For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.
For the latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all times EST:
10:38 p.m.: The White House in making contingency plans in case Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, The New York Times reports. It's also looking into how to respond should the war expand to neighboring nations.
10:14 p.m.: VOA's Jessica Jerreat reports that former Russian independent Dozhd (TVRain) Editor-in-chief Tikhon Dzyadko & spouse Katerina Kotrikadze launched an independent YT channel, following closure of Dozhd. They stream from Georgia. "In times like this we can't remain without connection to our audience and keep silent."
8:09 p.m.: The French car manufacturer Renault, publicly targeted by the Ukrainian president for its activities in Russia, announced Wednesday evening it was immediately suspending the activities of its Moscow factory, according to an Agence France-Presse report. Renault said it would evaluate "the possible options concerning its participation" in its large Russian subsidiary, AvtoVAZ, according to AFP. Russia is the Renault group's second-largest market in the world behind Europe, with nearly 500,000 vehicles sold in 2021.
7:32 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy used his nighttime video address to the country, which marked one month since Russia invaded the country, to urge people around the world to show support for Ukraine by gathering in their city centers and making themselves "visible and heard."
"That's why I ask you to stand against the war starting from March 24th, exactly one month after the Russian invasion. From this day and after them, show your standing,” he said. “Friends! On March 24 it will be one month of our resistance” since the Russians invaded the country. “The original plan of the Russian troops failed already in the first days of the invasion.”
6:27 p.m.: The U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly defeated a Russian resolution that would have acknowledged Ukraine’s growing humanitarian needs -- but without mentioning the Russian invasion that caused the escalating crisis. Of the 15 council members, only Russia and China supported the text. The other 13 council members abstained from the vote. Without nine positive votes and no vetoes, the measure failed.
The Russian defeat came on the same day that the General Assembly started considering another draft resolution that clearly states Russia’s aggression is responsible for the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine. About 70 national representatives are scheduled to speak before the assembly votes on the rival resolutions on the humanitarian impact of the war. That vote is to take place Thursday.
5:44 p.m.: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports: What happens when Lithuanian volunteer Tomas cold calls random Russians to talk to them about the war in Ukraine? "It's like North Korea here," says one. Others repeat Kremlin propaganda. Most hang up. Tomas is part of an initiative that has made 93,000 phone calls to challenge the view of the war that ordinary Russians are getting from state TV.
4:57 p.m.: Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyy spoke with Alhurra Wednesday, discussing the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. He said Lviv has hosted 500,000 people from eastern Ukraine. He said that humanitarian organizations are just now coming into Lviv to help, and he is asking for even more help from humanitarian organizations. He said his goal is to find food and medicine and help anyone who is in need. The interview took place over Skype, with Kozytskyy in Lviv during the interview.
4 p.m.: Multimedia art galleries in the United States and Canada are featuring a special exhibit highlighting the work of 19th century Ukrainian poet and artist Taras Shevchenko. VOA’s Svitlana Prystynska has the story.
3:30 p.m. : Oksana Baulina, a Russian journalist who covered corruption for the independent news website The Insider was killed by shelling in Kyiv Wednesday, VOA’s Press Freedom Editor Jessica Jerreat reported. Two people with her at the time of the attack were injured, the Insider reported. Baulina previously worked for the Anti-Corruption Foundation in Russia but had to leave her home country when Moscow designated the foundation an extremist organization. Baulina also worked as a video producer for the news website Coda.
Baulina also worked for Vot Tak TV, an independent media outlet set up by reporters from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. She covered repression of opposition voices in Russia, interviewed with members of jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny's team, and also reported on the pandemic and Russian surveillance.
At least four other journalists covering Russia’s invasion have been killed and several others wounded. Three journalists were also briefly held captive including a fixer for Radio France. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders says the journalist, whose identity was withheld, was beaten, tied to a tree, given electric shocks, and subjected to a mock execution before finally being released.
3:19 p.m. : Around the world, young people are following a major war in Europe primarily on social media with some often-disturbing – and sometimes misleading – images landing on their news feeds. VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias talked to teenagers in the United States, Mexico and Poland to find out how they’re processing the bloodshed in Ukraine.
