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Latest Developments in Ukraine: March 9

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A man walks between houses destroyed during air strikes on the central Ukranian city of Bila Tserkva on March 8, 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:

11:45 p.m.: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

“We talked about a range of issues, including Putin’s heinous murder of babies, children and mothers, and America's unwavering support for Ukraine.

"Today, the House will proudly pass our government funding legislation, which includes $13.6 billion in assistance for Ukraine.

“We will also pass our strong, bipartisan bill to ban Russian oil and energy products and taking further actions to diminish Russia’s economy,” she said.

11:14 p.m.: Ukrainians plead for more weapons to defend their country from attacks two weeks after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the latest.

10:42 p.m.: Twitter's new Tor service aims to bypass Russian surveillance and censorship. The Associated Press has the story.

10:23 p.m.: Millions of elderly and disabled Ukrainians are "at high risk" because they are unable to flee the fighting, the United Kingdom Disasters Emergency Committee alliance of leading aid charities warned Thursday.

More than 2 million people have fled Russia's military assault and "older people and those with disabilities in Ukraine risk being left behind and urgently need protection and assistance," the DEC said. Agence France-Presse has the story.

9:41 p.m.: In the days since Russian forces invaded his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become an admired major figure on the world stage. Michelle Quinn narrates this Rob Garver report on Zelenskyy's life and career.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: From Actor to President to Wartime Leader
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9:15 p.m.: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is on a three-day trip to Poland and Romania to rally NATO allies against Russian aggression. But first she needs to patch up a misunderstanding over Warsaw's offer to make its fleet of MiG-29 jet fighters available to Ukraine. VOA's Patsy Widakuswara has the story.

8:41 p.m.: China's effort to help Russia economically cannot offset Western-led sanctions aimed at resisting its invasion of Ukraine, analysts assert.

While Beijing's opposition to the sanctions and China's plans to buy more Russian goods will help its northern neighbor, Moscow's current economy still depends more on Western countries than on China, according to experts. VOA's Ralph Jennings has the story.

8:24 p.m.: Sony said it had halted PlayStation shipments to Russia and suspended operations of the gaming giant's online store there, the latest global brand to shun the country over its invasion of Ukraine, according to an Agence France-Presse report. "Sony Interactive Entertainment joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine," said a statement posted on PlayStation's Twitter account.

7:38 p.m.: VOA’s Carolyn Presutti reports that flowers and messages of support have been left at the Ukraine Embassy in Washington, D.C.

6:31 p.m.: U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price releases a statement that says, “The Kremlin is intentionally spreading outright lies that the United States and Ukraine are conducting chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine.”

5:44 p.m.: White House press secretary responds to "Russia's false claims about alleged U.S. biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine," calling it "preposterous."

4:57 p.m.: VOA national security correspondent Jeff Seldin reports that the Pentagon opposes the transfer of Poland’s MiG-29s to Ukraine, describing the potential move as “high risk.”

4:39 p.m.: "Oh, How They Lied. The Many Times Russia Denied Ukraine Invasion Plans": According to Polygraph.info, Russia’s leaders and diplomats repeatedly lied about or misrepresented the Kremlin’s military buildup prior to the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

4:01 p.m.: The head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Wednesday he was concerned that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has stopped transmitting data to IAEA headquarters, a day after it reported the same interruption at Chernobyl.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi at IAEA's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 7, 2022.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi at IAEA's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 7, 2022.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said he was “concerned about the sudden interruption of such data flows to the IAEA's Vienna headquarters from the two sites, where large amounts of nuclear material are present in the form of spent or fresh nuclear fuel and other types of nuclear material," according to an official statement.

The reason for the disruption in the transmission of safeguards data was not immediately clear, the statement added.

3:31 p.m.: International condemnation was swift after Ukraine accused Russia of bombing of a maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol Wednesday, according to Reuters.

A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022 by the Press service of the National Police of Ukraine.
A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022 by the Press service of the National Police of Ukraine.

The Vatican's Secretary of State called the reported bombing in the besieged port of Mariupol "unacceptable.”

FILE - Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, Nov. 2, 2021.
FILE - Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, Nov. 2, 2021.

