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Also: Ottawa to spend $117-million to accelerate the arrival of Ukrainians fleeing war

This digest has now been archived.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

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A Ukrainian serviceman takes a photograph of a damaged church after shelling in a residential district in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 10, 2022.Evgeniy Maloletka/The Associated Press

Here are the latest updates on the war in Ukraine:

  • People rush to board a train at a railway station in Odesa, Ukraine.BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

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Russia-Ukraine war live updates from Wednesday, March 9

11:15 p.m. ET

Russians keep pressure on Mariupol; massive convoy breaks up

Russian forces kept up their bombardment of the port city of Mariupol on Thursday, while satellite photos showed that a massive convoy that had been mired outside the Ukrainian capital split up and fanned out into towns and forests near Kyiv, with artillery pieces moved into firing positions.

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies showed that 40-mile (64-kilometre) convoy of vehicles, tanks and artillery has broken up and been redeployed, the company said. Armored units were seen in towns near the Antonov Airport north of the city. Some of the vehicles have moved into forests, Maxar reported, with towed howitzers nearby in position to open fire.

The convoy had massed outside the city early last week, but its advance appeared to have stalled amid reports of food and fuel shortages. U.S. officials said Ukrainian troops also targeted the convoy with anti-tank missiles.

- Reuters

10:56 p.m. ET

U.S. Senate passes US$1.5-trillion government funding bill with Ukraine aid

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved legislation providing US$1.5-trillion to fund the federal government through Sept. 30 and to allocate US$13.6-billion to aid Ukraine.

The 2,700-page bill passed in a bipartisan 68-31 vote, one day after the House of Representatives approved the package.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law, averting agency shutdowns ahead of the midnight Friday deadline when existing U.S. government funds expire.

The aid for Ukraine is designed to finance ammunition and other military supplies, as well as humanitarian support.

The legislation’s passage follows months of negotiations over the federal government’s funding and therefore policy priorities.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that this Ukraine aid package likely would be followed by additional measures to help Kyiv battle Russia and rebuild from the destruction brought by Moscow’s attacks.

The House also approved a bill that banned imports of Russian oil and called for reviewing Russia’s participation in some international trade programs, including the World Trade Organization.

That measure’s fate in the Senate was unclear. Biden is expected to call on Friday for an end of normal trade relations with Russia.

- Reuters

10:15 p.m. ET

Premier Li offers China’s help for ‘grave’ Ukraine situation

China’s premier on Friday called the situation in Ukraine “grave” and offered Beijing’s help in playing a “positive role” for peace while continuing to refuse to criticize Russia.

Li Keqiang told reporters at an annual news conference that “we support and encourage all efforts that are conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis.”

“The pressing task now is to prevent tension from escalating or even getting out of control,” Li said.

China has largely sided with Russia in the conflict, which it has refused to refer to as a war or invasion. The U.S. accuses Beijing of helping spread false news and disinformation coming out of Moscow.

- Reuters

9:30 p.m. ET

Opinion: By holding Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea FC hostage, Britain settles for whacking a lesser villain

In his pulpy London gangster film, RocknRolla, Guy Ritchie saved the villain’s role for oligarch Roman Abramovich.

The antagonist wasn’t called Abramovich. He was called Uri Omovich. But it was transparently Mr. Abramovich – a silken Russian aesthete in the midst of infiltrating upper-class British society, a component of which is running a soccer club.

The secret to a good movie villain is aspiration. It should be someone whose persona and lifestyle cause envy in the viewer. At the moment of RocknRolla’s 2008 release, nothing epitomized this hook better than the oligarch. And there was no more famous oligarch than Mr. Abramovich.

It isn’t hard to see the appeal. You pull a quick one in some dreary, far-flung place and then move your dirty money to a much nicer place. Once there, you spend lavishly to purchase an entrée, all while sitting a bit above the fray. It’s Gatsby with different set dressing.

That’s an old story. Mr. Abramovich’s addition was his common touch. In order to ingratiate himself with the local proletariat as well as the aristocrats, he bought a ball club.

- Cathal Kelly

8:50 p.m. ET

WHO says it advised Ukraine to destroy pathogens in health labs to prevent disease spread

The World Health Organization advised Ukraine to destroy high-threat pathogens housed in the country’s public health laboratories to prevent “any potential spills” that would spread disease among the population, the agency told Reuters on Thursday.

