For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.
Recap of March 31
* Ukrainian forces are preparing for new Russian attacks in the southeast region where Moscow's guns are now trained after its assault on the capital Kyiv was repelled.
* President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering 134,500 new conscripts into the army as part of Russia's annual spring draft, but the defense ministry said the call-up had nothing to do with the war in Ukraine
* The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was preparing to facilitate safe passage of civilians from Ukraine’s besieged southern city of Mariupol.
* The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, said that humanitarian supplies were safely delivered to thousands of people in the Ukrainian city of Sumy.
* U.S. Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield will travel to Moldova and Romania Saturday through Monday to focus on those countries’ efforts to assist refugees coming from Ukraine and the humanitarian needs created by the Russian Federation’s aggression and war against Ukraine
* U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday that the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is imposing new sanctions targeting operators in the Russian technology sector.
* In a video address to Belgium's parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized the continued import of Russian diamonds to Belgium’s port of Antwerp.
* Britain on Thursday announced sanctions on 14 more Russian entities and people, including on state media organizations behind RT and Sputnik and some of their senior figures, saying it was targeting those who push out President Vladimir Putin's "fake news and narratives."
* Russia’s currency rebound raises questions about the impact of Western sanctions
* Russian troops began leaving the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after soldiers got “significant doses” of radiation from digging trenches at the highly contaminated site, Ukraine’s state power company said.
* The head of Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom urged the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help ensure Russian nuclear officials do not interfere in the operation of nuclear power plants occupied by Russian force.
For the latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all times EDT:
10:48 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has removed two top generals, CNN reports. "Today another decision was made regarding antiheroes," Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. "Now I do not have time to deal with all the traitors. But gradually they will all be punished." CNN reported the generals were former chief of the Main Department of Internal Security of the Security Service of Ukraine, Naumov Andriy Olehovych, and the former head of the Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kherson region, Kryvoruchko Serhiy Oleksandrovych.
7:25 p.m.: Russian troops have abandoned Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear plant, as earlier reported. Agence France-Presse is now reporting that as the Russians left, they took with them an unknown number of the Ukrainian national guard members with them as hostages, the state nuclear agency Energoatom said in a statement on Telegram, citing plant workers.
5:33 p.m.: Ukrainian forces recaptured the town of Trostyanets in eastern Ukraine, located just 40 kilometers from the border with Russia. Just days after the battle, correspondent Roman Pahulych visited the town to speak to Ukrainian soldiers and residents, and to survey the damaged Russian military equipment. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has his report.
4:56 p.m.: There is no safe place in Ukraine, a war correspondent hit by shrapnel says. His body pressed flat to the ground, Andriy Tsaplienko covered his head with his hands as wave after wave of shells exploded around him. An experienced war correspondent, he hadn't been too worried about an assignment covering the evacuation of civilians from Chernihiv. Now he was in the middle of a Russian bombardment. VOA’s Sirwan Kajjo has his story.
4:18 p.m.: Washington’s hospitality industry quickly stepped up to help Ukrainian refugees after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. In the U.S. capital, restaurants and bars are actively raising funds to help. VOA’s Maxim Moskalkov has the story.
3:55 p.m.: As the number of people fleeing Ukraine slows, authorities in Poland and other neighboring nations are encouraging the refugees to find jobs, especially in health care and education, The Associated Press reported Thursday. Recent legislation passed in Poland allows refugees from Ukraine to obtain ID numbers that entitle them to free medical care, education, social benefits and the right to work for 18 months.
3:35 p.m.: VOA’s National Security Correspondent monitored the briefing Thursday by Pentagon press secretary John Kirby regarding the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
3:22 p.m.: Moldova is watching the war in neighboring Ukraine with special concern. Like Ukraine, Moldova is not a member of NATO or the European Union, and it has a very large Russian-speaking population – factors that for some Moldovans have sown fears of becoming the next target of Russian ambitions. VOA’s Ricardo Marquina reports from southern Moldova.
