Ukraine-Russia war latest: homes in Kyiv and Kharkiv struck by shelling; Zelenskiy to address US Congress – live

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Ukraine-Russia war latest: homes in Kyiv and Kharkiv struck by shelling; Zelenskiy to address US Congress – live” was written by Tom Ambrose (now) and Samantha Lock (earlier), for theguardian.com on Wednesday 16th March 2022 08.32 UTC

Ukraine’€™s armed forces are launching counteroffensives against Russian forces “in several operational areas,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

“This radically changes the parties’€™ dispositions,” he added, without giving details.

More on this as it comes.

The Netherlands and other Nato countries will continue to deliver weapons to Ukraine even as these deliveries could become the target of Russian attacks, Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Wednesday.

“The Netherlands and other countries will continue to deliver weapons to Ukraine”, Ollongren said at her arrival for a meeting with Nato defence ministers in Brussels.

“Ukraine has the right to defend itself, we will continue to support it.”

Dutch Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren speaks to the press ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the NATO Council.
The Dutch defence minister, Kajsa Ollongren, speaks to the media ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the Nato council. Photograph: Stéphanie Lecocq/EPA

Updated

A senior Ukrainian official said it was an “open question” whether a humanitarian corridor would be opened on Wednesday to evacuate more civilians from the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

Deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk also said in a video address that Russian forces were in control of a hospital they captured on Tuesday in Mariupol, and that 400 staff and patients there were being held hostage.

Russian troops had opened fire from artillery positions on the grounds of the hospital, she said. Reuters was unable immediately to verify the information.

Updated

The British Foreign Secretary said sanctions from the UK and other western nations were having a “debilitating affect on the Russian economy” but urged allies to go further.

Liz Truss, speaking to Sky News, said:

What we know is that Vladimir Putin’s plans are not going according to plan.

He is not making the progress expected, and we know the sanctions we’ve put on are working.

They are having a debilitating affect on the Russian economy… Those sanctions are really beginning to bite.

Truss said further British sanctions should be expected, saying “we’ve got more individuals on our list” as well as companies to target, but called for allies to do more, PA Media reported.

Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street to attend weekly Cabinet meeting in London, United Kingdom on March 15, 2022.
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street to attend weekly Cabinet meeting in London, United Kingdom on March 15, 2022. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

She noted that the European Union had sanctioned three Russian banks compared with the UK and US targeting 10 major banks, and said “we’d like to see them sanction even more banks”, while also arguing that more sanctions could come “collectively” from the 141 countries that voted against Russia at the UN General Assembly.

The emergency services in Ukraine’s eastern region of Kharkiv region said on Wednesday that at least 500 residents of the city have been killed since Russia invaded on 24 February.

Reuters was unable immediately to verify the information. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv.
Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

I’m Tom Ambrose and I’ll be bringing you all the latest news over the next three hours.

Summary

Hello it’s Samantha Lock with you as we cover the latest developments from Ukraine. Before I hand over to my colleague Tom Ambrose here is a quick recap of where we stand on day 21 of Russia’s war.