"I say bombing a hospital is unacceptable. There are no reasons, there are no motivations, to do this," Cardinal Pietro Parolin told journalists who asked him, at a conference in Rome, about the reported bombing.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there were few things more depraved than the targeting of vulnerable and defenseless people.

Others also condemned the action. A senior Ukrainian official, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said authorities were trying to determine the number of people who might have been killed or wounded. Russia has not commented on the allegation. It has denied targeting civilians in its invasion of Ukraine.

3:23 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday that a Russian airstrike had destroyed a maternity hospital in the southeastern port city of Mariupol and that children were among those “under the wreckage.”

3:21 p.m.: Under steady Russian bombardment, workers in Ukraine's besieged southern port city of Mariupol are hastily and unceremoniously burying scores of dead Ukrainian civilians and soldiers in a mass grave, The Associated Press reported.

With morgues overflowing and more corpses uncollected in homes, city officials decided they could not wait to hold individual burials.

A deep trench dug in an old cemetery in the heart of the city is filling up with bodies collected by municipal social service workers from morgues and private homes. Some are brought wrapped in carpets or plastic bags. Forty came Tuesday, another 30 so far Wednesday. They include civilian victims of shelling on the city and soldiers, as well as civilians who died of disease or natural causes.

Workers quickly make the sign of the cross after pushing the bodies into the common grave. No family members or other mourners are present to say their goodbyes.

Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022 as people cannot bury their dead because of the heavy shelling by Russian forces.
Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022 as people cannot bury their dead because of the heavy shelling by Russian forces.

3:14 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov headed to Turkey ahead of a meeting Thursday with his Ukrainian counterpart at a Turkish resort, VOA’s Dorian Jones reports.

Ankara, which has close ties with Moscow and Kyiv, has been seeking to mediate since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Turkey's resort city of Antalya will be the venue for the first meeting between Lavrov and Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, since Russia invaded Ukraine. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will host the summit.

3:06 p.m.: As Russian forces pound the city with artillery and air strikes, staff at the main museum in Ukraine’s eastern city Kharkiv raced to get priceless artworks to safety, Reuters reported Wednesday.

"There are over 25,000 items in our collection," said Maryna Filatova, head of the foreign art department at the Kharkiv Art Museum, adding that it was one of the biggest and most valuable in the country.

One of the most prized works at the Kharkiv museum is a version of the imposing work by renowned Russian painter Ilya Repin called "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks", which has been taken down from the wall ready to be stored away.

"Basically, it should not be moved," said Filatova of the painting. "Any movement should be avoided. We treat it with great care." She spoke among the empty, cold galleries where some pictures still hung and others were propped against walls, waiting to be stowed away.

Filatova and her colleagues were relieved that the collection, which includes works by German painter and printmaker Albrecht Duerer and Dutch masters, remained intact. But with the windows shattered, it was impossible to control the temperature and humidity inside the gallery.

"The real damage we will only be able to assess in peaceful times, when it is calm,” she said.

A view shows a building of the Fine Arts Museum damaged by shelling, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 8, 2022.
A view shows a building of the Fine Arts Museum damaged by shelling, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 8, 2022.

2:58 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made false and incendiary comments on the nuclear threat following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Polygraph.info, VOA’s fact-checking website.

2:43 p.m.: Civilians in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa are getting a crash course in firing assault rifles as they prepare to defend the city against Russian military forces possibly heading their way. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

2:23 p.m.: The U.S. State Department shared remarks made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss at a joint press availability on Wednesday.

2:16 p.m.: The Ukrainian Interior Ministry on Wednesday reported that some civilians managed to be evacuated from several towns and cities, though Russian military forces were blocking the process in other places. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

Ukrainian refugees arrive at Hendaye train station, southwestern France, March 9, 2022. About 200 Ukrainian refugees are arriving in that town of Hendaye, where local authorities are greeting them in the train station and offering them temporary lodging.
Ukrainian refugees arrive at Hendaye train station, southwestern France, March 9, 2022. About 200 Ukrainian refugees are arriving in that town of Hendaye, where local authorities are greeting them in the train station and offering them temporary lodging.
2:08 p.m.: Calls are mounting for the West to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine and to supply jets to its government. VOA’s Jamie Dettmer has more.

