Skip to main content
live now

The Ukrainian government started handing out weapons to citizens planning to resist and urged them to make Molotov cocktails to slow the Russian advance

This digest has now been archived.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

A Ukrainian soldier sits injured in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

Editor’s note: Our live coverage on this page has ended. Follow the latest Russia-Ukraine news and updates as the battle for Kyiv escalates.

Russia has invaded Ukraine. Here are the latest updates:


1:30 a.m. ET

Russian, Ukrainian forces clash in streets of Kyiv

Russian and Ukrainian forces clashed in Kyiv on Saturday as authorities urged citizens to help defend the city. Heavy, frequent artillery fire and intense gunfire, apparently some distance from the city centre, could be heard, a witness in Kyiv said. The Ukrainian military said Russian troops attacked an army base on a main avenue but the assault was repelled. Gunfire was heard after dawn near government buildings in the city centre, a witness said. The air force command reported heavy fighting near an air base at Vasylkiv southwest of the capital, which it said was under attack from Russian paratroopers. It also said one of its fighters had shot down a Russian transport plane, but those claims remain unverified.

Ukrainian officials said Russian forces fired cruise missiles from the Black Sea at the cities of Sumy, Poltava and Mariupol and there was heavy fighting near the southern city of Mariupol.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaking in a video message from outside his Kyiv office, was defiant.

“We will not put down weapons, we will defend our state,” Zelenskiy said.

-Reuters


12:20 a.m. ET

Biden approves $350-million in military aid for Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden instructed the State Department to release $350-million in military aid to Ukraine on Friday as it struggles to repulse a Russian invasion.

In a memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Biden directed that $350-million allocated through the Foreign Assistance Act be designated for Ukraine’s defence.

-Reuters


11:51 p.m. ET

China’s embassy in Ukraine reverses advice for citizens to identify themselves amid backlash

Days after encouraging people to put Chinese flags on their cars if they were travelling, China’s embassy in Ukraine is now warning citizens in the country not to “display identifying signs.”

The advice comes amid unconfirmed reports on social media of a backlash against Chinese in Ukraine after Beijing publicly backed Russia’s invasion of the country.

On Friday night, Beijing’s representative abstained from a vote condemning Moscow’s actions at the United Nations Security Council. Earlier in the day, President Xi Jinping had a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in which he urged negotiation with Kyiv but also acknowledged Russia’s “legitimate security concerns.”

”The Chinese embassy in Ukraine would like to remind our compatriots that during the current security situation, we should attach great importance to friendly relations with the Ukrainian people, avoid disputes on specific issues and strive to resolve issues through friendly means,” the embassy said Friday night in a post on WeChat.

”Minimize security risks by staying away from military installations, military personnel and gunmen. Do not take pictures of people in the crossfire, or without their consent.

”Some 6,000 Chinese citizens live in Ukraine, according to the embassy, which earlier said there were charter flights available for those trying to leave the country.

-James Griffiths in Hong Kong


11:44 p.m. ET

Meta to bar Russian state media from running ads, monetizing on platform

Meta Platforms Inc is barring Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on its platform anywhere in the world, the parent company of social media giant Facebook said on Friday.

“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media,” its security policy head, Nathaniel Gleicher, said on Twitter. “These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend.”

-Reuters


10:20 p.m. ET

Ukraine says two commercial ships hit by Russian missiles near Odesa port

Ukraine said Russian warships shelled a Moldovan-flagged chemical tanker and a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship due to load grain near Odesa port in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said that the Moldovan-flagged vessel, the Millennial Spirit, was carrying 600 tonnes of diesel at the time of the attack from a Russian military ship.

Earlier on Friday Moldova’s naval agency said the crew of the Millennial Spirit was Russian and that two of them had been seriously injured.

According to the Ukrainian ministry, the cargo ship Namura Queen was also hit by Russian missiles on Friday.

-Reuters


10:16 p.m. ET

How teachers are helping students make sense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

A family sit in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. In Ukraine's capital, many residents hurried underground for safety overnight Thursday and Friday as Russian forces fired on the city and moved closer.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

At a Ukrainian Saturday school in Oakville, Ont., students typically learn about their culture, participate in dance lessons and study the language.

This weekend, however, classes at Oakville Ridna Shkola will have a more sombre tone: The younger children will write letters to soldiers and high-school students will listen to a guest speaker’s lecture about misinformation and how to find reliable sources of news about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We want them to have an understanding of what the real facts are, what is really happening. And the most important thing is to distinguish between the true information and fake information,” said Oksana Levytska, principal at the school.

Oakville Ridna Shkola is one of many institutions across the country that are providing spaces for young people to share how they feel during an uncertain time. Educators are balancing the possibility of spreading fear among students with the benefits of helping them understand the events unfolding in Ukraine.

-Caroline Alphonso


10:11 p.m. ET

Japan considering imposing sanctions against Belarus

Japan is considering imposing economic sanctions on Belarus, in line with the United States, for its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two government officials with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear which individuals or entities would be targeted by such sanctions. The officials told Reuters that Tokyo will coordinate with other members of the Group of Seven industrial powers.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman declined comment. The office of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida could not immediately be reached for comment.

-Reuters


10:03 p.m. ET

Ukraine’s military says it shot down Russian military transport plane with paratroopers on board

According to a statement from the military’s General Staff, the Il-76 heavy transport plane was shot down near Vasylkiv, a city 40 kilometers south of Kyiv. The Russian military has not commented on the incident so far, and the report could not be immediately verified.

-The Associated Press


8:55 p.m. ET

After day of protests, Ukrainian-Canadians focus on fundraising amid Russian advance

People attend a rally in support of the people of Ukraine, in Vancouver, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.DARRYL DYCK/The Associated Press

Canadians rushed to provide war-torn Ukraine with material aid, selling donuts to raise money, offering furniture to future refugees, and trying to purchase military equipment for veterans on the front lines.

After a day of protest, attention turned to the difficult task of giving a beleaguered nation the help its government was seeking, in ways large and small. The Ukrainian military took the dramatic step of asking international supporters for cash donations, while Canada’s federal government offered to match individual contributions to the Canadian Red Cross.

Two more groups, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, teamed up at the end of January to launch a fundraising drive called the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The pair has collected $2.4-million of its $5-million goal, according to the tally on CUF’s website.

-Eric Andrew-Gee , Joe Friesen , Carrie Tait , Ntawnis Piapot



8:22 p.m. ET

In photos: 48 hours of war in six Ukrainian cities

A woman and child peer out of the window of a bus as they leave Sievierodonetsk, the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.Vadim Ghirda/The Associated Press

Explosions were seen across Ukraine from Lviv to Kharkiv and thousands have fled their homes. From their eastern and northern borders to the Black Sea coast, Ukrainians have mobilized to fight Russia’s invasion.

While history unfolds, photojournalists are capturing remarkable images of the invasion, up close and sometimes at great risk to their safety. This is an overview of what they’ve seen so far, and where they saw it.

-Globe Staff


7:26 p.m. ET

Canadian tech firms with Ukraine offices struggling to get employees out of country as Russian forces advance

Canadian technology firms with offices and employees in Ukraine are trying to help staff flee the country, but efforts to get them access to Canada have so far largely gone nowhere.

Chief executives at several tech companies said the Canadian government has not provided work visas or approved refugee applications for their Ukrainian staff.

Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said his department has already approved more than 1,800 Ukrainian immigration applications on a “priority basis,” and is expediting applications from Ukrainians who are trying to escape the conflict.

But Anna Sainsbury, chief executive officer of Vancouver cybersecurity firm GeoComply Solutions Inc., said her experience has been far from what the immigration minister described. Her company has been attempting to get federal officials to create streamlined or priority immigration applications for Ukrainian employees since early February, but has not heard back from Ottawa.

-Temur Durrani


7:06 p.m. ET

White House asks Congress for $6.4-billion for Ukraine crisis

The White House asked Congress to approve $6.4-billion in aid to address the humanitarian and security crisis in Ukraine.

The request included $2.9-billion in security and humanitarian assistance and $3.5-billion for the Department of Defense. The money would also cover the implementation and enforcement of the sanctions Biden is enacting to punish Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.

Congressional aides said the administration had made the request on Friday at a briefing for staff from congressional leadership offices and relevant committees, including the appropriations committees that set spending.

-Reuters


7:06 p.m. ET

B.C. Premier John Horgan condemns Putin

British Columbia supports the people of Ukraine in their battle to turn back Russian military forces and President Vladimir Putin, says Premier John Horgan.

B.C. is working with the federal government and will support whatever sanctions Canada decides to impose to help condemn Russian actions, he said Friday.

“I want to add my condemnation to the wrongful actions of the government of Russia in taking away the liberties and threatening the lives of the people of Ukraine,” he told a news conference at Government House after announcing changes to his cabinet.

-The Canadian Press



6:26 p.m. ET

Trudeau calls for Russia to be cut out of crucial SWIFT pay system in new wave of sanctions over Ukraine invasion

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling for Russia to be cut out of the SWIFT system for international banking payments.

Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden and the European Union all imposed sanctions directly on Mr. Putin and his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, freezing any assets they own in these three jurisdictions.

The Canadian Prime Minister went a step further and openly pushed for a ban on Russian banks using SWIFT, the service that allows for cross-border financial transactions, including paying for traded goods. It is particularly crucial for Russia to collect the fossil fuel royalty payments that fund its government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Canada’s new sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin personally, as well as foreign minister Sergeĭ Lavrov, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Trudeau also announced Canada’s support of removing Russia from the international banking system SWIFT, and said personal donations from Canadians to Ukraine relief efforts would be matched by Ottawa up to $10-million.

The Globe and Mail

“We have made it clear that all options are on the table when it comes to imposing steep costs on Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion,” Mr. Trudeau said. “Excluding Russian banks from SWIFT would make it even more difficult for President Putin to finance his brutalities.”

Mr. Trudeau’s announcement now makes him the most vocal proponent of the measure among G7 leaders. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also favoured ejecting Russia from SWIFT, while the EU, led by Germany, has been most opposed.

-Adrian Morrow, Steven Chase, Robert Fife

Back to top


6:02 p.m. ET

Russia vetoes UN resolution to end Ukraine invasion

Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution telling Moscow to stop attacking Ukraine and withdraw all troops immediately.

The veto was expected, but the United States and its supporters argued that the effort would highlight Moscow’s international isolation.

The 11-1 vote – with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining – showed significant but not total opposition to Russia’s invasion of its smaller, militarily weaker neighbour.

The resolution’s failure paves the way for backers to call for a swift vote on a similar measure in the 193-member UN General Assembly, where there are no vetoes. There was no immediate timetable for a potential Assembly vote.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions aren’t legally binding, but they can function as statements of world opinion. In an Assembly meeting Wednesday as Moscow’s invasion loomed, dozens of countries condemned Russia or expressed solidarity with Ukraine. Russia and ally Syria defended Moscow’s moves.

-The Associated Press


5:19 p.m. ET

Canada to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a third set of severe, co-ordinated sanctions against the country over its invasion of Ukraine.

