LIVE – Updated at 07:28
Anger at attacks on civilians by Russian forces as defence ministry in Moscow says the military will offer safe passage to Russia and Belarus.
Amid reports of probably Russian attacks on Ukrainian communication infrastructure, Cyber resistance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, with hacking collective Anonymous claiming earlier today to have hacked into the Russian streaming services Wink and Ivi and live TV channels Russia 24, Channel One, Moscow 24 to broadcast footage from Ukraine.
The group added that activists are also broadcasting troll faces on Russian military radio.
Russia is “probably targeting” Ukraine’s communication infrastructure to reduce access to reliable news sources, Britain’s ministry of defence has said.
A recently published defence intelligence update reads:
Russia is probably targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure in order to reduce Ukrainian citizens’ access to reliable news and information.
Russia reportedly struck a TV tower in Kharkiv yesterday, suspending broadcasting output. This follows a similar strike on a TV tower in Kyiv on 01 March 2022.
Ukrainian internet access is also highly likely being disrupted as a result of collateral damage from Russian strikes on infrastructure. Over the past week, internet outages have been reported in Mariupol, Sumy, Kyiv and Kharkiv.”
Ukrainian authorities claim to have re-taken the city of Chuhuiv in eastern Ukraine.
According to a report released by Ukraine’s general staff of the armed forces, Russian forces “suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment”.
The Guardian has been unable to verify these reports.
US President Joe Biden’s advisers are discussing a possible visit to Saudi Arabia to help repair relations and convince the Kingdom to bolster oil production, Axios reports.
The news also comes amid reports from the New York Times that Biden officials travelled to Venezuela over the weekend to meet with the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Those in Washington have suggested Venezuela’s oil could replace Russia’s.
A White House spokesperson told Axios: “We don’t have any international travel to announce at this time, and a lot of this is premature speculation.”
The questions of global energy supply and a possible rearrangement of world alliances has come to the fore in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US currently relies on Russia for 10% of its imports of crude oil and petroleum products, sources suggest.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said US lawmakers were “exploring” possible legislation to isolate Russia, including a total ban on Russian oil and energy products to the US.
We’re receiving more information surrounding the corridors Russia has reportedly agreed to open this morning.
According to various Russian state media outlets all citing Russia’s defence ministry, the corridors – which will be opened from the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy – are being set up at the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Some corridors appear to involve the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians to Russian cities and Belarus.
Corridors from Mariupol and Sumy will lead both to other Ukrainian cities and to Russia.
Those who want to leave Kyiv will also be able to be airlifted to Russia, the ministry said, adding that it would use drones to monitor the evacuation and “attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the whole civilised world … are useless this time”.
Two planned evacuation operations from Mariupol and the nearby city of Volnovakha failed over the last two days as both sides accused each other of failing to stop shooting and shelling.
In Mariupol alone, Ukrainian authorities said they planned to evacuate over 200,000 civilians, or half of the city’s population. However, Russia claimed its forces resumed their offensive in Mariupol and Volnovakha due to “unwillingness of the Ukrainian side.”
It’s been a rough start to the week on the financial markets with Brent crude soaring by more than $20 earlier today to more than $139 – less than $10 off its all-time high of $147.50 set in July 2008. It has now dropped back to $129 and with some analysts saying it could reach $200, stock markets have read the signals loud and clear, selling off heavily again in Asia.
The Nikkei in Tokyo was down almost 3%, the Hang Seng was off 3.6% and the Shanghai index has lost 2.3%. In futures trade, the FTSE100 is off 2.6% and the S&P500 down 1.3%.
The panic on trading floors sent safe havens sharply higher, with gold hitting as much as $2,000.86, its highest since mid-2020.
New Zealand will rush a bill through parliament this week that will significantly ramp up its sanctions against Russia and its oligarchs, in line with its western allies.
The Russia Sanctions Bill is the “first of its kind” in New Zealand, which has no legal framework for passing broader, unilateral sanctions and usually only does so when called on by the UN security council. As a permanent member of the body, Moscow has vetoed any action against it.
“A bill of this nature has never been brought before our parliament, but with Russia vetoing UN sanctions we must act ourselves to support Ukraine and our partners in opposition to this invasion,” the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said.
Japan is reportedly in discussion with the United States and other European countries about possibly banning Russian oil imports, Kyodo News reported on Monday.
Asked about a potential embargo on Russian oil imports, Japanese chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno declined to comment on the country’s communication with the United States.
Russia accounted for 3.63% of Japan’s imports of crude oil last year, Reuters reports.
The report comes after US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Sunday the United States and European allies were exploring the possibility.
While sanctions imposed on Russia are not expected to directly affect Japan’s ability to ensure a stable supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG), they could indirectly affect energy-related projects, industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said.
“We will closely monitor (developments),” he said in parliament, adding that Japan would act appropriately in step with the Group of Seven.
Reports are filtering in of a Russian attack on the city of Mykolaiv near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine.
Russian forces reportedly bombarded the city with artillery fire on Monday morning, just one day after Ukrainian troops pushed them from the city limits.
Footage purporting to show a heavy artillery barrage against Mykolaiv was uploaded to Twitter by New York Times reporter Michael Schwirtz.
“From my vantage, I could see flashes from the attack lighting up the night sky along a large swath of the city,” Schwirtz wrong alongside a 10-second clip.
The city’s mayor, Oleksandr Senkevych, confirmed reports in a message posted to Facebook, writing that Russian troops had targeted residential buildings in the city, and shared a video of a block of flats engulfed in flames.
“There are many shells in the city that did not explode… do not approach, do not lift, and do not try to move them yourself,” Senkevych warned.
Russian forces announce ceasefire and open corridors – reports suggest
The Russian military will reportedly hold fire and open humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities, the Interfax news agency reports.
Corridors will be opened from Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy at the request of French president Emmanuel Macron, the agency cities the Russian defence ministry as saying.
RIA Novosti also reports:
The Russian armed forces, following a request from French President Emmanuel Macron to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, declare a ceasefire regime from 10:00 and open humanitarian corridors, the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine said in a statement. Thus, civilians will be able to leave Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkov and Sumy.
At the same time, during the opening of humanitarian corridors, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will carry out continuous objective monitoring of the evacuation, including with the use of UAVs. Therefore, we warn that all attempts by the Ukrainian side to once again deceive Russia and the entire civilised world in disrupting the humanitarian operation, allegedly through the fault of the Russian Federations this time around are useless and pointless.”
The corridors will reportedly be in place from 10am Moscow time.
Russian state media outlet Russia Today quotes the ministry: “Kyiv’s attempts to accuse Russia of disrupting the humanitarian operation this time are meaningless, control will be carried out with the help of drones.”
On Thursday, both Ukrainian and Russian sides agreed to open humanitarian corridors to allow civilians out of some combat zones, however Ukraine’s president said Russia withdrew on their promise. “We heard the promise that there would be humanitarian corridors. But there are no humanitarian corridors,” he said in a national address on Sunday night.
‘We will not forgive. We will not forget’, Zelenskiy warns
In case you missed Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s national address earlier, here are the highlights below.
In a characteristically impassioned address to his nation late on Sunday evening, Zelenskiy warned Russian troops he would punish those who committed atrocities in Ukraine adding that the “only quiet place” that awaits them would be the grave.
An excerpt of his speech, as translated by Ukrainian broadcaster Ukrinform, reads:
We will not forgive the destroyed houses. We will not forgive the missile that our air defence shot down over Okhmatdyt today. And more than five hundred other such missiles that hit our land. All over Ukraine .. hit our people and children.
We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people. Destruction of our infrastructure.
We will not forgive.
Hundreds and hundreds of victims. Thousands and thousands of sufferings.
And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.
And instead of Forgiveness, there will be a Day of Judgment. I’m sure of it.”
Zelenskiy warned Russian forces they would face “a day of judgement” for the “deliberate murder” inflicted on his country.
How many such families have died in Ukraine?
We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war on our land.
We will find every bastard who shot at our cities, our people, who bombed our land, who launched rockets.
There will be no quiet place on this earth for you. Except for the grave.”
Meanwhile, in case you missed our report earlier, the UK’s ministry of defence released its latest intelligence brief, speculating that Russian forces made “minimal ground advances” over the weekend.
Russian forces probably made minimal ground advances over the weekend. It is highly unlikely that Russia has successfully achieved its planned objectives to date.”
The ministry noted a “high level of Russian air and artillery strikes” that continued to hit military and civilian sites in Ukrainian cities over the past 24 hours.
“Recent strikes have targeted Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Chernihiv, and been particularly heavy in Mariupol,” the report added.
Some images from Irpin on Sunday, where Russian shells killed eight civilians who were trying to flee.
The Ukrainian military is reporting that Russian forces are continuing to launch rocket and artillery strikes from Belarus on settlements in Ukraine.
In an operational report released just before 7am local time, the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine said Russia continues to “violate the rules of international humanitarian law” by shelling civilians and green corridors as well as deploying equipment and ammunition in residential neighbourhoods.
The military also notes the city of Irpin on the western outskirts of Kyiv has been “deprived of light, water and heat for more than three days” adding: “there is no food and water, the occupiers banned the residents from leaving their homes.”
In an earlier report released late on Sunday night, the military said Russian troops were regrouping and accumulating resources “to storm Kyiv”.
The moment two Ukrainian reservists decided to tie the knot at a Kyiv checkpoint has been captured on video.
On day 11 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, long-term partners Lesia Ivashchenko and Valerii Filimonov married at a checkpoint in Kyiv on 6 March.
The couple, both members of Ukraine’s territorial defence unit, decided to forgo formal wear and don their uniforms instead.
Oil prices have soared more than 10% and are closing in on their all-time high levels after the risk of a US and European ban on Russian crude threatened a stagflationary shock for world markets.
The global benchmark of Brent crude hit US$139.13 a barrel at the start of trading on Monday, a leap of more than $20 on Friday’s close of $118.03. The rise came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the White House and allies were in talks about banning imports from Russia.
The all-time of $147.50 was reached in July 2008 but some analysts think that mark could be surpassed because of the geopolitical impact of the Ukraine crisis.
Stock markets headed the opposite way with more big losses when trading began on Monday. The Nikkei in Tokyo was down more than 3%, as was the Hang Seng in Hong Kong. In futures trade, the FTSE100 off 2.6% and the S&P500 down 1.3%.
The panic on trading floors sent safe havens sharply higher, with gold hitting as much as $2,000.86, its highest since mid-2020.
US ‘exploring’ legislation to ban imports of Russian oil
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the chamber is “exploring” legislation to ban imports of Russian oil and that Congress intends to enact this week $10 billion in aid for Ukraine.
A letter published to the speaker of the house official website reads:
The Biden Administration has requested $10 billion in humanitarian, military and economic support for Ukraine.
The Congress intends to enact this emergency funding this week as part of our omnibus government funding legislation. And an urgent request from President Zelensky is to help ensure air support for the Ukrainian armed forces.
In addition, the House is currently exploring strong legislation that will further isolate Russia from the global economy.
Our bill would ban the import of Russian oil and energy products into the United States, repeal normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, and take the first step to deny Russia access to the World Trade Organization. We would also empower the Executive branch to raise tariffs on Russian imports.”
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Samantha Lock. Here is a rundown of the latest developments:
- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered a strident address to his nation on Sunday night, warning Russian troops he will punish those who committed atrocities in Ukraine while saying the “only quiet place” that awaits them is the grave. “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war on our land.”
- Zelenskiy spoke of the death of a family who were attempting to flee the Ukrainian city of Irpin, near Kyiv in northern Ukraine, in an emotional plea to honour humanitarian corridors that Russian forces appear to have ignored. Eight civilians were killed in the city as evacuations were under way, according to mayor Oleksandr Markushyn.
- The Ukrainian president criticised western leaders for failing to respond to the Russian defence ministry’s announcement that it would strike Ukraine’s military-industrial complex. “I didn’t hear even a single world leader react to this,” he said. “The audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal to the west that the sanctions imposed on Russia are not sufficient.”
- A plane carrying Russian diplomats expelled by the United States left New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport en route to Moscow about 7.30pm EST, according to Flight Radar24 data.
- The US does not believe a Russian amphibious assault in or near the Ukrainian city of Odesa is imminent, a senior US defence official said, according to Reuters. There have been growing concerns about a possible attack on the city.
- Russia has instructed all state-owned websites and services to switch to the Russian domain name system by 11 March, according to Russian state media outlets. Many fear the move is a sign that Russia is beginning active preparations for disconnection from the global internet.
- Meanwhile, hacking collective Anonymous claimed to have hacked into the Russian streaming services Wink and Ivi and live TV channels Russia 24, Channel One and Moscow 24 to broadcast footage from Ukraine.
- Ukraine will ask the United Nations’ top court on Monday to issue an emergency ruling requiring Russia to stop its invasion, arguing that Moscow’s justification for the attack is based on a faulty interpretation of genocide law, Reuters reports.
- British prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged to send more defensive equipment and $100m to Ukraine to hold off Russian troops and mitigate financial pressures facing the country, but was accused of moving too slowly and timidly to clamp down on oligarchs’ dirty money in the UK.
- The UK’s ministry of defence released its latest intelligence report, speculating that Russian forces made “minimal ground advances” over the weekend, while a “high level of Russian air and artillery strikes” continued to hit military and civilian sites across the cities of Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol.
- Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak, who sported an insignia linked to the invasion of Ukraine on a medals podium alongside a Ukrainian competitor, has been called out for his “shocking behaviour”.
- More than 4,300 people have been arrested in Russia after demonstrators took to the streets across 21 cities to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Another round of talks between Ukraine and Russia is due on Monday, according to Ukrainian officials. However, in a phone conversation with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Putin said the conflict would only stop if Ukraine stopped fighting and Russia’s demands were met. The Russian president also said Ukraine’s negotiators should take a more “constructive” approach in talks with Moscow to take into account the reality on the ground. Ukraine has said it is not willing to compromise on its territorial integrity.
- Oil prices have soared more than 10% and are closing in on their all-time high levels after the risk of a US and European ban on Russian crude threatened a stagflationary shock for world markets.