a coup, the expert said.

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Mykolaiv mayor says 'people are ready to fight until the last ammo'

Ukraine Army troops dig in at frontline trench positions to continue repelling Russian attacks in sub-zero temperatures, east of the strategic port city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on March 10, 2022.
Ukraine Army troops dig in at frontline trench positions to continue repelling Russian attacks in sub-zero temperatures, east of the strategic port city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on March 10, 2022.Scott Peterson/Getty Images

Mykolaiv, a strategic port city near Odesa, has been under severe bombardment, and fierce battles have taken place in the city's outskirts near the airport, often in sub-zero temperatures.

So far, Russian troops have been successfully pushed back, and the city remains under Ukrainian control.

Speaking to Insider, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said "people are ready to fight until the last ammo."

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US hedge funds told to freeze Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich assets

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looks on from the stands during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge
Roman Abramovich.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Major US hedge funds were told to freeze the assets of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The move came after the UK sanctioned Abramovich, who is the owner of Chelsea FC, on Thursday.

The Journal reported that hedge-fund administrator SS&C Globe Op told one firm: "Currently accounts attributed to Roman Abramovich are blocked from transacting, as such any distributions, redemptions or payment cannot be made and no subscriptions or contributions can be accepted."

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WHO says that Russia's war in Ukraine will cause a spike in COVID-19 transmission

The World Health Organization warned on Friday that Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine could cause a spike in COVID-19 infections, according to CNBC.

With many oxygen plants shuttered across Ukraine, public health experts have said that the burden of disease and transmission will affect Ukrainians.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the humanitarian corridors to Ukraine are currently inaccessible and urgently need to be opened for medical supplies, according to the report.

Mariupol uses mass graves to bury soldiers and civilians

Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, as people cannot bury their dead because of the heavy shelling by Russian forces.
Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, as people cannot bury their dead because of the heavy shelling by Russian forces.AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

The number of civilian and soldier deaths continues to rise as Russian forces sustain their attacks on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

City officials have had to resort to burying the dead in an 80-foot long mass grave that was dug in a cemetery, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The UN reported at least 549 civilian deaths and 957 injuries in the country as of Thursday, but it's unclear how many people were buried at the site.

"Unable to defeat the Ukrainian Army, Putin bombs the unarmed, blocks humanitarian aid," Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Friday. "We need planes to stop Russian war crimes!"

He also called the attack "the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet."


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US sanctions family of Putin spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov — including his Instagram influencer daughter

Elizaveta Peskova and a friend in front of a crowd in January 2022
Elizaveta Peskova attends a restaurant opening in January 2022Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via Getty Images

The US Treasury Department unveiled a new list of sanctions on Russian oligarchs and officials Friday.

The newly sanctioned includes the family of Dmitriy Peskov, a longtime spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Treasury Department said the family lives "luxurious lifestyles that are incongruous with Pekov's civil servant salary."

Peskov's 24-year-old daughter has a large Instagram following of 250,000 followers. She posts mainly about wining, dining, and fitness, but recently deleted a story that said: "No to war."

Viktor Feliksovich Vekselberg, a businessman with close ties to the Kremlin, was also sanctioned, as well as 10 people on the management board of VTB Bank, and 11 members of Russia's legislature who voted in favor of recognizing the Donbas region of Ukraine as independent.


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The Pentagon believes Russian jets are steering clear of Ukrainian air space as to not be shot down by their defense systems.

Su-35S jet fighter of the Russian Air Force taking off, Kubinka, Russia.
Su-35S jet fighter of the Russian Air Force taking off, Kubinka, Russia.Artyom Anikeev/Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

A US defense official told reporters during a brief that they estimate Russia flies around 200 sorties per day, though many of them never go into Ukraine's air space.

Russian forces rely on aerial-mounted cruise missiles instead to attack Ukraine from Russian territory.

The strategy is apparently being used to avoid being hit by Ukrainian air defenses, which cost Russia several combat jets.

"Maybe they're saving their aircraft in case this conflict goes wider," Jeffrey Edmonds, an expert on the Russian military with the Arlington, Va.-based research organization CNA, told Insider.


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Ukrainian military veterans in Poland are heading back "to defend Ukraine."

Members of Kyiv defense battalion seen holding their rifles.
Members of Kyiv defense battalion seen holding their rifles.Mykhaylo Palinchak

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin waged a war against Ukraine, more than 1.5 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland.

Two men — former Ukrainian veterans who live in Poland — told Insider's John Haltiwanger that they were doing the opposite and hoping to join the army or the Territorial Defense Forces — which is Ukraine's volunteer force.

When asked why, they said, "To defend Ukraine."