3:05 p.m.: Opulent superyachts owned by Russia’s oligarchs have been hitting rough legal waters as authorities around the world act on international sanctions to pressure those close to President Vladimir Putin. A number of vessels, worth an estimated total of at least $1.6 billion, have been seized so far, with the latest taking place in London on March 29. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty takes a look at several high-profile seizures and the owners behind them, as well as some that are in the sights of authorities, including one that has been linked to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
2:43 p.m.: The worldwide seafood industry is steeling itself for price hikes, supply disruptions and potential job losses as new rounds of economic sanctions on Russia make key species such as cod and crab harder to come by, The Associated Press reported. Russia is one of the largest producers of seafood in the world, and was the fifth-largest producer of wild-caught fish, according to a 2020 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
2:15 p.m.: Britain and its allies have agreed to send more lethal military aid to Ukraine to help defend it against Russia's invasion, British defense minister Ben Wallace said on Thursday. "A number of countries have come forward either with new ideas or indeed more pledges of money," Wallace told reporters after hosting over 35 international partners at the second International Defense Donor Conference for Ukraine (IDDCU). The aid will include the provision of air and coastal defense systems, longer-range artillery and counter battery capabilities, armored vehicles as well as wider training and logistical support, Reuters reported.
1:48 p.m.: The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on Thursday called on the international community to provide sustained support to millions of Ukrainian civilians impacted by the current fighting. “The speed of the displacement, coupled with the huge numbers of people affected, is unprecedented in Europe in recent memory,” he said in a statement released at the conclusion of his visit, his first to Ukraine since Russia’s offensive began five weeks ago.
1:32 p.m.: The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, said that humanitarian supplies were safely delivered Thursday to thousands of people in the Ukrainian city of Sumy. “We were able to safely bring medicine, food, sanitation kits and basic living items” which were provided by a range of U.N. agencies and humanitarian partners, she said in a statement. “We take seriously our commitment to assist the civilians caught in the middle of this appalling humanitarian crisis: I call on all the fighting parties to also uphold their obligations, in the name of humanity,” Lubrani added.
1:20 p.m.: The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, arrived in Kaliningrad, Russia on Thursday, ahead of talks with senior Russian officials Friday. This follows Grossi’s trip to Ukraine this week, where he held talks with senior government officials “on the IAEA’s planned delivery of urgent technical assistance to ensure the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities” and to discuss IAEA’s help to avert “the risk of an accident that could endanger people and the environment,” the agency said.
1:18 p.m.: Mirodil Yunusov, 68, first moved to Ukraine in the 1970s. He settled in Kharkiv, worked as a Russian teacher, and married a Ukrainian woman. Now, sheltering near Kharkiv from Russian bombardment, he says people back home in Uzbekistan should understand that Ukrainians have no quarrel with the Russian people. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.
12:32 p.m.: Russian troops began leaving the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after soldiers got “significant doses” of radiation from digging trenches at the highly contaminated site, Ukraine’s state power company said Thursday. Energoatom, the operator, gave no immediate details on the condition of the troops or how many were affected, The Associated Press reported. But it said the Russians had dug in in the forest inside the exclusion zone around the now-closed plant, the site in 1986 of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The troops “panicked at the first sign of illness,” which “showed up very quickly,” and began to leave, Energoatom said.
12:18 p.m.: Speaking in a video address to Belgium’s parliament on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took aim at the continued import of Russian diamonds to Belgium’s port of Antwerp, one of the world’s most important diamond trading hubs. He asked for more help for Ukraine, and he thanked Belgium for its assistance so far, including welcoming some 30,000 Ukrainian refugees, The Associated Press reported.
12:07 p.m.: A senior U.S. defense official briefed reporters on the latest developments on the war in Ukraine Thursday. He said the capital Kyiv is still being targeted by Russian air and missile strikes, and that Ukrainian forces have attacked Russian forces trying to reposition. He noted that heavy fighting continued in Mariupol as Ukrainian forces put up a tough fight in the besieged southern city. He also noted that Russia’s stated focus on the Donbas region is not paying off yet, saying the Russians “have been frustrated and not successful.” VOA’s National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin monitored the briefing and tweeted the details.
12:03 p.m.: VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent reported Thursday on a continuing showdown over payments for Russian energy exports to Europe.
11:52 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday that the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is imposing new sanctions targeting operators in the Russian technology sector.
11:47 a.m.: An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team arrived in Zaporizhzhia Thursday, with pre-positioned relief items and medical supplies to be ready on Friday to facilitate the safe passage of civilians out of Mariupol and bring aid into the city, according to an ICRC statement. Lucile Marbeau, an ICRC staff member present with the teams preparing the operation tomorrow, said: “In these trucks, there is food, medicine, relief items for those civilians who decide to stay in Mariupol and who will need to be both protected and to have humanitarian aid.” For the operation to be a success, militaries on the ground need to provide security guarantees and practical agreements to allow aid in and for those who wish to evacuate safely, the ICRC said. If the operation goes forward, the ICRC will lead the convoy out of Mariupol, it said.