Canada will also bring in sanctions on Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and Putin’s chief of staff.

Trudeau says these men bear the greatest responsibility for the death and destruction occurring in Ukraine.

The prime minister also says Canada is confirming its support to remove Russia from the SWIFT payment system, a critical part of the global banking system.

-The Canadian Press


5 p.m. ET

Watch: Gunfire outside a hospital and the aftermath of battle as Russian forces move into Ukraine

As Russian forces moved deeper into Ukraine on Friday, videos show weapons fire striking outside a hospital in southeast Ukraine and the aftermath of a battle for a key bridge over the Dnieper River.

The Globe and Mail

As Russian forces moved deeper into Ukraine on Friday, videos show weapons fire striking outside a hospital in southeast Ukraine and the aftermath of a battle for a key bridge over the Dnieper River.

-The Globe and Mail


4:53 p.m. ET

Wall Street sharply higher for second day after Ukraine shock

U.S. stocks ended up sharply for a second day on Friday, with the Dow registering its biggest daily percentage gain since November 2020 as the market rebounded from the sharp selloff leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Oil prices fell below $100 a barrel, easing some concerns about higher energy costs.

Investors also are assessing news that Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a call that Russia was willing to hold high-level talks with Ukraine, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Some strategists say stock-selling may have been overdone. The S&P 500 confirmed earlier this week it was in a correction when it ended down more than 10% from its Jan. 3 record closing high.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 96.04 points, or 2.25%, to end at 4,384.74 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 223.28 points, or 1.66%, to 13,695.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 834.16 points, or 2.51%, to 34,058.55.

-Reuters, Globe Staff


4:27 p.m. ET

Watch: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses Canada’s response to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Trudeau is holding a news conference on Parliament Hill to provide an update on Canada’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He is joined by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Anita Anand, Mélanie Joly, Sean Fraser, and Harjit Sajjan.


4:06 p.m. ET

Around the world, anti-war protestors gather to show support for Ukraine

People demonstrate outside of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's residence on Feb. 25, 2022 in London.JEFF J MITCHELL/Getty Images

Members of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) hold flags during a protest against the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, in Athens, Greece, February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Louiza VradiLOUIZA VRADI/Reuters

More images from the protests and other demonstrations here.

-Lacy Atalick


3:36 p.m. ET

Opinion: How Nord Stream 2 became a geopolitical blunder for both Russia and Germany

No pipeline in decades has carried as much geopolitical risk as the Nord Stream 2, the megaproject that was supposed to bring Russia and Germany closer together economically, stuff Western Europe with cheap fuel and accelerate the demise of dirty coal power plants.

Those risks, apparent from Day 1 in 2015, when NS2 was announced, finally overwhelmed the pipeline this week. NS2 is effectively, although not officially, dead; it now has zero chance of obtaining an operating licence from Berlin in the next few years, if ever. The war in Ukraine finally tipped it over the edge, an example of savage politics overwhelming serious commerce.

A painted map of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany is shown at the natural gas receiving station in the Lubmin industrial estate in Lubmin, Germany, on Nov 16, 2021.Stefan Sauer/The Associated Press

Many countries, not just Ukraine, opposed the pipeline. They argued it would make Germany and a few other countries slaves to Russian gas, opening the door to blackmail and intensifying Europe’s fossil fuel reliance when it should be devoting its might and creativity to renewable energy.

The U.S. slapped sanctions on NS2, but they were too narrow and ultimately proved entirely ineffective. One of the targets was pipe-laying ships in the Baltic. The Russians solved that problem by finding ships that were not subject to the sanctions.

In the end, Russia lost an enormous pipeline that could have earned Gazprom fortunes for decades and made Europe even more reliant on imported gas. Germany’s endorsement of NS2 until Mr. Scholz banished it, showed the country had woefully misjudged the pipeline’s geopolitical risks, making it look naive and feckless. There were no winners in this saga, just lessons.

-Eric Reguly


3:16 p.m. ET

Canada to match individual donations to Red Cross for Ukraine

The federal government is planning to match donations made to the Canadian Red Cross for humanitarian relief for Ukraine. The campaign, which is slated to begin Friday and run until March 18, would see the government match donations by Canadians dollar for dollar to a maximum of $10-million, said a senior government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet public.

The head of Save the Children Canada also urged Canadians to donate funds as part a US$19-million global appeal to help the humanitarian efforts on the ground as the fighting continued across Ukraine.

The Globe and Mail has also compiled a list of organizations taking humanitarian donations for Ukraine.


3:09 p.m. ET

Russian troops stop near northeast city of Konotop, say Ukrainian land forces

Russian troops have stopped near the northeast city of Konotop after suffering heavy losses during a fight, Ukraine’s land forces said.

“They have a problem with fuel and supply,” the statement said, adding there were cases of looting by Russian soldiers in local shops.

-Reuters


2:49 p.m. ET

Video shows invading Russian troops disabling highway camera


1:53 p.m. ET

Ontario Liberal leader asks LCBO to pull Russian products over Ukraine invasion

The leader of Ontario’s Liberal Party is asking the LCBO to stop selling Russian products following that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Steven Del Duca wrote to the CEO of the provincial Crown liquor corporation asking that the LCBO pull Russian items until troops are withdrawn.

In his Friday letter to George Soleas, Del Duca said Ontario should follow the lead of the federal government, which has issued sanctions against Russia and taken a stand against the invasion. He said Ontario can’t say it’s standing with Ukraine “while continuing to be (Vladimir) Putin’s customer.”

The LCBO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

-The Canadian Press


1:48 p.m. ET

Auto makers idle production following Russia’s invasion, other firms also scramble

Several companies, including auto makers Volkswagen and Renault and tire maker Nokian Tyres, on Friday outlined plans to shut or shift manufacturing operations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The United States announced sweeping export restrictions against Russia on Thursday, hammering its access to global exports of goods ranging from commercial electronics and computers to semiconductors and aircraft parts. That could lead companies to alter manufacturing plans or seek alternative supply lines.

The invasion was a factor in consulting firms J.D. Power and LMC Automotive slashing their 2022 global new-car sales outlook by 400,000 vehicles to 85.8 million units. The auto industry had already been dealing with a tight supply of vehicles due to the global semiconductor shortage.

-Reuters


1:41 p.m. ET

Canadian phone companies waive charges for Ukraine calls, texts

Canadian phone companies are waiving long-distance and text charges for calls to Ukraine amid Russia’s assault on the country.

Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., Telus Corp. and Shaw Communications Inc. have all announced customers will not be charged to help connect with loved ones in the embattled region.

Rogers and its mobile subsidiary Fido Solutions say long-distance and text charges will be set aside, as will roaming fees for clients in Ukraine until the end of March.

Telus is waiving all roaming charges for calls, text, and data overages for customers in that country, and long distance and SMS fees for those in Canada reaching out to friends and family there.

Shaw and its Freedom Mobile subsidiary are holding off on long distance and text fees until March 31 as well.

-The Canadian Press


1:41 p.m. ET

Opinion: A travel ban on Russians could avert further conflict in Ukraine

As I write this in the Dominican Republic, thousands of Russian tourists are sunning themselves on local beaches, drinking tequila in the bars and partying to beat the band. Simultaneously, there are Russian rockets raining down on Kyiv, civilians dying in droves and a despot in the Kremlin with access to nuclear weapons, threatening any country that dares intervene while remaining oblivious to diplomatic entreaties and indifferent to all the announced international sanctions.

If history is a guide, Vladimir Putin will see a bump in his domestic popularity if the invasion of Ukraine succeeds, and most Russians will shrug if the economy eventually shrinks again.

Nevertheless, domestic opposition to the invasion remains one of the best hopes for taming Mr. Putin’s aggression. And while Russians have bravely taken to the streets in cities across the country, with hundreds already detained for doing so, more people there need to understand that their government’s terrible actions have painful consequences for them, and for how they are seen around the world. On this, the typical slate of economic sanctions do not appear to be doing the job.

There is, however, another set of sanctions that would bite, and could quickly help turn popular opinion against Mr. Putin: An indefinite ban of travellers from Russia by democratic nations.

-Sam Blyth


1:40 p.m. ET

Images show new deployments of forces, 150 helicopters in southern Belarus

A satellite image shows military forces near Brest in the western Belarus on February 24, 2022.MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES/Reuters

Satellite imagery taken on Friday showed several large deployments of ground forces and about 150 transport helicopters in southern Belarus, about 20 miles from the border with Ukraine, a private U.S. company said.

The images showed one large helicopter deployment near the Belarusian town of Chojniki, which had over 90 helicopters parked on a road with the deployment extending for more than five miles. Images also showed a large deployment of ground forces with several hundred vehicles in convoy position in several fields.

The images released by Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, could not be independently verified by Reuters.

-Reuters


1:19 p.m. ET

Russia booted from Eurovision Song Contest over invasion of Ukraine

The European Broadcasting Union says that Russia will not be allowed an entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The union said in a statement Friday that given the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry would bring the competition into “disrepute.”

“The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service,” the union said on Twitter. “We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”

This year’s finale is being held in Turin, Italy, on May 14.

Russia has not yet announced an entrant for the splashy contest.

Ukraine will be represented by Kalush Orchestra, which organizers describe as a “hip-hop band with a fondness for folk.”

-The Associated Press


1:15 p.m. ET

Battle for Kyiv rages as residents urged to fight

The battle for this city of three million people began in earnest on Friday, as Russian troops and armoured vehicles entered parts of Ukraine’s capital, which started handing out weapons to citizens planning to resist.

The Defence Ministry said Russian reconnaissance units were in the northern Obolon neighbourhood of the city, close to Kyiv’s historic Podil district, a place of cafés and cobblestoned streets that is now a frontline. “We ask citizens to inform about the movement of equipment!” the official statement said. “Make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the occupier!”

Russia’s authoritarian President Vladimir Putin called on the Ukrainian army to overthrow the elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky. “Take power in your own hands. It seems like it will be easier for us to agree with you than this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis,” Mr. Putin said, referring to Mr. Zelensky, who is Jewish.

The Ukrainian government said they had destroyed three bridges on the northern approach to the capital to slow the Russian advance. A few hours later, as fighting moved closer to the centre of the city, the Interior Ministry announced it had distributed some 18,000 assault rifles to residents.

Friday’s fighting followed a night of fierce bombing in and around Kyiv. In the eastern Pozniaky district of the city, a 10-storey apartment block had its windows blown out and façade badly damaged when a Russian cruise missile slammed into the ground directly in front of the residential building, leaving a two-metre-deep crater while narrowly missing a kindergarten. Three people were injured.

Amnesty International said on Friday that Russia’s war against Ukraine “has been marked by indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and strikes on protected objects such as hospitals,” and that at least six civilians had been confirmed as killed in the first day of attacks. Agnès Callamard, the group’s secretary-general, said some of the attacks on civilian areas “may be war crimes.”