1:57 p.m.: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke by phone today with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, according to a UN statement. “He appreciated the role that Poland is playing in welcoming more than one million refugees from Ukraine,” the statement said.

“The Secretary-General told the President that he will do everything possible to mobilize the whole of the UN system, in coordination with UNHCR, to support Poland’s generosity.

"He will also appeal to the international community to fund the humanitarian appeals,” it added.

Refugees wait for a bus after crossing from Ukraine in Medyka, Poland, March 9, 2022.
Refugees wait for a bus after crossing from Ukraine in Medyka, Poland, March 9, 2022.
Czech volunteer Lukas Saranga cooks a soup in a giant pot for refugees fleeing Ukraine at the train station at border crossing of Medyka, Poland, March 8, 2022.
Czech volunteer Lukas Saranga cooks a soup in a giant pot for refugees fleeing Ukraine at the train station at border crossing of Medyka, Poland, March 8, 2022.

1:45 p.m.: The United Nations has been notified by Ukraine that it is withdrawing its 268 military personnel and equipment from the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.

"I also think it’s important to acknowledge the tremendous role Ukraine has played, especially on issues of transport and helicopters,” Dujarric said. “Obviously we are looking at the impact that would have. We will be in touch with other member states to replace it," he added.

Ukraine also has much smaller presences in UN missions in South Sudan (13), Mali (12), Cyprus (5), Abyei (4) and Kosovo (3), as VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

1:21 p.m.: Satellite images taken on Wednesday morning show extensive damage to the civilian infrastructure in and around the besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, a U.S. private company said.

Maxar Technologies said extensive damage was noted to residential homes, high-rise apartment buildings, grocery stores and shopping centers, according to Reuters.

The imagery was collected before the bombing and shelling of a children’s hospital in the city which was reported Wednesday, Maxar said. Reuters could not independently verify what was shown in the images.

A satellite image shows a damaged bridge and craters in a field, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, in Irpin, Ukraine, March 8, 2022. Courtesy Maxar Technologies.
A satellite image shows a damaged bridge and craters in a field, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, in Irpin, Ukraine, March 8, 2022. Courtesy Maxar Technologies.

1:11 p.m.: Volodymyr Bilevich served in both the Soviet and Russian air forces. But when Russia invaded Ukraine, the retired pilot took to the streets to protest against the war from his city of Belgorod, inside Russia. Sergei Khazov-Cassia, from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has the story.

12:32 p.m.: Russia’s defense ministry acknowledged on Wednesday that some conscripts were taking part in the conflict with Ukraine, Reuters reported. The acknowledgment comes after President Vladimir Putin denied this on various occasions, saying only professional soldiers and officers had been sent in.

The ministry said that some of them, serving in supply units, had been taken prisoner by the Ukrainian army since the fighting began on Feb. 24.

FILE - Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Sept. 09, 2021.
FILE - Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Sept. 09, 2021.

Citing Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the RIA news agency said Putin had ordered military prosecutors to investigate and punish the officials responsible for disobeying his instructions to exclude conscripts from the operation.

“Unfortunately, we have discovered several facts of the presence of conscripts in units taking part in the special military operation in Ukraine. Practically all such soldiers have been pulled out to Russia,” the defense ministry said, promising to prevent such situations in the future.

Some associations of soldiers’ mothers in Russia had raised concerns about a number of conscripts going incommunicado at the start of what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, suggesting they could have been sent to fight despite a lack of adequate training. The Kremlin and military authorities had denied it until now.

12:05 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said Russia's proposals to create humanitarian corridors from Ukraine to Russia are "absurd" as he called for Russia to allow civilians in Ukraine to leave safely.


As VOA’s Nike Ching reports, Blinken denounced Moscow’s proposed civilian evacuation routes to Russia and Belarus after meeting with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in Washington.

“The war in Ukraine is a struggle for the future of freedom and self-determination,” Truss said. “We must not rest until Putin fails in Ukraine and the country’s sovereignty is restored.”