11:41 a.m. : A Ukrainian girl seen singing in a viral video while in a Kyiv bomb shelter is using her newfound fame to help raise money for her homeland. VOA’s Eastern Europe Chief Myroslava Gongadze caught up with Amelia Anisovych, 7, and her family in Poland, where they are living as refugees.
11:24 a.m.: Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom said on Thursday that most of the Russian forces that occupied the Chernobyl nuclear power station after invading Ukraine had left the defunct plant, and only a "small number" remained, Reuters reported. Russian forces have also retreated from the nearby town of Slavutych, where workers at Chernobyl live, it said. Though Russian troops seized control of Chernobyl soon after the February 24 invasion, the plant's Ukrainian staff continued to oversee the safe storage of spent nuclear fuel and supervise the concrete-encased remains of the reactor that exploded in 1986. There was no immediate comment from the Russian authorities, who have denied that its forces have put nuclear facilities in Ukraine at risk.
11:15 a.m. : Russia’s tech workers are looking for safer and more secure professional pastures. By one estimate, up to 70,000 computer specialists, spooked by a sudden frost in the business and political climate, have bolted the country since Russia invaded Ukraine five weeks ago. Many more are expected to follow. The Associated Press reports that as Russia undergoes a tech brain drain, other nations hope to gain from it.
11:01 a.m.: U.S. Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield will travel to Moldova and Romania April 2-4 to focus on Moldova and Romania’s efforts to assist refugees coming from Ukraine and the humanitarian needs created by the Russian Federation’s aggression and war against Ukraine, VOA’s UN Correspondent Margaret Besheer reported. According to the U.N., more than 90 percent of refugees who have fled Ukraine are women and children.
10:50 a.m.: “Unfriendly countries” can continue to pay for natural gas in foreign currency through a Russian bank that will convert the money into rubles, according to a Kremlin decree published by state media Thursday. This comes a day after the leaders of Italy and Germany said they received assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that they would not have to pay in rubles, a move Putin had earlier insisted on. The decree Putin signed and published by state news agency RIA Novosli says a designated bank will open two accounts for each buyer, one in foreign currency and one in rubles, The Associated Press reported.
10:43 a.m.: OPEC and allied oil producers including Russia decided Thursday to stick to a modest increase in the amount of crude they pump to the world, a step that supports higher prices, even as U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration plans to try to lower costs by releasing oil from strategic reserves, The Associated Press reported. The alliance has been unmoved by pleas from oil-consuming countries to pump more oil as energy prices soar, fueling inflation worldwide. High prices have helped Russia – the world’s largest exporter – offset some of the economic pain from Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
10:39 a.m.: The city of Lviv in western Ukraine has become a refuge for hundreds of thousands of refugees from all over the country. One local soccer stadium, built for the 2021 Euro Cup, has been turned into a refugee center. VOA’s Anna Kosstutschenko has this report.
10:31 a.m.: Greenpeace activists on Thursday blocked two oil tankers off the coast of Denmark from transferring 100,000 tons of Russian oil, in what the organization said was an attempt to stop funding Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In kayaks and rhib boats, the activists placed themselves between the oil tankers Seaoath and Pertamina Prime near Frederikshavn, Denmark, preventing the ship-to-ship oil transfer, Reuters reported.
10:29 a.m.: Taiwan's defense ministry has set up a working group to study the tactics of the war in Ukraine, including how the country has been able to hold out against Russia, and has been discussing this with the United States, its minister said Thursday. Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has raised its alert level since the Russian invasion, wary of Beijing possibly making a similar move on the island, though it has reported no signs this is about to happen. Reuters has this story.
10:21 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Australia's parliament on Thursday that Russia must be held accountable for past wrongs, Reuters reported. Zelenskyy called for new and tougher sanctions to retaliate against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and suggested that years of failure to rein in the global power had emboldened Moscow. "If we don't stop Russia now, if we don't hold Russia accountable, then some other countries of the world who are looking forward to a similar war against their neighbors will decide that such things are possible for them as well," Zelenskyy said in the video address, according to an official translation.
10:17 a.m.: In Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian military shows off armor and equipment that was left behind by invading Russian troops after a battle. Some will be reused by Ukraine’s armed forces, while other pieces will be left where they are. Roman Pahulych and Pavlo Kholodov from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty have this story.
