Russia-Ukraine war latest news: Biden condemns Putin ‘tyranny’; Russian troops land in Kharkiv – live

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Russia-Ukraine war latest news: Biden condemns Putin ‘tyranny’; Russian troops land in Kharkiv – live” was written by Samantha Lock, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 05.21 UTC

Twitter will comply with the European Union’s sanctions on Russian state-affiliated media RT and Sputnik when the EU order takes effect, the social network said on Tuesday.

“The European Union (EU) sanctions will likely legally require us to withhold certain content in EU member states,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“We intend to comply with the order when it goes into effect.”

Outside the EU, Twitter would continue to focus on reducing the visibility of content from these outlets as well as labelling it.

The United Nations General Assembly is set to reprimand Russia on Wednesday over its invasion of Ukraine and demand that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces, a move that aims to diplomatically isolate Russia at the world body, Reuters reports.

More reports are coming in following a fire at a hospital in Kharkiv overnight.

According to an alert issued just before 3am from Ukraine’s State Special Communications agency, Russian soldiers attacked a military medical clinical centre hospital in the city’s north.

Kharkiv region police chief Volodymyr Tymoshko told reporters on Wednesday that no Ukrainian troops were killed in the gun battle, the BBC reports.

“Currently the situation near the hospital is under control, security has been strengthened,” he said, according to Ukrainian media.

The Guardian has not been able to verify the latest reports out of Kharkiv but the city had been encircled by Russian forces for days.

At least six people were reported to have been killed when the region’s administrative building on Freedom Square was hit with what was believed to be a missile.

Russia president Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to prohibit Russians from leaving the country with more than $10,000 in foreign currency, Russia state media outlet TASS reports.

Citing the decree, the news agency reported:

The export of foreign currency cash and foreign currency instruments over $10,000 calculated based on the official exchange rate set by the Russian Central Bank on the day of export will be banned starting on March 2.”

The move is an attempt to “ensure Russia’s financial stability” according to a statement from the Kremlin press office.

It comes in response to the crippling sanctions western nations have imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Biden says Putin must ‘pay a price’

US president Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address from Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening, commending the Ukrainian people’s resolve to fight and vowing that Putin must “pay a price” for his actions in Ukraine.

Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address.
Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated.

He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined.

He met the Ukrainian people.

From President Zelenskiy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, inspires the world.

Groups of citizens blocking tanks with their bodies. Everyone from students to retirees teachers turned soldiers defending their homeland …

Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression they cause more chaos. They keep moving.

Putin’s latest attack on Ukraine was premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy. He thought the west and Nato wouldn’t respond. And he thought he could divide us at home.

Putin was wrong. We were ready. Here is what we did. We prepared extensively and carefully.”

Biden then said the free world will hold the Russian president accountable.

First lady Jill Biden applauds her guest, Ukrainian ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, before the State of the Union address.
First lady Jill Biden applauds her guest, Ukrainian ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, before the State of the Union address. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

We are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine. Putin is now isolated from the world more than ever.

Putin has unleashed violence and chaos. But while he may make gains on the battlefield – he will pay a continuing high price over the long run.

When the history of this era is written Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger.

In the battle between democracy and autocracy, democracies are rising to the moment, and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security.

This is a real test. It’s going to take time. So let us continue to draw inspiration from the iron will of the Ukrainian people.

Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people.

He will never extinguish their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world.”

Updated

US to ban Russian flights from its airspace

The United States will ban Russian flights from its airspace, US president Joe Biden has just confirmed.

Tonight, I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on our economy.”

The decision follows similar moves made by the European Union and Canada.

The US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration said orders blocking Russian aircraft and airlines from entering and using all US airspace will be fully in effect by the end of Wednesday.

The orders suspend operations of all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, any Russia citizen.

This includes passenger and cargo flights, and scheduled as well as charter flights that will “effectively closing US air space to all Russian commercial air carriers and other Russian civil aircraft,” the department said.