-Mark MacKinnon in Kyiv, Ukraine


12:36 p.m. ET

Moscow cracks down on protesters as Russian troops invade Ukraine

Police on Thursday detained more than 1,600 Russians who protested against Russia’s multi-pronged military operation in Ukraine, while authorities threatened to block media reports that contain what Moscow described as “false information.”

In acts of cautious, but unusual dissent, Russian pop stars, journalists, a television comedian and a footballer opposed the war online after President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.

By 2 p.m. ET, police had detained 1,667 people at rallies in 53 cities, the OVD-Info rights monitor said – easily the biggest tally since last year’s crushing of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s network ushered in an ice age in activism.

Protesters defied a warning issued on Thursday by the Investigative Committee, a kind of Russian answer to the FBI, that explicitly threatened criminal action and even jail time for people calling for or taking part in protests.

“I was detained on my way out of the house,” Marina Litvinovich, a Moscow-based activist, wrote on Telegram after she called on Russians in a Facebook post on Thursday morning to protest later that evening.

-Reuters


11:50 a.m. ET

Europeans rush to Polish-Ukrainian border to pick up family or lend a helping hand

From left to right; Jan Mihalicek, Marek Mahdal, and Martin Ladman drove from Prague to the border with Ukraine to offer refugees a free ride to the Czech capital as well as help with shelter and food, on Feb. 25, 2022.Anna Liminowicz /The Globe and Mail

As Marek Mahdal watched news reports of Russian air strikes pounding Ukraine, he didn’t feel he could sit at home in Prague and do nothing.

So he and two friends jumped in their cars Thursday night and drove 770-kilometres to the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing near Przemysl in eastern Poland. They arrived at around noon on Friday and stood on a sidewalk outside the pedestrian gate holding a sign written in Ukrainian that offered free rides to Prague and help finding shelter, food and work.

“It’s unthinkable what’s happening and I would be really quite happy if someone showed up with this offer,” said Mr. Mahdal, a 22-year old student. “We’ve got the time and, most importantly, we’ve got the means.”

The trio were part of an informal network of families, friends and do-gooders that have descended on the Polish border crossing to fetch loved ones, offer shelter or just spoon out free soup.

-Paul Waldie in Przemysl, Poland


11:55 a.m. ET

Canada to match donations to Red Cross for Ukraine

The Canadian Press has learned the federal government will match donations individuals make to the Canadian Red Cross to help bring humanitarian relief to Ukraine.

The campaign, which will begin today and run until March 18, will see the government match donations by Canadians dollar for dollar to a maximum of $10 million.

-The Canadian Press


Ukrainian guards fired warning shots to prevent a stampede at Kyiv's central railway station on Feb. 25 as thousands of people tried to force their way onto evacuation trains.


11:49 a.m. ET

China blames U.S., NATO for provoking Putin, but Beijing wary of support for invasion

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week shocked the world, even after months of sabre-rattling by Moscow, but China in particular seems to have been wrong-footed by the unprovoked attack.

As Russian missiles began striking Ukrainian positions early Thursday morning, China’s representative to the United Nations was in the middle of telling the Security Council that “the door to a peaceful solution to the Ukraine issue is not fully shut, nor should it be shut.”

After Beijing backed Russia’s calls for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion following a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in early February, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this week that “the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and safeguarded … and that applies equally to Ukraine.”

Since the invasion began, Beijing has swung behind Russia, blaming Washington and NATO for provoking Mr. Putin’s invasion and reiterating Russian justifications for the war.

-James Griffiths in Hong Kong


11:28 a.m. ET

From Tokyo to New York, thousands protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine

Protesters turned out on public squares and outside Russian embassies in cities from Tokyo to Tel Aviv and New York on Thursday to denounce the invasion of Ukraine – while more than a thousand who tried to do the same in Russia were arrested.

The earliest known protest occurred outside Russia’s embassy in Washington around 1 a.m. ET on Thursday, only three hours after President Vladimir Putin said he had launched his military operation.

  • Pro-Ukraine demonstrators unfurl a large Ukraine flag in New York's Times Square on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. World leaders Thursday condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "barbaric."Seth Wenig/The Associated Press

    1 of 28

Local news reports showed dozens of protesters in the U.S. capital waving Ukrainian flags and chanting “Stop Russian aggression!”

In London, hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Ukrainian and some weeping, gathered outside Downing Street, home to the prime minister, urging Britain to do more.

“We need help, we need someone to support us,” said one. “Ukraine is too small and the pressure is too big.”

In Paris, one demonstrator told Reuters: “I feel that we are in a very dangerous moment for the whole world.”

-Reuters

Back to top


11:18 a.m. ET

No Russian pavilion, bans for ‘handful’ of firms at Mobile World Congress: organizer

There will be no Russian pavilion at the telecoms industry’s biggest annual gathering and a “handful” of Russian firms will be barred from it because of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the event’s organizer said on Friday.

The organizers of the Mobile World Congress condemned Moscow’s actions, but have no plans to cancel or postpone the gathering scheduled between Feb. 28 and March 3 in Barcelona, John Hoffman, the chief executive of event organizer GSMA, told Reuters.

He said “a handful, a few” Russian companies and their executives would be banned but did not name them, saying the sanctions lists were evolving.

“We are guided by the international sanctions and there are some companies that are identified on the sanction list and those will be barred from participating,” he said, adding GSMA would strictly follow U.S. sanctions as well as others.

-Reuters


11:16 a.m. ET

Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev writes ‘No War Please’ after win

Members of the crowd hold flags including an Ukrainian one during the semi-final match between Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Andrey Rublev of Russia at the Dubai Championships on February 25, 2022.DAVID GRAY/Getty Images

Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev wrote “No War Please” on a TV camera moments after advancing to the final at the Dubai Championships on Friday.

The seventh-ranked Rublev had just beaten Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in their semi-final match before writing his message on the camera – as is common after matches.

Rublev wasn’t asked about the message during his on-court interview immediately following the match.

Compatriot Daniil Medvedev spoke Thursday at the Mexico Open about waking up to news that his country had invaded Ukraine.

“Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy,” said Medvedev, who will become the No. 1 men’s player when rankings are announced next week.

“By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world,” Medvedev continued. “We play in so many different countries. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. I’m all for peace.”

-Reuters


11:14 a.m. ET

Swiss freeze bank accounts of Russians on EU sanctions list

Switzerland told banks on Friday to freeze the assets of people and entities on a European Union sanctions blacklist that the neutral country has adopted to ensure it is not used to circumvent measures against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The instruction from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) ratchets up the pressure Bern is exerting in solidarity with the West while still trying to keep the door open to a potential role as a mediator.

“Financial intermediaries are requested to block the corresponding assets immediately and to report such business relationships to (government agency) SECO in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance,” FINMA said on its website.

The government had earlier amended its ordinance to include 363 individuals and four companies the EU put on its sanctions list this week to punish Moscow.

FINMA did not specify how much money would be frozen. Russians held nearly 10.4 billion Swiss francs ($11.21 billion) in Switzerland in 2020, Swiss National Bank data show.

-Reuters


10:50 a.m. ET

Russia accuses Ukraine of going silent on possible talks

The Kremlin said on Friday it had offered to hold talks with Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk after Ukraine said it was willing to discuss declaring itself a neutral country, but said Ukraine had instead proposed Warsaw as a venue.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Ukrainians had then taken what he described as a quite a long timeout and that there was now a “pause” in contacts.

During that pause, he said Ukrainian nationalists had deployed missile systems in residential areas in big cities.

He did not provide evidence to back the assertion, but said it was a very dangerous development.

There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian authorities.

-Reuters


10:45 a.m. ET

Russia sanctions to add to higher energy, grain prices amid Ukraine war: IMF chief

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that international financial sanctions against Russia will add to the economic impacts of the war in Ukraine, which are primarily being transmitted through higher energy and grain prices, adding to inflation.

Georgieva, speaking at a Georgetown Law School event on Black History Month, also said that greater financial market uncertainty caused by the conflict may cause capital “outflows from emerging markets, when we need exactly the opposite – more financing going there.”

She also said that heightened regional tensions may impact economic activity in countries and regions surrounding Ukraine, such as Moldova and the Caucasus.

“We have already seen actions taken in terms of sanctions that would add to the economic impact of this crisis, and will primarily transmit through energy prices, as well as grain, adding to what has been a growing concern of inflation and how it can be countered,” she said.

Russia is among the world’s biggest oil exporters and also is a major grain exporter, along with Ukraine, whose Black Sea ports have been closed to shipping.

-Reuters


10:41 a.m. ET

U.K. says Russian forces opened new route of advance toward Kyiv

A view of the city of Kyiv, Ukraine on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

Britain said on Friday that Russian armoured forces had opened a new route of advance toward Kyiv, and that the bulk of troops remained more than 50 km from the centre of the city.

“Russian armoured forces have opened a new route of advance toward Kyiv having failed to capture Chernihiv,” The Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update. “The bulk of Russian forces advancing on Kyiv remain more than 50 km from the centre of the city.”

-Reuters


10:19 a.m. ET

Insurance costs of shipping through Black Sea soar after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Insurers have raised the cost of providing cover for merchant ships through the Black Sea, adding to soaring rates to transport goods through the region for vessels still willing to sail after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ship owners pay annual war-risk insurance cover as well as an additional “breach” premium when entering high-risk areas. These separate premiums are calculated according to the value of the ship, or hull, for a seven-day period.

Ship insurers have quoted the additional premium rate for seven days at anywhere between 1 per cent to 2 per cent and up to 5 per cent of insurance costs, from an estimated 0.025 per cent on Monday before Russia’s invasion began, according to indicative rates from marine insurance sources.

This would mean additional costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a ship voyage depending on the destination.

“Given the Russian offensive from land, sea and air, it would not be surprising if some insurers will be reluctant (to provide cover),” one insurance source said.

A Moldovan-flagged chemical tanker was hit by a missile on Friday near Ukraine’s port of Odesa, seriously wounding two crew.

On Thursday, a Turkish-owned ship was hit by a bomb off Odesa with no casualties and the ship sailed safely into Romanian waters.

-Reuters


10:11 a.m. ET

Turkey says it cannot stop returning Russian warships from accessing Black Sea

Turkey cannot stop Russian warships accessing the Black Sea via its straits, as Ukraine has requested, due to a clause in an international pact that allows vessels to return to their home base, the Turkish foreign minister said on Friday.

Ukraine has appealed to Turkey to block Russian warships from passing through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits which lead to the Black Sea, after Moscow on Thursday launched a full-blown assault on Ukraine from land, air and sea.

Russian forces landed at Ukraine’s Black and Azov Sea ports as part of the invasion.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the straits and can limit the passage of warships during wartime or if threatened, but the request has put the NATO member in a difficult position as it tries to manage its Western commitments and close ties with Russia.

-Reuters


10:11 a.m. ET

Canadian dollar gains as investors weigh targeted Russia sanctions

The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback on Friday as preliminary domestic data showed wholesale trade rising in January and currency traders walked back some of the large moves seen the day before in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The safe-haven U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies, and stocks globally rose as investors welcomed co-ordinated Western sanctions on Russia that targeted its banks but not did not block it from a global payments system and left its energy sector largely untouched.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, gave back some recent gains, with U.S. crude oil futures falling 1.1 per cent to $91.76 a barrel.