Biosecurity experts say Russia’s movement of troops into Ukraine and bombardment of its cities have raised the risk of an escape of disease-causing pathogens, should any of those facilities be damaged.

Like many other countries, Ukraine has public health laboratories researching how to mitigate the threats of dangerous diseases affecting both animals and humans including, most recently, COVID-19. Its labs have received support from the United States, the European Union and the WHO.

In response to questions from Reuters about its work with Ukraine ahead of and during Russia’s invasion, the WHO said in an email that it has collaborated with Ukrainian public health labs for several years to promote security practices that help prevent “accidental or deliberate release of pathogens.”

“As part of this work, WHO has strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine and other responsible bodies to destroy high-threat pathogens to prevent any potential spills,” the WHO, a United Nations agency, said.

The WHO would not say when it had made the recommendation nor did it provide specifics about the kinds of pathogens or toxins housed in Ukraine’s laboratories. The agency also did not answer questions about whether its recommendations were followed.

Ukrainian officials in Kyiv and at their embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

- Reuters

7:50 p.m. ET

British sanctions on Roman Abramovich cloud Evraz North America’s operations in Canada

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Evraz North America, which employs 2,200 Canadians, is a wholly owned subsidiary of London-headquartered Evraz PLC, which is about 28 per cent owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.MAXIM SHEMETOV/Reuters

The fallout for steel product maker Evraz North America and its 2,200 Canadian employees remains unclear after the British government Thursday slapped sanctions on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and accused him of using parent company Evraz PLC EVRZF to destabilize Ukraine.

Evraz North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of London-headquartered Evraz PLC, which is about 28 per cent owned by Mr. Abramovich. He is perhaps best known for his ownership of England’s Chelsea Football Club.

Trading in shares of Evraz PLC was suspended on the London Stock Exchange Thursday, the exchange said, “in order to protect investors pending clarification of the impact of the U.K. sanctions.”

Steven Chase and Kathryn Blaze Baum, in Toronto

7:30 p.m. ET

Defence chief says guarding Far North a key priority, warns Russia is back in Arctic bases

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This file photograph taken on Sept. 25, 2015, shows a polar bear on Griffith Island, in the Canadian High Arctic.CLEMENT SABOURIN/AFP/Getty Images

Canada’s defence chief says protecting the country’s Arctic region is a key priority for the Armed Forces, warning that Russia has reoccupied abandoned Cold War bases in its Far North.

Speaking at a defence conference in Ottawa, Gen. Wayne Eyre said defending NATO’s northern flank “is a key area of concern” for the Canadian military.

Eyre said the threat of a Russian incursion into Canada’s Arctic from the North is very low at the moment. But the general said it could not be ruled out in the decades to come.

He was answering questions about whether Russia could extend its territorial ambitions to Canada’s Arctic region or even invade Canada from the North.

He said it is “not inconceivable that our sovereignty may be challenged” in the future from the North. The military needs to “consider the long game” and look at what else Russia is doing in the world. He said “the Far North is a key area of concern.”

The chief of the defence staff warned about the “remilitarization” of the North by Russia, which has reoccupied formerly abandoned Cold War bases in its Arctic region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Canada’s Arctic is potentially vulnerable because of its sparse population and lack of infrastructure.

But Eyre said showing that Canada’s military can fight and operate in extreme conditions at the furthest reaches of its territory acts as a deterrent and may make an aggressor think twice.

“One of the challenges, one of the expressions of sovereignty is being able to project force to the extremities of your country,” he said.

– The Canadian Press

7:20 p.m. ET

‘If you want to know Russia’s plans, they are what Russia accuses others of’: Zelensky on Russian biological weapons claims

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A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking to Britain's MPs by live video-link in the House of Commons, in London, on March 8, 2022.JESSICA TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied Russia’s accusation that Ukraine is preparing to attack with chemical or biological weapons, and he said the accusation itself was a bad sign.

“That worries me very much because we have often been convinced that if you want to know Russia’s plans, they are what Russia accuses others of,” he said in his nightly address to the nation.