  • In Kyiv, a 12-storey residential building has been damaged after it was hit by Russian shelling this morning.
  • Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv also came under attack overnight with two people confirmed dead and two residential buildings destroyed, Ukraine’s state emergency services said in an update this morning.
  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave a late-night national address where he confirmed meetings between Ukrainian and Russian officials continue, adding that “the positions at negotiations are more realistic now”.
  • However, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said there are “fundamental contradictions” in talks aimed at ending Russia’s military attack but there is “certainly room for compromise”.
  • Addressing Russian citizens, Zelenskiy said the war would end in “disgrace, poverty, year-long isolation [and] a brutal repressive system”. “If you stay in your posts, if you don’t speak out against the war, the international community will strip you off of everything you have earned over the years. They are working on it,” he said.
  • Zelenskiy is due to address US Congress on Wednesday and is likely to make fresh calls for a no-fly zone and requests for more military aid, including fighter jets.
  • EU leaders vowed support for Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv. The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia arrived in the capital earlier on Tuesday in a show of support for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who briefed them on the war with Russia. Poland’s Jarosław Kaczyński called for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, with Czech prime minister Petr Fiala saying: “You are not alone. Our countries stand with you. Europe stands with your country”.
  • Nato is set to tell its military commanders on Wednesday to draw up plans for new ways to deter Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, including more troops and missile defences in eastern Europe, officials and diplomats said. The Ukrainian minster for defence, Oleksii Reznikov, is expected to plead for more weapons from individual Nato countries, according to a Reuters report.
  • US president Joe Biden is expected to announce an additional $800m in security assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, a White House official said as reported by Reuters news agency.
  • The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution late on Tuesday night condemning Russian president Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, a rare show of unity in the deeply divided Congress.
  • Russian forces have reportedly taken patients and medical staff of a hospital in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol hostage. According to the BBC, the city’s deputy mayor Sergei Orlov said there were 400 people in the hospital and the Russian army were “using our patients and doctors like hostages”.
  • About 2,000 cars were able to leave Mariupol, according to local authorities.
  • A woman who interrupted a live news programme on Russian state TV last night to protest against the war in Ukraine has been fined 30,000 roubles (£215) by a Russian court. Marina Ovsyannikova, a Russian television producer, was found guilty of flouting protest legislation, the Russian state news agency RIA reported.
  • The UK is to impose sanctions on 370 more Russian individuals, including more than 50 oligarchs and their families with a combined net worth of £100bn. More than 1,000 individuals and entities have now been targeted with sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine, with fresh measures announced against key Kremlin spokespeople and political allies of Putin, including the defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.
  • Boris Johnson will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday to ask the Gulf states to produce more oil and help the UK reduce dependence on Russian oil.
  • More than 100,000 people in the UK have offered homes to Ukrainian refugees in the first 24 hours of a government scheme that allows families and individuals to bring them to the UK.
  • China’s ambassador to the US penned an interesting op-ed for the Washington Post, saying his government knew nothing of Russia’s plans and would have tried to stop it if they had.
  • China also lambasted Taiwan’s humanitarian aid for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia as “taking advantage of other’s difficulties” after the island announced it was sending more funds donated by the public for refugees.
Two women hold anti-war placards in Istanbul, Turkey
Two women hold anti-war placards in Istanbul, Turkey Photograph: Dilara Senkaya/Reuters

Updated

Russian state energy giant Gazprom has said it continues shipping gas to Europe via Ukraine, with daily volumes set at 95m cubic metres, in line with customers’ requests but down 13% from 109.6m cubic metres on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.

Updated

The Ukrainian military says 13,800 Russian soldiers have died since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

According to the report released by Ukraine’s ministry of defence, a further 430 tanks, 1,375 armoured combat vehicles, 190 artillery systems and 108 helicopters have also been destroyed.

Updated

Two people confirmed dead and residential building destroyed in attack on Kharkiv

Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv also came under attack overnight with two people confirmed dead and two residential buildings destroyed.

“As a result of an artillery attack on the multi-storey buildings in the Nemyshlyansky district of Kharkiv, several apartments in two residential buildings were destroyed,” Ukraine’s state emergency services said in an update this morning.

Rescuers worked to put out the blaze, rescuing four people from the collapse of a building but were unable to save two others who were killed in the attack, the agency added.

A school also reportedly came under attack at around 3am with part of a building destroyed.

Two residential buildings in Kharkiv were destroyed overnight, according to Ukraine’s state emergency services
Two residential buildings in Kharkiv were destroyed overnight, according to Ukraine’s state emergency services Photograph: Ukraine’s state emergency services

Updated

The UK Ministry of Defence has issued its latest intelligence report on the situation in Ukraine, saying Russian forces are “struggling to overcome the challenges posed by Ukraine’s terrain” and have stalled in their advance.

The report reads:

Russian forces are struggling to overcome the challenges posed by Ukraine’s terrain.

Russian forces have remained largely tied to Ukraine’s road network and have demonstrated a reluctance to conduct off-road manoeuvre. The destruction of bridges by Ukrainian forces has also played a key role in stalling Russia’s advance.

Russia’s continued failure to gain control of the air has drastically limited their ability to effectively use air manoeuvre, further limiting their options.

The tactics of the Ukrainian armed forces have adeptly exploited Russia’s lack of manoeuvre, frustrating the Russian advance and inflicting heavy losses on the invading forces.”