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Russia will pay 'a severe price' if they use chemical weapons, Biden warns

Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe BidenMikhail Svetlov/Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Joe Biden warned that Russia will pay a "severe price" if its forces use chemical weapons as the war in Ukraine intensifies.

Western intelligence officials and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have warned that Russia is trying to fabricate a claim that the US and Ukraine will use chemical weapons.

In the past, Russia has used similar rationales to justify or obscure its own use of the deadly weapons of war, officials said, including allegation that it used chemical weapons in Syria.

The Kremlin has denied any suggestion that it's preparing a chemical weapons attack. The Russian Foreign Ministry continued to blame Ukraine and the US for a possible future attack.


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US to ban Russian seafood, vodka, and diamonds, Biden says

Biden
US President Joe BidenKevin Lamarque/Reuters

US President Joe Biden announced new steps against Russia's economy on Friday, banning imports of seafood, diamonds, and vodka.

The move is the latest in a campaign to punish Russia after Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine just over two weeks ago.

"Putin is the aggressor and Putin must pay a price," Biden said from the White House.

The US and the European Union will also revoke Russia's trade privileges, he said.


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Third Russian general killed in Ukraine invasion

Ukrainian defense officials say they've killed a Russian major general, the third top general killed since Putin's forces invaded Ukraine just over two weeks ago.

Andrey Kolesnikov was "eliminated," Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Friday.

Western officials confirmed that a Russian general had been killed, according to multiple media reports.


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Zelenskyy calls on EU to 'do more' after member states refuse to fast-track Ukraine's application to be a member

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivering a video address
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivering a video address that was released on March 11, 2022.Volodymyr Zelenskyy

In a Friday video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy slammed European Union leaders for refusing to fast-track Ukraine's application to join the bloc and called on them to "do more."

Leaders of the 27 EU member states met in Versailles, France, on Thursday, and ultimately concluded that the bloc would not speed up Ukraine's application.

Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were in favor, while France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands were not, The Guardian reported. Accession to the EU typically takes multiple years.

Zelenskyy said on Friday: "A very important meeting of the leaders of the European Union took place yesterday ... We know what was said at this meeting. What all leaders said. Who specifically spoke. Who supported. Who remained silent."

"How do we evaluate the decision made? It's very simple: it must be stronger. This is not what we expect."

He said: "The European Union must do more. It must do more for us, for Ukraine. And for itself."

Notably, Zelenskyy could be seen outdoors in the video. Most of his video addresses were filmed indoors amid multiple reports suggesting he was the target of assassination attempts.


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Video shows Ukraine ambushing Russian tank convoy featuring a thermobaric weapon, forcing a retreat

Ukraine's Defense Intelligence Agency released a video on Thursday showing the destruction and retreat of a Russian column of tanks near Kyiv, in footage verified by several news agencies.

Ukraine claimed that the Russian regiment's commander, Colonel Andrei Zakharov, was killed in the operation, though this has not been independently confirmed.

The 45-second edited montage of footage was filmed by drone and, according to the DIA, shows Russian tank movements in the suburb of Skybyn, around 20 miles from central Kyiv.

In the footage, two tanks — of indeterminate nationality — are seen approaching Skybyn, according to a Sky News analysis. The investigative collective Bellingcat also confirmed the location.


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Russia moves to declare Meta an 'extremist' organization, which would lead to all its services being cut off in Russia

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook/Meta CEO, in Congress
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004.Alex Wong/Getty Images

The office Russia's prosecutor general asked Meta to be labelled as an extremist organization under Russian law and have all its activities banned in Russia, the state-run Tass news agency reported.

This would mean all Meta services, including Instagram and WhatsApp, would be cut off in Russia.

Russia blocked Facebook last week.


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Video shows Russian state TV host yelling at a veteran who complained that troops were dying in Ukraine

Denis Kochanov Zvedva
Denis Kochanov, a host on Russia's Zvedva TV channel.Zvedva

A host on a state-run Russian TV channel berated a veteran who called for a moment of silence for Russian troops who had died in Ukraine, claiming instead that Russia was winning and killing "fascists."

In a recent episode of "Open Air," a talk show broadcast on the Russian defense ministry's official Zvezda TV channel, Alexei Gudoshnikov attacked the Russian Navy veteran Vladimir Eranosian after he spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


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2 superyachts owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich head east after he receives sanctions

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, next to his superyacht called Eclipse
A composite image of Roman Abramovich and his superyacht Eclipse.Alexander Hassenstein - UEFA/UEFA/Ali Balli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Two superyachts belonging to the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich were seen headed east after the UK hit the billionaire with sanctions on Thursday.

