Ceasefire, scheduled between 10am and 9pm local time, was not upheld
Related video: Antony Blinken discusses possibility Russia will kill Ukraine’s president
The safe passage of civilians from Ukraine’s besieged eastern port city of Mariupol was “halted” on Sunday for a second consecutive day, after the agreed ceasefire was violated within hours of its planned implementation.
Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, branded Vladimir Putin’s troops “animals” when asked what went wrong. “That’s the only reaction we have right now,” he said.
After the Kremlin once again attempted to blame Ukraine for the failed mission, Ministry of Defence (MoD) intelligence stated this was likely “an additional attempt to diminish responsibility for civilian casualties caused by continued Russian strikes on the city”.
Elsewhere, three civilians were allegedly killed by Russian shelling while attempting to flee the town of Irpin, close to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Two were children from the same family, and they died after Russian mortar shells struck a damaged bridge they were attempting to cross, according to various reports.
Ukraine’s top security official said earlier that Russia’s war command has shifted its attention to the southern front in order to cut the country off from the Black Sea.
Watch: Russia warns countries against hosting Ukrainian aircrafts
Russia warns countries against hosting Ukrainian aircrafts or they will be considered part of the conflict
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 19:32
Calls grow to boycott Coca-Cola and McDonald’s as they stay in Russia
On that note, calls have been mounting for a boycott of McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo as the companies have so far not joined the ranks of other major global brands in pulling their operations out of Russia.
Three Ukrainian supermarket chains announced they are removing Coca-Cola products from their store shelves and the hashtags #BoycottCocaCola, #BoycottPepsi and #BoycottMcDonalds were trending on Twitter over the weekend as customers vowed to shun their products so long as they continue to do business with Russia.
Dozens of big corporations including Apple and Netflix have halted operations in the country in the 10 days since Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine, writes my colleague Rachel Sharp.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 19:28
TikTok suspends video uploads in Russia
TikTok is suspending live streaming and new content to its video service in Russia due to the country’s “fake news” law, it has announced.
The social media company said it had “no choice” but to suspend the features “while we review the safety implications of this law”.
Here’s what the company said:
It comes after the BBC on Friday suspended the work of all its journalists in Russia after the Kremlin imposed a new law, meaning people who write stories believed by Russia to undermine its armed forces could be jailed for up to 15 years.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 19:25
Israel ‘will try to mediate on Ukraine even if prospects poor’
Over to Israel, where PM Naftali Bennett says he will continue trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine even if success seems unlikely.
The reassurance came as Mr Bennett returned to his country after shock talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Ukraine has since requested that Israel serve as an intermediary between the two nations at war, citing the government’s good relations with both Kyiv and Moscow.
In televised remarks to his cabinet, Mr Bennett gave no details of his three-hour meeting with Putin on Saturday, saying only that it had “the blessing and encouragement of all parties” – understood to be an allusion to the US, among other powers.
“We will continue to assist wherever this is requested, even if the chances are not great,” Mr Bennett said. “The moment there is even a small opening, and we have the access to all sides and the capability, I see it as a moral duty to make every attempt.”
Mr Bennett and Putin spoke again by phone on Sunday, the Kremlin said, and discussed the former’s “most recent contacts with leaders of a number of countries”.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 19:23
Denmark to abandon using Russian gas – PM
Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark, has said her country will become “independent” of Russian gas following the invasion of Ukraine.
We’ll bring you more on this when we know it.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 19:04
Ukraine has ‘plans in place’ if Zelensky killed, US says
Ukraine’s government is prepared for the possibility of its president Volodymyr Zelensky being killed in a Russian strike or assassination attempt, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has revealed.
Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation earlier. Mr Blinken said there were “plans in place” for such an outcome amid Russia’s bloody assault, but refused to give many details, reports our DC correspondent John Bowden.
“The Ukrainians have plans in place, that I’m not going to talk about or get into any details on, to make sure that there is what we would call ‘continuity of government’ one way or another. And let me leave it at that,” he told Ms Brennan.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 19:02
Watch: Blinken discusses possibility Russia will kill Zelensky
Blinken discusses possibility Russia will kill Zelensky
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 18:34
American Express suspends operations in Russia and Belarus
American Express has joined Visa and Mastercard in suspending all operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
It said globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, while cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks will no longer work outside of the country on the American Express global network.
The company said it was also terminating all business operations in Belarus.
“One of our company values is to ‘Do What is Right’,” a statement said.
“This principle has guided us throughout this difficult crisis and will continue to do so, as we stand by our colleagues, customers, and the international community in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 18:33
Ukraine open to ‘non-Nato future’, negotiator tells Fox News
Ukraine is not willing to compromise on its territorial integrity in talks with Russia but is open to discussing “non- NATO models” for its future, one of its negotiators told Fox News.
The Eastern European nation has pursued membership of the EU and Nato, both opposed by Moscow. Vladimir Putin has cited Ukraine’s potential membership of Nato as evidence of what he portrays as alliance aggression towards Russia.
“The response that we are getting from the Nato countries is that they are not ready to even discuss having us in Nato, not for the next period of five or 10 years,” negotiator David Arakhamia said in remarks published by Fox News late on Saturday.
“We are ready to discuss some non-Nato models. For example, there could be direct guarantees by different countries like the US, China, UK, maybe Germany and France. We are open to discussing such things in a broader circle, not only in bilateral discussions with Russia but also with other partners.”
Officials from Ukraine and Russia have had two rounds of talks since Russia launched an invasion of its neighbour on 24 February. Both have failed.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 18:26
Anti-war protesters told of nuclear threat at Ukraine demonstration
Back in London, thousands of anti-war protesters gathered in the city centre to hear former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn alongside other speakers sound the alarm over the “unmistakeable nuclear threat” of the conflict in Ukraine.
Demonstrators waved Ukrainian flags and banners reading “Putin = Hitler” and “Putin in the bin” as they marched from outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House to Trafalgar Square on Sunday.
“Unless this war is stopped very quickly it will degenerate into a global conflict between nuclear armed power blocs in which there will be no, no, no winners, only millions and millions of losers,” Mr Corbyn told hundreds of people.
Sam Hancock6 March 2022 18:19
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