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The city of Lviv is struggling to feed people fleeing war; talks between Ukraine and Russia end with little progress. Meanwhile, volunteers bring emergency supplies and rescue Ukranians trapped near Kyiv. More than 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine so far

This digest has now been archived. Find the latest Russia-Ukraine updates here.

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A resident looks out of the destroyed front of a room in a multi-storey building that was badly damaged by a Russian missile explosion after it was shot down by Ukrainian air defence, in Kramatorsk on March 7, 2022.ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images

Editor’s note: Our live coverage on this page has ended. Follow the latest Russia-Ukraine news and updates as Moscow makes new promises to allow Ukrainians to evacuate.

Russia has invaded Ukraine. Here are the latest updates:


  • Abandoned strollers are pictured under a destroyed bridge as people flee the city of Irpin, west of Kyiv.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

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10:57 p.m. ET

Lviv struggling to feed people fleeing war

The mayor of Lviv said the city in far western Ukraine is struggling to feed and house the tens of thousands of people who have fled here from war-torn regions of the country.

“We really need support,” Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said.

More than 200,000 Ukrainians displaced from their homes are now in Lviv, filling up sport halls, schools, hospitals and church buildings. The historical city once popular with tourists had a population of 700,000 before the war.

The mayor said the city needs big tents equipped with kitchens so food can be prepared.

Hundreds of thousands more people could arrive if humanitarian corridors are opened up from cities now under siege from Russian troops.

The embassies of the U.S. and EU countries also moved to Lviv from Kyiv before the invasion.

Lviv is the main transit point for those fleeing just across the border to Poland. Many of the 1.7 million Ukrainians now abroad passed through the city. The United Nations has called the situation the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

-The Associated Press


10:46 p.m. ET

Dolly Parton dedicates country music awards show to people of Ukraine

Singer Dolly Parton dedicated the Academy of Country Music Awards show to the people of Ukraine on Monday during a music-filled ceremony that saw Miranda Lambert crowned entertainer of the year.

Taking the stage in a mirrored jumpsuit, Parton made one of two tributes to Ukraine while opening the annual awards ceremony at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The show was live-streamed on Prime Video for the first time.

“I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Why don’t we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace,” the 76-year-old country music matriarch said to loud applause.

Brad Tursi of Old Dominion thanked Parton for the dedication as the band accepted their award for group of the year, adding that it felt strange to be celebrating while “people are fighting for their lives.”

-Reuters


8:50 p.m. ET

Ukraine says Russian general killed

A Russian general was killed in the fighting around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which Russian forces have been trying to seize since the invasion began, the Ukrainian military intelligence agency said.

It identified him as Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov, 45, and said he had fought with Russian forces in Syria and Chechnya and had taken part in the seizure of Crimea in 2014.

It was not possible to confirm the death independently. Russia has not commented.

Another Russian general was killed earlier in the fighting. A local officers’ organization in Russia confirmed the death in Ukraine of Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky, the commanding general of the Russian 7th Airborne Division.

Sukhovetsky also took part in Russia’s military campaign in Syria.

-The Associated Press


8:11 p.m. ET

Latvia wants Canadian natural gas imports to reduce reliance on Russia, says ambassador

Latvia’s new ambassador to Canada said the Baltic state would welcome shipments of Canadian LNG to help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

Kaspars Ozolins said there is a proposal in the works to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal near the Baltic Sea port of Skulte, Latvia, and that his country would encourage Canadian investors.

The Latvian LNG project, still on the drawing board, is part of the Three Seas Initiative that brings together 12 European Union member states with coastal presence on the Baltic, Black or Adriatic seas to build better interconnected infrastructure.

Mr. Ozolins said Latvia’s reliance on Russian natural gas is currently seasonal: It’s used in winter months for heating and electricity generation. He said in the future, Latvia could also “buy LNG from Canada and store it underground and pump it out in the wintertime.”

-Steven Chase


7:30 p.m. ET

Ukrainian civilians make dangerous return to city near Kyiv in a rescue mission that’s ‘like Dunkirk’ without ships

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Fastiv residents board a bus that will evacuate them to Lviv, Ukraine on March 7, 2022.Anton Skyba/The Globe and Mail

Oleksander Sydielnikov surveyed the motley collection of cars, pickup trucks and minivans gathered Sunday at a gas station near Lviv, in western Ukraine, with a mixture of pride and apprehension.