10:09 a.m.: Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted photos of destroyed buildings Thursday, quoting President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying, “Russian missiles and air bombs hit our cities and civilian infrastructure every day. There are no forbidden targets for Russian troops. They attack everything from hospitals to airports, from grocery stores to residential areas."
10:02 a.m.: Ukraine's president said his country's defense against the Russian invasion was at a "turning point" on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. "If we really are fighting for freedom and in defense of democracy together, then we have a right to demand help in this difficult turning point,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation. “Tanks, aircraft, artillery systems. Freedom should be armed no worse than tyranny."
There seemed little faith that Russia and Ukraine will resolve the conflict soon, particularly after the Russian military's about-face and its most recent attacks around Kyiv, the northern city of Chernihiv, and elsewhere in the country. Talks between Ukraine and Russia were set to resume Friday by video, according to the head of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arakhamia. But Zelenskyy said the continuing negotiations with Russia were only "words without specifics."
Britain's Defense Ministry confirmed "significant Russian shelling and missile strikes" around Chernihiv. It said Thursday that "Russian forces continue to hold positions to the east and west of Kyiv despite the withdrawal of a limited number of units. Heavy fighting will likely take place in the suburbs of the city in coming days." Also Thursday a top British intelligence official said that demoralized Russian soldiers in Ukraine were refusing to carry out orders and sabotaging their own equipment and had accidentally shot down their own aircraft.
9:43 a.m.: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda Thursday. Kuleba shared some official video from the visit, saying he highly values Poland’s strong support for Ukraine.
9:31 a.m.: Britain on Thursday announced sanctions on 14 more Russian entities and people, including on state media organizations behind RT and Sputnik and some of their senior figures, saying it was targeting those who push out President Vladimir Putin's "fake news and narratives." Among those sanctioned on Thursday were RT's managing director Alexey Nikolov, Sergey Brilev, a prominent news anchor at the state-owned Rossiya Television and Radio network, and Sputnik's Editor-in-Chief Anton Anisimov, Reuters reported. The government said it was also directly sanctioning state media organizations, including Kremlin funded TV-Novosti which owns RT, and Rossiya Segodnya, which controls news agency Sputnik. "Putin’s war on Ukraine is based on a torrent of lies," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.
9:08 a.m.: The head of Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom urged the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday to help ensure Russian nuclear officials do not interfere in the operation of nuclear power plants occupied by Russian forces, Reuters reported.
Since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russian troops have occupied Europe's largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia and the now defunct plant at Chernobyl, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986. "(The IAEA) can influence this and they must influence this, and this question will be discussed," Energoatom CEO Petro Kotin said.
The IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi is in Ukraine, and has visited the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, held discussions with Ukrainian officials, and was providing support, according to an official statement. “It is vital to be on the ground in order to provide effective support to Ukraine in these extremely difficult times,” Grossi said. “The IAEA’s on-site presence, where needed, will help prevent the danger of a nuclear accident.”
8:54 a.m.: Suggestions by U.S. officials that President Vladimir Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him awkward truths about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine show how little they understand him or Russia’s government, the Kremlin said on Thursday. “To our regret - and, in fact, this probably even causes our concern - it turns out that neither the State Department nor the Pentagon has real information about what is happening in the Kremlin,” Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters. Reuters has this story.
8:20 a.m.: VOA’s National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin followed the latest assessment by British military intelligence of developments in Ukraine, and tweeted some highlights.
8:07 a.m.: VOA’s Tatiana Vorozhko reports that many Ukrainians struggle to talk to their Russian relatives about the realities of the war they are experiencing.
7:45 a.m.: The U.S. Mission to NATO on Thursday tweeted video footage of an arctic military exercise involving 30,000 troops from allied and partner countries in Norway. The exercise comes at a time of high tension across Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but officials say the military exercise had been planned for a long time.
7:35 a.m.: Russian forces in Ukraine are not withdrawing but regrouping, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday. He was commenting on Moscow’s announcements about a scaling down of military operations around Kyiv, Reuters reported. “According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing but repositioning. Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels. “At the same time, Russia maintains pressure on Kyiv and other cities. So we can expect additional offensive actions, bringing even more suffering,” he said. Moscow says it is now focusing on “liberating” the Donbas region - two southeastern provinces partly controlled by separatists Russia has backed since 2014.
7:20 a.m.: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Thursday he was working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the return of Ukrainians who have been "abducted or forcibly relocated" to Russia. Ukraine has accused Russia of forcibly deporting thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia since invading on Feb. 24. Russia has said it is conducting civilian evacuations from Ukrainian frontline areas.