Investors doubt that the start of war in Ukraine will stop the Bank of Canada from hiking interest rates next week for the first time since October 2018. Money markets expect the central bank to lift its policy rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent at its policy announcement next Wednesday and six times in total this year to fight inflation.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.3 per cent to 1.2775 per greenback, or 78.28 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2754 to 1.2820.

On Thursday, the currency touched its weakest intraday level in more than two months at 1.2877. It was on track to decline 0.2 per cent for the week.

-Reuters


9:45 a.m. ET

Ukrainian minister says Russia has lost about 2,800 servicemen in attacks

Russian forces have lost about 2,800 servicemen and 80 tanks during their assault on Ukraine, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Friday.

She added on her Facebook page that the Russian troops also lost about 516 armoured combat vehicles, 10 aircraft and seven helicopters as of 15:00 local time.

-Reuters


Anti-war protesters who took to the streets of St. Petersburg to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday were met with arrests. Similar protests took place across the country and police detained more than 1,600 people in at least 53 cities.

The Globe and Mail


9:37 a.m. ET

EU will accept all people fleeing the violence in Ukraine, Germany says

The European Union will accept all people fleeing the violence caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Friday.

“We need to do everything to accept without delay the people who are now fleeing the bombs, the tanks,” she told reporters as she arrived for a meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels.

“We have tried everything to avert that day (of the invasion) but it has come all the same because the Russian president chose war over human lives. And this is why we will take in all the people that are fleeing now,” Baerbock said, adding she had already started to co-ordinate the distribution of Ukrainian refugees with countries such as Poland and Canada.

-Reuters


9:21 a.m. ET

Pope Francis makes personal appeal in remarkable Russia embassy trip

Pope Francis visited the Russian Embassy on Friday to personally “express his concern about the war,” the Vatican said, in an extraordinary, hands-on papal gesture that has no recent precedent.

Usually, popes receive ambassadors and heads of state in the Vatican, and diplomatic protocol would have called for the Vatican foreign minister to summon the ambassador. For Francis, the Vatican head of state, the decision to leave the walled city state and travel a short distance to the Russian embassy to the Holy See was a sign of his anger at Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and his willingness to appeal personally for an end to it.

Vatican officials said they knew of no such previous papal initiative.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed the visit, and the Vatican said Francis travelled to and from the embassy in a small white car.

“The Holy See press office confirms that the pope went to the Russian Embassy to the Holy See on Via della Conciliazione, clearly to express his concern about the war. He was there for just over a half-hour,” Bruni said.

Francis has called for dialogue to end the conflict and has urged the faithful to set next Wednesday as a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine. But he has refrained from publicly calling out Russia, presumably for fear of antagonizing the Russian Orthodox Church.

-The Associated Press



9:20 a.m. ET

Ukraine says military targeted by Belarusian hackers

Ukrainian cybersecurity officials say hackers from neighbouring Belarus are targeting the private email addresses of Ukrainian military personnel “and related individuals.”

In an announcement posted to Facebook, Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said the hackers were using password-stealing emails to break into Ukrainian soldiers’ email accounts and using the compromised address books to send further malicious messages.

The CERT said blamed a group code-named “UNC1151″ for the hacking, identifying its members as Minsk-based officers of Belarusian military.

Ukraine has been buffeted by digital intrusions and denial of service actions both in the run-up to and during the Russian invasion which began earlier this week. Belarus has offered its territory as a launch pad for Russian forces, allowing Moscow’s forces to rapidly push toward Kyiv.

-Reuters


9:09 a.m. ET

Two ships struck by Russian missiles in the Black Sea

Before Russian attacks on Thursday, Ukrainian government officials and shipping companies had kept ports open, preserving the movement of ships across the Black Sea despite a huge exclusion zone imposed by Russia, which said it was conducting exercises in the area.

On Friday, however, two ships were struck - a development with potentially significant implications for Black Sea shipping that is economically and logistically critical to Ukraine.

Namura Queen, a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier carrying grain, was hit, injuring one and igniting a fire.

Millennial Spirit, a Moldovan-flagged bunker carrying 600 tonnes of oil and diesel, was also hit. Ten crew were rescued, two badly injured. All were Russian citizens, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure, which warned about an “ecological disaster.”

It was “taken out by a Russian ship,” Andrey Stavnitser, one of Ukraine’s most important port investors, said in a Facebook post.

“There is no communication with the vessel.”

-Nathan VanderKlippe


8:48 a.m. ET

Britain’s spy chief claims intelligence scoop on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Spies in the United States and Britain scored an intelligence scoop by uncovering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two, Britain’s foreign spy chief said.

For months, U.S. and British ministers and Western security sources had warned that Russia could invade Ukraine. They stepped up warnings that an invasion was imminent in the weeks and days ahead of Putin’s declaration.

Ahead of the Russian invasion, Moscow repeatedly dismissed those claims as anti-Russian hysteria or disinformation designed to tempt Putin into a war.

“U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities uncovered Putin’s plans for Ukraine,” Richard Moore, the chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, said on Twitter.

“We exposed his attempts to engineer ‘false flag’, fake attacks to justify his invasion,” Moore said. “This attack was long planned, unprovoked, cruel aggression.”

-Reuters


8:39 a.m. ET

Russian invasion could drive 5 million Ukrainians to flee abroad, UN says

A Ukrainian mother walks with her daughter along the road from the Hungarian-Ukrainian border crossing near Beregsurany, Hungary.ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

Fuel, cash and medical supplies are running low in parts of Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, which could drive up to 5 million people to flee abroad, UN aid agencies said on Friday.

At least 100,000 people are uprooted in Ukraine after fleeing their homes since Russia launched its assault on Thursday, while several thousand have already crossed into neighbouring countries including Moldova, Romania and Poland, UN refugee agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said.

“We are looking at ranges of 1-3 million into Poland for example … A scenario of 1 to 5 mln including all surrounding countries,” Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s regional director for Europe and Central Asia, told a UN briefing in Geneva.

U.N. human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said that it had reports of at least 127 civilian casualties in Ukraine - 25 killed and 102 injured - “caused by shelling and air strikes.” This was likely a significant under-estimate, she said.

-Reuters


8:20 a.m. ET

UEFA moves Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris in wake of Ukraine invasion

UEFA has moved this year’s Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European soccer’s governing body said in a statement on Friday.

UEFA also said the home games of Ukrainian and Russian club and national teams competing in UEFA competitions would be played at neutral venues “until further notice.”

The governing body thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for his “personal support and commitment” in taking on the final.

It added that it would “fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.”

The Champions League final was set to be staged at Zenit St. Petersburg’s stadium on May 28 with thousands of supporters from across the continent expected to attend the showcase match in European club soccer.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call: “It’s a shame that such a decision has been made. St. Petersburg could have provided all favourable conditions to hold this festival of soccer.”

The move to strip St. Petersburg of the final follows calls from a group of European lawmakers who asked UEFA on Thursday to change the venue and stop considering Russian cities for major international soccer competitions.

-Reuters


8:07 a.m. ET

Ukraine urges allies to stand by promises of unprecedented sanctions against Russia

The West is under mounting pressure to take stronger measures against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, after the world’s wealthy democracies failed to kick Moscow out of the SWIFT system of international payments and omitted other tough actions from sanctions packages announced this week.

The Ukrainian government, along with legislators in the United States and Europe, called on leaders to make good on preinvasion promises of unprecedented economic pain for Russian President Vladimir Putin if he attacked Ukraine.

The U.S., the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and several other countries on Thursday announced sanctions on Russian banks, oligarchs and technology exports. EU foreign ministers told reporters in Brussels on Friday that they would also freeze European assets belonging to Mr. Putin and his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov.

But the measures did not personally sanction Mr. Putin, block Russian exports of oil and natural gas or prohibit Western companies from doing business with Russia. They also allowed Russia to remain part of SWIFT, which banks depend on for performing cross-border transactions and Moscow uses to collect the fossil fuel royalty payments that fund its government.

Early Friday, Ukraine’s government, besieged by Russian forces attacking Kyiv, called on Europe to do more.

-Adrian Morrow in Washington, D.C.

Back to top



8 a.m. ET

Opinion: The West needs to support the Ukrainians - for their sake and ours

In the early fog of a war that is just beginning, I see four things the West needs to do. We need to secure the defence of every inch of NATO territory, especially at its eastern frontiers with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, against all possible forms of attack, including cyber and hybrid ones.

We have to offer all the support that we can to the Ukrainians, short of breaching the threshold that would bring the West into a direct hot war with Russia. Those Ukrainians who choose to stay and to resist will be fighting, by military but also civilian means, to defend the freedom of their country, as they have every possible right in law and conscience to do, and as we would do for our own countries.

But there are still things we can do. Not only can we continue to supply weapons, communications and other equipment to those who are entirely legitimately resisting armed force with armed force. As important in the medium term, we can help those who will be using the well-tried techniques of civil resistance against a Russian occupation and any attempt to impose a puppet government. We must also stand ready to assist the many Ukrainians who will flee westward.

-Timothy Garton Ash


8 a.m. ET

Russia ready to send delegation to Minsk for talks with Ukraine, says Kremlin spokesperson

Russia is ready to send a delegation to the Belarusian capital Minsk for talks with Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, a day after Moscow launched a massive invasion of its southern neighbour.

Peskov told Russian news agencies Russia was willing to send a delegation including foreign and defence ministry officials.

Ukraine has said it is willing to discuss declaring itself a neutral county. Peskov said demilitarization would need to be an essential part of that.

-Reuters


7:43 a.m. ET

Russia says it captures aerodrome northwest of Kyiv

Smoke rises near the town of Hostomel and the Antonov Airport, in northwest Kyiv. Russian and Ukrainian forces are battling for control of an airbase on the northern outskirts of Kyiv, a senior Ukrainian officer said.DANIEL LEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday its forces had captured the strategic Hostomel aerodrome outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and landed paratroopers in the area.

It said the Russian military had blocked access to Kyiv from the west, and separatist forces in eastern Ukraine had attacked Ukrainian army positions with Russian army support.

-Reuters



7:36 a.m. ET

Merkel condemns Russian invasion as legacy comes under scrutiny

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marked a “deep rupture in Europe’s history following the end of the Cold War” even as her own legacy comes under fresh scrutiny in light of the assault.

Merkel, who led Germany for 16 years until last December and was long seen as the West’s key interlocutor with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said she was following the unfolding events with “great worry and sympathy.”

“There is no justification for this blatant breach of international law, and I wholeheartedly condemn it,” said Merkel, who grew up in the former communist East Germany and speaks fluent Russian.

Germany has joined its European Union partners and other Western countries in agreeing sweeping economic sanctions on Russia. But until this week it had been less inclined than the United States or Britain to accept that an attack on Ukraine was imminent and had backed a heavier focus on dialogue with Moscow.

