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Latest Developments in Ukraine: March 17


Ukrainian firefighters extinguish a blaze at a warehouse after a bombing in Kyiv, March 17, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all times EDT:

11:10 p.m.: A U.S. think tank says the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, is likely to fall to the Russians in coming weeks, the BBC reports. Mariupol's been the target of sustained bombing, and hits have included a maternity hospital on March 9 and a theater sheltering hundreds of people on Wednesday.

10:49 p.m.: CNN reports that South Korea is closing its temporary embassy in Lviv, Ukraine because of "escalating military threats." It moved its embassy from Kyiv on March 3.

10:17 p.m.: The Associated Press reports: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was thankful to U.S. President Joe Biden for the additional military aid but said he would not say specifically what the new package included because he didn't want to tip off Russia.

“This is our defense,” he said in his nighttime video address to the nation. “When the enemy doesn’t know what to expect from us. As they didn’t know what awaited them after Feb. 24,” the day Russia invaded. “They didn’t know what we had for defense or how we prepared to meet the blow.”

10:03 p.m.: Al-Jazeera reports that Australia is adding sanctions to 11 Russian banks and government organizations. “With our recent inclusion of the Central Bank of Russia, Australia has now targeted all Russian government entities responsible for issuing and managing Russia’s sovereign debt,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said in a statement.

9:36 p.m.: Speaking Thursday about the war in Ukraine, the head of the World Health Organization told the U.N. Security Council that "the lifesaving medicine we need now is peace," VOA's Margaret Besheer reports.

"Prolonged conflict is in nobody's interests and will only prolong the suffering of the most vulnerable," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an emergency council session on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, which has been under Russian airstrikes and shelling for the past three weeks.

9:16 p.m.: U.K. intelligence says the Russians are struggling to resupply their troops in Ukraine with "basic essentials such as food and fuel," the BBC reported.

8:50 p.m.: While the United States and European Union are enforcing powerful financial and trade sanctions on Moscow and closing their airspace to Russian airplanes, Turkey strongly opposes such measures, arguing they are counterproductive, VOA's Dorian Jones reported.

As a result, concerns are growing that Turkey is helping Russians to circumvent the sanctions, said Timothy Ash, an emerging-markets analyst with London-based Bluebay Asset Management.

8:32 p.m.: Over 350,000 people are sheltering in the besieged southern port of Mariupol, the city council said in a statement, according to a Reuters report. It said 30,000 residents had managed to escape so far, however.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows burning buildings in a residential area in northeast Chernihiv, Ukraine, on March 16, 2022.
This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows burning buildings in a residential area in northeast Chernihiv, Ukraine, on March 16, 2022.

8:07 p.m.: An American man was killed in a Russian attack on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, where he was seeking medical treatment for his partner. The death of Jim Hill was reported Thursday by his sister, according to The Associated Press.

"My brother Jimmy Hill was killed yesterday in Chernihiv, Ukraine. He was waiting in a bread line with several other people when they were gunned down" by Russian military forces, his sister, Cheryl Hill Gordon, wrote on Facebook. "His body was found in the street by the local police."

Ukrainian officials reported that 10 people were killed Wednesday in Chernihiv while standing in the bread line.

6:46 p.m.: A theft at the headquarters of the Ukrainian Congress Committee, a nongovernmental organization in New York, reported "approximately 400 bulletproof vests were removed from the location," a New York Police Department spokeswoman said, according to Agence France-Presse. The vests had been donated by officers and were destined for Ukraine as it battles a Russian invasion, police and the organization said Thursday, according to AFP.

6:44 p.m.: Ottawa announced Thursday it is establishing a new immigration program that will offer Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion a temporary Canadian residence permit for up to three years, the Agence France-Presse reported. Canada, which has a large Ukrainian diaspora, especially in the center and west of the country, said in a statement that "Ukrainians and their immediate family members of any nationality may stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to three years."

Russia Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, right, confers during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, at U.N. headquarters. March 17, 2022.
Russia Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, right, confers during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, at U.N. headquarters. March 17, 2022.