Russia said it uncovered plans to create secret laboratories in Ukraine to produce biological weapons.

“I am a reasonable person. The president of a reasonable country and reasonable people. I am the father of two children,” he said. “And no chemical or any other weapon of mass destruction has been developed on my land. The whole world knows this.”

– The Associated Press

7:00 p.m. ET

UN Security Council heeds Russia’s call, will convene to discuss biological weapons claim

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Ambassadors attend a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Threats to International Peace and Security, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in New York City, U.S., March 7, 2022.CARLO ALLEGRI/Reuters

The UN Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss what Russia claims are “the military biological activities of the U.S. on the territory of Ukraine.”

Council diplomats confirmed the meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. EST, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

Russia requested the meeting in a tweet Thursday afternoon from its first deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky.

The request came after the Biden administration rejected the accusation, made without evidence by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, that Ukraine was running chemical and biological labs with U.S. support.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki Psaki called Russia’s claim “preposterous.” On Wednesday, warned that Russia might seek to use chemical or biological weapons against Ukraine, the neighbour it has invaded.

“This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” Psaki tweeted.

But Dmitry Chumakov, another Russian deputy UN ambassador, repeated the accusation Wednesday, urging Western media to cover “the news about secret biological laboratories in Ukraine.”

– The Associated Press

6:20 p.m. ET

Russia calls for UN Security Council meeting over U.S. biological weapons claims

Russia has called for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss what it claims are “the military biological activities of the U.S. on the territory of Ukraine.”

The Russian request, announced in a tweet Thursday afternoon from its deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, follows the Biden administration’s rejection of Russian accusations that Ukraine is running chemical and biological labs with U.S. support.

In response to this week’s accusations by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova – without evidence – White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a public warning Wednesday that Russia might seek to use chemical or biological weapons against Ukraine, the neighbour it has invaded.

Polyansky said Russia has asked for the Security Council to meet on Friday. It was not immediately clear when or whether a council meeting would take place.

Psaki called Russia’s claim “preposterous” and tweeted: “This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine.”

– The Associated Press

5:50 p.m. ET

Russian forces shell Kharkiv nuclear research institute, Ukrainian official says

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A view shows a destroyed building following recent shelling during Ukraine-Russia conflict in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 5, 2022.OLEKSANDR LAPSHYN/Reuters

Russian forces shelled a nuclear research institute in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city on Thursday, setting buildings on fire, said Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.

A shell hit a building where there is equipment that could release radiation if it were damaged, Gerashchenko said. According to the president’s office, there has been no change in the background radiation.

The shelling caused a fire, but firefighters were able to put it out.

Russian forces have already taken over two nuclear power plants in Ukraine, raising concerns about the security of the nuclear facilities.

– The Associated Press

5:20 p.m. ET

Ukraine military says it has successfully held back Russian troops trying to encircle Kyiv in north and west

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A Ukrainian soldier stands guard in Maidan Square in central Kyiv on March 9, 2022.LYNSEY ADDARIO/The New York Times News Service

The Ukrainian military said it has successfully held back Russian troops, preventing them from making any new gains.

The Ukrainian military’s General Staff said that Russian forces were trying to encircle Kyiv moving from the north and west, but their advance has slowed down or even stopped.

It said that Ukrainian forces on Thursday drove Russians out of the village of Baklanova Muraviika near Chernihiv, which sits on a road leading to Kyiv.

– The Associated Press

4:45 p.m. ET

Facebook and Instagram to temporarily allow calls for violence against Russians

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.

The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland, according to a series of internal emails to its content moderators.

These calls for death will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one e-mail said, in a recent change to the company’s rules on violence and incitement.

Meta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

– Reuters

4:37 p.m. ET

1.9M people displaced inside Ukraine so far, UN says

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Ukrainians who fled the war in their country take refuge in the main hall of an athletic complex in the Moldovan capital Kishinev, on March 10, 2022.MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

In addition to the more than 2.3 million people who have fled the war in Ukraine, an estimated 1.9 million people are displaced within the country, according to U.N. officials.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that most of the internally displaced people are moving away from the front lines and heading west toward Lviv. The humanitarian situation “continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace,” he said.