The sanctions frozen Abramovich's assets, meaning his yachts and private jets are at risk of seizure.

Abramovich's 460-foot vessel, Solaris, was located just off the east coast of Italy on Friday, according to ship-tracking site Marine Traffic. It had left a shipyard in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, where it had been docked since late 2021 for repairs.

Meanwhile, Abramovich's 533-foot yacht, Eclipse, has been cruising eastwards from St. Martin in the Caribbean since February 21, Marine Traffic data shows. The boat was located near the west coast of Africa on Friday, Marine Traffic said.

It is not clear where they are headed. The two superyachts cost about $1.3 billion combined.


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Analysis: Russia's struggling military is leaving Putin with only terrifying options in Ukraine

Ukraine war russia protest London
A protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in London, England.Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Two weeks after Russia's authoritarian president ordered an invasion, Ukraine continues to hold its largest cities.

But there are growing signs that Europe's biggest land war since 1945 is entering a much more deadly phase as battle nears major cities.

Russian forces appear to be regrouping amid an attempt to get a stranglehold on the country's capitol of Kyiv. Experts increasingly believe Putin's military, once regarded as among the world's most powerful, in fact lacks the troop strength and combat effectiveness to seize and control Kyiv, one of Europe's largest cities, let alone the entire country against the strong resistance Ukraine is mounting.

That leaves Russia's strongman with fraught options: Retreat, suffer heavy losses in urban fighting, or resort to total destruction.


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Number of refugees from Ukraine has hit 2.5 million, UN says

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, tweeted that the number of people fleeing Russia's invasion in Ukraine hit 2.5 million on Friday.

The UN also estimates that 2 million people are displaced within Ukraine, Grandi said.

Grandi called the invasion a "senseless war."

Major city of Dnipro hit by airstrikes for the first time in Russian invasion

Dnipro damage
Photo shows debris after an airstrike in Dnipro, Ukraine, on March 11, 2022.State Emergency Service of Ukraine

The strategic city of Dnipro was hit by airstrikes on Friday for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said.

The city suffered three airstrikes from about 6:10 a.m. local time, which hit a kindergarten, an apartment building near the kindergarten, and a shoe factory, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported.

At least one person has died, the service said.

Footage showed firefighters working to extinguish a massive fire at one of the buildings.

The Dnieper River is a key river that runs from Russia through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea.

The cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk were also hit on Friday.

Russian forces also launched a long-range attack on two military airfields in the two cities on Friday and crippled them, a Russian defense ministry spokesman said, Reuters reported.

Putin says Russia will help 'volunteers' wanting to help fight Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video link at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on March 11, 2022.Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

President Vladimir Putin said in a Friday meeting with his security council that Russia would welcome "volunteers" who want to help fight Ukraine and help them enter the country.

"If you see people who want — on a voluntary basis, especially not for money — to come and help people living in the Donbas — well, you need to cooperate with them and help them move to the war zone," Putin said, according to the state-run Sputnik news agency.

Sergei Shoigu, Russia's defense minister, said 16,000 people had volunteered to help Russia fight. Many of them were from the Middle East, he said. Insider has not been able to independently verify that claim.

Putin also approved a plan to send western-made weapons that were seized in Ukraine to the country's separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Sputnik reported.

Russia recognized the pro-Russian, Ukrainian territories of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states on February 21, giving it a pretext to invade Ukraine. Russia has since claimed that it was in Ukraine to defend those territories.

Russian forces are getting closer to Kyiv, UK and US warn

Streets were empty during the curfew in Kyiv.
Empty streets during a curfew in Kyiv, Ukraine, in February 2022.Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images.

Both US and UK officials said that Russian forces are getting closer to Kyiv.

"Russia is likely seeking to reset and re-posture its forces for renewed offensive activity in the coming days. This will probably include operations against the capital Kyiv," the UK Ministry of Defence said in a Friday morning update.

The ministry said, however, that it "remains highly unlikely" that Russia had achieved its objectives in Ukraine, and that its forces on the ground "continue to make limited progress."

Similarly, a US defense official told reporters on Thursday that Russian forces had moved three miles closer to Kyiv in the 24 hours prior, and that they could be as close as nine miles from the city center.

The Kremlin says it could seize the assets of foreign companies exiting Russia

Vladimir Putin sits and smiles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to find ways to take over the foreign assets of foreign companies leaving the country.Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russia said it could seize the assets of foreign companies that leave the country as sweeping sanctions and a corporate exodus cripple its economy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin is trying to find "legal solutions" to take over the foreign assets of international companies that are pulling out of its market, the Financial Times reported.

