The number of Ukrainian refugees was expected to reach 1.5 million on Sunday since Russia started its military operation in Ukraine 11 days ago and Kyiv pressed for further Western action, including more sanctions and weapons.
Russian forces inch closer to the capital Kyiv from the north and west. Latest reports indicate widespread destruction in the northern town of Chernihiv, where dozens of people have been killed in shelling, missile attacks and air raids.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that the decision to start the special operation in Ukraine was not an easy one, but stressed that Moscow tried to resolve the Donbass conflict peacefully.
Here are all the latest updates:
UN Secretary General urges to organize humanitarian corridors in Ukraine
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called to organize humanitarian corridors in Ukraine for people that want to leave Mariupol, Kharkov and other cities in the hostilities zone.
"It is absolutely essential to establish a pause in the fighting in Ukraine to allow for the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol, Kharkov and Sumy, as well as all other places caught in conflict, and to ensure life-saving humanitarian supplies can move in for those who remain," Guterres tweeted.
Russia warns against offering airfields to Ukraine
Any country offering its air fields to Ukraine for attacks on Russia may be considered as having entered the conflict, a Russia defence ministry spokesman has said.
“The use of the airfield networks of these countries to base Ukrainian military aircraft and their subsequent use against the Russian armed forces may be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict,” Interfax news agency quoted spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.
Russian Defense Ministry warns of strikes on Ukraine's military industry facilities
The Russian Armed Forces will use high-precision long-range weapons to strike Ukrainian defense industry facilities, so people working there should evacuate, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday.
Ukraine ready to discuss non-NATO status with Russia, other countrie: Kyiv negotiator
“We are ready to discuss some non-NATO models. For example, there could be direct guarantees by different countries like the U.S., China, UK, maybe Germany and France. We are open to discuss such things in a broader circle, not only in bilateral discussions with Russia, but also with other partners,” Arakhamia told Fox News.
Russian, French presidents discuss Ukraine for nearly two hours
Russian and French President, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, have finished a telephone conversation on the situation in Ukraine, the fourth one in the past ten days, Russian media have said.
The leaders spoke for one hour and 45 minutes, TASS said.
Since December 2021, Putin and Macron have had 14 contacts, including talks in Moscow.
Al Jazeera correspondent reports that Russian forces have entered the city center of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, and that street fighting is raging in the south of the city.
Halt in Russia's op. possible if Kyiv halts fighting, implements demands: Putin to Erdogan
Russia's military operation in Ukraine to defend the Donbass will be suspended only if Ukrainian forces stop fighting and agree to implement Moscow's demands on demilitarisation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"The readiness of the Russian side for dialogue with Ukrainian authorities and with foreign partners to resolve the conflict was confirmed," the Kremlin said in a readout Sunday.
Putin was said to have drawn Erdogan's attention to the "futility" of efforts by Kyiv to stall the negotiations process, and to have "emphasized that the suspension of the special operation is possible only if Kyiv ceases hostilities and fulfills Russia's well-known requirements."
Putin also told his Turkish counterpart that Russian forces were "doing everything possible to ensure the safety of civilians," with Russia's "pinpoint strikes" said to be "inflicted exclusively on military infrastructure."
In its own statement Sunday, the Turkish presidency said that Erdogan had informed Putin of Turkey's continued readiness to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. Erdogan further urged an "urgent general ceasefire," saying this would ease the humanitarian situation.
Erdogan begins Ukraine talks with Putin
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Ukraine, Turkish broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Sunday.
The Turkish Presidency is expected to release a statement following the call, according to the report.
A Turkish Presidency official said on Saturday that Erdogan is going to present to Putin Turkey's proposals on the situation in Ukraine during the phone call.
Ukraine president claims Russia preparing to bombard Odessa
Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Russian forces were preparing to bombard the city of Odessa on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.
Ukrainian military airbase hit with long-range weapons
Russia’s defence ministry said it struck and disabled Ukraine’s Starokostiantyniv military airbase with long-range high-precision weapons.
Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, “In the morning of March 6, strikes were carried out by high-precision long-range weapons. The Ukrainian air force base near Starokostiantyniv was disabled.”
He said a Ukrainian-controlled S-300 missile system had also been destroyed and that Russia downed 10 Ukrainian planes and helicopters over the past 24 hours.
More than 1.5 million refugees flee Ukraine in past 10 days: UN
More than 1.5 million refugees have Ukraine in the past 10 days since the Russian attack, the UN refugee agency said.
“More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring countries in 10 days — the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II,” it said in a statement on Twitter.
Kyiv turned to foreign companies to create uranium enrichment facilities: source
Ukraine was conducting talks with foreign companies on their assistance in creating uranium-enrichment enterprises, a source in one of the Russian agencies told TASS.
He pointed out that lately Ukraine "has increased the geologic exploration of deep layers in the vicinity of operating uranium mines as well as the development of prospective uranium deposits," particularly, in the Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk and Kirovograd Regions.
"Simultaneously, Ukrainian representatives initiated dialogue with foreign companies on providing assistance to Ukraine in creating its own uranium enrichment facilities on the country’s territory," the source said.
