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Latest Developments in Ukraine: March 5

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People fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine wait for transport after arriving in Slovakia, at a border crossing in Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia, March 5, 2022.

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:

10:30 p.m.: For Ukraine, a new worry: Increased COVID risk. ABC News has the story.

9:38 p.m.: Canada is the latest nation to tell its citizens to leave Russia. Reuters has the story.

9:07 p.m.: People try to aid Ukraine through art.

8:24 p.m.: A look at the nations aiding Ukraine.

Organizations that have announced aid to Ukraine.
Organizations that have announced aid to Ukraine.

8:04 p.m.: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has suspended its operations in Russia. The Associated Press has the story.

7:53 p.m.: Visa, Mastercard take action against Russia.

Ibrahim Abliz, a Uyghur refugee in Poland, with his 4-year-old son, in March 2022. (Courtesy of Ibrahim Abliz)
Ibrahim Abliz, a Uyghur refugee in Poland, with his 4-year-old son, in March 2022. (Courtesy of Ibrahim Abliz)

7:20 p.m.: From China to Turkey, Ukraine: 2 Men’s Search for Safety

Two men originally from China are among the 1 million refugees fleeing Ukraine into neighboring countries this week after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. VOA chronicled the journeys of Ibrahim Abliz, a Uyghur, and Ersin Erkinuly, a Kazakh.

7 p.m.: State Department updated its travel advisories to Russia on Saturday:

The Department of State reissued the Travel Advisory for Russia advising U.S. citizens to depart Russia immediately and providing updated information on the currency situation and potential delays in consular notification and access to U.S. citizens detained in Russia. This replaces the previous Travel Advisory issued on February 28, 2022.

Italian Finance Police stand by the yacht "Lady M," owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, docked at Imperia's harbor, Italy, March 5, 2022.
Italian Finance Police stand by the yacht "Lady M," owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, docked at Imperia's harbor, Italy, March 5, 2022.

6:52 p.m.: Italy, along with other European countries, is seizing the assets of Russian oligarchs.

Since Friday, Italy has seized 143 million euros ($156 million) in luxury yachts and villas in some of its most picturesque destinations, including Sardinia, the Ligurian coast and Lake Como.

Women with their faces painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag hold a banner and a Turkish flag with an image of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as Ukrainians, Turks and Crimean Tatars protest Russia's war in Ukraine, in Ankara, Turkey, March 5
Women with their faces painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag hold a banner and a Turkish flag with an image of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as Ukrainians, Turks and Crimean Tatars protest Russia's war in Ukraine, in Ankara, Turkey, March 5

5:35 p.m.: Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday across European cities in support of Ukraine and demanding an end to Russia's invasion.

Citizens worldwide have been horrified by Russian President Vladimir Putin's attack, which began on February 24 and appeared to be entering a new phase with escalating bombardment.

"Despite the suffering, we will win," said Nataliya, a French-Ukrainian woman who did not wish to give her surname to protect her son who is in Ukraine.

FILE: Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) plays in the WNBA finals, Oct. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. Griner was arrested in Russia on drug charges.
FILE: Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) plays in the WNBA finals, Oct. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. Griner was arrested in Russia on drug charges.

3:48 p.m.: WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested last month at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges.

The Russian Customs Service said Saturday that the cartridges were identified as containing oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The customs service identified the person arrested as a player for the U.S. women's team and did not specify the date of her arrest.

Russian media reported the player was Griner, and her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, did not dispute those reports.

FILE - Onlookers wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 ballistic missiles roll during a parade in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019.
FILE - Onlookers wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 ballistic missiles roll during a parade in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019.

3:37 p.m.: China has decided to raise its defense spending by 7.1%, which is the largest increase since 2019. The rise is significant because the country’s economy is expected to grow this year at the lowest level in decades at 5.5%, Saibal Dasgupta reports for VOA.

China’s defense spending is being carefully watched around the world in view of the atmosphere of political uncertainties caused by the Ukraine war. China has refused to pick sides or condemn the Russian attack. Some experts believe China will look for opportunities to invade Taiwan. Beijing regards Taiwan as a rogue province and has often indicated plans to take it over by force.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speak to the media at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing in Korczowa, Poland, March 5, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speak to the media at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing in Korczowa, Poland, March 5, 2022.

3:30 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the Polish border with Ukraine to see the former shopping mall where about 3,000 Ukrainian refugees are taking shelter.

While there he stepped briefly onto Ukrainian soil to meet Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba, who predicted Russia would be defeated but appealed for more military assistance to lower the cost in lives that he said victory will require.

At the refugee center, America's top diplomat heard harrowing tales from mothers and their children who described long and perilous journeys — and the shock of the sudden disruption and the fear for their lives — after fleeing the devastation of the war.

2:56 p.m.: Some Australian finance firms have started to divest Russian assets in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Phil Mercer reports for VOA. This week, the Australian government began urging the country’s $2.5 trillion pension industry to reassess its Russian holdings after the invasion. And Australia's $150 billion sovereign wealth fund said it planned to reduce its exposure to Russian-listed companies.