Updated

Kyiv struck by Russian shelling this morning

A 12-storey residential building has been damaged after it was hit by Russian shelling in Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi district this morning.

Ukraine’s state emergency services said they received a report at 6.16am, confirming shell fragments fell into the building causing the top floor to collapse as well as damaging a nine-storey building next door.

The agency said the building erupted in a blaze but fires were put out by 7.45am with no burning observed in the neighbouring building. Two people were injured and 37 were evacuated from the building, it added.

Work on the search for victims and dismantling of structures continues.

The attack comes as residents plunged into a new two-day curfew across the city and hunkered down in bunkers, underground shelters and their homes.

A 12-storey residential building has been damaged after it was hit by Russian shelling in Kyiv
A 12-storey residential building has been damaged after it was hit by Russian shelling in Kyiv Photograph: Ukraine’s state emergency services
Ukraine’s state emergency services said they received a report at 6.16am, confirming shell fragments fell into the building causing the top floor to collapse
Ukraine’s state emergency services said they received a report at 6.16am, confirming shell fragments fell into the building causing the top floor to collapse Photograph: Ukraine’s state emergency services

Updated

The aftermath of Russian missile strikes on residential districts in Kyiv can be seen in the photos below.

Russian troops intensified their attacks on the Ukrainian capital with a series of powerful explosions rocking several neighbourhoods on Tuesday.

A blaze breaks out at a 16-story apartment building hit by Russian attacks in the Sviatoshynskyi district of Kyiv
A blaze breaks out at a 16-story apartment building hit by Russian attacks in the Sviatoshynskyi district of Kyiv Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Firefighters work to extinguish flames in an apartment building hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine
Firefighters work to extinguish flames in an apartment building hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP
A police officer seen outside a damaged apartment building in Kyiv
A police officer seen outside a damaged apartment building in Kyiv Photograph: Marcus Yam/LOS ANGELES TIMES/REX/Shutterstock

Zelenskiy to address US Congress and call for tougher line against Russia

Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will deliver a virtual address to the US Congress on Wednesday, the latest in a series of speeches to western leaders as he works to galvanise support for his besieged nation.

Zelenskiy is expected to call on the US once again to “close the skies” over Ukraine.

He is also likely to press to be supplied with fighter jets by Nato allies that Ukrainian pilots can fly up against Russian air forces, and steeper economic sanctions in the face of an advancing Russian assault.

The Biden administration has so far flatly ruled out an option of the west imposing a no-fly zone over the country, determined to avoid inevitable direct combat between the US and Russian forces – a conflict the US president has said would lead to “world war three”.

The Biden administration also rejected an offer from Poland to turn over its Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine, which had been made only if the US and Nato facilitated the transfer. Administration officials argued the move could be seen as escalatory by Moscow.

A Ukrainian scientist in Antarctica has told of watching the war unfold in his homeland from afar.

Yan Bakhmut was 15,500km miles away from his home in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv when the Russian invasion began. Working as a geophysicist at the Vernadsky Station, Ukraine’s only research base in Antarctica, he has watched the horrors of the war unfold from an agonising distance.

Now his year-long assignment to the remote outpost is nearing its conclusion and he faces the bitter task of returning to Europe and a country that has changed forever.

Bakhmut’s mother and girlfriend have left for Poland while his father and grandmother fled to western Ukraine. Professors at the institute where he worked before taking up his post in Antarctica have joined the territorial defence units.

“It’s impossible to describe, you can only live through it when you are thousands of kilometres away from everything and everyone you know and love, when you can’t influence anything,” Bakhmut said in a phone call with the Guardian.

Updated

While we are on the topic of China, the Guardian’s correspondent in Taipei, Helen Davidson, brings us this story.

Lu Yuguang of Chinese news outlet Phoenix TV appears to have gained exclusive access to Moscow’s side of the invasion of Ukraine.

Lu, a veteran war reporter, is perhaps the only foreign correspondent embedded with Russian troops as they continue the brutal invasion of Ukraine.

He has filed reports from cities under Russian attack since the invasion began almost three weeks ago, including in Mariupol where local authorities say thousands of people have been killed.

Read the full story below.