With their country at war, and people trapped in cities under attack, this group of strangers was going to do something about it.

The plan was simple, though clearly dangerous: The 12 vehicles, plus two more they would meet up with along the way, were stuffed with food, water, diapers, toys and as many badly needed medical supplies, including insulin, as the volunteers could find. Soon, the cars would form a line and drive toward the partly besieged capital, Kyiv, 500 kilometres to the east.

Step one would be dropping off all the boxes in their cars in Fastiv, a small city near Kyiv that is becoming a hub for people fleeing the capital but where store shelves are now completely bare.

On the way back to the relative safety of Lviv, they would take all the women and children they could.

“For me, it’s like Dunkirk. It’s very similar. Remember how Churchill said whoever has a boat, even civilians, has to go to Dunkirk and save lives? It’s not the same, but it’s similar. We’re self-organized people who only want to help women and children escape,” Mr. Sydielnikov said. “The Russians are trying to block that area, to occupy Fastiv and block the only way out of Kyiv.”

Trailing the convoy was The Globe and Mail’s team in Ukraine, driving a recently purchased 2004 Land Rover, clearly marked “Press.”

-Mark MacKinnon in Fastiv, Ukraine


7:11 p.m. ET

Despite sanctions, Russian goods still trade in Switzerland

Swiss officials were applauded last week when they broke with the country’s tradition of neutrality by joining the United States, the European Union and others in imposing sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. But there was a large loophole in the joint effort.

Switzerland is one of the world’s major hubs for trading commodities, and the government estimates 80 per cent of Russia’s raw material and resources, such as oil, metals and grains, are traded in Switzerland, making the Alpine nation central to the sale of Russian exports.

Although the country closely adopted the EU’s sanctions on banking and trade, commodities trading has been allowed to continue. It is a significant industry in Switzerland, employing around 10,000 people and accounting for more than 4 per cent of its economy, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The continued trade has led to mounting calls to increase the regulation of Switzerland’s commodities traders and introduce a supervisory authority that could monitor the placement of sanctions.

-The New York Times


6:25 p.m. ET

War in Ukraine the latest blow to European auto manufacturers already reeling from disrupted supply chains

In a media room in Brandenburg, a German state that skirts Berlin, various levels of government officials took to the stage Friday to announce with smiles that Tesla Inc. had received final approvals to begin production of electric cars and battery cells at two local factories.

The positive economic news came in the shadow of a war that has shut down a swath of German automotive factories as the conflict in Ukraine dries up supplies of vital components.

Disruptions to train and ship connections as well as air traffic restrictions are “already having a significant impact on the supply and logistics chains” for automotive factories, according to Hildegard Muller, president of VDA, an automotive association interest group that represents both manufacturers and suppliers in Germany. And she only expects those problems to grow over the coming weeks and months.

-Emma Graney in Helsinki


4:23 pm. ET

Britain expected to fast-track law targeting Russian companies and oligarchs

The British government was expected to fast-track a law through Parliament on Monday designed to toughen sanctions against Russian companies and oligarchs with significant assets in the country.

Anti-corruption activists and opposition party members have criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservatives for not doing enough over the past decade to stem the flow of “dirty” money into the London property market, allowing the capital to morph into a money-laundering hub for wealthy foreign elites, particularly from Russia.

But experts in financial crime who have tracked London’s transformation over the past two decades into a preferred destination for Russian and other foreign oligarchs to park their wealth – with easy access to a well-versed web of lawyers, wealth managers, bankers and family offices – are doubtful the new law will actually succeed in rooting out ill-gotten money from the capital.

-Vanmala Subramaniam in London


3:29 p.m. ET

Trudeau defends Canada’s military spending below NATO target

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his government’s defence spending Monday, which trails NATO allies and is below target, but acknowledged that the “context is changing rapidly around the world.”

The Prime Minister vowed to “stand with the Ukrainian people and push back hard against Russia” but one defence expert says Canada’s lacklustre military spending leaves it more limited in what it can offer Ukraine.

NATO has a defence spending target of 2 per cent of GDP for its 30 member countries. Canada lags the vast majority, placing fifth last in defence spending at 1.39 per cent of GDP as of 2021, according to NATO estimates. Britain meantime spent 2.29 per cent of GDP on defence last year, according to the same estimates.

Mr. Trudeau said Canada has a plan to increase defence spending by 70 per cent, but Dave Perry, the president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said so far Canada has only increased spending by about 20 per cent, after accounting for inflation.