-Reuters


7:26 a.m. ET

Kyiv residents told to make Molotov cocktails as they await Russian assault

People shelter with their dog in a subway station on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

People in Kyiv were told to make Molotov cocktail petrol bombs on Friday as they hid in makeshift shelters and basements, awaiting a Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital.

“Make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the occupier!” the Defence Ministry said, while local authorities told people in the northwestern Obolon area of the city to stay off the streets because “active hostilities” were approaching.

Some residents took refuge in subway stations being used as air-raid shelters, or rushed to basements of apartments blocks or other buildings when air-raid warnings sounded.

-Reuters


7:25 a.m. ET

Zelensky and Putin both say they are willing to negotiate as war rages in Ukraine

Russian troops have entered Kyiv from the north, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said in a statement that called on residents to prepare to fight, even as the presidents of both Russia and Ukraine said they were willing to negotiate.

As Russian forces pushed toward his office in the centre of Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I want to appeal once again to the President of the Russian Federation. Fighting is taking place all over Ukraine. Let’s sit down at the negotiating table to stop the deaths of people,” Mr. Zelensky said in a video address from inside the Presidential Administration building in the capital.

Separately, Mr. Putin reportedly told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he was willing to hold high-level talks with Ukraine.

“The United States and NATO have long ignored Russia’s reasonable security concerns, repeatedly reneged on their commitments, and continued to advance military deployment eastward, challenging Russia’s strategic bottom line,” Mr. Putin told Xi, according to China’s state-run CCTV. “Russia is willing to conduct high-level negotiations with Ukraine.”

- Mark MacKinnon in Kyiv, Ukraine

Back to top


  • Olha Zapotochna with her ill son Arthur after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border, in Medyka, Poland on Feb. 25.Maciek Nabrdalik/The New York Times News Service

    1 of 45

7:10 a.m. ET

NATO leaders meet to reassure allies near Russia, Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden and his NATO counterparts will seek Friday to reassure member countries on the alliance’s eastern flank that their security is guaranteed as Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine closes in on the capital Kyiv.

With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealing for help, NATO members ranging from Russia’s neighbour Estonia in the north down around the west of conflict-hit Ukraine to Bulgaria on the Black Sea coast triggered urgent consultations about their security. Only Hungary refrained.

The leaders, meeting via video conference, plan to take stock of NATO’s own military buildup. The world’s biggest security organization previously had around 5,000 troops stationed in the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Poland, but has significantly beefed up its defenses over the last three months.

“Make no mistake, we will defend every ally against any attack on every inch of NATO territory,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who will chair the summit, told reporters Thursday. “An attack on one ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance.”

The leaders are likely to consider Friday whether to activate the NATO Response Force, which can number up to 40,000 troops. A quickly deployable land brigade that is part of the NRF – made up of 5,000 troops and run by France alongside Germany, Poland, Portugal and Spain – is already on heightened alert.

-The Associated Press


6:49 a.m. ET

Taiwan to join ‘democratic countries’ in sanctions on Russia

Taiwan will join “democratic countries” in imposing sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, the government said on Friday, with the world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC saying it would comply with all export control rules.

The crisis is being watched closely in Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory and which has faced increased military pressure from Beijing over the last two years.

“We very harshly condemn such an act of invasion and will join democratic countries to jointly impose sanctions,” Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters in Taipei without giving details.

The foreign ministry echoed that message while Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said the island would “harshly scrutinize” exports to Russia and “co-ordinate” with unspecified allies on further actions. She also did not elaborate.

-Reuters


6:36 a.m. ET

Final moments of Ukrainian border guards’ fierce stand on Snake Island against Russian war ship become rallying cry

A defiant last stand by a small group of Ukrainian border guards defending a Black Sea outpost has become a new rallying cry for a country under attack by Russian forces – and those in Russia who oppose the war.

Thirteen people were stationed on Snake, or Zminiy Island, a low-lying piece of land 35 kilometres from the Ukraine coast that has long delineated the country’s southwestern border.

On Thursday, as Russian forces invaded Ukraine from numerous directions, a warship approached the island, just 0.17 square kilometres in size, and ordered the men to stand down.

“I suggest you surrender your weapons and capitulate. Otherwise, I will open fire,” a male voice says, in audio posted to the Internet that has now been viewed millions of times. “Do you copy?”

“This is it,” one Ukrainian border guard says. “Should I tell him to go fuck himself?”

“Just in case,” another man says.

The first man then responds to the warship: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”

Moments later, the Russian forces attacked, killing all 13 men.

Their defiance earned praise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who named the 13 men and said they had “died heroically.” Each man will be honoured as a “hero of Ukraine,” he said.

-Nathan VanderKlippe in Moldova and Mark MacKinnon in Kyiv


6:28 a.m. ET

U.K. says NATO forces must not play active role in Ukraine

British and NATO troops must not play an active role in the Ukraine conflict after Russia’s invasion, armed forces minister James Heappey said on Friday, saying the risks of miscalculation in such a scenario could become existential.

“We must all in this house be clear that British and NATO troops should not (and) must not play an active role in Ukraine,” Heappey told parliament.

“We must all be clear what the risk of miscalculation would be, and how existential that could very quickly become if people miscalculate and things escalate unnecessarily.”

-Reuters


6:16 a.m. ET

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is Russia’s ‘number one target’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed on Friday to stay put in the capital Kyiv as Russian troops launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine from several fronts.

“(The) enemy has marked me down as the number one target. “My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”

As Russian forces pushed toward his office in the centre of Kyiv, Zelensky also called for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I want to appeal once again to the president of the Russian Federation. Fighting is taking place all over Ukraine. Let’s sit down at the negotiating table to stop the deaths of people,” Mr. Zelensky said in a video address from inside the Presidential Administration building in the capital.

An estimated 100,000 people fled as explosions and gunfire rocked major cities. Mr. Zelensky said over 130 military personnel and civilians had been killed in the fighting.

Russia’s target appears to be capturing Kyiv and toppling the government, according to U.S and Ukrainian officials.

-Mark MacKinnon, with files from Reuters

Back to top


6:00 a.m. ET

Opinion: Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a bigger gamble than he imagines

It happened exactly as American intelligence officials said it would; the only unknown was the timing. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin filled in that final detail when he launched an invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea.

Ukrainians who just wanted to live their lives in peace awoke to shells, missiles and air attacks, striking at military bases and airports across the country, and around the capital of Kyiv. Russian troops streamed across multiple borders. The Ukrainian military fought back as best it could. Traffic jams of refugees streamed west.

This unprovoked attack, justified by nothing more than invented grievances, takes the world back to a darker, lawless age. “President Putin has reintroduced war to the European continent,” the leaders of the G7, which includes Canada, said on Thursday.

Mr. Putin’s assault on decency is so outrageous that strongly worded condemnations from the G7, and co-ordinated Canadian, U.S. and European sanctions – on Russia, its banks, its government officials and the oligarchs that benefit from Mr. Putin’s tyranny – feel inadequate.

-The Editorial Board


4:20 a.m. ET

Russian troops push in to Kyiv

Russian troops have entered Kyiv from the north, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said in a statement that called on residents to prepare to fight.

The Defence Ministry said Russian reconnaissance units were now in the Obolon neighbourhood, close to Kyiv’s historic Podil district. “We ask citizens to inform about the movement of equipment!” the statement said. “Make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the occupier!”

The Ukrainian government said they had destroyed three bridges on the northern approach to the capital to slow the Russian advance.

A few hours later, as fighting moved closer to the centre of the city, the Interior Ministry announced it had distributed some 18,000 assault rifles to residents.

Overnight, there were loud explosions audible in the city. The site of one blast that was visited by The Globe on Friday appeared to have been caused by a projectile that landed metres from an apartment block in the city’s Darnitsky region, blowing windows and part of the outer wall off the 10-storey building. The Ukrainian military said it was a Russian cruise missile that had been shot down by the city’s air defences. Residents said many ambulances had arrived, but they were unsure how many people had been killed or injured.

-Mark MacKinnon in Kyiv

Back to top


3:16 a.m. ET

Russia to deploy paratroopers to guard Chernobyl site

Russia will deploy paratroopers to help guard the closed Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a spokesman for Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday.

Radiation levels at the plant are normal, the spokesman told a briefing. Russian troops, which started a full-scale military operation in Ukraine on Thursday, have destroyed 118 Ukrainian military infrastructure sites, he said.

-Reuters


2:20 a.m. ET

Russian columns approaching Kyiv from east

As Russian troops continued pressing their offensive Friday, intense fighting also raged in the country’s east.

Russian troops entered the city of Sumy near the border with Russia that sits on a highway leading to Kyiv from the east. The regional governor, Dmytro Zhivitsky, said Ukrainian forces fought Russian troops in the city overnight, but other Russian convoys kept rolling west toward the Ukrainian capital.

“Military vehicles from Sumy are moving toward Kyiv,” Zhivitsky said. “Much equipment has passed through and is heading directly to the west.”

Zhivitsky added that another northeastern city, Konotop, was also sieged. He urged residents of the region to fight the Russian forces.

-The Associated Press


2:17 a.m. ET

ICC says may investigate possible war crimes

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan on Friday expressed his concern over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said his court may investigate possible war crimes in the country.

“I have been closely following recent developments in and around Ukraine with increasing concern,” Khan said in a statement. “I remind all sides conducting hostilities on the territory of Ukraine that my office may exercise its jurisdiction and investigate any act of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed within Ukraine.”

Following the Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the subsequent fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces, Ukraine accepted ICC jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on its territory since February 2014.

-Reuters


1:57 a.m. ET

Germany to offer troops, weapons, war ships to NATO

Germany plans to offer troops, air defence systems and war ships to NATO to strengthen its eastern flank after Russia invaded Ukraine, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday without providing sources.

Germany could send an infantry company with around 150 soldiers and more than a dozen Boxer wheeled armoured vehicles in a timely manner, according to a package that the military has put together for Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht, the media outlet said.

The defence ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Germany also plans to offer “Patriot” anti-aircraft missile systems and a corvette and a frigate, it said. The ships would have to be withdrawn from other missions in the Mediterranean.

A fleet service boat with sensor technology is already on its way to the Baltic Sea, according to Der Spiegel.

-Reuters


1:46 a.m. ET

Ukrainian military battles Russian forces

The Ukrainian military is reporting significant fighting northwest of the nation’s capital as Russian forces apparently try to advance on Kyiv from the north.

The military said Friday morning a bridge across a river had been destroyed in the area of Ivankiv, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of Kyiv.

“The hardest day will be today. The enemy’s plan is to break through with tank columns from the side of Ivankiv and Chernihiv to Kyiv. Russian tanks burn perfectly when hit by our ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles),” Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said on Telegram.

-The Associated Press Back to top


12:55 a.m. ET

Zelensky says Russian actions show sanctions not enough

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that continued Russian aggression against his country showed that sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West were not enough.

Zelensky said the world was continuing to observe what was going on in Ukraine from afar.