China would have tried to stop war if it had known about it, says ambassador to US

China’s ambassador to the US has penned an interesting op-ed for the Washington Post, saying his government knew nothing of Russia’s plans and would have tried to stop it if they had.

Beijing has been under huge pressure over its ties with Russia, claims that Russia has sought military and economic assistance from it, and questions over what China knew about the invasion before it began.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, met with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics for a significant meeting where they signed a “limitless” partnership.

Not long after, Russia attacked Ukraine. Analysts and US officials have been suggesting China might have known Putin was planning something, but not the extent of it. There is debate attached to this, including whether the narrative allows China an “out”, to withdraw support from Russia.But in the op-ed published today, ambassador Qin Gang says the Chinese government had no idea it was coming.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting in Beijing last month
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting in Beijing last month Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/AP

There have been claims that China had prior knowledge of Russia’s military action and demanded Russia delay it until the Winter Olympics concluded.

Recent rumours further claimed that Russia was seeking military assistance from China.

Let me say this responsibly: Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China. There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine. China is the biggest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, and the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.”

It’s an interesting position to take, suggesting Xi had no idea what was going to happen, despite the “limitless” partnership and one-on-one meeting with Putin just a couple of weeks earlier.

Qin’s piece also railed against the global campaign of sanctions, which China generally opposes (despite having issued some itself in the past), and said the threat of using them against Chinese companies was “unacceptable”. It also again emphasised Beijing’s view that the Taiwan issue – which many have compared to Ukraine – is an entirely different and separate situation. Essentially, Beijing recognises Ukraine as a sovereign nation and says it respects that territorial integrity, while it considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province of China and therefore a domestic internal issue. Taiwan famously does not agree with this stance.

The Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations will hold an online meeting after 12pm GMT to discuss Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Japanese finance minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Wednesday, Reuters is reporting.

Suzuki, who made the comment in parliament, did not specify whether the meeting would be held among G7’s financial leaders or other representatives.

As the war in Ukraine rages on, Russia is ramping up one of its most powerful weapons: disinformation. Social media companies are scrambling to respond.

False claims about the invasion have been spread by users in Russia as well as official state media accounts. Russia frequently frames itself as an innocent victim and has pushed disinformation including that the US was providing biological weapons to Ukraine (denounced by the White House as a “conspiracy theory”) and that victims of an attack on a Ukrainian hospital were paid actors.

In response, companies including Meta, YouTube and Twitter have announced waves of new measures, spurred by pressure from the Ukrainian government, world leaders and the public.

But experts say the tech industry’s response has been haphazard and lacks the range and scope to tackle sophisticated disinformation campaigns. And even when policies exist, observers fear they are poorly and inconsistently enforced.

Read the full story below.

The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, a rare show of unity in the deeply divided Congress.

The resolution, introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and backed by senators of both parties, encouraged the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and other nations to target the Russian military in any investigation of war crimes committed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Reuters quotes Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote:

All of us in this chamber joined together, with Democrats and Republicans, to say that Vladimir Putin cannot escape accountability for the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts during a reception for Russian military servicemen
Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts during a reception for Russian military servicemen Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Britain’s latest intelligence report appears to corroborate with information released by Ukraine’s military officials overnight.

The Ukrainian military earlier published its daily operational report, claiming Russian military leadership has approved the “early release” of cadets to fight in combat against Ukraine.

According to the report released by Ukraine’s ministry of defence, Russia is having trouble providing its troops with ammunition and “has lost (completely destroyed, or lost ammunition) 40% of units involved in operations on the territory of Ukraine”.

“The worst situation remains in the area of Mariupol, where the opponent tries to block the city in the western and eastern outskirts of the city,” military officials from the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine added.

Ukrainian servicemen walk past wrapped statues at a Basilica in Lviv, western Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen walk past wrapped statues at a Basilica in Lviv, western Ukraine Photograph: Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty Images

The UK ministry of defence has issued its latest intelligence report on the situation in Ukraine, saying Russia is increasingly seeking to generate additional troops to bolster and replace its personnel losses.

The report reads:

Russia is increasingly seeking to generate additional troops to bolster and replace its personnel losses in Ukraine. As a result of these losses it is likely Russia is struggling to conduct offensive operations in the face of sustained Ukrainian resistance.

Continued personnel losses will also make it difficult for Russia to secure occupied territory.