On Monday Mr. Trudeau said the government has placed new restrictions on 10 people with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said the individuals were complicit in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and are among those recommended for sanctions by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Mr. Trudeau was in London Monday for the start of a five day trip through Europe where he’s meeting with leaders from across the continent to chart the next steps in the West’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

-Marieke Walsh in London


1:32 p.m. ET

Russia-Ukraine talks end with little progress

Russia and Ukraine held a third round of talks Monday, with an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky reporting that little progress had been made on the matter of safe corridors.

Mykhailo Podolyay said without elaboration that “there were some small positive shifts regarding logistics of humanitarian corridors.”

The countries’ foreign ministers are also scheduled to meet in Turkey on Thursday, according to that country’s top diplomat.

But Russian negotiators on Monday said they did not have positive developments to report following talks with Ukraine and warned not to expect the next round to bring a final result.

The talks “are not easy. It is too early to talk about something positive,” negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said following the talks. “Hopefully next time we can take a bigger step forward.”

Ukrainians, whose ferocious resistance has slowed the invasion and thwarted any hopes Moscow had for a lightning victory, have been reinforcing cities across the country.

In Kyiv, soldiers and volunteers have built hundreds of checkpoints, often using sandbags, stacked tires and spiked cables. Some barriers looked significant, with heavy concrete slabs and sandbags piled more than two stories high, while others appeared more haphazard, with hundreds of books used to weigh down stacks of tires.

-Reuters and Associated Press


12:31 p.m. ET

War damage to infrastructure at about $10 billion, Ukrainian minister says

Ukraine has suffered about $10 billion in damage to infrastructure since Russia invaded the country, Infrastructure Minister Oleksander Kubrakov said on Monday.

He said in televised comments that the figure stood as of Sunday, and added: “The majority of (damaged) structures will be repaired in a year, and the most difficult ones – in two years.”

Kubrakov said 40,000 people had been evacuated from the eastern city of Kharkiv on Sunday. But Ukraine has appealed to Russia to let civilians leave other cities and an Interior ministry official, Vadym Denysenko, said 4,000 civilians still needed to be evacuated from the outskirts of the capital Kyiv.

-Reuters


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A refugee holds her dog as they queue for trains to Poland following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the train station in Lviv, Ukraine, March 7, 2022.MARKO DJURICA/Reuters

11:36 a.m. ET

More than 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled to Central Europe, UN says

More than 1.7 million Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion have so far crossed into Central Europe, the United Nation’s refugee agency said on Monday, as thousands more streamed across the borders.

Poland - which has the largest Ukrainian community in Central Europe - has received more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees since the conflict began on Feb. 24, with the milestone passed late on Sunday.

“This is a million human tragedies, a million people banished from their homes by the war,” the Polish border guard service tweeted late on Sunday.

A total of 1,735,068 civilians - mostly women and children, as men stayed home to fight - have so far crossed the border into Central Europe, the UNHCR said.

-Reuters



10:32 a.m. ET

U.S. pushes for Russian oil embargo, steep tariffs and shutting Russia out of the WTO

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi says legislation to ban Russian oil imports will also allow for steep tariffs on other Russian goods and start the process of shutting the country out of the World Trade Organisation.

The move is the latest effort by Congress to turn up the pressure on President Joe Biden to go further in punishing Russian President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.

In a letter to Democratic legislators late Sunday, Ms. Pelosi reiterated her backing for an embargo on Russian oil. She said the ban would go further than this: it would also include other Russian “energy products”; “repeal normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus,” which would allow the U.S. to impose steep punitive tariffs on imports; and “take the first step to deny Russia access” to the WTO. Read full story.

-Adrian Morrow


10:05 a.m. ET

Convenience store giant Couche-Tard latest Canadian company to break ties with Russia

Convenience store giant Alimentation Couche Tard Inc. is suspending operations in Russia, the latest Canadian company to break off ties with the country.

Couche-Tard will wind down operations effective immediately and implement plans to take care of its employees in a responsible and safe manner, the Laval, Que.-based company said in a statement early Monday.

“We condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the huge human impact it is having for both Ukrainians and Russians,” Couche-Tard chief executive Brian Hannasch said in the statement.

Couche-Tard has had stores in Russia for nearly three decades and currently employs 320 people there. At the moment, it has 38 outlets operating under the Circle K banner in the cities of St. Petersburg, Murmansk and Pskov.