He was speaking after Ukraine said its capital city Kyiv had been struck by Russian missiles in the early hours of Friday morning.

-Reuters


12:26 a.m. ET

Russian world No. 1 Medvedev calls for peace

Russian Daniil Medvedev said he wanted to promote peace around the world after a “roller-coaster day” when he was confirmed as the world’s top tennis player and his country invaded Ukraine.

U.S. Open champion Medvedev, who took the court in Acapulco, Mexico, hours after Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final loss in Dubai meant the Russian would replace him at the top of the men’s rankings on Monday, said it was not easy watching the news.

“By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world,” the 26-year-old said after reaching the semi-finals at the ATP 500 tournament by defeating Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

-Reuters


12:10 a.m. ET, Feb. 25

Analysis: Biden’s tool box for dealing with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is limited

Ground troops – out of the question. Contemplating a no-fly zone over Ukraine – far too late for that. Moral suasion – it produced nothing. Sanctions – they may bite but won’t prompt Russia to balk.

What’s an American President possessing the world’s most powerful military force and at the head of an alliance of 28 countries on the continent of Europe to do?

This is a vital question when a determined Russian President with nearly a million troops decides to have his way with a country possessing a military about a quarter that size and a fighter aircraft force a tenth the size of Russia’s?

-David Shribman


Thursday, February 24


11:54 p.m. ET

Ukrainian forces down aircraft over Kyiv

Ukrainian forces downed an enemy aircraft over Kyiv in the early hours of Friday, which then crashed into a residential building and set it on fire, said Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister.

It was unclear whether the aircraft was manned or whether it could be a missile. Kyiv municipal authorities said at least eight people were injured when the object crashed into an apartment block.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv had come under a missile attack.

A series of explosions were heard in Kyiv earlier, which Herashchenko said were the sounds of air defences firing at the aircraft. Further explosions could be heard just before dawn, a Reuters witness said.

-Reuters


11:22 p.m. ET

Kyiv Mayor calls on residents to stay indoors

A woman walks past Ukrainian military service members guarding a road that leads to a government block, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 24, 2022.UMIT BEKTAS/Reuters

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko had called on the city’s three million people to stay indoors unless they worked in critical sectors and said everyone should prepare go-bags with necessities such as medicine and documents.

-Reuters


11:02 p.m. ET

Airline industry shifts attention to Russia risks after Ukraine closure

Alaska’s Anchorage Airport said airlines have started making inquiries about capacity in case routes over Russia are impacted due to the Ukraine crisis, in a sign of the conflict’s growing fallout for the global aviation industry.

The airport was a popular refuelling hub for long-haul flights during the Cold War, when Western airlines were unable to access Russian airspace on routes from Europe to Asia.

Japan Airlines cancelled its Thursday evening flight to Moscow, citing potential safety risks, while Britain closed its airspace to Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, as the conflict’s impact on the industry widened beyond Ukraine to Russia.

Airspace in Ukraine, Moldova, parts of Belarus and in southern Russia near the Ukraine border was closed, giving airlines a narrower range of routing options.

Emirates said it had made minor routing changes to Stockholm, Moscow, St. Petersburg and some U.S. flights that were hit by the airspace closings, leading to slightly longer flight times.

OPSGROUP, an aviation industry co-operative that shares information on flight risks, said any aircraft travelling through Russian airspace should have contingency plans in place for closed airspace due to risks or sanctions.

-Reuters


10:27 p.m. ET

Several explosions heard in Kyiv early Friday as Russian forces pressed on with assault

Explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv early Friday local time as Russian forces pressed on with a full-scale invasion in the first full day of fighting and could eventually rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.

After using air strikes on cities and military bases, Russian military units moved swiftly to take on Ukraine’s seat of government and its largest city in what U.S. officials suspect is a brazen attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to dismantle the government and replace it with his own regime.

Ukrainian leaders pleaded for help as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee, and hotels in Kyiv were being evacuated amid early indications of an assault.

One senior U.S. defense official described the attack so far as the first salvo in a multi-phase invasion aimed at seizing key population centers and “decapitating” Ukraine’s government.

-The Associated Press Back to top


10:03 p.m. ET

Opinion: Are allies willing to bear the high cost of making Putin pay?

“We cannot allow this to be the end of the post-World-War-Two rules-based order,” Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Thursday. “It could be.”

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister often talks about the rules-based order, and it can sound academic, but in this case it was an appropriately ominous warning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has, at any rate, shattered norms that the world counted on to deter catastrophe, using great-power military might to invade a democracy.

Ukrainians now face bombs and bloody war, but Ms. Freeland’s point was that the threat is not only to Ukraine, but a challenge to the order that has protected democracies from domination by stronger powers. For a long time, autocrats didn’t dare do this, and if nothing is done now, someone – not necessarily just Mr. Putin – will do it again.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted, more than once, that Mr. Putin can’t be allowed to benefit from invasion – and it should be obvious that Canada has every interest in uniting with other democracies to make Mr. Putin pay.

The threat of sanctions didn’t deter Mr. Putin from invasion, but Mr. Biden argued that the effects of the measures – especially over time – will so weaken Russia’s economy that Mr. Putin will face a difficult choice.

-Campbell Clark


9:55 p.m. ET

Russian embassy in Canada says NATO ‘created immediate danger’

The Russian embassy is Canada released a statement Thursday that attempted to justify President Vladimir Putin’s actions.

It said the “political-military situation” and NATO’s military posture in Europe “created a clear and immediate danger for Russia that could not have been mitigated by any other means than those Russia has to use today.”

The embassy said Russia’s repeated efforts to negotiate a new security arrangement in Europe have been scorned by the West.

It warned “attempts by the West to turn Ukraine into a kind of ‘anti- Russia’ will not succeed.”

The embassy said for two decades Moscow had expressed concern over enlargement of NATO, a development it called “a clear threat to our security.” The embassy said Russia had proposed solutions premised on principles including “not strengthening security at the expense of others.” It said this included efforts to incentivize Ukraine to “join this dialogue.”

The embassy said however Russia’s efforts were “put on the back burner or haughtily ridiculed.”

It concluded by saying “the road to peace remains open” and that Russia remains receptive to “meaningful dialogue” on a new security arrangement in “Europe and the Euro-Atlantic.”

-Steven Chase


9:36 p.m. ET

Afghan refugees stuck in Ukraine with no exit in sight

Afghan refugee Jawed Haqmal stands alone in Maidan square in Kyiv, on Feb. 24, 2022.ANTON SKYBA/The Globe and Mail

Afghan refugees who fled to Ukraine after the Taliban takeover of their home country are terrified that they have once again found themselves in a war zone, with no obvious exit.

“Everything is finished,” said Jawed Haqmal, who worked as a translator for the Canadian military in Afghanistan and has been living in a Kyiv hotel with his family since the end of August. “Just like a war zone, everyone is running to the shelters, streets are full of the army. Just like war, the same as what was going on in front of the airport of Kabul on the last day. The same thing is going on here.”

Haqmal’s family of 12 arrived in Ukraine after being evacuated from Afghanistan by Ukrainian special forces, a mission that was carried out following a request from The Globe and Mail to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Their stay in Ukraine was supposed to be a temporary stop on their way to Canada. The family, and others, are now trapped in Ukraine due to a bureaucratic delay.

Aidan Strickland, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, said IRCC “has been made aware of complex cases of Afghan citizens who are seeking resettlement to Canada, but are currently in Ukraine.”

-Janice Dickson


9:20 p.m. ET

Ukrainian-Canadian community rallies as Russian forces attack Ukraine

People in Vancouver attend a rally in support of the people of Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2022.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Canada has the largest Ukrainian population in the world, outside Russia and Ukraine. About 1.4 million Canadians are of Ukrainian ancestry, not counting significant additional populations of non-ethnic Ukrainians, among them Mennonites, Jews, Poles, Romanians and Swedes.

At the Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre in Winnipeg, Yulia Zmerzla had a sleepless night watching the news in both Ukrainian and Russian. She came to Canada eight years ago and still has many friends and family in Ukraine, including her parents. “I spoke to my parents today, and they told me that life will never be the same again after today,” she said, through tears.

On Thursday, demonstrations were popping up in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver to denounce Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and fundraisers were being set up to raise money both for humanitarian aid and military supplies for the country.

Jurij R. Klufas, president of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada, said he, too, was having trouble reconciling the reality of what was happening in Ukraine, something he said seemed more like a relic of a primitive past, “when everybody used to resolve issues with war.”

“It’s very troubling to see at this time, in modern society, having somebody push in a military way their colonial convictions from the last two centuries,” he said. “It’s kind of almost crazy, surreal, to be seeing this kind of thing happening in today’s modern society, and in Europe.”

-Jana G. Pruden, Kathryn Helmore and Ntawnis Piapot, with files from Wendy Stueck and Oliver Moore


9:04 p.m. ET

Taiwan to join countries sanctioning Russia

Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the island will join “democratic countries” to put sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, although he did not give details.

The crisis is being watched closely in Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory and has faced increased military pressure by Beijing over the last two years.

”We very harshly condemn such an act of invasion and will join democratic countries to jointly impose sanctions,” Su told reporters in Taipei without giving details. Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters the island will “harshly scrutinize” exports to Russia and “co-ordinate” with unspecified allies for further actions. She did not elaborate.

-Reuters


8:20 p.m. ET

Ukraine’s president stays put as Russian invaders advance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed on Friday to stay in Kyiv as his troops battled Russian invaders who are advancing toward the capital in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.

U.S. and Ukrainian officials say Russia aims to capture Kyiv and topple the government.

“(The) enemy has marked me down as the number one target,” Zelensky warned in a video message. “My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”

“I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine.”

-Reuters


8:06 p.m. ET

UN gives $20-million to scale up Ukraine humanitarian aid

People rest in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

The United Nations announced it is immediately allocating $20 million to scale up UN humanitarian operations in Ukraine.

Secretary-general Antonio Guterres made the announcement saying the UN and its humanitarian partners “are committed to staying and delivering, to support people in Ukraine in their time of need … regardless of who or where they are.”

“With deaths rising, we are seeing images of fear, anguish and terror in every corner of Ukraine,” the UN chief said. “People – everyday innocent people – always pay the highest price.”

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said the $20 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund will support emergency operations along the contact line in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and in other areas of the country, and will “help with health care, shelter, food, and water and sanitation to the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict.”

-The Associated Press


8:06 p.m. ET

Watch: History professor from Kyiv on Ukraine’s response to Russia invasion

Olgah Martynyuk, a history professor at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, who left the city this morning by train to Przemysl, Poland. She’s speaking in a reception centre set up in the train station after her 14-hour journey.

The Globe and Mail

They came in a steady stream, looking weary and confused as they made their way through the train station in Przemysl, a small Polish city about 10 kilometres from the border with Ukraine. Some had come from Kyiv, others from Lviv, in western Ukraine, and still more from farther east.