“Humanitarian organizations are deploying additional staff across the country and are working to move supplies to warehouses in different hubs within Ukraine and outside,” Dujarric said. “So far, we – along with our partners – have reached more than 500,000 people with some form of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, including life-saving food, shelter, blankets, and medical supplies.”

By Wednesday, he said, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR had delivered 85 metric tonnes of humanitarian assistance to reception and transit centres in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine, which is hosting people who have fled hostilities further east.

– The Associated Press

4:00 p.m. ET

EU snubs Ukraine’s quest to join, braces for long standoff with Russia

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, center, speaks with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, right, during a group photo at an EU summit at the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles, west of Paris, March 10, 2022.Michel Euler/The Associated Press

European Union leaders gathered on Thursday to agree on a joint response to the war in Ukraine, with differing views on how far to go with economic sanctions, how quickly to cut Russian energy imports, and whether or not to let Kyiv join their bloc swiftly.

Russia has waged war on its smaller neighbour since Feb. 24, when it attacked from land, sea and air to remove Ukraine’s pro-Western government in an attempt to abort the former Soviet republic’s bid to join the EU and NATO.

The fighting has sent more than 2 million refugees fleeing to the EU, which has slapped unprecedented sanctions on Russia and offered political and humanitarian support to Ukraine, as well as some arms supplies.

“We want a free and democratic Ukraine with whom we share a common destiny,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a show of sympathy and moral support.

But other leaders made clear Ukraine would not be allowed to join their wealthy club quickly, something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sought and which has some support from Ukraine’s neighbours on the EU’s eastern flank.

“There is no fast-track procedure,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a key opponent of EU enlargement.

– Reuters

3:20 p.m. ET

Ukrainian embassy draws U.S. citizens seeking to fight in war

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Ukrainian soldiers on an armoured personnel carrier pass by people carrying their belongings as they flee the conflict, in the Vyshgorod region close to Kyiv, Ukraine, March 10, 2022.Efrem Lukatsky/The Associated Press

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has given the smaller nation’s embassy in Washington an unexpected role: recruitment centre for Americans who want to join the fight.

Diplomats working out of the embassy, in a townhouse in the Georgetown section of the city, are fielding thousands of offers from volunteers seeking to fight for Ukraine, even as they work on the far more pressing matter of securing weapons to defend against an increasingly brutal Russian onslaught.

“They really feel that this war is unfair, unprovoked,” said Ukraine’s military attaché, Maj. Gen. Borys Kremenetskyi. “They feel that they have to go and help.”

U.S. volunteers represent just a small subset of foreigners seeking to fight for Ukraine, who in turn comprise just a tiny fraction of the international assistance that has flowed into the country. Still, it is a reflection of the passion, supercharged in an era of social media, that the attack and the mounting civilian casualties have stirred.

– The Associated Press

3:15 p.m. ET

Disney to pause all business in Russia

Walt Disney Co said on Thursday it will pause all business in Russia, including content and product licensing, Disney Cruise Line activities, National Geographic magazine and tours, local content productions and linear channels.

“Given the unrelenting assault on Ukraine and the escalating humanitarian crisis, we are taking steps to pause all other businesses in Russia,” the media and entertainment company said.

Disney said some businesses including linear channels and content and product licensing will take time to pause due to contractual nuances, while other streams of business will pause immediately.

The company had earlier said it would halt the release of theatrical films in Russia. Other Hollywood studios Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment too had decided on such a move last month in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has called its actions in the country a “special operation.”

– Reuters

2:50 p.m. ET

Russian forces appear to take heavy losses as troops continue advance toward Kyiv

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Ukrainian servicemen load an armoured personnel carrier (APC) on March 10, 2022 near Brovary, Ukraine.Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

Russian forces continued their advance toward Kyiv Thursday and appeared to take heavy losses, as the city’s mayor said roughly half the pre-war population had now left the Ukrainian capital.

The reported Russian advance into Brovary, a satellite town on the northeastern edge of Kyiv, came shortly after talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers – the highest-level negotiations of the 15-day-old war – ended without progress toward a ceasefire.

The move into Brovary by a column of Russian armour appeared to fail. A video posted to social media by Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence Service shows more than a dozen tanks parked on the main road to Kyiv before they are suddenly hit by a series of explosions – likely Ukrainian artillery fire. Several tanks appeared to be damaged by the blasts, and the others pull back, heading away from Kyiv. The Defence Intelligence Service said a Russian tank regiment had suffered “significant losses in personnel and equipment” and had been “forced to retreat.”