The company is the latest Canadian corporation to take a stand against Russia and pull back operations. Toronto-based miner Kinross Gold Corp., which has operated in Russia for more than 25 years, suspended operations at its Kupol mine as well as all activities at its Udinsk development project. Auto-parts manufacturer Magna International idled its Russian plants, luxury parka maker Canada Goose suspended all sales in Russia and Bombardier Inc. said Friday it is breaking off all dealings with Russian customers, including wealthy individuals who’ve already bought its jets and might want them serviced.

-Nicolas Van Praet


10:04 a.m. ET

Live news conference with Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson and Mark Rutte


9:34 a.m. ET

In Kyiv, once-vibrant city shattered to pieces and littered with checkpoints

Kyiv is no longer a whole city.

The Ukrainian capital, previously the vibrant and graceful home of three million people, has been broken into pieces by the 12-day-old invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Today the city is a collection of neighbourhoods divided from each other by sand berms and checkpoints made of cement, tires, and metal tank traps. You need to show your passport half a dozen times to move from one part of the city to another. A trip anywhere in the city is fraught with calculations about what Russia’s air force and artillery might target next.

Areas of Kyiv, particularly in the northern suburbs of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel are under at least partial Russian control, shattered and left without electricity, gas and water by days of intense air strikes and artillery fire. At least eight civilians – including an entire family of four – were killed by Russian shelling on Sunday as they attempted to flee Irpin. Read full story.

-Mark MacKinnon


8:37 a.m. ET

Russian a no show at UN court hearings on Ukrainian ‘genocide’

Russia boycotted hearings at the UN’s highest court on Monday during which Ukraine is seeking an emergency order to halt hostilities, arguing that Moscow has falsely applied genocide law to justify its invasion.

Hearings began at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) without legal representation for Russia.

“The fact that Russia’s seats are empty speaks loudly. They are not here in this court of law: they are on a battlefield waging an aggressive war against my country,” Ukrainian envoy Anton Korynevych said.

He urged Russia to “lay down your arms and put forward your evidence.”

The court said it regretted Russia’s non-attendance. A hearing initially set for Tuesday for Russia to present its case is expected to be cancelled. In earlier cases before the ICJ where a party did not show up to present its side the court ruled without input from such parties.

Countries usually, but do not always, follow the court’s orders, which are legally binding. A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in the Netherlands did not reply to a request for comment.

-Reuters


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People sit inside a bus after fleeing from Ukraine to Russia at the Veselo-Voznesenka border crossing in the Rostov region, Russia, on March 7, 2022.REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER/Reuters

8:09 a.m. ET

Ukraine decries ‘immoral’ stunt after Moscow says it will let civilians flee - to Russia

Moscow said on Monday it would let residents of Ukraine’s two main cities flee in corridors to Russia and Belarus, a move Ukraine called an immoral stunt to weaponise the suffering of civilians under Russian bombardment.

Both sides said a third round of talks was due at an undisclosed location in Belarus on Monday. Two previous rounds yielded little beyond pledges to open routes for humanitarian access that have yet to be successfully implemented.

Russia’s announcement of “humanitarian corridors” came after two days of failed ceasefires to allow civilians to escape the besieged city of Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands are trapped without food and water, under relentless bombardment.

According to maps published by the RIA news agency, the corridor from Kyiv would lead to Russia’s ally Belarus, while civilians from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second biggest city, would be directed to Russia.

“Attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the whole civilised world … are useless this time,” the ministry said.

A spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the move “completely immoral” saying Russia was trying to “use people’s suffering to create a television picture”.

-Reuters



7:28 a.m. ET

Analysis: Banning Russian oil exports might hurt Europe far more than the U.S. or Russia - and Vladimir Putin knows that

Just under two years ago, when the global economy was pretty much shut down in the panicky first wave of the pandemic, oil prices actually went below zero. On Monday, they shot north of US$130 a barrel and almost hit US$140 a one point.

Natural gas prices rallied by 30 per cent, reaching an all-time high. According to Bloomberg, the benchmark Dutch wholesale price reached US$470 a barrel oil equivalent. That is not a typo.

The latest price driver?

Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was on a whirlwind tour of NATO countries in Eastern Europe, told the media that the White House was in “very active discussions” with European allies about banning Russian oil exports to the United States and Europe. An oil export ban has bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress. His admission put the energy markets into near panic. Read full story.