Russia is redeploying forces from as far afield as its Eastern Military District, Pacific Fleet and Armenia. It is also increasingly seeking to exploit irregular sources such as Private Military Companies, Syrian and other mercenaries.

Russia will likely attempt to use these forces to hold captured territory and free up its combat power to renew stalled offensive operations.”

Negotiations ‘more realistic’ Zelenskiy says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy provided a more optimistic view of the positions of Ukraine and Russia at upcoming peace talks saying negotiations are sounding “more realistic” while his top aide indicated there were still “fundamental contradictions” in Russia’s response.

In a national address, Zelenskiy said:

Meetings continue. I am told that the positions at the negotiations sound more realistic.

However, more time is still needed for decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine.”

However, Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian delegation and presidential aide said there are “fundamental contradictions” in talks aimed at ending Russia’s military attack on Ukraine but compromise is still possible.

We’ll continue tomorrow. A very difficult and viscous negotiation process. There are fundamental contradictions. But there is certainly room for compromise.”

Talks resumed Tuesday, with both sides having signalled progress.

Zelenskiy said that the Russians “have already begun to understand that they will not achieve anything by war” and called Monday’s talks “pretty good”.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday at a press conference that “talks are now continuing on giving Ukraine neutral military status, in the context of security guarantees for all participants in this process”, as well as on “demilitarising Ukraine”, the Interfax news agency reported.

Lavrov is set to meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the Ukraine conflict, the Russian ministry said.

Updated

China’s government on Wednesday lambasted Taiwan’s humanitarian aid for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia as “taking advantage of other’s difficulties” after the island announced it was sending more funds donated by the public for refugees.

Asked about Taiwan’s aid and sanctions at a news conference in Beijing, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said Taiwan’s government was trying to latch onto the issue for its own purposes, according to a Reuters report. Referring to Taiwan’s ruling party, she said:

The Democratic Progressive Party authorities are using the Ukraine issue to validate their existence and piggy back on a hot issue, taking advantage of other’s difficulties.

Their attempts to incite confrontation and create hostility through political manipulation will not succeed.”

Taiwan’s government says that on Ukraine it has a duty to stand with other democracies.

Late on Tuesday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry announced a second $11.5m donation to help refugees after an initial donation this month of $3.5m. President Tsai Ing-wen has gifted one month of her salary.

The war in Ukraine has garnered broad sympathy in Taiwan, with many seeing parallels between Russia’s invasion and the military threat posed by China, which views the democratically governed island as its own territory.

Taiwan has joined in Western-led sanctions on Russia, while China has refused to condemn the Russian invasion, saying last week the Chinese Red Cross would provide humanitarian assistance worth 5 million yuan ($786,000) to Ukraine, its first publicly announced aid to the country since the war.

‘Disgrace, poverty, year-long isolation’: Zelenskiy’s predictions for Russia

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered some stern words to Russians during a late-night national address. In case you missed his earlier remarks, a brief run-down is here:

The third week is coming to an end. We all want peace. We all want victory. And there’s a feeling that just a little bit longer and we will achieve what we, Ukrainians, are entitled to by right.

Zelenskiy added that meetings between Ukrainian and Russian officials continue.

Meetings continue. I’m being reported that the positions at negotiations are more realistic now. However, we need more time to make sure that the decision is in the interests of Ukraine.

The president said Russia has lost masses of equipment, soldiers and Russian generals.

Many Russian conscripts have been killed. There are tens of officers among killed invaders, and one more general was killed today. The occupants committed new and apparent war crimes, shelled on peaceful cities, civilian infrastructure.

The number of rockets used by Russia against Ukraine has already exceeded 900. There are so many air bombs that it’s impossible to count them.”

Zelenskiy addressed Russians: “Citizens of Russia, any of you who has had access to truthful information might have already realised how this war will end for your country: with disgrace, poverty, year-long isolation, a brutal repressive system”
Zelenskiy addressed Russians: “Citizens of Russia, any of you who has had access to truthful information might have already realised how this war will end for your country: with disgrace, poverty, year-long isolation, a brutal repressive system” Photograph: Telegram

Addressing Russian citizens, Zelenskiy switched to Russian:

Citizens of Russia, any of you who has had access to truthful information might have already realised how this war will end for your country: with disgrace, poverty, year-long isolation, a brutal repressive system that will treat Russian citizens as inhumanely as you, occupants, treated Ukrainians. What will come next depends on your actions.