Nonetheless, the appearance of Russian armour on the eastern edge of Kyiv highlights that the already ruthless battle for the capital is only beginning. Russian forces have for several days been fighting for control of suburbs and villages north and northwest of the city, which has also faced two weeks of air strikes and cruise missile attacks.

Mark MacKinnon in Lviv, Ukraine

2:30 p.m. ET

Trudeau, Harris say they will ‘strengthen assistance’ for Ukraine as leaders meet in Warsaw

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, Poland, March 10, 2022.POOL/Reuters

Justin Trudeau met with American Vice-President Kamala Harris in Warsaw on Thursday to discuss what more their countries can do to support war-torn Ukraine, as the Polish President said he urged the Prime Minister to accelerate Canada’s immigration process for Ukrainians fleeing the war.

The meeting with Ms. Harris was the final one for Mr. Trudeau, who since Monday has met with leaders from nine different countries. The Vice-President said the two would discuss what they can do to “strengthen our assistance in terms of security assistance, humanitarian assistance” for Ukraine. She said they would co-ordinate the next steps of their response to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine with NATO and European Union allies.

“I know we stand in solidarity, in terms of our outrage at this war, and the aggression that Russia has taken against Ukraine, unprovoked, unjustified and we value of course the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” Ms. Harris said.

The Prime Minister commended Ms. Harris and President Joe Biden for co-ordinating the response from allies before the Kremlin launched its assault on Ukraine. “The kind of alliance, the kind of strength of unity that we’ve shown, I think, has really made a difference,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Marieke Walsh in Warsaw, Poland

2:17 p.m. ET

Irpin evacuation: Timeline of key events as the Ukrainian city has come under Russian attack

Before the Russian invasion, Irpin was a city of 60,000 people. Now, thousands of civilians have fled deadly Russian strikes on the city 20 kilometres from Kyiv. Here is a timeline of key moments as Irpin has been enveloped by the war.

The Globe and Mail

2:15 p.m. ET

Russia denies responsibility for air strike on Ukrainian maternity hospital

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Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.Evgeniy Maloletka/The Associated Press

The Russian Defense Ministry denied responsibility Thursday for striking a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and claimed that the explosions that hit the building were staged to smear Russia.

Ukrainian officials said that Wednesday’s Russian air strike on the hospital killed three people, including a child, and wounded 17 others. The attack has caused global outrage.

Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov denied that the Russian military struck the hospital. He claimed that the two explosions that ravaged the building were caused by explosive devices planted nearby in what he described as a “staged provocation to incite anti-Russian agitation in the West.”

– The Associated Press

1 p.m. ET

Ottawa will spend $117-million to accelerate arrival of Ukrainians fleeing war, Trudeau says

Canada will spend $117-million to help speed up the arrival of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war and match an additional $20-million in donations for Ukraine made through the Canadian Red Cross, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday.

The money will help ensure “we can get Ukrainians fleeing for their lives to Canada sooner and help ease the burden” on neighbouring countries, Mr. Trudeau said from Warsaw.

The Prime Minister was in Poland for the final leg of his four-country tour in Europe where he met with leaders to discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine and the West’s response. Read full story.

Marieke Walsh in Warsaw, Poland

12:50 p.m. ET

War in Ukraine sparks economic turmoil for the world’s poor as food and energy costs soar

When the lights went out in South Africa this week, the country’s electricity monopoly warned that the war in Ukraine could soon deepen the darkness. Power cuts are common in South Africa, a legacy of corruption and deferred maintenance. But to stave off a complete collapse, the state-owned utility Eskom is heavily reliant on the emergency use of diesel fuel. It now uses nine million litres every day to run its turbines – and admits this will become unsustainable as oil prices soar as a result of the war.

“We will get to a point where we don’t have funds to pay for diesel,” Calib Cassim, Eskom’s chief financial officer, warned at a briefing this week.

The prospect of worsening blackouts in South Africa is just one example of how the Russian invasion of Ukraine is sending shock waves around the world. Read full story.