11:52 a.m.: Britain intends to supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles to help its defense against the Russian invasion, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday. "It is vital... that Ukraine maintains its ability to fly and suppress Russian air attack," Wallace told parliament. "In response to Ukrainian requests, the government has taken the decision to explore the donation of STARStreak high-velocity man-portable anti-air missiles. We believe that this system will remain within the definition of defensive weapons, but will allow the Ukrainian force to better defend their skies." Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

12:00 p.m.: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine intensifies, the Ukrainian American community of the Washington DC metro area sponsored a donation drive for humanitarian relief and supplies for Ukraine, with the help of a local church. VOA’s Saqib Ul Islam reports.

Ukrainian Americans Come Together to Support Ukraine
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11:45 a.m.: U.S. discussions with Ukraine about defensive needs are ongoing, a senior U.S. defense official said Wednesday. “We’re doing the best we can to meet them with stuff we can get our hands on,” he said, adding that the U.S. is “actively having discussions with allies and partners” whose inventories are a closer match to Kyiv’s. Those discussions do involve additional air defense capabilities for Ukraine, the official said. VOA’s Jeff Seldin monitored the briefing and has more updates.

11:41 a.m.: Chinese citizens in Ukraine have been sharing with VOA their experiences of fleeing the war. VOA’s Ali Siddiqi reports.

11:25 a.m.: A look at the latest situation on Day 14 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia announced plans for new cease-fires Wednesday to allow civilians to leave several parts of Ukraine besieged by Russian forces.

10:37 a.m.: An orchestra played the Ukrainian national anthem in the capital Kyiv Wednesday, as Russian troops continued to threaten the city, Reuters reports.

Dozens of people gathered to watch on the central Maidan Square, some waving Ukrainian flags. They applauded when the national anthem was finished, and a woman cried out “To Ukraine!” The lyrics of the anthem include the lines, “Ukraine has not yet perished.... our enemies will vanish like dew in the sun.”

The Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra also performed an excerpt from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, on which the European Union’s anthem is based - a nod to the Ukraine government’s desire to move closer to Europe and away from Russia’s orbit.

Conductor Herman Makarenko told reporters that the concert was a call for peace. He said he managed to gather around 20 musicians for the performance, instead of 65-70 who normally make up the ensemble.

Air raid sirens wailed in Kyiv on Wednesday. Russian forces are advancing on Kyiv from several directions, although heavy fighting on the outskirts has slowed their progress.

Musicians of the Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Herman Makarenko perform, during an open-air concert named "Free Sky" at the Independence Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.
Musicians of the Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Herman Makarenko perform, during an open-air concert named "Free Sky" at the Independence Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.

10:23 a.m.: The European Union Wednesday agreed to broaden sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The French Presidency of the European Council said in a series of tweets on March 9 that the new sanctions added would apply to "Russian leaders and oligarchs and their family members implicated in the Russian aggression against Ukraine."

10:13 a.m.: Judgement Day: European nations start probing alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine. VOA’s Jamie Dettmer reports.

9:55a.m.: A Ukrainian IT worker is driving people to safety in Poland. Roman Kalgin left his job in IT to pick people up from the crowds of displaced Ukrainians at the Lviv train station in western Ukraine, and take them in his van to the Polish border. “The people come broken, in tears,” he says. “You need to calm them down, talk to them, and tell them everything is going to be OK.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story.


9:41 a.m.: The U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships has established a public-private partnership with GoFundMe.org to assist those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a statement issued Wednesday. “This partnership with GoFundMe.org is designed to mobilize private-sector donations and individual giving,” the statement said.


9:22 a.m.: A Ukrainian man who is lucky to be alive after an armored vehicle hit his car in Kyiv February 25, has now thanked his rescuers and said that he wants to join Ukraine’s territorial defense forces as soon as he recovers. Current Time, a program jointly produced by VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has the story.


8:50 a.m.: Independent civil society organizations in Vietnam are condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, a stance at odds with Hanoi’s abstention vote at the United Nations. VOA’s An Hai has the story.

8:40 a.m.: Russia’s Ukraine invasion could weigh on China’s economy, VOA’s Jie Xi reports. Analysts tell VOA’s Mandarin service that the war in Ukraine could bring both short and long-term impacts, such as disruption in the trade of goods and increased U.S. efforts to insulate itself from geopolitical shocks to international supply chains fueled by key sectors of the Chinese economy.