Olgah Martynyuk, a history professor at Kyiv’s Polytechnic Institute, made a mad rush for the train after hearing bombs drop around the capital Thursday morning. “I woke up from blasts in the morning and I packed up,” Prof. Martynyuk said as she sat in Przemysl’s train station after a 14-hour journey. She was happy to be safe but felt unsettled about leaving her country. “I still feel enormous guilt,” she said. “What did we do wrong that all of this is happening?”

Poland has been bracing for months for the possibility of as many as one million refugees from Ukraine in the wake of a Russian invasion. Preparations have been slow to roll out, and on Thursday officials in Przemysl, the Polish city closest to the border, still appeared to be scrambling to come up with some kind of support structure.

On Thursday night the train station was expecting as many as 2,000 refugees to arrive on two trains from Kyiv early Friday morning. But just two local officials were on hand to help. “I’m afraid that we will lose control,” one said.

-Paul Waldie in Prezmysl, Poland and Nathan VanderKlippe in Odesa, Ukraine


7:44 p.m. ET

Energy: the one sanction against Russia the West isn’t prepared to trigger

The most effective economic weapon that the West has in its arsenal to retaliate against Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a boycott of Russia’s oil.

It’s also the one that U.S. President Joe Biden and his allies can’t afford to use.

On Thursday, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine propelled oil prices above US$100 a barrel for the first time in almost eight years as traders weighed the potential of the conflict to cause severe supply disruptions in Europe and beyond.

With inventories tight, the world can ill afford the loss of 4.3-million barrels a day of exports from the third-largest producing country, despite its aggression. Even before the attack, Russia struggled to meet its own OPEC+ commitments to increase output.

The West have set some serious economic sanctions, but not knockout blows as Russian tanks and troops roll into Ukraine. Oil and gas exports account for nearly 60 per cent of Russian exports, so pinching off energy shipments would inflict the most damage. From an oil standpoint, it’s something that would be far too costly for the world, no more so than in the United States.

-Jeffrey Jones


7:26 p.m. ET

U.S. condemns report of hostages at Chernobyl

The White House is expressing outrage at “credible reports” from Ukrainian officials that the staff at the shuttered Chernoybl nuclear plant have been taken hostage by Russian troops.

“We condemn it and we request their release,” said press secretary Jen Psaki.

Psaki spoke after Alyona Shevtsova, an adviser to the commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces, wrote on Facebook that the staff at the Chernobyl plant had been “taken hostage” when Russian troops seized the facility.

-The Associated Press


7:02 p.m. ET

Propaganda, fake videos of Ukraine invasion bombard users

The invasion of Ukraine is shaping up to be Europe’s first major armed conflict of the social media age, when the small screen of the smartphone is the dominant tool of communication, carrying with it the peril of an instantaneous spread of dangerous, even deadly, disinformation.

TikTok videos, propagandized headlines and tweets pinging out across screens around the world are confusing millions about the reality of how this battle is unfolding on the ground.

Over the last few days, Putin and Russian media have ramped up false accusations that Ukrainians are committing genocide, and mischaracterizing the majority of the country’s population as Nazis, said Bret Schafer, who heads the information manipulation team at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a non-partisan think tank in Washington.

-The Associated Press


6:49 p.m. ET

Canadian political leaders condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine, declare it ‘a war of aggression’

Canadian political leaders widely condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, with some premiers declaring it “a war of aggression,” and expressing support for efforts by Canada and other western nations to impose economic sanctions on Russia.

“This is a dark day,” B.C. Premier John Horgan wrote on Twitter. “I join the PM and Allied nations in deploring this illegal and unjust war. We stand with the people of Ukraine, and the many people in B.C. with family and friends there.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the invasion “devastating,” tweeting “Weakness invites aggression. The democratic world must be united in standing with Ukraine. That should begin with a hard global embargo of all Russian oil & gas exports.”

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson tweeted that her province joined the federal government in calling on Russia to end its invasion, writing “It’s hard to imagine how difficult watching the news must be for so many Manitobans who have loved ones in Ukraine.”

-Globe Staff

Back to top


6:38 p.m. ET

Ukrainian Canadians denounce Russian attacks

Yellow and blue flags flew in cities across Canada on Thursday as Ukrainian Canadians organized demonstrations to denounce Russia’s attack on Ukraine and urged Ottawa to act swiftly to defend their homeland.

In Montreal, several dozen protesters gathered in front of McGill University, waving signs with messages ranging from “I want to see my grandmother alive,” to the more militaristic “Arm Ukraine.”

Larysa Grynko, who came to Canada from Ukraine in 2011, was one of several who helped unfurl a large banner in Ukrainian blue and yellow. Her voice catching, she said she was “devastated” by the events.

“Words cannot describe the terror that we feel for families that stay in Ukraine,” she said. Grynko said she had spoken to her family, and they were safe for now and had confidence in the Ukrainian army.

She switched briefly to Ukrainian to deliver a tearful message that she said meant, “Be safe and be strong.” In English, she urged Canada not to discount the risk posed by Russian aggression.

“If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, it will not stop in Ukraine,” she said. “It will go further, aggressing other countries.”

-The Canadian Press


6:30 p.m. ET

Ukrainian President says 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed

A woman holds her baby as she gets on a bus leaving Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed so far in the Russian invasion of his country.

He calls them “heroes” in a video address released early Friday local time, in which he also says hundreds more have been wounded.

Zelensky says that despite Russia’s claim it is attacking only military targets, civilian sites also have been struck. In his words: “They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It’s foul and will never be forgiven.”

The president says all border guards on Zmiinyi island in the Odesa region were killed Thursday. Ukraine’s border guard service earlier in the day reported that the island was taken by the Russians.

-The Associated Press Back to top


6:27 p.m. ET

Ukraine president orders full military mobilization

President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree Thursday evening ordering a full military mobilization to challenge the Russian invasion. He said the mobilization would last 90 days.

He ordered the military’s General Staff to determine the number of those liable for service and reservists as well as the order of the call-up.

Zelensky gave his Cabinet the job of allocating funds to pay for the mobilization.

-The Associated Press Back to top


6:05 p.m. ET

Opinion: Shock, not awe, as an old-fashioned war unfolds on TV

It began, as invasions always begin, in the hour before dawn. On CNN, at around 10:15 p.m. in the eastern time zone on Wednesday evening, Don Lemon wasn’t talking about Donald Trump’s legal problems any more. He was talking to a jittery Matthew Chase in Kyiv. It was 5:15 a.m. there.

The CNN correspondent was putting on a flak jacket and a helmet, reporting from a hotel balcony that he’d heard numerous explosions in the distance, possibly from near the main airport. The sun would rise there in an hour, and the invasion of Ukraine seemed to be under way. Other CNN correspondents were reporting explosions and troop movements, Mr. Lemon said.

Over on Fox News, the channel’s limitations were obvious: no correspondents in Ukraine to report. Bret Baier sat in the studio and solemnly called on people to pray for Ukraine, adding that President Joe Biden didn’t want “a gunfight” there. As pundits chimed in, the topic of Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Putin was raised but petered out.

The all-news channels were so well-prepared for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it seemed hard to believe it was happening.

-John Doyle


5:40 p.m. ET

Ukrainian-Canadian business leaders voice distress over Russian invasion

Business leaders in the Canadian-Ukrainian community say they are extremely concerned for the safety of friends and employees in Ukraine.

Zenon Potichny, president of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 200 companies that do business in the two countries, said the situation on the ground is very serious.

He said he hopes all of Canada stands with the people of Ukraine, especially as more than a million Canadians are of Ukrainian descent.

-Chris Hannay Back to top


5:26 p.m. ET

Watch: Missile strikes and helicopter deployments mark first day of Russian attacks on Ukraine

Russian forces attacked Ukraine early Thursday with some of their movements caught on video. A convoy of armoured vehicles drove into Ukraine from Belarus, Russian forces moved to take control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and military helicopters flew near a major airport north of Kyiv.

The Globe and Mail

Russian forces attacked Ukraine early Thursday with some of their movements caught on video. A convoy of armoured vehicles drove into Ukraine from Belarus, Russian forces moved to take control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and military helicopters flew near a major airport north of Kyiv.


4:14 p.m. ET

Hundreds arrested as shocked Russians protest attack on Ukraine

Shocked Russians turned out by the thousands Thursday to decry their country’s invasion of Ukraine as emotional calls for protests grew on social media. Some 1,702 people in 53 Russian cities were detained, at least 940 of them in Moscow.

Hundreds of posts came pouring in condemning Moscow’s most aggressive actions since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Vladimir Putin called the attack a “special military operation” to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine from “genocide” – a false claim the U.S. had predicted would be a pretext for invasion, and which many Russians roundly rejected.

- The Associated Press


4:14 p.m. ET

Another 3,400 Canadian troops placed on standby to deploy to Europe if necessary, Defence Minister says

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly look on as Defence Minister Anita Anand speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Canada has placed 3,400 military personnel on standby to be deployed to Europe if necessary, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced.

These Armed Forces members from the army, navy and air force are being readied to deploy to a “NATO response force should they be needed,” she said.

Several NATO members including Latvia and Estonia have formally requested consultations under Article Four of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which calls for meetings when “the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.” These former Soviet republics have long feared that Russian expansionism would one day target them as well.

“We cannot allow Putin to redraw maps and to rewrite history to suit his own purposes. If we must, we will stand up against these efforts to sow discord, deceit and violence,” Ms. Anand said.

- Steven Chase Back to top


3:03 p.m. ET

Russian troops advancing toward Kyiv as war rages in Ukraine

Liudmila Pirolt waits on a ferry to cross the Danube River to Romania after fleeing her home in Izmail, Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Nathan Vanderklippe/The Globe and MailNathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Russia invaded Ukraine from three directions on Thursday, advancing toward the capital city of Kyiv in the first hours of what has the potential to be the biggest conflict Europe has seen since the Second World War.

Kyiv’s main Boryspil International Airport was hit in Wednesday night’s first wave of attacks, and Russian paratroopers appeared to have taken control of the city’s Hostomel cargo airport by the end of Thursday after a battle that involved a squadron of Russian attack helicopters. Control of Hostomel would allow Russia to fly more troops to the edge of Kyiv, which Western officials believe is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main target.

As the threat of a battle for the capital grew, tens of thousands of Kyiv residents packed their lives into cars and headed toward the relative safety of Western Ukraine, and the European Union beyond. The exodus created hours-long traffic jams that stretched to the horizon.

The last-minute panic was caused in part by the Ukrainian government’s strategy of playing down the threat of invasion, saying it had been hyped up by Western governments and media. Kyiv abruptly switched tactics this week, declaring a state of emergency and calling up some reservists on Wednesday. On Thursday, a dusk-till-dawn curfew was introduced in most of the country.

Within hours of the attacks, lines and shortages began to form at gas stations, banking machines and currency exchange shops across the country. When Liudmila Pirolt tried to buy groceries Thursday in Izmail, near the Romanian border, she was told “no bread.” Nearby gas stations, too, had gone dry. “So no petrol, no food and people are lined up at banks,” she said.