-The Globe’s Geoffrey York

12:00 p.m. ET

Putin has chosen to ‘specifically target civilians,’ says Trudeau

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a press briefing with the Polish President at presidential palace in Warsaw, Poland on March 10, 2022.JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a choice to “specifically target civilians” and any further targeting of civilians in Ukraine is going to be met with the “severest of responses.”

“Putin’s callous disregard for human life is absolutely unacceptable. It is very clear that he has made the choice to specifically target civilians now,” Trudeau told reporters in Warsaw.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of carrying out genocide after Ukrainian officials said Russian aircraft bombed a children’s hospital on Wednesday, killing three people including a child.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” and has said its forces do not fire on civilian targets. On Thursday, it shifted its stance over the bombing of the hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, with a mix of statements that veered between aggressive denials and a call by the Kremlin to establish clear facts.

“Putin needs to know that the consequences for his actions already will be severe, and further escalations by him, further targeting of civilians, further use of problematic ways to kill civilians is going to be met with the severest of responses both globally and individually on him,” Trudeau said.


11:27 a.m. ET

Opinion: What the Cold War can teach us about the future of Ukraine’s insurgency and its besieged capital

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Smoke rises after shelling near Kyiv, Ukraine March 10, 2022.GLEB GARANICH/Reuters

What does the future hold for Ukraine? Two scenarios stand out: a sustained insurgency and guerrilla war, after the eventual collapse of the Ukrainian army and government; and a severe humanitarian crisis across the country.

The Cold War offers important clues, and some cautionary lessons, as the West finds itself confronting such developments today.

A Ukrainian insurgency can only succeed if many conditions are met: popular support; high morale; strong leadership; safe territory for operations; arms and supplies; good intelligence on vulnerable targets and Russian countermeasures; and resilient communications networks to co-ordinate attacks and defence. A defiant Ukrainian campaign to bleed the Russian occupation would require Western support in the provision of arms, intelligence and communications. Read full story.

-Wesley Wark, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation

11:09 a.m. ET

Germans offer up 300,000 private homes for refugees from Ukraine

Germans have offered up 300,000 private homes to house refugees from Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country, Germany’s interior ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry is co-operating with the non-profit AG and home rental company Airbnb Inc’s non-profit arm to assign refugees to housing offers, it said on Thursday.

More than 2.3 million people have fled from Ukraine since the invasion, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Most are women and children, as able-bodied men have been ordered by the Kyiv government to stay home to fight.

As of Wednesday, just over 80,000 Ukrainian refugees had been registered in Germany, with more arriving every day.


10:16 a.m. ET

Kamala Harris embraces call for war crimes probe of Russia

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday embraced calls for an international war crimes investigation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, citing the “atrocities” of bombing civilians, including a maternity hospital.

Speaking alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda at a news conference in Warsaw, where she is demonstrating U.S. support for NATO’s eastern flank allies, Harris expressed outrage over the bombing Wednesday of the maternity hospital and scenes of bloodied pregnant women being evacuated, as well as other attacks on civilians. She stopped short of directly accusing Russia of having committed war crimes. Read full story.

– The Associated Press

10:15 a.m. ET

9:42 a.m. ET

War damage tops $100 billion so far, Ukraine adviser says

Ukraine’s top government economic adviser Oleg Ustenko said on Thursday that invading Russian forces have so far destroyed at least $100 billion worth of infrastructure, buildings and other physical assets.

Ustenko, chief economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told an online event hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics that the war has caused 50% of Ukrainian businesses to shut down completely, while the other half are operating at well below their capacity.


9 a.m. ET

Russian shelling hinders efforts to help trapped Mariupol residents

Russian shelling of Mariupol on Thursday prevented a humanitarian convoy reaching the besieged Ukrainian city, local officials said, and dented hopes of evacuating trapped civilians who are increasingly desperate for supplies.

Residents have been cowering under fire, and without power or water, in the Black Sea port city of over 400,000 people for more than a week and attempts to arrange a local ceasefire and safe passage out have failed repeatedly.

Another “humanitarian corridor” appeared to have failed on Thursday, a day after the bombing of a hospital in the city which President Volodoymr Zelensky said had killed two adults and a child.