At a meeting on Thursday, Putin told government officials the Kremlin would seek to "introduce external management and then transfer these enterprises to those who actually want to work," according to the Guardian.

"With regards to those who are planning to close their production facilities, we must act decisively . . . By no means must we allow any harm to local Russian suppliers," said Putin, according to the FT.


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Pregnant Ukrainian influencer attacked by online trolls following Russian claims that she was a crisis actor

Marianna Podgurskaya
Marianna Podgurskaya's Instagram has been flooded with hate messages following claims made by the Russian Embassy in the UK.Instagram/AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

A Ukrainian beauty influencer has been attacked online after Russia falsely claimed she was a crisis actor in Wednesday's bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol.

Marianna Podgurskaya had been named in a series of tweets by the Russian Embassy in the UK on Thursday after a picture of her fleeing with blood on her face made headlines worldwide.

The embassy claimed that the blogger was wearing "some very realistic make-up" and denied that she had been in the hospital at the time of the strike. It also claimed — without providing evidence — that the hospital had been "long non-operational" and was being used by a "neo-Nazi" Ukrainian military force.

Twitter has since removed the embassy's posts for violating the platform's Abusive Behavior policy.


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US officials believe Ukraine could keep control of Kyiv for another four to six weeks

Soldiers guard Kyiv in Ukraine during Russia's invasion on February 25, 2022.
Ukrainian soldiers at a checkpoint in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 25, 2022.Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

Two weeks in to Russia's invasion, a US official on Thursday told NBC News that US intelligence believed the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, could hold out for at least another month.

The official said that Russia's troops were considered capable of encircling Kyiv in as little as a week but that the latest estimates by US intelligence — subject to change — were that Ukrainians could maintain control of Kyiv for another four to six weeks.


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Satellite images show a large Russian military convoy deployed near a Ukrainian airport northwest of Kyiv

Troops and military vehicles deployed in Ozera, northeast of Antonov Airport.
Troops and military vehicles deployed in Ozera, northeast of Antonov Airport.Maxar Technologies

Satellite images show a Russian military convoy driving through a town near a Ukrainian airport north of Kyiv.

The convoy was spotted near the Antonov Airport in Hostomel, Ukraine, which is 54 kilometers, or 33 miles, northwest of the capital.

The images taken by Maxar Technologies point to a Russian effort to expand its presence throughout Ukraine outside of Kyiv amid its ongoing assault on the country.


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Russian bombardment of Mariupol continues following deadly airstrike

A man walks his bicycle down a damaged street.
A man walks with a bicycle in a street damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, March 10, 2022.AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

Russia continued its bombardment of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Thursday following a Wednesday airstrike that killed three people at a maternity hospital.

Civilians trapped inside the city searched for food and fuel, according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy slammed Russia for refusing to allow civilian evacuations out of the city, calling the move "outright terror."

More than 1,300 people have died thus far during Russia's 10-day siege on the city, according to Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

Many of the city's 430,000 residents lack heat, phone service, and electricity, The AP reported, as nighttime temperatures drop below freezing.

The outlet reported that mass graves are full of bodies throughout the city while burned-out cars and broken glass line the streets. A black market for vegetables is reportedly operating throughout the city as grocery stores were cleared out days ago.

Boris Johnson fears Russia may deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Thursday that Russia may deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine.

"I'll make you one other prediction, by the way, which is that the stuff that you're hearing about chemical weapons, is straight out of their playbook," Johnson told Sky News' Beth Rigby.

"They start saying that there are chemical weapons that have been stored by their opponents or by the Americans," he added. "And so when they themselves deploy chemical weapons, as I fear they may, they have as a sort of a maskirovka, a fake story ready to go."


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People are attacking each other for food as Russian forces bombard Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Red Cross says

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday that the humanitarian situation in Mariupol, Ukraine, "is becoming increasingly dire and desperate."

The organization said that "hundreds of thousands of people" in the besieged southeastern city "have no food, water, heat, electricity, or medical care."

"People started to attack each other for food," Sasha Volkov, the humanitarian group's deputy head of sub-delegation in Mariupol, said. "People started to ruin someone's car to take the gasoline out."


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Thousands of Ukrainians who fled the war are sleeping in a Polish shopping mall

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees shelter in a converted shopping mall in Poland, near the border with Ukraine.
Thousands of Ukrainian refugees shelter in a converted shopping mall in Poland, near the border with Ukraine.Nicola Marfisi/Getty Images

What was once a shopping mall in Korczowa, Poland, has been transformed into a massive transit center for thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion.

Buses coming in and out of the center are bringing new arrivals from the warzone daily and sending others off to cities in Poland and beyond.