- Eric Reguly


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte bump fists next to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as they meet at RAF Northolt on March 7, 2022 in London, England.WPA Pool/Getty Images


7:06 a.m. ET

Trudeau meets with British and Dutch PMs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived today at the Royal Air Force Station Northolt outside of London for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to strategize on the response of NATO countries to the conflict.

The two were joined by their Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte. “We want to stand with the Ukrainian people and push back hard against Russia,” Trudeau said, adding he “wants to talk about countering misinformation and upholding the principles and values that they share.”

In the following days, Trudeau will also be getting together with other leaders in Riga, Latvia, Berlin and Warsaw, Poland.

In addition, the prime minister’s agenda includes a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and a visit to the Latvian military base where hundreds of Canadian Forces personnel are contributing to Canada’s leadership in that country of NATO’s long-standing deterrence mission to bolster its eastern European flank against Russia. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has been in Europe over the past few days in meetings with NATO and European Commission officials about ongoing efforts to sanction Russia.

- The Canadian Press


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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has begun a lightning visit to the three Baltic states that are increasingly on edge as they watch Russia press ahead with its invasion of Ukraine.Mindaugas Kulbis/The Associated Press

6:06 a.m. ET

U.S. assures nervous Baltics of NATO protection against Russia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday assured Lithuania of NATO protection and American support as he began a lightning visit to the three Baltic states that are increasingly on edge as Russia presses ahead with its invasion of Ukraine.

The former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are all NATO members and Blinken is aiming to reassure them of their security in the event Russia chooses to expand its military operations.

“We are bolstering our shared defense so that we and our allies are prepared,” Blinken said, stressing that the U.S. commitment to NATO’s mutual defense pact is “sacrosanct,”

“We will defend every inch of NATO territory if it comes under attack,” he said. “No one should doubt our readiness, no one should doubt our resolve.”

Memories of Soviet rule are still fresh in the Baltics and since the invasion of Ukraine last month, NATO has moved quickly to boost its troop presence in its eastern flank allies while the U.S. has pledged additional support.

-The Associated Press


5:49 a.m. ET

Western nations plan more sanctions on Russia: Melanie Joly

Western states will announce more sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Monday during a visit to Romania.

“We have imposed with Romania through the EU very important, severe sanctions, and there will be more sanctions announced very soon,” Joly told a news conference, adding that G7 countries and the European Union were looking at further restrictions but without elaborating.

She said the goal of the sanctions was to suffocate Russia’s economy and make it change course in Ukraine. Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told the same news conference various options were being discussed at the moment.

-Reuters


5:25 a.m. ET

Russia backs IAEA chief’s idea of Ukraine meeting but not at Chernobyl

Russia backs U.N. atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi’s idea of a trilateral meeting with Ukraine on ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities there during Russia’s invasion but not at Chernobyl as Grossi wants, Moscow’s envoy to the watchdog said.

“Russia supported Grossi’s idea regarding a trilateral meeting and we expect that the Ukrainians will also be cooperative,” Russia’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mikhail Ulyanov, told reporters on Monday.

“I believe Chernobyl is not the best place for such a meeting. There are numerous capitals in the world.”

-Reuters


5:02 a.m. ET

Ukraine’s president asks for military aircraft and boycott of Russian oil

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Monday for new international sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, proposing a boycott of Russian oil and other Russian exports and a halt of exports to Russia.

Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s military assault have already isolated Russia to a degree never before experienced by such a large economy.

Zelensky said the economic pressure needed to be increased, calling in effect for an international trade embargo on Russia.

“If the invasion continues and Russia has not abandoned its plans against Ukraine, then a new sanctions package is needed ... for the sake of peace,” he said in a video address, mentioning a boycott of Russian oil and oil products in particular.

“Boycott imports to Russia - if they do not adhere to civilized rules, then they should not receive goods and services from civilization - let the war feed them,” he said.

-Reuters


4:03 a.m. ET

Facing criticism for enabling Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing says China-Russia relations ‘rock solid’

The relationship between Beijing and Moscow remains strong “no matter how precarious and challenging the international situation,” Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said Monday.

China has faced intense international pressure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with many in the West seeing Beijing’s silence on this issue as tacit support for Moscow.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Beijing last month, and the two men released a joint statement blasting NATO expansion and criticizing the West. In the wake of the war, Chinese officials have refused to describe it as an invasion while recognizing Moscow’s “legitimate security concerns,” and Beijing abstained from two motions criticizing Russia at the United Nations.