4:47 p.m.: VOA U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer reports that Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said during the U.N. Security Council meeting that Moscow would not call for a vote Friday as planned in the Security Council on their "humanitarian" draft resolution on Ukraine, although they are not withdrawing the draft. He said they will instead hold another emergency meeting on its claims that the U.S. has biolaboratories in Ukraine.

3:59 p.m.: President Joe Biden met virtually Thursday with Taoiseach Micheál Martin of Ireland, upholding a longstanding White House tradition on St. Patrick’s Day that symbolizes the deep ties and historic partnership between our countries. According to a White House statement, "The two leaders discussed the coordinated international response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine, including the imposition of significant economic costs on Russia and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine who are displaced by the conflict. "

3:58 p.m. : Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has gradually aligned itself more with Western countries. Russia views that shift as a security threat. VOA takes a look at major events that led to Russia’s February invasion of its neighbor.

Key Events in Ukraine from Independence to Russia's Invasion
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3:31 pm: South African medical students, who were evacuated from Ukraine, are now looking for ways to complete their studies. South African universities are discussing options for the students, some of whom are still shaken by the attacks they witnessed and are fearful for teachers and classmates left behind. VOA’s Vicky Stark reports from Cape Town.

3:22 pm: Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, and particularly in the last two weeks or so, the letter Z has become the increasingly ubiquitous symbol of support for the war, for the military, for the Kremlin’ s policies, and most of all for President Vladimir Putin. Robert Coalson has this report for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

People walk past the letter Z, which has become a symbol of the Russian military, and a hashtag reading "We don't abandon our own" on an advertisement screen in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 9, 2022.
People walk past the letter Z, which has become a symbol of the Russian military, and a hashtag reading "We don't abandon our own" on an advertisement screen in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 9, 2022.

3:13 p.m. : Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-American actor, film producer, businessman, former bodybuilder and politician, released a video message on Twitter Thursday intended for what he called his Russian friends. In it, he says “I hope you will let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there.” In an unusual high-profile endorsement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken quote tweeted Schwarzenegger’s message.

2:50 p.m.: VOA’s National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin monitored a briefing by a senior U.S. defense official Thursday, who gave the latest military and strategic updates on Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.

2:44 pm: Russia has started putting into use a recently adopted law that calls for sentences of up to 15 years in prison for people who distribute "deliberately false information" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

2:19 p.m. : U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that he agreed that targeting civilians is a war crime, and also that Russia may be setting the stage to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. VOA’s Patsy Widakuswara monitored his briefing and tweeted his remarks.

2:17 p.m. : Russia has been deploying mercenaries to African countries for years. New reports indicate some of those battle-hardened soldiers may be heading to Ukraine to take part in Russia’s invasion of its neighbor. VOA’s Salem Solomon looks at what the addition of mercenaries into the Ukraine war might mean.

Experts Warn Russian Mercenaries in Africa May Be Headed to Ukraine
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2 p.m.: The International Committee of the Red Cross called on the warring parties on Thursday to let people leave the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol safely and to allow aid in, Reuters reports. Up to 40 ICRC staff and their families had to flee the port along with other civilians on Wednesday, because they had “no operational capacity any more,” the organization’s head Peter Maurer told a news conference. But the ICRC would be making arrangements to bring in aid as soon as it could safely, he added. The ICRC was also still trying to get access to prisoners of war from both sides, he told journalists by video link from Kyiv.

1:49 p.m.: Ukrainian forces say they launched a successful counterattack against a Russian armored column in the Kyiv region. Ukrainian troops report that they liberated a village and destroyed several Russian armored vehicles. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent Levko Stek surveyed the aftermath of the battle.

1:14 p.m.: VOA’s U.N. Correspondent Margaret Besheer shared this tweet from Canada’s U.N. mission. which is getting attention Thursday on Twitter. Canadian staff ripped apart a letter from Russia’s delegation asking for support for their humanitarian resolution on Ukraine.