Over about 12 hours on Wednesday, there were 3,500 arrivals and 2,200 departures at the refugee center, volunteers told Insider.


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Zelenskyy accuses Russia of disrupting humanitarian aid to besieged Ukrainian cities so they can 'humiliate our people'

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zelenskyy seen on March 10, 2022.Office of the President of Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a Thursday video address that Russian troops have "created a humanitarian catastrophe" in the eastern European country.

"They want to humiliate our people," Zelenskyy said. "Make them take bread and water from the hands of the invaders standing on their knees, so that Ukrainians can save their lives just by going to the occupied territories or to Russia."


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Goldman Sach is pulling out of Russia

goldman sachs
Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters

Goldman Sachs became the first major Wall Street bank to announce it will pull its business from Russia amid Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The company told Reuters in a statement it was "winding down" operations in the country as Russia grapples with economic collapse caused by harsh Western sanctions.


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Russian F1 driver dumped from sport now hit with sanctions

Nikita Mazepin
Getty Images

Russian Formula 1 racer Nikita Mazepin has been hit with sanctions days after he was dropped by his racing team.

The 23-year-old is the son of Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nikita was added to the EU's list of sanctioned individuals on Wednesday.


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EU will 'probably' allow Ukraine into pact in 'a few years': minister

France's European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.
France's European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias

A French minister said it could be 'a few years' before Ukraine is allowed into the European Union.

"It is my deep conviction that there will be a European Union which will be in a few years, I don't know when, in a few years, probably extended to Ukraine, to Moldova, to Georgia, perhaps to other countries," French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune told radio channel France Inter, according to CNN.

After Russian forces invaded Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the easter European country had officially applied to join the union.


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Ukrainian mother killed in Russian shelling with her children was tech company exec

Tetiana Perebyinis — a Ukrainian woman killed by a Russian mortar strike along with her two children — spent her final days trying to help get colleagues out of the warzone, the New York Times reported.

Perebyinis worked at the Kyiv office of a tech company that had offices in London and Palo Alto.

In a Monday Facebook post, the company confirmed Perebyinis' death, saying: "There are no words to describe our grief or to mend our pain. But for us, it is crucial to not let Tania and her kids Alise and Nikita remain just statistics."


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Zelenskyy accuses Russia of lying after foreign minister claims the maternity hospital it bombed was used by Ukrainian militants

Shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed the Mariupol maternity hospital Russia shelled was a Ukrainian militia base, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of lying.

Referring to the Russian people, Zelenskyy said: "The Russians were lied to that there had been no patients in the hospital and no women or children in the maternity hospital. The Russians were lied to that 'nationalists' had allegedly taken up positions there. They lie confidently, as always."

"War crimes are impossible without the propagandists who cover them up. I want to tell them one thing: you will bear responsibility just as all those who give orders to bomb civilians."

"You will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes. And then, it will definitely happen, you will be hated by Russian citizens," he added, appearing to refer to Russia's leaders.

Kamala Harris says there should 'absolutely' be a war-crimes investigation into Russian bombing of maternity hospital

Kamala Harris
US Vice President Kamala Harris.AP Photo/Michael Probst

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday supported calls for a war-crimes investigation into Russia's bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, the day before.

"We have been witnessing, just in the last 24 hours, atrocities of unimaginable proportion," she said. "A maternity hospital, a children's hospital, where we have witnessed pregnant women who were there for care ... Unprovoked. Unjustified."

"Absolutely there should be an investigation, and we should all be watching," she said, according to the Associated Press.

Duda said: "It is obvious to us that in Ukraine Russians are committing war crimes."

At least three civilians, including a child, was killed in Wednesday's bombing, Ukraine said.

Putin-Zelenskyy meeting is possible, Russian foreign minister says

Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky
A composite image of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images, Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty Images

Russia's foreign minister said a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy could potentially take place.

"Everyone is well aware that President Putin never refuses contacts. We only want these contacts to be organized not for their own sake, but in order to fix some specific agreements," Sergei Lavrov said after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, according to the state-run Ria news agency.

"I reminded him [Kuleba] that we are always in favor of meeting if we can achieve some added value and can solve the problem."

Russia claims without evidence that the maternity hospital it bombed — which killed a child — was a Ukrainian militia base

Cars and building destroyed by an aviation strike in Mariupol, Ukraine
A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022.Press service of the National Police of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said without evidence on Thursday that Russia bombed a maternity hospital in Ukraine because it contained Ukrainian militants.

Three people, including one child, were killed, and 17 people were injured in Wednesday's attack in Mariupol, the city council said, the Associated Press reported.