3:04 p.m. : The Kyiv Independent reported Wednesday that residents in Ukraine’s capital city are getting by, but that stores must work hard to supply the population under siege by Russian forces.
2:56 p.m. : What Russia’s war in Ukraine means for food prices around the world
2:47 p.m.: U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley warned Wednesday that if the conflict in Ukraine is not solved quickly, there could be a global food supply shortage that could exacerbate existing supply chain issues and cause millions of people around the world to migrate in search of a way to survive.
2:31 p.m.: Russia held a funeral service for the deputy commander of its Black Sea Fleet in annexed Crimea on Wednesday, the latest in what Ukraine says is a string of high-ranking Russian military casualties since Moscow invaded on February 24. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak on Sunday named six Russian generals who he said had been killed in Ukraine along with dozens of colonels and other officers. Russia's Defense Ministry has not confirmed any of those casualties. It has not revised its troop casualties since March 2, a week into the war, when it said that 498 of its soldiers had died. Ukraine puts the figure at 15,600. Reuters could not independently verify most of Ukraine's claims, but some have been confirmed from Russian sources.
2:26 p.m.: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday condemned “toxic Russian propaganda” and called for sanctions against anyone who engages in it.
2:12 p.m.: Thousands of international volunteers have come to Ukraine to help in the fight against Russia’s invasion. Many are former soldiers and their reasons for coming to Ukraine vary. As VOA’s Celia Mendoza reports from Korczowa, Poland, some are now going back home.
2 p.m. : Russia plans to resume some stock trading on Thursday after a near month-long hiatus, with 33 ruble securities to be traded on the Moscow Exchange, Reuters reported. Non-residents will have to wait, though - they will be barred from selling stocks and OFZ ruble bonds until April 1.
1:46 p.m. : BREAKING - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said, “Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.” In a public statement, he said, “Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources.” Blinken added, “As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases.”
1:35 p.m. : Simba the lion and a wolf named Akyla have been evacuated from a zoo in war-torn Ukraine and brought to safety in Romania in what an animal rights group involved in the operation says was a four-day mission “full of dangers” further hampered by border entry bureaucracy. The adult male lion and the gray wolf, who were fully awake during the dangerous journey due to lack of tranquilizers in Ukraine, arrived Monday at a zoo in Radauti Romania, from a zoo in Zaporizhzhia in southeast Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
1:04 p.m. : A 27-year-old Ukrainian mother was wounded while protecting her baby during a Russian missile attack. The woman was injured as she was breastfeeding her child in Kyiv’s Podil district. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story.
12:45 p.m. : Some of Ukraine’s children are creating drawings to channel the trauma they experienced since Russia invaded their country.
12:32 p.m. : Well-known post-Soviet reformer Anatoly Chubais has reportedly left his post as Russian President Vladimir Putin's envoy for stable development, a move that could signal a high-profile protest inside the Kremlin against Moscow's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. News agencies Bloomberg and Reuters on March 23 quoted Kremlin sources as saying that Chubais, who was responsible for relations with international organizations, had left the country. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.
12:07 p.m.: The United States must increase food aid to prevent millions of people starving as Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatens global grain supplies, members of the U.S. Senate's bipartisan hunger caucus said. “Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to quickly come together and approve emergency global food aid in order to prevent tens of millions of people, including millions of children, from dying of starvation,” Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, told Reuters. The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) says it is facing a $9 billion funding shortfall.
11:52 a.m.: NATO leaders meet in Brussels Thursday for an extraordinary summit on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As VOA’s Henry Ridgwell reports from NATO headquarters, calls are growing for the West to take stronger military action in support of Ukraine.
11:40 a.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday “no one could have predicted” Western sanctions would target the country’s central bank, in the first major admission by the Kremlin that Moscow was blindsided by the transatlantic response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Politico.com.
“When the reserves of the Central Bank were frozen, no one would think, out of those who made predictions, what sanctions the West might apply,” Moscow’s top diplomat told students and staff at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, while slamming the West’s move as “thievery.”
“Russia must be made to never again be reliant on supplies from abroad,” he said, but added that Moscow would be “ready to cooperate” with the West in the future “if they want.”