8:39 a.m. : Japan announced Tuesday a new round of sanctions on Russia since its invasion of Ukraine, signaling a shift from its gentler and more ambiguous response to Moscow’s seizure of Crimea in 2014. VOA’s Olivia Liao reports.

8:32 a.m.: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned Wednesday that the only electrical grid supplying the Chernobyl nuclear power facility, now controlled by Russia, is damaged and there is currently no power available.

“The reserve generators have a 48-hour capacity to power the Chernobyl (facility),” Kuleba said on Twitter, adding that without electricity the cooling systems in the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop. He expressed concern that radiation leaks could occur. Kuleba called on the international community to demand Russia agree to a cease-fire to allow repair teams to restore power at the Chernobyl facility.

The IAEA responded on Twitter Wednesday saying, “Ukraine has informed IAEA of power loss at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant” and that “in this case IAEA sees no critical impact on safety.” It added that the volume of cooling water at Chernobyl’s nuclear facility was sufficient for effective heat removal without the need for the electrical supply, and referenced an earlier report from March 3. The IAEA director general did note that this development violates a key safety pillar in ensuring uninterrupted power supply to nuclear facilities.

7:52 a.m.: A Russian-American woman who has headed a cultural organization for diaspora Russian groups in the United States has been charged with being an unregistered foreign agent for promoting the Kremlin’s interests. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

7:31 a.m.: Russia announced plans for new cease-fires Wednesday to allow civilians to leave several parts of Ukraine. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Russia confirmed evacuation routes would lead out of Sumy, Mariupol, Enerhodar, Volnovakha, Izyum and several towns near the capital, Kyiv.

Civilians from besieged towns northwest of Kyiv worked their way toward the capital Wednesday, crossing over a small river via a damaged bridge, The Associated Press reports. One resident of the town of Irpin described four days without heat, electricity, water or cell phone connections. Others came from neighboring Bucha. The route from Irpin and Bucha to Kyiv is part of a humanitarian corridor announced by Ukrainian authorities Wednesday. Thousands have been entering Kyiv via this route in recent days, with many then taken to the railway station for onward evacuation by train to Ukraine’s west.

“We have a short window of time at the moment (for evacuations). Even if there is a ceasefire right now, there is a high risk of shells falling at any moment,” said Yeyhen Nyshchuk, actor and former culture minister, now a member of Ukraine’s territorial defense forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says efforts are underway to evacuate some 18,000 people from the capital Kyiv and embattled towns near it. He said Wednesday the efforts are part of broader evacuation attempts by multiple humanitarian corridors within Ukraine, and warned Russian forces against violating cease-fire promises.

6:47 a.m.: Is Putin the new Hitler? VOA’s Steve Herman reports that even before Russia's military began its invasion of Ukraine, the comparisons between the contemporary Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and the Nazi-era fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, began propagating.

As Ukrainian cities are hit by missiles, resulting in civilian mass casualties and refugees fleeing across the border to Poland, Putin faces accusations of following in the footsteps of the reviled former leader of Germany. The hashtag #PutinHitler has been trending on social media as Europe faces its biggest crisis since World War II.

5:30 a.m.: The European Union agreed Wednesday to bolster its sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion, including measures targeting senior Russian officials and oligarchs as well as restrictions on the maritime sector and several Belarussian banks.

“Member states are working on a package of sanctions, around 100 people responsible at different levels of government,” the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell told the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Borrell said he hoped for agreement “by the end of this session today,” without giving more details, Reuters reported.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivers a speech during a debate on EU's role and the security situation of Europe following the Russian invasion on Ukraine, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Pascal Bastien)
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivers a speech during a debate on EU's role and the security situation of Europe following the Russian invasion on Ukraine, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Pascal Bastien)

5:16 a.m.: China’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday the Chinese Red Cross is sending about $800,000 worth of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and it reiterated its opposition to sanctions imposed against Russia.

“The U.S. should earnestly and seriously approach China’s concerns when handling the Ukraine issue and its relations with Russia. It should not in any way hurt China’s rights and interests,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters.

“China will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend the rights and interests of Chinese companies and individuals.”

4:57 a.m.: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will collaborate with Poland and Romania on next steps to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and reassure them of Washington’s support during her meetings with leaders of both countries starting Thursday.