While it has been reported Mr. Putin briefed Mr. Xi of his intention to invade Ukraine, some commentators have suggested China may have been misled about the extent of the military operation planned and now regretted signaling support for Moscow ahead of actions that made it a global pariah.

There was no sign of that Monday, with Mr. Wang saying the joint statement sent “an unequivocal message to the world that China and Russia jointly opposed attempts to revive the Cold War mindset or provoke ideology-based confrontation.”

Speaking at a tightly controlled press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, he said China’s relations with Russia were “rock solid,” describing ties between the two countries as “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world.”

-James Griffiths in Honk Kong


3:22 a.m. ET

Ruble hits record low in offshore trading

Russia’s ruble and the Hungarian forint plunged to record lows on Monday, while the Polish zloty tumbled to multi-year declines as crude prices surged on risks of a Western ban of Russian oil, sparking global inflation fears.

The ruble slid more than 8% to 130.9350 against the dollar on the interbank rate amid a ramping up of sanctions by Western nations as Russia’s war on Ukraine intensifies.

The United States and the European Union are now mulling the possibility of banning Russian oil imports, sending prices of Brent crude futures to near $130 a barrel, a level not seen since 2008.

Currencies of Eastern European countries which are heavily reliant on Russian oil have taken a hit due to intense fighting in Ukraine. Hungary’s forint slid to a record low of 390.36 against the euro earlier in the day, while the Polish zloty slipped to its lowest level since March 2004.

-Reuters


2:52 a.m. ET

Oil spikes to 2008 highs as U.S., Europe mull Russian oil import ban

Oil prices soared more than 9% on Monday, touching their highest since 2008, as the United States and European allies mull a Russian oil import ban and delays in the potential return of Iranian crude to global markets fuelled tight supply fears.

Brent crude futures jumped $12.61, or 10.6%, to $130.72 a barrel by 0449 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed $10.41, or 9%, to $126.09.

In the first few minutes of trade on Monday, both benchmarks spiked more than $10 a barrel to their highest since July 2008 with Brent at $139.13 and WTI at $130.50.

Monday’s intraday highs are near record levels seen for both contracts in July 2008 when Brent hit $147.50 a barrel and WTI touched $147.27.

The United States and European allies are exploring banning imports of Russian oil, Blinken said on Sunday, and the White House co-ordinated with key Congressional committees moving forward with their own ban.

-Reuters


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Refugees wait in a crowd for transportation after fleeing from the Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Monday, March 7, 2022.Markus Schreiber/The Associated Press


1:15 a.m. ET

Russia again says it will open humanitarian corridors to Ukrainian cities

Russia announced new “humanitarian corridors” on Monday to transport Ukrainians trapped under its bombardment - to Russia itself and its ally Belarus, a move immediately denounced by Kyiv as an immoral stunt.

The announcement came after two days of failed ceasefires to let civilians flee the besieged city of Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands of people are trapped without food and water, under relentless bombardment and unable to evacuate their wounded.

The new “corridors” would be opened at 10 a.m. Moscow time from the capital Kyiv and the eastern cities of Kharkiv and Sumy, as well as Mariupol, Russia’s defence ministry said.

According to maps published by the RIA news agency, the corridor from Kyiv would lead to Belarus, while civilians from Kharkiv would be permitted to go only to Russia. Russia would also mount an airlift to take Ukrainians from Kyiv to Russia, the ministry said.

“Attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the whole civilised world … are useless this time,” the ministry said.

Those who leave Kyiv will then be airlifted to Russia, the ministry said, adding it would use drones to monitor the evacuation.

“Attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the whole civilized world … are useless this time,” the ministry said.

Russia’s invasion has been condemned around the world, sent more than 1.5 million Ukrainians fleeing abroad, and triggered sweeping Western-led sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy.

Russian forces are converging on Kyiv, a city of 3 million, but have faced stiff resistance and have suffered heavy losses, according to Ukrainian authorities.

-Reuters


12:00 a.m. ET

U.S. Congress seeks to restrict trade with Russia

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House is exploring legislation to further isolate Russia from the global economy, including banning the import of its oil and energy products into the U.S.

Amid rising gasoline prices in the U.S., the Biden administration has yet to call for an oil import ban on Russia.

In a letter to Democrats released Sunday night, Pelosi says the legislation under consideration would also repeal normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus and begin the process of denying Russia access to the World Trade Organization.