11:36 a.m.: Russia will seek payment in rubles for gas sales from “unfriendly” countries, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, sending European gas prices soaring on concerns the move would exacerbate the region’s energy crunch, Reuters reported. Russian gas accounts for some 40% of Europe's total consumption and EU gas imports from Russia have fluctuated between 200 million to 800 million euros ($880 million) a day so far this year. Putin said the government and central bank had one week to come up with a solution on how to move these operations into the Russian currency and that gas giant Gazprom would be ordered to make the corresponding changes to gas contracts.
11:35 a.m.: Already four journalists have been killed and several wounded since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Others have shared dramatic accounts of close calls. With risks mounting, media groups and international bodies are increasingly focusing on safety and issuing warnings to remind all sides that journalists are civilians, not targets, as VOA’s Sirwan Kajio reports.
11:16 a.m. : The U.S. State Department spokesperson had an update Wednesday on the condition of American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is detained in Russia.
11:12 a.m.: In-between somersaults, Ukrainian circus students handed out borscht and showcased some of their country's customs in a joint performance on Tuesday night with Prague's Cirk La Putyka, which gave two dozen teenage students a new home after they fled Kyiv, Reuters reported. The Prague contemporary circus company answered a call for help from the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Performing and Circus Arts after Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24, providing training space, lodging, food and arranged English lessons.
11:03 a.m.: Ukraine figure skaters Sofiia Holichenko and Artem Darenskyi, who traveled six days to reach the world championships in Montpellier, France, said Wednesday they undertook the exhausting trip "to show that Ukrainian athletes are fighting for their country.” "We qualified for the World Championships, we wanted to come here to show the world that Ukrainian athletes are fighting, that we are there for our country and that we are strong," Darenskyi said, according to the Agence France-Presse.
11:03 a.m.: A NATO official told reporters Wednesday that the number of Russian soldiers killed, wounded, captured or missing since Russia invaded Ukraine could number in the tens of thousands. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
11 a.m.: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Wednesday that after delays in deliveries, further supplies of Strela missiles, which had been in the inventories of the former Communist East German army, were on the way to Ukraine. Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompted Germany to stage a historic reversal of its policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones, but the Ukrainian government has been frustrated by delays.
10:45 a.m.: VOA White House Correspondent Anita Powell is outside NATO headquarters in Brussels ahead of the NATO extraordinary summit to be held Thursday.
10:25 a.m.: It has been nearly one month since Russia invaded Ukraine, and The Associated Press compiled this photo gallery depicting some of the consequences of the war so far.
9:53 a.m. : The United Nations will face three resolutions Wednesday on the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The Associated Press provides a preview.
9:40 a.m. : Poland is expelling 45 Russian diplomats suspected of working for Russian intelligence, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Russia said the accusations were baseless.
9:35 a.m. : U.S. President Joe Biden has left the White House for a four-day trip to Europe, where he will meet with key allies to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, The Associated Press reported. As he departed Wednesday, Biden told reporters the possibility that Russia could use chemical weapons in the Ukraine war is a “real threat.” He said he would say more on the subject directly to the leaders he was meeting with Thursday. Biden will attend an emergency NATO summit, and will participate in meetings of the European Union and Group of Seven, which includes the world’s richest democracies.
9:32 a.m. : NATO warned on Wednesday against Russia’s war in Ukraine sliding into a nuclear confrontation between Moscow and the West, Reuters reported. “Russia should stop this dangerous irresponsible nuclear rhetoric,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the news conference. “Russia must understand that it can never win a nuclear war,” he said on the eve of a summit of the Western military alliance’s national leaders in Brussels. "Any use of chemical weapons would totally change the nature of the conflict, it would be a blatant violation of international law and would have far-reaching consequences," Stoltenberg also said. “NATO is not part of the conflict ... it provides support to Ukraine but isn’t part of the conflict,” he noted. “But let there be no doubt about our readiness to protect and defend allies against any threat anytime,” he added.
9:13 a.m. : NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed a press conference Wednesday morning ahead of a NATO Extraordinary Summit to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. VOA’s National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin followed the event and provided live tweets of Stoltenberg’s comments.
9 a.m.: A press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is streaming live at 9:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday. Stoltenberg is speaking ahead of the Extraordinary Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government on Thursday at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
Earlier Wednesday, NATO sent a message on Twitter previewing the summit.