However, during a press conference following talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Lavrov said that the hospital was empty of patients and that Russia had told the UN it was being used as a Ukrainian militia base.

"On March 7 or 6, I don't remember exactly now, but at a meeting of the UN Security Council, facts were presented by our delegation about that this maternity hospital was seized long ago by the Azov Battalion and other radicals," Lavrov said, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"All the women in labor, all the nurses, and all the attendants were expelled."

The UN did not immediately return a request for comment from Insider.


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Russian foreign minister on a nuclear war: 'I do not want to believe in it and do not believe it'

ANTALYA - TURKIYE - MARCH 10: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov holds a press conference after Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkiye on March 10, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov holds a press conference in Antalya, Turkey, on March 10, 2022.Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

When asked about the prospect of a nuclear war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "I do not want to believe in it and do not believe it."

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has put the country's nuclear weapons on high alert, and Russian troops have taken control of the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear facilities. The latter is Europe's largest nuclear power plant.

On Tuesday the International Atomic Energy Agency said it lost contact with the Chernobyl power plant but that it was stable.


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Russia repeats claim it didn't attack Ukraine, saying it was forced to defend to pro-Kremlin regions

Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Antalya, Turkey, on March 10, 2022.Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters

Sergei Lavrov on Thursday repeated Russia's claim that it did not attack Ukraine, saying that it was defending the pro-Russian Ukrainian territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.

His remarks came after a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Antalya, Turkey.

"We are not planning to attack other countries, and we did not attack Ukraine," Lavrov said.

He also said Russia was being threatened and had to defend the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Sky News reported.

Days before the invasion Russia recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, giving it a justification to enter Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin has also baselessly claimed that Ukraine was committing genocide against ethnic Russians and said he was seeking the "denazification of Ukraine." There is no evidence of genocide happening in Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, its democratically-elected president, is Jewish.


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Russia and Ukraine say they are no closer to arranging a cease-fire after top-level talks

Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left center) meets Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (right center) alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (center) in Antalya, Turkey, on March 10, 2022.Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine said they were no closer to arranging a cease-fire after meeting in person on Thursday.

Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine's conversation on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey was the most high-level meeting between the two countries during Russia's invasion so far.

Both ministers gave remarks after the meeting.

Kuleba said Russia was "not in a position at this point" to agree to a cease-fire, saying that the Russians "seek a surrender from Ukraine," which Ukraine was not prepared to offer.

"We will not surrender," he said.

When asked about a cease-fire, Lavrov said Russia's "special military operation" would continue and that President Vladimir Putin believed his strategy was going to plan, Sky News reported.

Mariupol official says Russia is deliberately destroying roads around the besieged city to stop evacuations

Petro Andryushchenko, an official on the Mariupol city council, said in a Thursday morning Facebook post: "Right now the aircraft bombing of Mariupol is ongoing."

"Bombardment is carried out carefully on roads that are prescribed along the route of the evocation movement. Russians are deliberately destroying the road infrastructure to ensure the complete isolation of the city and impossibility of any evacuation processes," he said.

Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday in what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later called a "genocide." At least three people, including a child, was killed, the BBC reported, citing city officials.

UK sanctions 7 Russian oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen on the stand during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge
Roman Abramovich.Getty/Clive Mason

The United Kingdom announced on Thursday that it had sanctioned seven more Russian oligarchs.

These include the Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, aluminum group Rusal founder Oleg Deripaska, and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, the UK government said in a press release.

The other oligarchs include Alexei Miller, Gazprom CEO; Andrey Kostin, chairman of VTB bank; Nikolai Tokarev, president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft; and Dmitri Lebedev, chairman of the board of directors of Bank Rossiya, per the UK government.

"These oligarchs — who have a collective net worth of around £15bn — will have their assets in the UK frozen, they are banned from travelling here and no UK citizen or company may do business with them," the UK government said.


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Zelenskyy calls on West to show 'courage,' a thinly veiled jab at the US for refusing to help send fighter jets

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.Sergei Supinsky / Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Western leaders to recover their "courage" after the US rejected a plan to send Polish fighter jets to help Ukraine combat Russian air power.

On Tuesday, Poland, a NATO member, offered to send Ukraine MiG-29 jets via the US Air Force's Ramstein Air Base in Germany. But the Pentagon quickly poured cold water on the idea, saying it "raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance."

In an address early Thursday, Zelenskyy, who has thanked Poland for the offer, called on the West to step up in helping defend Ukraine from Russia's aerial attacks.

"Together we must return courage to some Western leaders. So that they finally do what they had to do on the first day of the invasion," he said.

