Russia-Ukraine live news: Russia’s army claims Kherson captured – Al Jazeera English

  • Russia claims its forces have captured Kherson, in Ukraine’s south.
  • Local authorities deny Kherson has fallen, but say Russian troops have encircled the city.
  • Deaths mount as Russian strikes pound several cities including the capital, Kyiv, and the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
  • US President Joe Biden says Washington will ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin pays “a heavy price” for the invasion.
  • Miles-long Russian military convoy continues its advance on Kyiv.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Moscow is aiming to “erase” Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Ukraine MAP DAY 7 KHERSON

Here are all the latest updates:

Empty shelves, spy hunt: Kyiv residents brace for Russian assault

In the Ukrainian capital, residents and servicemen alike hunt for Russian spies in the Ukrainian capital while supermarkets struggle to keep their shelves stocked.

All of this while an enormous Russian military convoy lumbers towards the city, raising fears of an imminent uptick in fighting there.

Read more here.

A woman is seen looking at empty shelves in a Kyiv shopA woman stares at empty shelves at a store in the capital [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
Ukrainian forces are seen on a road in the centre of KyivTension in Kyiv is increasing as a miles-long Russian military convoy edges towards the city [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
People line up in front of a pharmacy in KyivExcept for queues in front of essential stores, such as pharmacies, Kyiv’s streets are largely empty [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

EU Commission proposes temporary residence rights for Ukrainian refugees

The European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, has proposed that the bloc grant temporary residence rights to people fleeing Ukraine.

Designed to deal with mass arrivals of displaced persons inside the EU, the new legislation will provide the same level of protection to Ukrainians in all 27 of the bloc’s member states and allow them to obtain residence permits as well as access to employment and social welfare.

The proposal will be discussed by EU interior ministers on Thursday.

Zelenskyy adviser says more Russia talks being considered

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has said that Kyiv is discussing whether to hold more negotiations with Russia.

A meeting between delegations from the two countries on Monday ended without any agreement except to keep talking.

Podolyak told the Reuters news agency that a “substantial agenda” was needed for any follow-up meeting.

Russian attacks ‘aimed at depriving Ukraine access to Black Sea’: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull, reporting from the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, says there appears to be a “pattern of Russian attacks aimed at depriving Ukraine of access to its Black Sea coast”.

“The Russians are said to be in control of Kherson and are also encircling Mariupol, a much bigger port city down on the Black Sea coast between Crimea and the breakaway regions,” he said, citing the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine.

‘Nothing is normal any longer in Ukraine’

Kateryna Shynkaruk, a Ukrainian political scientist and lecturer at the Kyiv-based National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, says “nothing is any longer normal in Ukraine” following Russia’s invasion.

“It has been such a dramatic change,” Shynkaruk told Al Jazeera from the western city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, where she fled to on Tuesday from the capital.

“And all these circumstances have brought to light things that were debated for decades – about whether Ukraine belongs in Europe or not … and what kind of state Russia is,” she added. “It is a terrorist state.”

Mariupol under heavy shelling, mayor says

Ukraine’s key southeastern port city of Mariupol is under constant shelling from Russian forces, its mayor says.

“We are fighting, we are not ceasing to defend our motherland,” Vadym Boichenko said live on Ukrainian TV.

The intensity of the attacks meant it was proving impossible to evacuate those who had been wounded, he added.

Paramedics are see moving a patient in MariupolMariupol has come under intense shelling from Russian forces in recent days [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP]

Russian paratroopers land in Kharkiv, clashes erupt

The Ukrainian military says immediate clashes have erupted after Russian paratroopers landed in Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv on the seventh day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

“Russian airborne troops landed in Kharkiv … and attacked a local hospital,” the army said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

“There is an ongoing fight between the invaders and the Ukrainians,” it added.

Read more here.

‘Russian soldiers seen on the streets of Kherson’: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Lviv, says there are reports of “Russian soldiers being seen on the streets of Kherson”.

“This is a strategic city because it links the annexed-Crimean Peninsula to the mainland of Ukraine,” Simmons said.

He added Russian forces were now trying to take control of Mariupol.

“There is a colossal fight going on there,” Simmons said.

Ukraine has enough for current spending despite war, finance minister says

Ukraine has enough funds to cover all current spending, the country’s finance minister has said, noting the scale of international support amid Russia’s assault.

“We have huge international support… We carry out all social payments, pensions, salaries and financial support for the army,” Sergiy Marchenko told Ukrainian TV in an interview, adding the ministry would continue issuing domestic war bonds.

Russia aims to ‘erase us’, Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says

Zelenskyy has claimed that nearly 6,000 Russians have been killed during the first six days of Moscow’s invasion and warned the Kremlin it will not be able to take control of Ukraine with bombs and air raids.