“Bombs are hitting houses,” the Mariupol city council said in an online post released as the top Ukrainian and Russian diplomats held talks in Turkey. The council said a university and a theatre had also been hit but gave no casualty figures.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, denies targeting civilians.


8:54 a.m. ET

Sanctions on Abramovich see restrictions placed on Chelsea

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The logo of Chelsea Football Club is pictured outside Stamford Bridge, after Britain imposed sanctions on its Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, on March 10, 2022.HANNAH MCKAY/Reuters

European and world soccer champion Chelsea was among the assets of Roman Abramovich frozen by the British government on Thursday after he was sanctioned for his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Team activities from selling new tickets to signing players were instantly restricted. The merchandise store at the Stamford Bridge stadium in west London was rapidly closed with a sign on the doors telling supporters it was “due to the latest government announcement.”

The unprecedented government measures placed on an English Premier League team mean Chelsea can operate only under a special “Russia Regulations” license through May 31 that stymies Abramovich’s rapid plan to sell the club. However, Chelsea is allowed to keep playing, with a game at Norwich on Thursday night.

-The Associated Press

8:48 a.m. ET

On Syrian front line, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine evokes painful memories

8:06 a.m. ET

Ukraine, Britain call Mariupol hospital strike a war crime

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A woman walks outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.Evgeniy Maloletka/The Associated Press

A Russian air strike on a Mariupol maternity hospital that killed three people drew outrage on Thursday, with Ukrainian and British officials branding it a war crime. As efforts to reach a broad ceasefire failed, emergency workers renewed efforts to get vital food and medical supplies into besieged cities, and to get traumatized residents out.

Mariupol’s city council and Ukraine’s president said a child was among the dead in Wednesday’s attack in the southern port. Another 17 people were wounded, including women waiting to give birth, doctors and children buried in the rubble.

Images of pregnant women covered in dust and blood dominated news reports in many countries, and brought a new wave of horror at the 2-week-old war sparked by Russia’s invasion, which has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians, driven more than 2 million people from Ukraine and shaken the foundations of European security.

-The Associated Press

7:41 a.m. ET

Canada’s McCain Foods halts plans for Russia plant

Canadian french-fry giant McCain Foods Ltd. says it is halting construction of its first Russian manufacturing plant and halting sales to the country because of the invasion of Ukraine.

The facility, in the Tula oblast about 200 kilometres south of Moscow, began construction in 2021 and was expected to cost $212-million. McCain suspended construction on Feb. 24, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine first began, and announced Thursday it was abandoning the project.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been deeply concerning to all of us at McCain Foods,” Charlie Angelakos, vice-president of global external affairs and sustainability, said in a statement. “Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by this crisis and we have done everything in our power to put the health and safety of our employees at the centre of our response.”

McCain also said it was suspending all shipments of its products into Russia. Read full story.

-The Globe’s Chris Hannay

7:02 a.m. ET

Nuclear war? Russia’s Lavrov says: I don’t believe so

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to the media after a trilateral meeting with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Antalya, Turkey, Thursday, March 10, 2022.The Associated Press

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday he did not believe the conflict in Ukraine would spiral into a nuclear war but cautioned the United States and Europe that Moscow never again wanted to be dependent on the West.

Russia’s economy is facing the gravest crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union after the West slapped heavy sanctions on almost the entire Russian financial and corporate system following Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Asked by a Kremlin correspondent for Russia’s Kommersant newspaper if he thought a nuclear war could be triggered, Lavrov told reporters in Turkey: “I don’t want to believe it, and I do not believe it.”

Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister since 2004, said the nuclear theme had been thrown into discussions only by the West, which he said kept on returning to nuclear war like Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.

“Of course it gives us cause for concern when the West, like Freud, keeps on returning and returning to this topic,” Lavrov said after talks in Antalya, Turkey with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.


6:42 a.m. ET

Ukraine asks Russia for access to fix power line to occupied Chernobyl nuclear plant

The decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power station, occupied by Russian forces, remained disconnected from Ukraine’s energy grid for a second day on Thursday, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said.

He said the plant was running on backup diesel generators.

“We have officially requested that the (Russian) occupants give us corridors to fix the power lines to the plant,” he said.