"Either close the Ukrainian sky from Russian missiles and bombs, or give us fighter jets so that we can do everything ourselves. A pause without a decision has become simply deadly."


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Moscow residents rushed to snag McDonald's meals before the fast-food chain shut its outlets in Russia

Crowded McDonald's in Moscow
People visiting a McDonald's outlet in Moscow on Wednesday night.Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images

Long queues formed at McDonald's restaurants in Moscow on Wednesday ahead of the iconic fast-food chain's temporary closure of its outlets across Russia.

Footage shared on social media appeared to show cars lined up outside McDonald's outlets in Moscow and Russians wrapped in winter clothing queueing inside the restaurants.

A day earlier, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski announced in a memo that the company would be closing its nearly 850 restaurants in the country indefinitely, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


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Russians are flocking to VPNs as Putin closes off the Russian internet

A woman walks past huge placards bearing images of Russian President Vladimir Putin and reading "Russia does not start wars, it ends them," in annexed Crimea
Moscow launched a crackdown against dissent after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

Russians are thronging this week to online tools that help them skirt internet restrictions as the Kremlin began blocking or limiting access to foreign platforms and social media sites, according to multiple media reports and analyses.

Demand for virtual private networks, or VPNs, has surged in Russia in the weeks after President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" into Ukraine, according to data from Top10VPN released Tuesday. Top10VPN reported that search traffic around the term " VPN" jumped by 1,092% over the previous 30 days.


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Volodymyr Zelenskyy has survived 'more than a dozen' assassination attempts, says aide

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.UKRINFORM/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

A top Ukrainian official said on Wednesday that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has survived more than a dozen assassination attempts since the Russian invasion began.

"Our foreign partners are talking about two or three attempts. I believe that there were more than a dozen such attempts," presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak told local news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.

In a video posted on the outlet's website, Podolyak explained that the Ukrainian government receives a constant stream of operational information concerning Russian agents and sabotage groups attempting to enter government property.


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Amazon stops shipping products to Russia, suspends Prime streaming service amid the Ukraine war

amazon mobile app and website
Amazon doesn't have facilities in Russia and doesn't do business with the Russian government.Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon has stopped shipping products to Russia and has suspended its Prime streaming service in the country.

In a March 8 blog post, Amazon said the moves were due to "the ongoing situation in Russia and Ukraine." The shipping suspension also applies to Belarus.

"We've suspended shipment of retail products to customers based in Russia and Belarus, and we will no longer be accepting new Russia and Belarus-based AWS customers and Amazon third-party sellers," the e-commerce giant said in its post.


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House passes government funding bill that includes $13.6 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine

Congress building capitol hill
A view of the US Capitol at sunset on January 5, 2022.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House on Wednesday approved a $1.5 trillion spending package that increased funding for swaths of the federal government, helping the US stave off the threat of a shutdown and sending the bill to the Senate after a Democratic clash.

The legislation set aside $13.6 billion in emergency humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine, a top White House and Congressional priority. The amount gradually crept up with many lawmakers in both parties eager to provide financial and military help to Ukraine, especially as the Russian military campaign intensified in recent days.


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Ukrainian man says he learned of family members' deaths via photos on Twitter

Ukraine troops patrol in Irpin
Ukrainian troops patrol in Irpin, Ukraine, on March 1, 2022.Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

A Ukrainian mother and her two children, along with a church volunteer who was helping them escape Kyiv amid Russia's ongoing invasion were killed by mortar fire on Sunday as they attempted to flee via a damaged bridge in the town of Irpin.

Hours later, Serhiy Perebyinis discovered the deaths of his wife and children via graphic photos of their dead bodies on Twitter, the father told The New York Times.


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Foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine to meet in Turkey on Thursday

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (left) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (left) is set to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov (right) in Turkey on Thursday.Carolyn Kaster/Getty Images, Shamil Zumatov/Getty Images

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine are set to meet in Turkey on Thursday, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The scheduled meeting between Russia's Sergey V. Lavrov and Ukraine's Dmytro Kuleba will be the highest-level talks between the two countries since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, per The Times.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the talks could "crack the door open to a permanent cease-fire," per the outlet.

On Wednesday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said her country has no intentions to overthrow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's government or take over Ukraine.

In an interview with ABC News on Monday night, Zelenskyy said he had "cooled down" on the idea of his country joining NATO. He also said that he was open to discussions about the control of Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

During his speech announcing the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin framed his country's actions as an act of self-defense against NATO's eastward expansion in Europe.