In a video address, the Ukrainian president said a Russian missile strike in the capital on Tuesday which hit a Holocaust memorial complex “proves that for many people in Russia our Kyiv is absolutely foreign”.

“They don’t know a thing about Kyiv, about our history. But they all have orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all,” he added.

Russia has not publically declared how many of its troops have been killed and Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided by Zelenskky.

Russia claims capture of Kherson: Report

Russia’s defence ministry says the country’s armed forces have captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, according to a report by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

If the city has fallen, it would be the largest to be captured by Russian forces since Moscow launched its offensive.

Local authorities deny Kherson has fallen, but say Russian troops have encircled the city.

People leaving Russia limited to carrying $10,000 as sanctions bite

Russian residents are no longer allowed to leave the country with more than the equivalent of $10,000 as the Kremlin tries to keep capital inside the country.

The rule affects movement of foreign currency too and seems designed to make sure that people attempting to leave Russia – as sanctions are slapped on the country – don’t take all of their hard currency with them.

Long queues are now common at cash machines that still have bank notes as people try to withdraw their holdings, against the backdrop of a rouble that is rapidly losing most of its value in light of the sanctions. Prices of imported goods are shooting up and people are trying to purchase some items, like new phones, before they become unaffordable.

Vendors count Russian ruble banknotes at a market in OmskRussia’s rouble has plummeted in value amid a flurry of Western sanctions [File: Alexey Malgavko/Reuters]

Germany is prepared if Russia stops gas exports: Economy minister

Germany is prepared should Russia stop exporting gas to the country, which is Europe’s largest economy, Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said.

Asked by radio station Deutschlandfunk what the government would do if Russia stops gas exports, Habeck replied: “We are prepared for that. I can give the all-clear for the current winter and summer.”

“For the next winter, we would take further measures,” he added, pointing to planned new legislation to ensure gas storage is full for winter.

“So we are also taking precautions for the worst case, which has not happened yet because the Russians are delivering,” he said, adding that in a worse case scenario Berlin could keep “coal-fired power plants in reserve, maybe even keep them running,” but that it was committed to moving to renewables in the medium-term.

At least 21 killed, 112 wounded in shelling of Kharkiv: Ukrainian official

At least 21 people have been killed and 112 wounded in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, regional governor Oleg Synegubov has said.

The authorities said Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Ukraine’s second-largest city, including residential areas and the regional administration building.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.

More than 450,000 people have fled to Poland, minister says

More than 450,000 people have fled to Poland from Ukraine since the Russian invasion started, Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Szefernaker has said.

Szefernaker also told private radio station Radio Zet that the number of people entering Poland fell slightly on Tuesday to 98,000 from a record number of more than 100,000 a day earlier.

Russia’s largest lender Sberbank quits Europe

Russia’s largest lender Sberbank has said it is quitting the European market after coming under pressure from Western sanctions levelled against the state bank.

“In the current environment, Sberbank has decided to withdraw from the European market,” the lender said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The bank’s European subsidiaries were facing “abnormal cash outflows and threats to the safety of employees and branches,” the statement said.

Google blocks RT, Sputnik from Play app store in Europe

Alphabet Inc’s Google has said it has blocked mobile apps connected to RT and Sputnik from its Play store, in line with an earlier move to remove the Russian state publishers from its news-related features.

A number of tech companies have limited distribution and advertising tools to Russian news outlets in recent days as the European Commission readies a ban on them out of concern that they are spreading misinformation about the war in Ukraine.

Moscow Exchange won’t resume stock trading on Wednesday

Russia’s central bank has kept stock market trading on the Moscow Exchange suspended for a third day in a row, but says it will allow a limited range of operations for the first time this week.

Taiwan president to donate salary for Ukraine relief efforts

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has said that she, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang will each donate one month’s salary to help with humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine.

Twitter to comply with EU sanctions on Russian state media

Twitter will comply with the EU’s sanctions on Russian state-affiliated media RT and Sputnik when the EU order takes effect, the social network has said.

“The European Union (EU) sanctions will likely legally require us to withhold certain content in EU member states,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“We intend to comply with the order when it goes into effect.”

Outside the EU, Twitter would continue to focus on reducing the visibility of content from these outlets as well as labelling it.

UNGA will censure Russia over Ukraine invasion

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is set to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and demand that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces, a move that aims to diplomatically isolate Russia at the world body.

While UNGA resolutions are non-binding, they carry political weight.

The draft text “demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”.

UN General Assembly set to vote Wednesday on a draft resolution co-sponsored by 90+ countries deploring Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine & demanding an immediate end to the use of force & a complete withdrawal.