6:30 a.m. ET

Russia-Ukraine talks yield no progress as war enters third week

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a news conference after meeting with his counterparts Russian Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Mevlut Cavusoglu, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Antalya, Turkey March 10, 2022.MURAD SEZER/Reuters

Russia’s war in Ukraine entered the third week on Thursday with none of its stated objectives reached, despite thousands of people killed, more than two million made refugees and thousands cowering in besieged cities under relentless bombardment.

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine met on Thursday in Turkey, the highest level contact between the two countries since the war began on Feb. 24, but in simultaneous duelling news conferences made clear they had made no progress.

Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba said he had secured no promise from Russia’s Sergei Lavrov to halt firing so aid could reach civilians, including Kyiv’s main humanitarian priority – evacuating hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the besieged port of Mariupol.

Lavrov showed no sign of making any concessions, repeating Russian demands that Ukraine be disarmed and accept neutral status. He said Kyiv appeared to want meetings for the sake of meetings, and blamed the West for intensifying the conflict by arming its neighbour.

The city council of Mariupol said the port had come under fresh air strikes on Thursday morning and Ukraine said Russia committed “genocide” by bombing a maternity hospital there on Wednesday. Lavrov said the building was no longer used as a hospital and had been occupied by Ukrainian forces.


6:21 a.m. ET

Russia is deliberately blocking Mariupol evacuation, Ukrainian official says

Russia is deliberately preventing the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol because it has failed to seize the strategic Black Sea port city, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Thursday.

Ukraine said earlier on Thursday that an aid convoy to the city had to turn back because of fighting. Russia has denied targeting civilians in what it calls a “special operation” in Ukraine.


6:16 a.m. ET

Lviv struggling to feed, house displaced Ukrainians fleeing war-torn areas, mayor says

Andriy Sadovyi is a man under pressure. The mayor of Lviv, the cultural capital of western Ukraine, is managing a city bursting at the seams.

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, and Lviv struggles to cope with 200,000 internally displaced people who have fled here from other parts of this war-torn country – with tens of thousands more arriving every day – Mr. Sadovyi wonders where the international community is.

“We are in need of you here,” he said, addressing organizations such as the World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration, which are not yet fully mobilized in Ukraine despite the fact the invasion had been loudly predicted by Western governments since late last year. “Our refugees are in need of you here. We need mobile facilities, makeshift facilities, for refugees. Food products, water, medications. Immediately. Today. Not tomorrow.” Read full story.

-The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon

6:15 a.m. ET

Odesa mayor braces for Russian war to reach historic Ukrainian city

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Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov in his office in Odesa, Ukraine on Feb. 18, 2022.Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times News Service

More than 150,000 people have fled Odesa, as the city on the Black Sea prepares for a deadly Russian assault like those that have shattered other Ukrainian centres.

“We are still in shock at what is happening – that cities are being ruined in the 21st century, that Ukrainian cities are being wiped off the Earth,” Gennadiy Trukhanov, the mayor of Odesa, told The Globe and Mail in an interview.

The city, with its centuries of culture and legacy of architectural grandeur, has remained largely untouched by two weeks of war that have deeply scarred other major Ukrainian centres flailed by Russian bombardments.

In Odesa, there are still moments of quiet, times when “the sun is shining on the city and you are on the road, when for a minute you can forget there is a war,” Mr. Trukhanov said.

Then the air raid sirens, now sounding with greater persistence, shatter the stillness, and “we get back to the reality of a very cruel war,” he said. Read full story.

-The Globe’s Nathan VanderKlippe

6:11 a.m. ET

Inside a frantic race to get Ukrainian corn and wheat to world markets

From the Romanian shores of the Black Sea to the grain silos of the Ukrainian steppe, a great race is under way to find new export routes for millions of tonnes of wheat and corn now trapped by war.

If the farmers, traders, railways and port terminal operators can succeed, they will pour fresh export revenues into the coffers of a country fighting against a Russian invasion, while ensuring a critical stockpile of food reaches consumers instead of rotting in storage.

The stakes could scarcely be higher, with Ukrainians currently blocked from traditional export channels through shuttered domestic ports. Since the onset of hostilities two weeks ago, five cargo vessels have been struck by munitions. One sank. Read full story.

-The Globe’s Nathan VanderKlippe

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