1:03 p.m.: Russian businesses in the U.S. are facing a backlash from people angry about the war in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported Thursday. Angered by the deadly violence resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some Americans are taking it out on Russian businesses by pouring out vodka, boycotting Russian restaurants, and leaving threatening voicemail messages at Russian businesses. Business owners and experts say it’s the most intense anti-Russian sentiment they have seen. They also call the behavior irrational and misplaced, especially when so many owners are denouncing Russia’s invasion, not to mention the fact that some of those targeted are not even Russian.

12:55 p.m. : VOA’s Jamie Dettmer reports on Russians who are leaving their country because of their opposition to its invasion of neighboring Ukraine. An estimated 200,000 Russians have left Russia already. Thousands more are planning to leave. Most Russians who have already exited have gone to Armenia, Georgia and Turkey, the easiest countries to reach as airline bans were imposed. Russians also don’t need visas to enter any of the three.

12:37 p.m. : The growing number of Ukrainians seeking refuge in Germany will become a "big, big challenge," Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday. Speaking after talks with the leaders of Germany's 16 states to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, Scholz said that despite the challenge it should be relatively easy to help Ukrainians settle in given that they don't need visas to enter Germany and they have automatic access to healthcare and education as well as language and integration courses. German police have so far registered just under 190,000 Ukrainians who have fled Russia's invasion of their country, Reuters reported.

12:18 p.m. : In a Ukrainian region occupied by Russian forces, people are disappearing, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Locals fear it may get worse.

12:08 p.m. : Ukraine and Russia are taking peace talks seriously but a very big gap remains between the two sides, Western officials said on Thursday. "Both sides are taking (the talks) seriously but there is a very, very big gap between the positions in question," one Western official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters. "Those ... who saw President Putin addressing the nation yesterday would be forgiven for thinking that Russia was not in compromising mood," another official said, referring to a televised speech in which Putin inveighed against "traitors and scum" at home who helped the West. A Ukrainian negotiator has said that a "model" of legally binding security guarantees is "on the negotiating table" at talks between Kyiv and Moscow.

11:57 a.m. : Amid shelling and gunfire from the Russian invasion, more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine as of mid-March. At this rate, the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees warns, the exodus could surpass the 2015 Syrian crisis. VOA’s Immigration Correspondent Aline Barros has this report.

Ukraine Exodus Could Become Century’s Biggest Refugee Crisis 
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11:48 a.m.: Cheap but lethal Turkish drones are bolstering Ukraine’s defenses, The Associated Press reported Thursday. Despite three weeks of Russian bombardment, Ukraine has kept up a stiff defense of its cities by using Turkish-made drones to carry out pop-up attacks on the invaders with lethal effectiveness. The Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles, which carry lightweight, laser-guided bombs, normally excel in low-tech conflicts, and in this case, have managed to avoid Russian air defenses. Jack Watling of the London-based Royal United Services Institute said the Ukrainian forces “have been essentially flying in at a low level and then coming up and raiding with them. So, striking targets of opportunity."

11:26 a.m.: A principal dancer for the famed Bolshoi Theater in Moscow has left Russia for the Netherlands in protest of her country's unprovoked attack on Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Thursday. The Dutch National Ballet said in a statement that it welcomed Olga Smirnova to its repertoire after "she recently spoke out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which makes it untenable for her to continue working in Russia." On March 1, Smirnova wrote on Telegram that she was "ashamed of Russia" over its aggression against Ukraine.

FILE - Bolshoi Ballet soloists and Benois de la Danse laureates Olga Smirnova and Semion Chudin perform the Adagio from the Taming of the Shrew, during a Nominees Gala Concert in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2015.
FILE - Bolshoi Ballet soloists and Benois de la Danse laureates Olga Smirnova and Semion Chudin perform the Adagio from the Taming of the Shrew, during a Nominees Gala Concert in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2015.

11:07 a.m.: Wall Street’s big two-day rally is stalling Thursday as oil prices jump back above $100 to keep the pressure on inflation, The Associated Press reported. The S&P 500 was 0.2% lower in morning trading, after surging more than 2% in each of the prior two days for its best back-to-back performance in nearly two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 54 points, or 0.2%, at 34,009 as of 11:06 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.4% lower. They’re the latest swings for markets as investors struggle to handicap what will happen to the economy because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, higher interest rates from central banks, and renewed concerns about COVID-19 surges in various hotspots.