Pelosi says the House would also empower the Biden administration to raise tariffs on Russian imports.

Congress intends to approve the Biden administration’s request for $10 billion in humanitarian, military and economic support for Ukraine, Pelosi said, as part of omnibus government funding legislation this week.

-The Associated Press


1:18 p.m. ET

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak faces disciplinary action for displaying support for Ukraine invasion

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) said it will open disciplinary proceedings against Russian artistic gymnast Ivan Kuliak for his “shocking behaviour” in displaying a symbol of support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during an event.

The 20-year-old finished third in the parallel bars final at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha over the weekend and displayed the letter “Z” on the front of his outfit as he stood on the podium next to Ukrainian rival Illia Kovtun, who won the gold.

Russian forces have used the letter Z as an identifying symbol on their vehicles in Ukraine following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour. Some supporters of the invasion have also been displaying the symbol.

-Reuters


9:13 p.m. ET

Canadians find novel ways to help Ukraine, including booking lodgings they’ll never stay in

When Olivera White was searching for an Airbnb rental in Ukraine, she wasn’t concerned with the number of bedrooms or bathrooms. The Ontario woman wanted the apartment to appear modest – as if the owner didn’t have a ton of money. Mostly, she wanted confirmation that the host was alive.

This is because Ms. White has no intention of staying at any of the three Airbnb units she and her husband booked in recent days near the capital city of Kyiv. Instead, they’re part of a global movement of people who are turning to the short-term lodging platform as a means of directly supporting Ukrainians under siege by Russian forces.

In just 48 hours last week, more than 61,000 nights were reserved in Ukraine through Airbnb, for a total gross booking value of almost $2-million. Nearly 3,000 nights were paid for by Canadian guests, an Airbnb spokeswoman said in an e-mail over the weekend.

- Kathryn Blaze Baum and Salmaan Farooqui


8:08 p.m. ET

International Court of Justice to hear Ukraine case seeking halt to Russian invasion

Ukraine will ask an international court for an order halting Russia’s military invasion, saying Russia has falsely accused it of genocide to justify an illegal war, in a hearing Monday and Tuesday in the Hague.

A request for an injunction made to the International Court of Justice, the principal legal body of the United Nations, takes precedence over all other cases, enabling Ukraine to receive a prompt hearing.

Ukraine brought its case under the UN’s 1948 Genocide Convention, which contains a provision for settling disputes at the ICJ over how the convention is interpreted and applied. Ukraine alleges Russia is misusing the convention – the world’s response to the mass murder of Jews and others during the Second World War – by claiming it as a pretext for its own attacks, which Ukraine describes in its legal filings as genocidal themselves.

A lawyer for Ukraine says the case is important, even if Russia refuses to comply with court orders, because it reinforces the legal basis for sanctions and other actions intended to isolate Russia.

-Sean Fine


4:57 p.m. ET

In Odesa, opera singers and perfumers seek to defend city from Russian destruction

Members of the Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater sing the Ukrainian national anthem while volunteers fill sandbags for use in defensive positions in the city preparing for a Russian attack. President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia is preparing to bombard Odesa.

The Globe and Mail

Odesa, the city whose grand edifices on the Black Sea stand as a cosmopolitan testament to Viennese, Italian and Russian architects, has largely been spared from the aerial bombardments and artillery attacks that have turned streets in other Ukrainian cities to rubble.

But on Sunday, the lengthy wail of air raid sirens was followed by an announcement from the military that it had shot down a Russian aircraft near the city – and, then, a grim warning from president Volodymyr Zelensky.

“They are preparing to bombard Odesa,” Mr. Zelensky said. Such an act, he warned, would constitute not just a war crime, but a crime against history. Odesa has long been revered by Russians, built on land seized from the Turks by Catherine the Great, with cobblestone streets once frequented by Alexander Pushkin and sweeping beaches that have long drawn legions of Russian tourists.

Before troops under Russian President Vladimir Putin began a campaign that has destroyed Ukrainian cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol once considered more inclined toward Moscow, few believed it was possible for the invading forces to desecrate Odesa. Mr. Putin, they believed, would not dare sully what was once a jewel of the Russian empire.

Now, such an outcome is taken as a given.

-Nathan VanderKlippe in Bucharest, Romania

Russia-Ukraine live updates: Here’s what happened on Sunday, March 6

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