The text (with co-sponsors):

— Amanda Price (@amandaruthprice) March 1, 2022

UN: 13 children killed in Russian invasion

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) says at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine last week.

Liz Throssel, an OHCHR spokeswoman, said 400 others were wounded.

“The real toll is likely to be much higher,” she said, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Biden: US stands with the Ukrainian people

The US president has sharply criticised his Russian counterpart and led a standing ovation for the embattled Ukrainian people in a State of the Union speech.

“Let each of us if you’re able to stand, stand and send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world,” Biden said. The lawmakers stood, applauded and roared, many waving Ukrainian flags.

“While he [Putin] may make gains on the battlefield, he will pay a continuing high price over the long run,” Biden said, adding that the US is working to seize yachts and apartments of Russian oligarchs, saying: “We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.”

Boeing suspends parts, support for Russian airlines

Boeing Co says it is suspending parts, maintenance and technical support for Russian airlines as well as major operations in Moscow.

“As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region,” said a spokesperson for the US aeroplane manufacturer.

World’s biggest shipping lines halt Russian deliveries

Danish shipping giant Maersk, Switzerland-based MSC and France’s CMA CGM say they will no longer take bookings for goods from Russia and will suspend most deliveries.

Citing the impact of sanctions, “bookings to and from Russia will be temporarily suspended, with exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies”, Maersk said in a statement.

MSC announced similar measures, saying it would “continue to accept and screen bookings for delivery of essential goods”. CMA CGM said it was suspending all bookings “in the interest of safety”.

Read more here.

Visa, Mastercard block Russian financial institutions

US payment card firms Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc have blocked multiple Russian financial institutions from their network, complying with sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some 80,000 Ukrainians return to fight Russia: Ministry

Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs says 80,000 Ukrainians have returned from overseas to join in the fight against Russia.

In a Telegram post, the ministry said the vast majority of returnees were men and they had joined the military ranks and other territorial defence forces.

US to ban Russian flights from American airspace: Officials

The US government is set to announce a ban on Russian flights in American airspace following similar moves by the EU and Canada, according to government and industry officials.

The precise timing is unclear but is expected within the next 24 hours, the sources told Reuters news agency.

ExxonMobil to withdraw from key Russian oilfield

US oil giant ExxonMobil says it will begin a phased withdrawal from the major oilfield it operates in Russia on behalf of a consortium including Russian, Indian and Japanese companies, citing Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In response to recent events, we are beginning the process to discontinue operations and developing steps to exit the Sakhalin-1 venture,” the group said in a statement.

Four dead in Russian attack on Zhytomyr: Official

An adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister says four people, including a child, were killed when homes in the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr were hit by a Russian cruise missile.

Anton Gerashchenko said on his Telegram channel that the missile was apparently aimed at a nearby base of the 95th Airborne Brigade in Zhytomyr, 120km (75 miles) west of Kyiv.

Residential buildings near the base were on fire and “so far, four people have died. Including a child,” he said.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.

The russian occupation forces have just launched a massive missile strike on a military base and residential neighborhoods in the city of #Zhytomyr.

We’re pleading to the international community to help us stop these war crimes! #StopRussianAggression #StopPutin #StopRussia

— Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (@ua_parliament) March 1, 2022

Seven killed in raid on Kharkiv building: Governor

Russian forces are continuing to bombard Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv, firing on residential neighbourhoods as well as the city’s main square, according to a local official.

Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said in a Telegram post that seven people were killed in an attack on a government building and 24 people, including a child, were wounded.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the figures provided.


— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) March 1, 2022

US lawmakers urge Biden to shield Ukrainians from deportation

More than 40 members of the US House of Representatives have signed a letter to Biden urging him to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which would shield Ukrainian nationals in the US from deportation.

“The United States has a moral and humanitarian responsibility to support Ukrainians during this ongoing conflict,” the legislators wrote.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has caused a humanitarian crisis of monstrous proportions — and the Ukrainian people need our help.

That’s why I’m leading 40+ of my colleagues calling on @POTUS to designate Ukraine for TPS, and provide Ukrainian students special student relief.

— Adriano Espaillat (@RepEspaillat) March 1, 2022

Italy’s Eni to pull out of Russia-Turkey pipeline

Italian oil giant Eni says it will withdraw from the Blue Stream gas pipeline linking Russia to Turkey in which it has a 50 percent stake.

A spokesman said “Eni intends to sell its stake” in the Blue Stream pipeline which links Russia and Turkey via the Black Sea. Rivals BP and Shell have also divested from Russia-linked projects.

Biden to condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine as ‘Putin’s war’

Biden will condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in strong terms during a State of the Union address later on Tuesday evening, comparing it to World War II, according to the White House.

“Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos. They keep moving. And, the costs and threats to America and the world keep rising,” Biden will say in his speech.