"Due to this, it is remarkable that at the Zheltye Vody hydrometallurgical plant, the processing of the concentrate of uranium oxide from the ore quarried in Ukraine is already underway which can be used in the uranium enrichment process in gas centrifuges without additional processing or purification," the source added.
Ukraine says more than 11,000 Russian troops killed since Feb. 24
More than 11,000 Russian troops have been killed since February 24, the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff claimed.
A day earlier, the Ukrainian army put Russian casualties at over 10,000. Kyiv did not report Ukrainian casualties.
Ukraine's military says operations to defend cities of Mariupol, Chernihiv ongoing
A defense operation is ongoing in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, the general staff of the country's armed forces said Sunday in its latest operational update.
An operation to defend the northern city of Chernihiv is underway in the Siverskyi region, the Ukrainian military said.
Russian military destroyed 2,203 targets of Ukrainian military infrastructure
The Russian armed forces have destroyed 2,203 targets of the Ukrainian military infrastructure since the beginning of the special military operation, the Defence Ministry announced on Sunday, according to Sputnik.
According to the Defence Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, Russian fighter jets and air defence systems have shot down 10 Ukrainian combat aircraft and helicopters over the past 24 hours.
"The missile forces have destroyed the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system," Konashenkov added, stressing that three Buk M1 anti-aircraft missile systems and three radar stations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were hit by bomber and ground attack aircraft.
According to Konashenkov, "69 aircraft on the ground and 24 aircraft in the air, 778 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 77 multiple launch rocket systems, 279 field artillery and mortars, 553 units of special military vehicles, as well as 62 unmanned aerial vehicles were also destroyed".
US, Poland exploring deal to provide Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine
Washington is holding talks with Warsaw about Poland supplying warplanes to Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials.
The US move comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told members of the US congress in a video conference call that Kyiv urgently needs fighter jets.
The White House officials said the US could provide a certain number of F-16s to Poland, while Warsaw could supply Kyiv with Soviet-era warplanes.
Stressing that details such as how the agreement will be made and how the planes will be delivered to Ukraine are still being studied, the officials said that if the agreement is reached, congressional approval will be required and Congress is ready to approve such a deal.
US officials travel to Venezuela, a Russia ally, for talks: Report
Amid US efforts to isolate Putin, a delegation from Washington has traveled to Venezuela to create a rift between Moscow and Caracas.
The trip is the highest-level US visit to Venezuela in years after the two countries broke diplomatic relations amid a campaign of US sanctions and diplomatic pressure aimed at removing Maduro, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
351 Killed, 707 Injured in Ukraine Since Feb 24: UNHCHR
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated that 351 people were killed and 707 civilians have been injured in Ukraine since February 24.
According to the UN OHCHR, 86 people died and 385 were injured in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It is reported that in Kyiv, as well as Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Odessa, Sumy, Zaporozhye and Zhytomyr regions, 265 civilians were killed, 322 people were injured.
China opposes moves that ‘add fuel to flames’ in Ukraine
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China opposes any moves that “add fuel to the flames” in Ukraine.
Wang said the Ukraine crisis should be solved through "dialogue and negotiation" and called on the United States, NATO, and the European Union to engage in “equal dialogue” with Russia. He said they should “pay attention to the negative impact of NATO's continuous eastward expansion on Russia's security.”
"China supports all efforts conducive to de-escalation and political settlement of the situation while opposing any moves which are adverse to promoting a diplomatic solution and add fuel to the flames," Wang said.
War in Ukraine will have "severe impact on the global economy," IMF warns
The International Monetary Fund said on Saturday it would bring Ukraine's request for $1.4 billion in emergency financing to its executive board as early as next week.
Countries with close economic ties to Russia are also at risk for shortages and supply disruptions, the IMF added. It is in talks with neighboring Moldova for aid options.
"The ongoing war and associated sanctions will also have a severe impact on the global economy," the IMF said.
Biden, Zelensky talked by phone: White House
US President Joe Biden has spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the White House, adding the call lasted for about 30 minutes.
Zelensky also tweeted about it, saying he discussed security, financial support for Ukraine and continuation of sanctions against Russia with Biden.
“As part of the constant dialogue, I had another conversation with the President,” Zelenskyy posted.
Visa, Mastercard suspend their network services with Russia
US-based Visa and Mastercard payment systems announced on Saturday that they are suspending operations in Russia and intend to work with customers and partners in the country to stop transactions in the coming days.
According to the Visa statement, all transactions initiated using Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the nation, and Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the country, once the required processes are complete.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirms death of Kyiv negotiator
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirmed on Saturday the death of a member of the first Ukrainian delegation in negotiations with Russia, Denis Kireev, who was previously reported to have allegedly been killed by the Ukrainian armed forces.
"While performing special missions, three intelligence officers have died — the officers of the main directorate of the Defense Intelligence of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry ... Kireev Denis Borisovich," the intelligence agency said on Telegram.
Blinken meets Ukraine FM Kuleba
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the Poland-Ukraine border. The two spoke for 45 minutes under high security, discussing more arms for Kyiv’s military and how to keep up global pressure on Moscow.
Ukraine’s foreign minister has told his US counterpart in a face-to-face meeting that his country needs fighter jets and air-defence systems and called NATO’s refusal to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine a ‘sign of weakness’.