7:17 a.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi that conditions were not yet in place for a ceasefire in Ukraine, Draghi told a news conference on Thursday when asked about a telephone call with Putin the previous day, Reuters reported.
7:03 a.m.: Russia’s currency rebound raises questions about the impact of Western sanctions, The Associated Press reported. The Russian ruble has bounced back from the fall it took after the U.S. and European allies moved to bury the Russian economy under thousands of new sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has resorted to extreme financial measures to blunt the West’s penalties and inflate his currency.
6:51 a.m.: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree ordering 134,500 new conscripts into the army as part of Russia's annual spring draft, but the defense ministry said the call-up had nothing to do with the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported. The annual spring military draft, which runs from April 1 to July 15, will affect Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27, Putin's decree said. The order came five weeks into Russia's invasion, which has run into fierce Ukrainian resistance. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that none of those called up would be sent to any "hot spots". The issue of conscripts' involvement in the war is highly sensitive. On March 9, the defense ministry acknowledged that some had been sent to Ukraine after Putin had denied this on various occasions, saying only professional soldiers and officers had been sent in.
6:42 a.m.: Ukrainian forces have liberated the Russian-occupied village of Kukhari in the Vyshhorod district of the Kyiv region. But Russian forces continued to bombard the village with artillery and aircraft. Levko Stek, who was on the ground during one of the attacks, has this story for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
6:36 a.m.: Ukrainian forces are preparing for new Russian attacks in the southeast region where Moscow's guns are now trained after its assault on the capital Kyiv was repelled, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday. Tough resistance by Ukrainian forces has prevented Russia from capturing any major city, including the capital Kyiv, which it assaulted with armored columns from the northwest and east, Reuters reported.
In an early morning video address, Zelenskyy said Russian troop movements away from Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv were not a withdrawal but rather "the consequence of our defenders' work."
Ukraine was seeing "a build-up of Russian forces for new strikes on the Donbas and we are preparing for that," he said. Moscow says it is now focusing on "liberating" the Donbas region - two southeastern provinces partly controlled by separatists Russia has backed since 2014.
6:15 a.m.: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday that it was preparing to facilitate safe passage of civilians from Ukraine’s besieged southern city of Mariupol. “Our teams are traveling right now with pre-positioned relief items and medical supplies to be ready,” the ICRC said in a statement. A convoy of Ukrainian buses set out for the port city on Thursday to try to reach trapped civilians, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. “For logistics and security reasons, we’ll be ready to lead the safe passage operation tomorrow, Friday, provided all the parties agree to the exact terms, including the route, the start time, and the duration,” it added. “It’s desperately important that this operation takes place. The lives of tens of thousands of people in Mariupol depend on it,” the ICRC said.
5:36 a.m.: British intelligence says that "significant Russian shelling and missile strikes have continued" in Chernihiv, despite Russia earlier indicating it planned to reduce military activity there. Additionally, it said Russia holds positions east and west of Kyiv and that heavy fighting is expected in the city's suburbs in coming days.
5:05 a.m.: The New York Times reports that Russian forces have destroyed an oil terminal in Dnipro, Ukraine. No one was injured or killed.
4:47 a.m.: CNN reports that Australia will increase tariffs on all Russian and Belarusian imports, adding an additional tariff of 35%.
4:18 a.m.: CNN reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Australian lawmakers Thursday, asking for further sanctions on Russia.
3:19 a.m.: CNN reports that Ukraine and Russia will open a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol, Ukraine, where officials say 90% of buildings are now damaged or uninhabitable due to Russian bombings.
2:36 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia will batter both nations' economies. According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Russian economy will contract 10% this year and Ukraine's gross domestic product could shrink by as much as 20%.
1:38 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden met Wednesday with the parents of Trevor Reed, an American man wrongly detained in Russia. During the meeting, the White House said, the president "reiterated his commitment to continue to work to secure the release of Trevor, Paul Whelan, and other Americans wrongfully held in Russia and elsewhere, and to provide all possible assistance until they and others are free and returned home to their families who are advocating so passionately for their release."
"It’s genocide. They are destroying everything that lives."
-- Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko, quoted in The New York Times
12:01 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that U.S. President Joe Biden is planning to tap the country's petroleum reserves, releasing up to 1 million barrels of oil per day to help control gas prices. Prices have soared as countries have enacted sanctions against Russia.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters