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LIVE : Sumy route open for evacuation.


Mar 08, 2022 07:49 pm

07:49 pm

US expected to ban imports of Russian oil

US President Joe Biden is expected to announce a ban on US imports of Russian oil later today.

The announcement is expected to come as the latest sanction in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The White House said Biden is set to speak at 15:45 GMT to "announce actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine" .

07:30 pm

Sumy route open

The buses with evacuees from the northeastern city of Sumy are now on the road and heading to the central city of Poltava, the Ukrainian authorities say. Their movement was briefly stopped because of shooting when they were crossing the Ukrainian checkpoint.

Russian military vehicles showed up at that moment and opened sporadic fire but it was not aimed at the buses, the head of Sumy administration Dmytro Zhyvytskiy said. The Russian column of armoured vehicles quickly left the area, he added.

07:46 pm

Russian foreign minister speaks to Vatican

It's been reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has spoken with the Vatican.

Lavrov apparently laid out Russia's position on Ukraine and expressed hope for another round of peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv, to "seek agreement on the key problems underlying the crisis in order to stop hostilities", Russia's foreign ministry reports.

07:16 pm

Russia trying to recruit Syrian fighters - US official

Russia is trying to recruit Syrian mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, a senior US defence official has said.

"We find that noteworthy that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] believes that he needs to rely on foreign fighters to supplement what is a very significant commitment of combat power inside Ukraine as it is," the official told reporters.

07:06 pm

Europe has 'very few' options if Russian gas cut off

Russia has threatened to close its main gas pipeline to Germany.

Europe relies on Russia for about 40% of its gas - so what happens if that supply is cut off?

Industry expert Tom Marzec-Manser says the immediate impact would be "incredibly high prices".

But he argues Russia would not be able to supply that same gas to another market, such as China, given the nature of the pipeline system - so it "would be detrimental to its own revenues" too.

06:30 pm

More than two million people have now fled Ukraine as refugees, the UN says

People have been leaving the cities of Irpin, near Kyiv, and Sumy - where an air strike killed 21 people on Monday according to officials - via evacuation routes which had been agreed between the two sides

06:12 pm

Ukraine says Russia disrupting evacuation in several regions

We're trying to piece together a picture of what's happening with evacuations in Ukrainian towns and cities today. Here's what we know so far:

05:38 pm

At least 1,207 civilian casualties so far in Ukraine - UN

05:31 pm

Temperatures in Ukraine set to plunge

In recent days Ukraine has seen snowfall across parts of the country, and as our chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet tweeted earlier, more is falling.

05:21 pm

China's president calls for peace talks

Chinese President Xi Jinping has described the situation in Ukraine as worrying and called for "maximum restraint".

He made the comments during a virtual meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reports.

04:58 pm

Where are Ukrainian refugees going?

As we reported earlier on, the United Nations told the BBC that the number of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine is now over two million.

Refugees are crossing to neighbouring countries to the west, such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova.

A significantly smaller number of refugees have gone to Russia and Belarus.

04:42 pm

Shell to stop purchases of Russian crude oil

04:16 pm

Earlier, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the first waves of refugees seen coming out of Ukraine were those with "some resources".

"Many come by car, and especially they have connections. They can go where they have family, friends, communities," he said.

03:39 pm

EU aid for Ukrainian refugees insufficient - Polish official

The European Union’s offer of 500 million euros (£415m) in aid for countries helping Ukrainian refugees is insufficient, a Polish deputy foreign minister has said.

03:20 pm

Russia ramping up nuclear weapon accusations against Ukraine - UK

There has been an intensification of Russian accusations that Ukraine is developing nuclear or biological weapons since February, the UK's Ministry of Defence says.

The MoD says that while these are "long-standing narratives", they are likely being amplified "as part of a retrospective justification for Russia's invasion of Ukraine".

03:01 pm

Irpin evacuation under way

People are also evacuating Irpin, a town to the west of Kyiv, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

The evacuation of the town's population through the village of Romanivka to the city of Kyiv continues, said the head of the region, Oleksiy Kuleba.

02:44 pm

Russia may have broken laws of war in Irpin - HRW

An analysis by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of Sunday's Irpin attack suggests the laws of war were violated by Russia during the shelling of the town, west of Kyiv.

For several hours on 6 March 2022, Russian forces bombarded an intersection on a road that hundreds of civilians were using to flee the Russian army’s advance in northern Ukraine to Kyiv, Human Rights Watch said.

02:31 pm

1.2 million people have fled to Poland

02:17 pm

Zelensky: I'm not hiding. I'm not afraid

02:03 pm

We need to do more for refugees - Wallace

01:54 pm

Evacuation route opens from besieged city of Sumy

01:49 pm

No-fly zone would hurt Ukraine as well as Russia - Wallace

01:47 pm

Russia still not making advances - Wallace

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has just been talking to BBC Breakfast, saying Vladimir Putin's forces were "getting more desperate" and "we are seeing the Russians just double down on brutality".

He says "Russia has still not been making its advances, it's day 13. That northern column that we have often talked about is still pretty much stuck, I mean really stuck, so that's not advancing."

01:43 pm

Humanitarian corridors opened

Humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to be evacuated have been opened from the cities of Cherhihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol and the capital of Kyiv, according to the Russian defence ministry.

12:54 pm

Russian military leader killed in battle, says Ukraine

A top commander in the Russian army has been killed during fighting near Kharkiv, according to Ukraine's ministry of defence intelligence service.

10:58 am

Japan slaps more sanctions on Russian officials

Japan unveiled a third round of sanctions against Russia and Belarus in connection with the situation in Ukraine, according to its Ministry of Finance.

This latest package sees personal sanctions being placed against another 20 Russians - some of whom include deputy chiefs of staff for President Vladamir Putin's administration, deputy chairmen of the state parliament, the head of the Chechen Republic and executives of companies with close ties to the government such as Volga Group, Transneft and Wagner.

10:37 am

UN urges Russia, Ukraine to provide safe passage for civilians

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths called on Ukraine and Russia to ensure safe passage for civilians fleeing fighting and for the delivery of humanitarian aid into areas of active hostilities.

The UN and its partners have provided food to hundreds of thousands of people, but the security situation has made it difficult to reach certain areas.

09:18 am

Children reported dead in assault on Sumy suburb

Children are among the victims from aerial attacks on the city of Sumy and its surrounding suburbs late on Monday, according to a local Ukrainian military official.

Dmytro Zhyvytsky, who leads the Sumy Regional Military Administration, said in a video posted on Facebook that after 23:00 local time Russian warplanes carried out strikes on the north-eastern city.

09:03 am

Australia energy company Viva to end purchases of Russian oil

Australia energy company Viva said on Tuesday it would stop buying Russian crude oil, joining the growing list of companies distancing themselves from Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Viva, which operates under the Shell group of companies, said it was "appalled" at "this terrible conflict".

"As a consequence .. Viva Energy has made the decision to cease purchases of crude oil of Russian origin while the conflict continues," it added.

08:43 am

Push for US fighter jets on Nato's eastern flank

US lawmakers are pushing the Biden administration to send its fighter jets to Poland if Warsaw sends its planes to Kyiv.

Poland is among a handful of Eastern European allies that retains an inventory of used Russian-made aircraft - which Ukrainian pilots know how to fly - and Ukraine's president has called for their transfer.

Warsaw has not yet made a decision to transfer planes to Kyiv and the US government said it was "Poland's sovereign decision to make".

08:19 am

IAEA head seeks to visit Chernobyl site

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that, according to Ukrainian officials, a nuclear research facility producing radioisotopes for medical and industrial purposes in Kharkiv has been damaged by shelling.

There has been no increase in radiation levels at the facility.

IAEA head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, also issued an appeal that staff at Chernobyl be given time off "so that they can carry out their work in a safe and reliable manner".

08:03 am

World Bank approves $700m for Ukraine

The World Bank has approved emergency financing of $723m (£552m) to help Ukraine's government pay public-sector wages, welfare and pensions.

The bank said the package incorporated funding from the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland.

The World Bank also says it is working to release a further $3bn (£2.3bn) for Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in the coming months.

07:43 am

Ukraine says Russian attacks are preventing civilians from safely evacuating their besieged cities

Tens of thousands of people across Ukraine are without power and, in the port city of Mariupol, are running low on food and water

06:00 am

Any sanctions on India under CAATSA for buying S-400 missile from Russia would be “extraordinarily foolhardy”: Ted Cruz

06:26 am

EU to propose phasing out Russian energy

The European Union has drafted plans to diversify its energy supply and phase out its dependence on Russian oil, gas and coal imports.

The bloc currently imports nearly half of its gas and coal, and about a third of its oil, from Russia.

EU leaders will discuss the proposed phase-out this Thursday and Friday at a gathering in Versailles, France.

06:13 am

Irish student holed up in Sumy

Racheal Diyaolu, who is 19 and from the Republic of Ireland, is one of hundreds of international students in Sumy, a Ukrainian city that has been attacked by Russia since Moscow's invasion last week.

An attempt to get the medical student out of Sumy in a minivan on Sunday failed after the vehicle was unable to get into the city.

05:57 am

A special flight, carrying 200 Indian evacuees from Ukraine, reaches Delhi from Suceava in Romania.

05:04 am

UK turns away nearly 300 Ukrainians at Calais

Almost 300 Ukrainians have been turned away while trying to cross to the UK from Calais, France.

The number is almost the same as the total number of Ukrainian visas issued so far by the Home Office.

Many refugees seek to cross the border from France to the UK through the port of Calais.

04:41 am

Top officials in the US Congress have reached agreement on legislation that would ban Russian oil imports to the US and end reliance on Russia's oil

04:22 am

The Russian defence ministry said new evacuation routes will be communicated to the Ukraine authorities Monday night by midnight GMT and include Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy

04:16 am

At UNSC, India says humanitarian action should not be politicised amid Ukraine crisis

04:09 am

The issues of evacuation of the population from other regions, as well as the provision of humanitarian assistance, are being politicized. In particular, the requests of the Ukrainian side voiced to us less than 3 hours before the opening of humanitarian corridors: Russia at UNSC

04:08 am

In the statement on possibilities of evacuating the Ukrainian citizens towards Russia, the officials have ignored the fact that there were already Ukrainian refugees in Russia: Russia representative at UNSC meeting

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