Russian troops land in Kharkiv – reports

Russian troops have reportedly landed in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second most populous city, according to the Security Service of Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities said at approximately 3am local time, Russian airborne troops landed and engaged in heavy fighting with Ukrainian forces.

“A Russian landing party landed in Kharkiv,” an alert from Ukraine’s State Special Communications agency read just before 3am.

The agency said the soldiers attacked the military medical clinical centre hospital, adding that a “battle broke out between the invaders and the Ukrainian defenders.”

The city hall building in the central square of Kharkiv after bombardment on Tuesday.
The city hall building in the central square of Kharkiv after bombardment on Tuesday. Photograph: Pavel Dorogoy/AP

The city, with a population of about 1.5 million, has been encircled for days and saw at least six people killed when the region’s administrative building on Freedom Square was hit with what was believed to be a missile.

The attack on Freedom Square — Ukraine’s largest plaza, and the nucleus of public life in the city — was seen by many Ukrainians as brazen evidence that the Russian invasion wasn’t just about hitting military targets but also about breaking their spirit.

The bombardment blew out windows and walls of buildings that ring the massive square, which was piled high with debris and dust.

“People are under the ruins. We have pulled out bodies,” said Yevhen Vasylenko, an emergency official.

Zelenskiy pronounced the attack on the square “frank, undisguised terror” and a war crime. “This is state terrorism of the Russian Federation,” he said.

Updated

In Kherson on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, Russian forces have taken control of the railway station and the port overnight, city mayor Igor Kolykhayev was quoted by local media, Agence France-Press reports.

Officials yesterday reported Russian checkpoints encircling the city.

“The city is under shelling,” Kolykhayev wrote on his official Facebook page on Tuesday, adding that residential houses were burning and urging residents to stay off the streets.

Updated

Welcome

Hello, I’m Samantha Lock and welcome to our continuing live coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war.

It is 6.30am in Kyiv where Ukrainians are battling to save their capital city after a six-day assault. Russian troops are believed to be getting closer. Here’s where we stand right now:

  • Russian troops have reportedly landed in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second most populous city, according to the security service of Ukraine. Russian partatroopers reportedly landed at around 3am local time (1am GMT) and engaged in heavy fighting with Ukrainian forces.
  • Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine are coming under more bombardment in the early hours of Wednesday morning as the Russian military steps up its offensive and moves forces closer towards the capital.
  • Joe Biden’s used his State of the Union address to warn Vladimir Putin that he cannot divide the west and that dictators should “pay a price for their aggression”. He won a standing ovation for his praise of the Ukrainian resistance against what he called Russian “tyranny”.
  • Biden also announced that the US is closing American airspace to all Russian flights, “further isolating Russia”.
  • Four people have been killed after homes in the city of Zhytomyr west of Kyiv were hit by a cruise missile apparently aimed at a nearby airbase, Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the interior minister, said on his Telegram channel.
  • The southern cities of Kherson and Mariupol are likely now encircled by the Russians, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
  • Thousands of Ukrainians are trying to leave Kyiv, our correspondent in Kyiv reported, as Russia’s defence ministry warned residents to leave as it plans to strike targets in the Ukrainian capital. The UN says more than 680,000 people have already fled the country.
  • The IMF and the World Bank have condemned the Russian action in Ukraine and the “horrifying” suffering of people there. The organisations pledged a $3bn package of support for the country.
  • Apple has said it will pause all product sales in Russia while Boeing is suspending “major operations” in Moscow, as well as “parts, maintenance, and technical support services for Russian airlines”. Ford and the British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover have also suspended operations, along with Nike.
  • Brent crude oil has soared 5.8% to $110.09 a barrel, its highest since 2014. The Russian rouble has fallen again in early trading on Wednesday to hit 109.2 to the dollar.

For any tips and feedback please contact me through Twitter or at samantha.lock@theguardian.com

Updated

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