Poland's US envoy says his country understands America's rejection of its plan to provide Polish fighter jets to Ukraine

Polish MiG's-29 take off for a training mission at the military airport near Minsk Mazowiecki, east of Warsaw, December 6, 2005. As part of a rotational duty shared by members of the military alliance, Poland's MiGs will begin "air policing" missions over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in January. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Two Polish MiG-29 fighter jets seen near Minsk Mazowiecki, east of Warsaw, on December 6, 2005.REUTERS/Peter Andrews

Marek Magierowski, Poland's ambassador to the US, said his country understands America's rejection of a Polish plan to provide Ukraine with fighter jets, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

"Our American partners rejected this proposal because they have come to the conclusion that it was too escalatory," Magierowski told CNN, per AP.

Magierowski said his country understood the US' decision and called for "unity and cohesion" among NATO countries while adding that it's time to "move on" from the issue, per the wire.

On Tuesday, the Department of Defense rejected Poland's proposal to send its Russian-made MiG-29 warplanes to Ukraine via a US airbase.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has previously called for the US and NATO nations to provide his country with fighter jets amid Russia's ongoing invasion. However, the US and NATO have held back from doing so over concerns that such a move could spark a larger conflict with Russia.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced a Jewish orphanage to flee Odesa

People on a bus in Ukraine
Children were boarded onto eight buses in Odesa and spent nearly 60 hours fleeing to safety in Romania.Tikva Children's Home

By 1900, more than a third of Odesa's population was Jewish. But the 20th century was not kind to this population, in Ukraine as elsewhere.

Today, the city of more than 1 million on the coast of the Black Sea is home to some 45,000 Jews. At least it was.

The Russian invasion — sold as a campaign of "de-Nazification" in the only country outside of Israel with a Jewish head of state — has once again forced this persecuted minority to flee.

Earlier this month, Odesa's chief rabbi, Shlomo Baksht, who had come to the city in the 1990s to help rebuild its Jewish community, decided it was time to get out.


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White House says Russia's baseless claim of US having chemical weapons in Ukraine suggests Putin's forces may 'possibly use' them

destruction war ukraine kharkiv
A burnt-out car is seen on the street after a missile launched by Russian invaders hit near the Kharkiv Regional State Administration building in Svobody (Freedom) Square) at approximately 8 am local time on Tuesday, March 1, Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, on March 1, 2022, in Kharkiv, Ukraine.Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russia's baseless accusation that the US has chemical weapons in Ukraine could mean the Kremlin is planning to use them, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.

"We took note of Russia's false claims about alleged US biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine. We've also seen Chinese officials echo these conspiracy theories," Psaki said in a Twitter thread. "This is preposterous."

She said the claim was "the kind of disinformation operation we've seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years" and "an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent."

Psaki said the US is in full compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and does not have such weapons anywhere.

Russia has repeatedly used chemical weapons to target dissidents. Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, has been the favored weapon that Western nations have accused Russia of deploying against some of its most notable dissidents.

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Polish lawmakers warn Putin could take military action beyond Ukraine: 'He won't stop'

A man in camouflage clothing helps refugees from Ukraine to pull their suitcases at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland.
A man in camouflage clothing helps refugees from Ukraine to pull their suitcases at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland.Sebastian Gollnow

Crushing Russia's economy is imperative to ensuring that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not take military action beyond Ukraine, a scenario that could potentially spark a much broader war, Polish lawmakers warn.

"There is a concern that Russia may go further if we don't stop the invasion in Ukraine," Magda Biejat, a member of Poland's parliament from the Left Together party (Partia Razem), told Insider.

"There's a belief among many experts and politicians that Putin is doing what he is doing because of the lack of reaction for what he did in Georgia, for what he did in Crimea. And that he felt he could get away with anything..." Biejat said.

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Experts say there's clear cut evidence of war crimes in Ukraine, but building a case against Putin will take years and it's unlikely he'll ever face justice

Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin summons meeting of Russia's Security Council at Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on February 21, 2022.Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In the two weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, there have been reports of schools being hit in missile strikes and civilians being fired on as they try to flee to safety.

These incidents have led many to question whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could be charged with war crimes.

Insider spoke to two experts in the field, who explained how such cases are built, the likelihood of Putin being charged, and how charges would impact Putin's life.

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Before and after satellite imagery highlights the devastation from Russia's attacks on Mariupol, Ukraine

Satellite images show damaged houses in Mariupol, Ukraine
Satellite images show damaged houses in Mariupol, UkraineSatellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Before Russia's invasion last month, Mariupol was a bustling port city in southern Ukraine. But since the war began, it has been besieged and repeatedly struck by Russian airstrikes and artillery fire, with civilians reportedly shelled as they try to flee.

On Wednesday, the situation became even grimmer, with reports that Russian attacks had leveled a chi...