10:40 a.m.: The Russian Wagner Group mercenary organization has tried to enlist some of its units in Africa to fight for Russia in Ukraine, the top commander of U.S. military forces in Africa told VOA. “We're seeing some efforts to recruit Wagner units for Ukraine,” Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, said in an exclusive interview with VOA’s Pentagon Correspondent Carla Babb.

10:30 a.m.: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III was traveling in Europe Thursday following an extraordinary meeting of NATO defense officials the day before. He planned to make remarks at a joint press conference with Slovakia's Minister of Defense Jaroslav Nad'. VOA’s National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin tweeted highlights of the press conference.

10:08 a.m.: Ukraine wants Turkey to be among countries offering security guarantees to Ukraine as part of any deal with Russia to end the war, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday after meeting Turkey's foreign minister. Speaking at a briefing after the talks in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, Kuleba said Turkey was also helping to set up direct talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported.

10:03 a.m. : VOA UN Correspondent Margaret Besheer reports that there will be a U.N. Security Council meeting Thursday on Ukraine. It will focus on the humanitarian and refugee situation. There will be briefings from the World Health Organization’s director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus and from Raouf Mazou, an official with the U.N. refugee agency.

9:54 a.m.: Ukraine's president is standing firm in his position that his country's borders must be recognized as the frontiers it had at the time of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, an aide said on Thursday. The comments by political adviser Oleksiy Arestovych appeared designed to douse any talk of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy allowing border changes to secure a deal with Russia to end its invasion, according to Reuters.

9:44 a.m.: VOA’s National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin reported Thursday on two developing Russian disinformation campaigns: one about the recent bombing of a theater sheltering civilians in Ukraine’s southern city of Mariupol, and the other about allegations of U.S. funded bioweapons labs in Ukraine which the U.S. says are “lies.”

9:27a.m.: As war transforms the media landscape in Europe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Thursday announced it will open offices in Latvia and Lithuania. “These new bureaus will allow RFE/RL to continue to engage with our audiences in Russia and Belarus, despite those government’s best efforts to silence independent journalism,” said RFE/RL President Jamie Fly.

9:20 a.m.: Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis said on Thursday that a trip he made to visit Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba the day before felt “bizarre,” with normal life going on until alarm sirens sounded to warn the public of an imminent attack. Speaking with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, he said Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “has to be defeated in Ukraine,” so that there can be an “end of Putinism.”

9:15 a.m.: Rescue workers were searching for survivors in the rubble of a theater in the besieged city of Mariupol on Thursday, after Ukraine said a powerful Russian air strike had hit the building where hundreds of people had been sheltering from the war. Petro Andrushchenko, an adviser to the city's mayor, said some people had survived the blast on Wednesday. "The bomb shelter held. Now the rubble is being cleared. There are survivors. We don’t know about the (number of) victims yet," he told Reuters by phone. He said rescue work was under way to reach survivors and establish the number of casualties, which was still unknown. Russia has denied bombing the theater.

9:10 a.m.: Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the groundwork had already begun – online. Russian disinformation is a key part of what many are calling a hybrid war. VOA’s Tina Trinh explains.

Visual Explainer: Russian Disinformation
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8:59 a.m.: Britain said on Thursday there was "very, very strong evidence" of war crimes being committed in Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind them, but it stopped short of calling him a war criminal, Reuters reported. U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday called Putin a war criminal in comments the Kremlin said were "unforgivable" Asked if Britain was prepared to echo those remarks, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told BBC radio, "There's very, very strong evidence that war crimes have been committed and that Vladimir Putin is behind them." She added, "It is ultimately a matter for the International Criminal Court to decide who is or isn't a war criminal, and for us to bring the evidence."

8:57 a.m.: Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, is in Ukraine and said Thursday he held productive meetings with a range of officials about how to expand urgent humanitarian operations and reach people in need across Ukraine.