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland attends a news conference as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 23, 2020.
FILE PHOTO: Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland attends a news conference as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 23, 2020.

2:3p p.m.: Canada has the largest population of people of Ukrainian ancestry outside of Ukraine and Russia. With Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is of Ukrainian descent, taking the lead, Canada was among the first to impose sanctions, including closing its airspace to Russian civilian aircraft.

More recently, Canada removed Russia and Belarus from “most-favored nation status,” which automatically places a mandatory 35% tariff on all imports from the two countries, Craig McCulloch reports for VOA.

11:56 a.m.: According to the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, 3,000 U.S. volunteers have responded to Ukraine’s appeal for people to serve in an international battalion that will help the country resist Russia’s invading forces. VOA's Myroslava Gongadze spoke to one of them.

10:54 a.m. “The world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of sovereignty, as Moscow pays a high price for its unconscionable actions,” tweeted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after speaking with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

6:03 a.m.: The BBC reports that Mariupol's deputy mayor says officials have to stop the evacuation because the Russians have breached the cease-fire and are shelling.

5:50 a.m.: Reuters reports: The Kremlin said on Saturday that the West was behaving like bandits but that Russia was far too big to be isolated as the world was much larger than just the United States and Europe.

5:39 a.m.: Protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine continue.

Protesters shout slogans and carry flags and banners during a march denouncing Russia's invasion on Ukraine, in Tokyo, March 5, 2022.
Protesters shout slogans and carry flags and banners during a march denouncing Russia's invasion on Ukraine, in Tokyo, March 5, 2022.

5:00 a.m.: Ukraine's president reassured his country's refugees, saying he's sure that soon they'll be able to come back, the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, tweets

4:38 a.m.: Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov appealed via Facebook video to the international community calling on it to close the sky over Ukraine. "If Eisenhower had supported Europe before the World War II, the United States would have never had Pearl Harbor. If the countries of the world imposed the same sanctions against Russia as today, a full-scale war would not have begun. Say the least of it, the only way for all of us to survive, and I mean the whole world, is [through'] the A2/AD zone," he said.

4:32 a.m.: A cease-fire is underway.

Three-year-old Anna sleeps on a chair after fleeing from Ukraine with her brother and mother at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, March 5, 2022.
Three-year-old Anna sleeps on a chair after fleeing from Ukraine with her brother and mother at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, March 5, 2022.

3:55 a.m.: As Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine’s cities intensifies, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the country. The United Nations has appealed to donor countries for help, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Ukraine’s Women and Children Flee as Men Must Stay to Fight
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3:05 a.m.: The Associated Press reports that Russia says it'll observe a cease-fire in two area of Ukraine on Saturday.

3 a.m.: In India, a plea for peace:

Students of Saint Joseph's High School sit in the school yard to form the word 'peace' to condemn Russia for waging a war against Ukraine, in Ranga Reddy District, India, on March 5, 2022.
Students of Saint Joseph's High School sit in the school yard to form the word 'peace' to condemn Russia for waging a war against Ukraine, in Ranga Reddy District, India, on March 5, 2022.

2:18 a.m.: PayPal is shutting its services in Russia, citing "the current circumstances," Reuters reports.

2:00 a.m.: Russia's blocking of Facebook is a symptom of its broader effort to cut itself off from sources of information that could imperil its internationally condemned invasion of Ukraine, experts say.

The often-criticized social network is part of a web of information sources that can challenge the Kremlin's preferred perspective that its assault on Ukraine is righteous and necessary.

Blocking of Facebook and restricting of Twitter on Friday came the same day Moscow backed the imposition of jail terms on media publishing "false information" about the military. Agence France-Presse has the story.

1:32 a.m.: The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine says Russia's attack on a Ukrainian nuclear power plant is a war crime.

12:57 a.m.: Formed in a fury to counter Russia’s blitzkrieg attack, Ukraine’s hundreds-strong volunteer “hacker” corps is much more than a paramilitary cyberattack force in Europe's first major war of the internet age. It is crucial to information combat and to crowdsourcing intelligence.

“We are really a swarm. A self-organizing swarm," said Roman Zakharov, a 37-year-old IT executive at the center of Ukraine's bootstrap digital army. The Associated Press has the story.

12:30 a.m.: The Russian war on Ukraine is also happening online, as people share images from around Ukraine. Caught in the middle are U.S. technology firms, which have taken steps to curtail Russian propaganda and make changes for Ukrainians’ safety. But it’s a fine line to walk as VOA’s Michelle Quinn reports.

Tech Firms Move Fast, Create Restrictions Within Ukraine-Russia Conflict
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12:05 a.m.: While U.S. President Joe Biden has played a key role in galvanizing Western nations' condemnation of Moscow's aggression against Ukraine, his administration is finding it harder to build a global coalition in the Indo-Pacific to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Key regional partners such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have announced significant financial sanctions and export controls against Moscow, but others have resisted Western pressure to even condemn the invasion. VOA's Patsy Widakuswara has the story.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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