8:46 a.m.: Ahead of a NATO Extraordinary Summit Thursday, spokesperson Oana Lungescu tweeted a graphic representing NATO’s defensive reinforcements in Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
8:32 a.m. : Greenpeace activists on Wednesday swam in front of a vast Russian oil tanker in the Baltic Sea protesting against imports of Russian oil into the EU, which the environmental group says finance the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported. The European Union and its allies have imposed hefty sanctions against Russia, including freezing its central bank's assets, but oil and natural gas were not included. "In week four of Putin's war, there are still ships arriving into Europe from Russia, carrying oil that is financing Putin's war in Ukraine," Greenpeace said in a statement.
8:15 a.m.: Russian Olympic athletes who participated in a recent rally supporting President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine are facing a backlash, with one losing a sponsorship deal and facing a disciplinary investigation, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Medalists from cross-country skiing, gymnastics, figure skating and swimming gathered on stage at the Luzhniki Stadium last Friday as part of the concert and entertainment program around Putin’s speech.
7:45 a.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the G20 summit this year, despite calls from some members to exclude Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine, reports Agence France-Presse.
7:42 a.m.: Russian forces appeared bogged down outside key cities in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance, while strikes on cities continued to wreak destruction across the country, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Ukraine’s capital Kyiv shook with Russian shelling, as rockets slammed into shopping malls and high-rise buildings in the districts of Sviatoshynskyi and Shevchenkivskyi. Russian forces were bombing Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, destroying a bridge critical for evacuations and aid deliveries. Russian and Ukrainian forces battled Wednesday for control of Izium in eastern Ukraine, while Russian warships pounded the port city of Mariupol from the sea.
7:10 a.m.: Pope Francis on Wednesday said the war in Ukraine showed that humanity had to shed a strange instinct for "self-destruction" and that buying more weapons was not the ultimate solution to any conflict, Reuters reported. Francis asked participants at his weekly general audience to remember all the victims of the war - the dead, including "fallen soldiers on one side or the other," the wounded, homeless and refugees. "May the Lord send his spirit to make us understand that war is a defeat of humanity, that we have to defeat all those who make war ...," he said. "(Making war) is a need that destroys us," he said, asking God to "free us from this 'need' for self-destruction".
7:08 a.m.: One of President Vladimir Putin's closest allies warned the United States on Wednesday that the world could spiral towards a nuclear dystopia if Washington pressed on with what the Kremlin casts as a long-term plot to destroy Russia, Reuters reported. Dmitry Medvedev, who was president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council, said the United States had conspired to destroy Russia as part of a "primitive game" since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. The United States has repeatedly said that it does not want the collapse of Russia and that its own interests are best served by a prosperous, stable and open Russia. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside usual business hours.
6:54 a.m.: Chinese state-controlled media are placing volumes of content on popular social media platforms to air the government's unique message about Russia's war on Ukraine to a Western audience, analysts say. News readers don't always know the content's origin, they add. VOA’s Ralph Jennings reports.
6:47 a.m.: Russia on Wednesday condemned what it called a "reckless" Polish proposal to send international peacekeepers into Ukraine and warned that it could lead to a direct clash between Russian and NATO forces, Reuters reported. Poland said last Friday it would formally submit a proposal for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine at the next NATO summit. Asked about the initiative, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "It would be a very reckless and extremely dangerous decision." He told reporters on a conference call that any possible contact between Russian and NATO forces "could have clear consequences that would be hard to repair."
6:45 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden is traveling to Europe where he will attend NATO, Group of Seven, and European Union summits to discuss coordinated responses to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Western allies have already found what they are looking for – that all too rare sense of unity. They have Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to thank for that, The Associated Press reported.
6:30 a.m.: France said it was sending health and emergency equipment along with a group of fire engines and rescue vehicles to the Romania-Ukraine border for Ukraine’s emergency service to use.
Those efforts came as shelling continued Wednesday in Kyiv, including attacks that injured four people in the Ukrainian capital. In the city of Chernihiv, Russian forces destroyed a bridge that had been used for evacuating civilians and delivering aid.
The United Nations says more than 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion one month ago. Another 6.5 million people have been displaced from their homes within the country.
5:54 a.m.: Poland’s internal security agency said Wednesday it has identified 45 Russian diplomats suspected of working as spies. An agency spokesman told reporters the list of suspects was sent to Poland’s foreign ministry with a request that they be expelled from the country. Russian state media said if Poland expels its diplomats, Russia will retaliate.
5 a.m.: The International Committee of the Red Cross said the agency’s president, Peter Maurer, has arrived in Moscow on Wednesday to resume discussions with Russian authorities on how to improve humanitarian efforts for those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.
“The devastation caused by the conflict in recent weeks, as well as eight years of conflict in Donbas, has been vast, Maurer said in a statement. “There are practical steps guided by international humanitarian law that the parties must take to limit the suffering. I was in Kyiv last week and I’m in Moscow this week to continue the discussion with the authorities on these steps.”
4:30 a.m.: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated that his country will not support a no-fly zone over Ukraine or send troops to intervene in the war launched by Russia, The Associated Press reported. Scholz told German lawmakers on Wednesday that “NATO will not become a party to the war. We are in agreement on this with our European allies and the United States.”
Still, the German leader said Ukraine could rely on Germany’s help, citing the financial and military aid already provided, the harsh sanctions on Russia and the reception of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. Scholz said Germany would not support a boycott of Russian oil, coal and gas, but is seeking to wean itself off those imports by seeking out other suppliers and ramping up the use of renewable energy.
4 a.m.: Russian foreign ministry said on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is planning to meet the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, in Moscow on Thursday, according to Reuters.
3:30 a.m.: The small Baltic countries, whose militaries have long been dwarfed by that of neighboring Russia, are renewing their push for NATO to establish a larger and more permanent presence on their territory following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. VOA’s William Gallo has the story.
3 a.m.: Escalating tensions between Russia and the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are casting a new focus on Africa — ramping up worries about Moscow’s expanding influence on the continent, particularly in former French colonies. If some analysts currently dismiss another Cold War scenario, dividing Africa into Western and Russian spheres of influence, many agree on its growing strategic Importance. For VOA, Lisa Bryant has the story.
2:30 a.m.: The United Nations will face three resolutions Wednesday on the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine after Russia decided to call for a vote on its Security Council resolution that makes no mention of its attack on its smaller neighbor, The Associated Press reported.
The General Assembly is scheduled to start considering two rival resolutions Wednesday morning — one supported by Ukraine and Western nations that makes clear Russia is responsible for the escalating humanitarian crisis and the other sponsored by South Africa that doesn't mention Russia. The Security Council will vote on the third resolution, which is sponsored by Russia and widely criticized for not referring to its invasion of Ukraine, the AP reports.
1:30 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden is set to announce new sanctions against Russia on Thursday as well as longer-term adjustments to NATO’s force posture in Europe. While in Brussels, Biden will also meet with G-7 and European Union leaders before traveling to Poland.
U.S. officials warn that the situation could worsen as Moscow grows increasingly frustrated and targets civilians. VOA’s national security correspondent Jeff Seldin has the story.
1:15 a.m.: In an interview on CNN, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the Kremlin, refused to take the use of nuclear weapons off the table in the war with Ukraine saying they could be used “if it is an existential threat for our country.”
Peskov also claimed that the “special military operation” was going as planned. He said it is being conducted “strictly in accordance with the plans and the purposes that were established beforehand.” He conceded, however, that Russia has not yet achieved its goals in Ukraine which we described as: to “get rid of the military potential of Ukraine," to ensure Ukraine is a “neutral country,” to get rid of “nationalist battalions,” and for Ukraine to accept that Crimea is part of Russia and its two breakaway regions are independent states. The interview was conducted by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
12:30 a.m.: Ukrainian authorities said late Tuesday that Russians have “illegally seized the newest laboratory” at the Chernobyl nuclear power. The laboratory is responsible for improving the management of radioactive waste, the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management said in a statement posted on Facebook. It processes radioactive waste and contains “highly active samples and samples of radionuclides.” These materials are “in the hands of the enemy” the State Agency said.
12 a.m.: On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden heads to Brussels and Warsaw to coordinate with Western allies on the next phase of military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. VOA’s White House Bureau chief Patsy Widakuswara has this report, narrated by correspondent Anita Powell from Brussels.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.