4:25 a.m.: Asian and Australian financial markets were mixed Wednesday while oil markets continued their steady rise a day after U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The Nikkei index in Tokyo dropped 0.3%. Shanghai’s Composite index lost 1.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed down 0.6%. The KOSPI index in Seoul lost just over 1%, while Taipei’s TSEC index finished 1.1% higher. The S&P/ASX index in Australia gained just over 1%.

European markets opened in positive territory Wednesday: Britain’s benchmark FTSE index is up 1.6%, France’s CAC-40 is 3.7% higher, and the DAX index in Germany soared just over 4%.

In the commodities markets, gold is selling at $2,054.60 per ounce, an increase of 0.5%. U.S. crude oil is selling at $125.24 per barrel, up 1.2%, while Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, has once again topped the $130 per barrel mark, selling at $130.02 per barrel, up over 1.5%.

Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine has sparked calls in the United States and other nations to impose a ban on oil imports from Russia, which could lead to even higher oil prices. The world’s oil supply is not keeping pace with demand as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be subsiding.

All three major U.S. indices are trending negatively Wednesday.

4:00 a.m.: U.S. lawmakers reached an agreement to send as much as $14 billion in humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine. The bipartisan effort to confront Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the independent Eastern European nation follows congressional support for U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement he will ban Russian energy imports into the U.S.

VOA’s congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson has more from Capitol Hill.

US Lawmakers Reach Agreement on Billions in Ukraine Aid
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3:35 a.m.: The U.K. announced Wednesday a series of new aviation sanctions on Russia allowing the government to “detain Russian aircraft and remove aircraft belonging to designated individuals and entities.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the sanctions will “inflict more economic pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin.”

3:28 a.m.: The United Nations Refugee Agency says more than 1.2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Poland since the Russian invasion began. Poland has opened its doors to them.

VOA’s Celia Mendoza spoke with some refugees who had just arrived in Krakow and volunteers who were there to help them.

Ukrainian Refugees Pour Into Poland With Little But Trauma, Uncertainty
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3:00 a.m.: People fled the war from neighboring Ukraine and arrived at the Przemysl train station in Przemysl, Poland, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Here’s a look at the latest images on Day 14 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

2:00 a.m.: The British Ministry of Defence said Wednesday that Russian forces are “failing to make any significant breakthroughs” as fighting continues to the north of Kyiv.

“Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air,” the battleground intelligence statement said.

1:26 a.m.: Russia announced plans for new cease-fires Wednesday to allow civilians to leave several parts of Ukraine besieged by Russian forces, a day after thousands of people were able to leave a city in northeastern Ukraine while Ukrainian officials accused Russia of shelling another evacuation route in the southern part of the country. VOA’s Carla Babb has the story.

1:07 a.m.: A humanitarian corridor being used by people to flee the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy will stay open on Wednesday.

The corridor was agreed to by Ukraine and Russia on Tuesday. It allowed about 5,000 people to exit the city on buses and allowed about 1,000 cars to leave via the route which leads south to the city of Poltava, Reuters reported.

The city had been attacked by Russian forces until a cease-fire Tuesday allowed civilians to flee. The regional governor of Sumy, Dmytro Zhyvytskyy, said prior to the cease-fire, bombs hit residential areas in the city and one blast killed 22 civilians, Reuters reported.

A man waits for an ambulance to arrive to evacuate his father to a safer location, in Ukraine, March 8, 2022. (Yan Boechat/VOA)
A man waits for an ambulance to arrive to evacuate his father to a safer location, in Ukraine, March 8, 2022. (Yan Boechat/VOA)

12:18 a.m.: The U.S. announced it is repositioning two Patriot missile defense batteries to Poland.

The move, which came at the direction of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, is to “confront any potential threats” to European allies, according to U.S. European Command (EUCOM).

“This defensive deployment is being conducted proactively to counter any potential threat to U.S. and Allied forces and NATO territory,” EUCOM spokesman Capt. Adam Miller said in a statement.

Miller said the systems are purely defensive and designed for protection. “Every step we take is intended to deter aggression and reassure our allies,” Miller said.

Patriot missile defense systems can destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft and cruise missiles.

FILE - The Patriot missile defense system
FILE - The Patriot missile defense system

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters.

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