8:51 a.m.: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday announced new emergency measures to protect journalists, it said in a press statement. VOA’s UN Correspondent Margaret Besheer retweeted the announcement.

8:49 a.m.: Thousands more refugees crossed into Eastern Europe on Thursday, many hoping that ongoing peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv may end the war soon, Reuters reported. As the war in Ukraine entered its fourth week, about 3.2 million have fled abroad, United Nations data showed on Thursday. While the numbers arriving in the frontline states - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova - have slowed in recent days, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he expected a "bigger wave" next week. However, one in four people in Ukraine are 60 or older, and many of them are too sick or immobile to make the same arduous journey. Others have refused to leave cherished homes, even as the conflict enveloped them.

8:43 a.m.: As the war in Ukraine rages on, diplomats trying to salvage the languishing 2015 Iran nuclear deal have been forging ahead with negotiations, according to The Associated Press. They now appear to be near the cusp of a deal that would bring the U.S. back into the accord and return Iran to compliance with limits on its nuclear program.

8:30 a.m.: In the weeks before he ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to China for a meeting with President Xi Jinping in which they signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement aligning their countries in the ongoing struggle for global influence between Western democracies and rising authoritarian states. Now, it’s not completely clear that China knew what it was getting into. VOA’s Rob Garver has the story.

8:39 a.m.: VOA’s Eastern Europe Chief Myroslava Gongadze reports that nearly two thirds of Ukraine’s 3 million refugees have ended up in Poland.

8:20 a.m.: Engineers have linked Ukraine to an electricity grid spanning much of continental Europe, allowing the country to decouple its power system from hostile Russia, according to The Associated Press. Belgium-based ENTSO-E, which represents dozens of transmission system operators in Europe, said the electricity grids of Ukraine and its smaller neighbor Moldova were successfully synchronized with the Continental European Power System on a trial basis. "This is a significant milestone," the group said. Georg Zachmann, an expert with the Brussels think tank Bruegel, said the switch would allow energy suppliers in the continental grid that stretches from Portugal to Poland to supply electricity to Ukraine if necessary.

8:04 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden will speak with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China this Friday, according to a statement released by the White House. “The two Leaders will discuss managing the competition between our two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern,” the statement said. VOA’s White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara has more.

7:17 a.m.: Russian forces in Ukraine are blasting cities and killing civilians but no longer making progress on the ground, Western countries said on Thursday, as a war that Moscow hoped to win within days entered its fourth week. Russia has assaulted Ukraine from four directions, sending two massive columns towards Kyiv from the northwest and northeast, pushing in from the east near the second biggest city Kharkiv, and spreading in the south from Crimea. But British military intelligence said Thursday that the invasion had "largely stalled on all fronts", and Russian forces were suffering heavy losses from a staunch and well-coordinated Ukrainian resistance, according to Reuters.

7:02 a.m.: Russia's foreign ministry said on Thursday that giving Ukraine air defense systems would be a destabilizing factor that would not bring peace to the country, according to Reuters. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged American lawmakers on Wednesday to do more to protect his country from Russia's invasion, pushing for the imposition of a no-fly zone and asking for aircraft and defensive systems. "Such deliveries ... would be a destabilizing factor which will definitely not bring peace to Ukraine," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing." In the long term, they could have much more dangerous consequences," she added.

6:51 a.m.: Moscow said peace talks resumed on Thursday by videolink for a fourth straight day, discussing military, political and humanitarian issues. The Kremlin said that Russia was putting great energy into talks on a possible peace deal with Ukraine that could swiftly stop the Russian military operation there. "Our delegation is putting in colossal effort and demonstrates more readiness towards them than the other side," Reuters quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

6:26 a.m.: Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine’s president and one of the chief negotiators at ongoing peace talks, on Thursday condemned Russia for its mischaracterization of its assault on Ukraine.

6:45 a.m.: Ukrainian citizen Serhiy Perebyinis lost his entire family – his wife and two children – as they tried to evacuate from a Kyiv suburb on March 6. Their death from a Russian shell was documented by journalists on the scene, and the images were seen around the world. Perebyinis spoke about the tragedy to Current Time, a co-production of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA. (Warning: viewers may find the content of this video disturbing).