I want to address Russian officials and everyone who is involved with the incumbent government. If you stay in your posts, if you don’t speak out against the war, the international community will strip you off of everything you have earned over the years. They are working on it. This includes propaganda, the fourth estate in Russia. If you continue working for propaganda, you put yourself at a bigger risk than you face if you just resign: the risk of sanctions and international tribunal for the propaganda of aggressive war, for justification of war crimes. Quit your jobs. Several months without a job is better than a whole life under international prosecution.”

Updated

Summary

Hello it’s Samantha Lock with you as we cover the latest developments from Ukraine.

It is day 21 of Russia’s war on its neighbour. Here is where the situation currently stands:

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave a late-night national address where he confirmed meetings between Ukrainian and Russian officials continue, adding that “the positions at negotiations are more realistic now”.
  • However, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said there are “fundamental contradictions” in talks aimed at ending Russia’s military attack but there is “certainly room for compromise.”
  • Addressing Russian citizens, Zelenskiy said the war would end in “disgrace, poverty, year-long isolation [and] a brutal repressive system”. “If you stay in your posts, if you don’t speak out against the war, the international community will strip you off of everything you have earned over the years. They are working on it,” he said.
  • Zelenskiy is due to address US Congress on Wednesday and is likely to make fresh calls for a no-fly zone and requests for more military aid, including fighter jets.
  • EU leaders vowed support for Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv. The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia arrived in the capital earlier on Tuesday in a show of support for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who briefed them on the war with Russia. Poland’s Kaczyński called for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, with Czech prime minister Petr Fiala saying: “You are not alone. Our countries stand with you. Europe stands with your country”.
  • Nato is set to tell its military commanders on Wednesday to draw up plans for new ways to deter Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, including more troops and missile defences in eastern Europe, officials and diplomats said. Ukrainian minster for defence, Oleksii Reznikov, is expected to plead for more weapons from individual Nato countries, according to a Reuters report.
  • US President Joe Biden is expected to announce an additional $800m in security assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, a White House official said as reported by Reuters news agency.
  • The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution late Tuesday night condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, a rare show of unity in the deeply divided Congress.
  • US secretary of state Antony Blinken predicted there will be an independent Ukraine “a lot longer than there’s going to be a Vladimir Putin,” in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
  • A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighbourhood in Kyiv on Tuesday morning, igniting a huge fire and prompting a frantic rescue effort in a 15-storey apartment building. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said five people were killed in the airstrikes.
  • Russian forces have reportedly taken patients and medical staff of a hospital in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol hostage. According to the BBC, the city’s deputy mayor Sergei Orlov said there were 400 people in the hospital and the Russian army were “using our patients and doctors like hostages”.
  • About 2,000 cars were able to leave Mariupol, according to local authorities.
  • A woman who interrupted a live news programme on Russian state TV last night to protest against the war in Ukraine has been fined 30,000 roubles (£215) by a Russian court. Marina Ovsyannikova, a Russian television producer, was found guilty of flouting protest legislation, the Russian state news agency RIA reported.
  • The UK is to impose sanctions on 370 more Russian individuals, including more than 50 oligarchs and their families with a combined net worth of £100bn. More than 1,000 individuals and entities have now been targeted with sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine, with fresh measures announced against key Kremlin spokespeople and political allies of Putin, including the defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.
  • Boris Johnson will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday to ask the Gulf states to produce more oil and help the UK reduce dependence on Russian oil.
  • More than 100,000 people in the UK have offered homes to Ukrainian refugees in the first 24 hours of a government scheme that allows families and individuals to bring them to the UK.

As usual, for any tips and feedback please contact me through Twitter or at samantha.lock@theguardian.com

The Guardian keeps you up to the minute on the crisis in Ukraine with a global perspective and from our team around the world and around the clock. Thank you for reading and please do stay tuned.

Local residents ride bicycles past a damaged residential building in Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, Ukraine
Local residents ride bicycles past a damaged residential building in Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, Ukraine Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Updated

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