Putin misjudged Western response to Ukraine invasion: Biden

Biden says Putin underestimated the powerful response his invasion of Ukraine would illicit from Western nations.

“Putin’s war was premeditated and unprovoked,” Biden said in prepared remarks released ahead of his annual State of the Union address.

“He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And, he thought he could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready.”

United Airlines suspends flying over Russian airspace

United Airlines confirms it has temporarily suspended flying over Russian airspace, joining other major US carriers.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Parcel Service all said this week they had halted flights over Russia as the White House considers following Canada and the European Union in banning overflights of US airspace by Russian carriers.

INTERACTIVE- Closed airspace and cancelled flights over Ukraine

US’s Yellen: G7 ready to impose further financial pressure on Russia

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the Group of Seven (G7) nations will convene a task force to focus on freezing and seizing assets of Russian elites.

“We stand ready to impose further financial pressure, as necessary,” Yellen said in a statement after a G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors on the situation in Ukraine.

World Bank preparing $3bn aid package for Ukraine

The World Bank says it is preparing a $3bn aid package for Ukraine, which will include at least $350m in immediate funds.

The first tranche of the aid “will be submitted to the Board for approval this week, followed by $200m in fast-disbursing support for health and education,” the World Bank said in a joint statement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF will consider the country’s latest request for emergency financing “as early as next week.”

Russia: We see ‘no desire’ from Ukraine to find solution

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva says Moscow sees “no desire on the part of Ukraine” to try to find a legitimate and balanced solution to the problems between the two countries.

Gennady Gatilov told a Lebanese television station that Russia “supports diplomacy based on respect for the positions of all countries and equality, but for now, we don’t see that”, according to the Russian news agency RIA.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held a first round of talks on Monday but made no substantial progress, merely agreeing to meet again. No date was set for a second round.

World Bank, IMF race to get aid to Ukraine, warn of ‘treacherous period’

The heads of the World Bank and IMF say they are racing to provide billions of dollars of additional funding to Ukraine in the coming weeks and months, warning that the war threatened to create “significant spillovers” to other countries.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass warned that commodity prices were rising, which risked further fueling inflation, and disruptions in financial markets would continue to worsen should the conflict persist.

The leaders said they were deeply shocked and saddened by the war, but did not explicitly mention Russia, which is a shareholder in both institutions.

EU bans Russian media outlets, banks

The EU has banned Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik from broadcasting in the bloc while banning “certain” Russian banks from the SWIFT bank messaging system, the EU’s rotating presidency said.

The moves, due to come into force on Wednesday after publication in the official journal of the EU, come as Brussels intensifies its sanctions regime on Moscow in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy asks Biden to ‘stop the aggressor’

Ukraine’s president has spoken with his American counterpart, telling him that it is important to stop “aggressor” Russia “as soon as possible”.

The phone call came ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address.

Just had a conversation with @POTUS. The American leadership on anti-Russian sanctions and defense assistance to Ukraine was discussed. We must stop the aggressor as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 1, 2022

100,000 Ukrainians join self-defence units: Official

Svitlana Zalishchuk, a foreign policy adviser to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, told Al Jazeera Ukrainians are fearful yet determined as fighting increases across the country.

“We are scared that Putin is not going to stop,” Zalishchuk said from Beregovo, a city in western Ukraine.

Approximately 100,000 people joined have so-called territorial defence units in recent days in response to Russia’s advance, she said. That includes her brother, who “has nothing to do with [the] army but he took a gun and went to protect one of the towns at the entrance of Kyiv.”

Miles-long Russian convoy appears stalled near Kyiv: US official

An enormous Russian military convoy is lumbering towards Kyiv raising fears of an imminent uptick in fighting there.

A senior US defence official told reporters the convoy appeared to stall on Tuesday, however, due to a number of factors, including the Ukrainian resistance that the Russian troops have faced.

“We also believe that a part of the stall could be – and I emphasise the word ‘could’ – could be a result of their own self-determined sort of pause in operations – that they are possibly regrouping, rethinking, reevaluating,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Apple ‘pauses’ all product sales in Russia

Tech giant Apple has announced a halt to all product sales in Russia, adding that: “Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country.”.

The iPhone maker also announced Apple Pay and other services have been limited, while Russian state-owned media RT and Sputnik are no longer available for download outside Russia.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” the company statement said.

Ukrainian refugees stream into Hungary

More than 85,000 people have crossed from Ukraine into Hungary since the start of Russia’s invasion.

Along the 135km (84-mile) frontier, refugees are met with hot tea, locally made sandwiches, and logistical help – calls to embassies, free ticket booking, and even entertainment for children. Read more here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Tuesday, March 1, here.