5:15 a.m.: The BBC reported that the bomb shelter in the Mariupol theater hit by Russian rockets Wednesday survived the attack, and that most of the 1,000 people inside are alive. The New York Times reported rescuers on Thursday began pulling survivors from the wreckage. The Times reported that satellite images show the word "children" had been written in large letters outside the building. In an overnight address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack on the building was deliberate.

5:07 a.m.: The Associated Press reports: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Germany of putting its economy before his country’s security in the run-up to the Russian invasion.

In an address to Germany’s parliament Thursday, Zelenskyy criticized the German government’s support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project meant to bring natural gas from Russia. Ukraine and others had opposed the project, warning that it endangered Ukrainian and European security.

Zelenskyy also noted Germany’s hesitancy when it came to imposing some of the toughest sanctions on Russia for fear it could hurt the German economy.

4:49 a.m.: The World Health Organization has verified at least 43 attacks on health care facilities and patients in Ukraine, The Washington Post reported.

4:46 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invoked the Holocaust as he addressed German lawmakers Thursday. “Every year politicians say, 'Never again.' Now I see that these words are worthless. In Europe a people is being destroyed," he said via a video address at the Bundestag, CNN reported. The New York Times reported he also referenced the Berlin Wall, saying that Russia was building a new wall in Europe.

4:38 a.m.: The Washington Post reported that the Russian journalist who interrupted a live news broadcast on state television to denounce the invasion of Ukraine says she's "the No. 1 enemy" in Russia. Still, she said, she doesn't want to leave the country. A Moscow court fined Marina Ovsyannikova 30,000 rubles for an illegal protest.

4:22 a.m. Al-Jazeera reported that Ukraine hopes to open nine humanitarian corridors on Thursday.

4:09 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address German's lower house of parliament this morning. DW.com is broadcasting it.

3:47 a.m.: Al-Jazeera reported that Russia is facing unprecedented cyberattacks, with the websites of the Kremlin, Aeroflot airlines and Sberbank among those affected.

3:29 a.m.: Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz told the BBC that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a war criminal, echoing U.S. President Joe Biden.

3:24 a.m.: CNN reported that Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific airline is no longer routing flights over Russian airspace.

2:37 a.m.: CNN reported that Russian forces have tear-gassed people in Skadovsk, Ukraine, protesting the detention of city officials. Russian troops detained the city's mayor, deputy mayor and council secretary on Wednesday. The mayor was later released.

2:26 a.m.: The UK Defence Ministry said Russia's invasion of Ukraine has "largely stalled on all fronts," the BBC reported. Russian forces have "made minimal progress on land, sea or air in recent days, and they continue to suffer heavy losses."

2:10 a.m.: The New York Times reported, "UNESCO said it was sending body armor and helmets to help protect Ukrainian journalists. The U.N. agency said thousands of Ukrainian journalists have turned into war reporters without protective equipment or training. They will fund a hotline for journalists who need to be evacuated from danger zones."

2:07 a.m.: Spanish authorities have seized a third yacht, this one valued at some $600 million, as part of a global crackdown on Russian oligarches, The Washington Post reported. The vessel, owned by an "unknown billionaire," features a retractable helicopter hangar and a glass-bottomed pool.

1:15 a.m.: CNN reported that four Russian warships, possibly carrying troops and combat vehicles bound for Ukraine, passed through Japan's Tsugaru Strait.

1:09 a.m.: BREAKING: A piece of a downed missile has hit a residential building in Kyiv, the BBC reported. At least one person is dead, and three more are injured.

12:06 a.m.: VOA's Natasha Mozgovaya reported that Russian authorities have blocked the website of Israeli Channel 9, which broadcasts in Russian.

12:01 a.m.: While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was pleading for more military aid in a speech to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, a Ukrainian high school student in Washington was watching intently for signs of hope for her country. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti watched the speech with the 16-year-old Ukrainian teenager and her host mother.

Ukrainian Teenager Watches Zelenskyy Appeal to US Lawmakers
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Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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