-Mark MacKinnon and Nathan VanderKlippe Back to top


1:52 p.m. ET

Ukraine invasion fuels inflation, putting central banks in delicate position as they look to hike rates

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent energy and agricultural prices soaring, adding to global inflationary pressures and putting central banks around the world in a delicate position as they embark on a much-anticipated rate hike cycle.

Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers, and both Russia and Ukraine are major food producers, together accounting for more than a quarter of the global wheat exports. Disruptions caused by the conflict have already begun to ripple through global commodity markets, pushing up consumer prices and adding fuel to fears about spiralling inflation.

“Watch the food inflation story. Russia is a global commodity superstore, they are not a gas station. Their ability to inflict serious harm to consumers across the world is substantial,” Helima Croft, Royal Bank of Canada’s head of global commodity strategy, said in an interview.

The price of oil on both sides of the Atlantic shot past US$100 a barrel on Thursday morning for the first time since 2014, although West Texas Intermediate crude was back around $96 a barrel by mid day. Meanwhile, the price of wheat futures contracts in the United States rose around 5.5 per cent on Thursday morning, while corn contracts were up around 2.25 per cent.

-Mark Rendell Back to top


1:50 p.m. ET

Canada urged to expel Russia’s ambassador over military offensive against Ukraine

Canada is being urged to expel Russia’s ambassador Oleg Stepanov in the wake of Moscow’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

“The Russian ambassador should be sent home. He represents a terrorist, criminal regime,” said Orest Zakydalsky, a senior official with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which represents people of Ukrainian heritage in Canada.

Marcus Kolga, president of the Central and Eastern European Council in Canada and a senior fellow at the Macdonald Laurier Institute think tank, agreed, saying that “expelling the ambassador would send a strong message that Canada will not tolerate his government’s neo-imperialist aggression.”

Former federal Industry Minister James Moore also called for Mr. Stepanov to be expelled, urging Parliamentarians to lead the way by tabling a motion in the House of Commons to this effect. The Canadian government does not require Parliamentary consent for ousting foreign envoys.

-Steven Chase Back to top


1:42 p.m. ET

Harder sanctions from Canada, Western allies await Russia over Ukraine invasion

In response to the Feb. 24 attacks on Ukraine, Canada’s new sanctions target a number of individuals and entities, including Russian elites and members of the Russian Security Council. In addition, all export permits to Russia have been cancelled or denied. This amounts to hundreds of permits worth more than $7-million, says Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

Canada and other western countries are preparing to sanction Russian banks and oligarchs, and impose technology export bans, to punish President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine.

The economic measures will freeze the western assets of major Russian financial institutions, curb the flow of semiconductors and other high-technology products into Russia and hit a range of other major Russian companies.

The West, however, stopped short of kicking Russia out of the SWIFT system for processing international financial transactions or imposing new sanctions on Russia’s crucial oil and gas industry. European countries have significant trading relationships with Russia and rely heavily on the country for energy imports.

The leaders of the G7, including U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the heads of the European Union spoke by video conference Thursday morning to co-ordinate measures designed to impose economic pain following Russia’s sweeping attack on its democratic neighbour.

Mr. Trudeau announced afterwards that Canada will target 62 Russian individuals and entities, including members of the Russian elite and their family members, as well as the military contractor Wagner Group and major Russian banks. He said these include members of the Russian Security Council, including the Defence Minister, the Finance Minister, and the Justice Minister.

“These sanctions are wide-reaching. They will impose severe costs on complicit Russian elites, and they will limit President Putin’s ability to continue funding this unjustified invasion,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters.

-Adrian Morrow and Steven Chase Back to top


1:24 p.m. ET

Officials say Ukraine no longer in control of Chernobyl site

A presidential adviser says Ukraine lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site, where Ukrainian forces had waged a fierce battle with Russian troops.

Adviser Myhailo Podolyak told The Associated Press that Ukrainian authorities did not know the current condition of the facilities at Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

“After the absolutely senseless attack of the Russians in this direction, it is impossible to say that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had announced several hours earlier Thursday that Russian forces were trying to seize the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

A nuclear reactor at the plant 130 kilometres (80 miles) north of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, exploded in April 1986, sending a radioactive cloud across Europe.

The exploded reactor was covered by a protective shelter several years ago to prevent radiation leaks.

A Ukrainian official said Russian shelling hit a radioactive waste repository and an increase in radiation levels was reported. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

It was not immediately possible for experts to access the repository to assess damage before Russian forces overtook the site.

-The Associated Press


12:45 p.m. ET

Ontario Premier Doug Ford calls Russian President Vladimir Putin a ‘thug’

Ontario Premier Doug Ford called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a despot” and “a thug” for his invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, noting Ukraine’s deep ties to Canada and vowing that democracy must be defended.

“Last night, we witnessed a violent attack on a sovereign nation by a despot, a thug,” Mr. Ford told the Ontario Legislature. “We witnessed Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression begin in Ukraine.”

In a brief but unusually poetic speech that prompted a standing ovation from both sides of the legislature, the premier compared the attack to the beginnings of both the First World War and the Second World War, adding that “we must pray” Feb. 24, 2022, does not become another infamous date in history books.

He said the bonds between Canada and Ukraine run deep, noting the wave of Ukrainian immigrants that settled and farmed across Western Canada, whose descendants remain. And he listed prominent Canadians of Ukrainian origin, such as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, late game show host Alex Trebek and astronaut Roberta Bondar.

“They left a permanent mark on Canadian history,” he said. “Without Ukraine, the Canada we know and love today would not be the same.”

Mr. Ford said Canada “shall never waver” in standing against tyranny, defending democracy and supporting Ukraine. And he warned Russia the strength of Ukrainians would “emerge from the darkness.”

“We must ensure the Ukrainian flag flies high above the skyline. The blue and yellow must be the last colours the invaders see,” the premier said. He ended his remarks with the Ukrainian national salute, partially in Ukrainian, followed by its English translation: “Glory to Ukraine. Glory to the heroes.”

Ontario Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she stood in solidarity with Ukrainians and their worried relatives in Canada. She condemned the attack and called for “diplomacy and immediate de-escalation” of military actions. She asked the federal government to welcome Ukrainian refugees and provide humanitarian aid.

“I join global leaders and peace-loving people around the world in condemning this unprovoked attack by the Russian Federation and the violent invasion Putin is using to drag people into the horrors of war,” Ms. Horwath said.

Liberal MPP John Fraser called for unity and warned that “there is evil in the world.” Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said he stood in solidarity with Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians “to denounce this senseless act of aggression by Russia.”

-Jeff Gray Back to top


12:20 p.m. ET

U.K. PM Johnson announces sanctions on over 100 Russian individuals and entities

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday announced sanctions on over 100 Russian individuals and entities after Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea.

“Overall we will be imposing asset freezes on more than 100 new entities and individuals on top of the hundreds that we’ve already announced,” Johnson told lawmakers.

“This includes all the major manufacturers that support (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine. Furthermore, we are also banning Aeroflot from the U.K..”

-Reuters Back to top


12:01 p.m. ET

Russia police detain at least 167 people at anti-war protests

Russian police detained at least 167 people at anti-war protests that took place in 24 Russian cities on Thursday, the OVD-Info protest monitor said.

Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday. The OVD-Info monitor has documented crackdowns on Russia’s opposition for years.

-Reuters


11:48 a.m. ET

Foreign Affairs minister Joly calls Russia envoy on carpet

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has summoned Russia’s ambassador to Canada for a dressing down after his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The minister’s office tells The Canadian Press that Ambassador Oleg V. Stepanov met Joly at the headquarters of Global Affairs Canada, where she condemned “in the strongest possible terms Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine.”

Joly told Stepanov that Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

-The Canadian Press


11:45 a.m. ET

Save the Children raises alarm about Ukrainian children ‘caught in crossfire’ of Russia’s military actions

Save the Children is raising the alarm about millions of children in Ukraine facing grave physical and emotional harm as a result of Russia’s military actions.

The humanitarian group says the explosions in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and other cities have forced thousands of families into bomb shelters, with parents struggling to calm their terrified children, while thousands of others are fleeing their homes in freezing winter conditions.

”Ukraine’s children are caught in the crossfire of this adult war. It should never have come to this,” said Irina Saghoyan, director of Save the Children’s Eastern Europe. “Children are terrified. They are hearing explosions, they are being asked to flee with just the clothes on their backs. The risk to their mental health and potential for long-term trauma cannot be underestimated.”

The group said more than 400,000 children live in Eastern Ukraine where intense fighting between the Ukrainian and Russian troops is taking place.

At least 100,000 of these children and their families are already known to have left their homes since Monday, sheltering with friends, relatives, and strangers, often in cramped conditions, the group said.

Save the Children called for an immediate end to hostilities, and for all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law, to ensure that civilians and civilian objects, especially schools and hospitals, are protected from attack.

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas risks severe harm to civilians, especially children, and should be avoided at all costs, the group said.

-Globe Staff


11:05 a.m. ET

Canada evacuates its diplomats to Poland from Ukraine amid Russian invasion

Canada has evacuated all its diplomats from Ukraine, including ambassador Larisa Galadza, as Russia’s invasion proceeds.

The approximately 10 to 14 staff were whisked across the border to neighbouring Poland in the early hours of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, a Canadian government source said.

Canada suspended operations at its Kyiv embassy Feb. 12 and a small group of remaining Canadian diplomats then decamped to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, where they continued operating and processing immigration and visa applications for Ukrainians or Canadians resident in Ukraine.

It’s not known where the Canadian diplomats have relocated to in Poland but Canada’s embassy in Warsaw is an approximately six-hour drive from Lviv.

-Steven Chase


10:49 a.m. ET

Opinion: Ready or not, Canada must now face the crisis in Ukraine head on

Only hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lifted the state of emergency he had declared in order to clear protesters from Ottawa’s streets, Russia invaded Ukraine, fomenting a far worse emergency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vicious and unprovoked assault on another European country in a time of peace is the worst collective security crisis of our time. And Canada is completely unprepared.

“What has happened in the last 24 hours is a huge wake-up call” for Canadians, said Stéfanie von Hlatky, director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s University.

Canadians typically are reluctant to spend seriously on defence. But this country, as part of the Western military alliance NATO, is now under threat, not only in the Arctic and in Europe but from cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.

Now we confront the reality of a Russia bent on reasserting control over what it sees as its sphere of influence. That sphere includes both Eastern Europe, where Canada has NATO commitments, and the Arctic, where Canada and Russia are unfriendly neighbours.

Answering this challenge will require major investments. We are looking at tens of billions of dollars in procurement costs. Are Canadians prepared to bear that cost?

-John Ibbitson


10:26 a.m. ET

Biden to announce new sanctions against Russia after G7 leaders hold emergency meeting

The White House said U.S. President Joe Biden would announce new sanctions against Russia in a speech early Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, he met with his national security council in the White House situation room, followed by a video call with other G7 leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to co-ordinate their response to the invasion. The President has been briefed by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and other national security officials throughout the Russian attack, the White House said.

-Adrian Morrow Back to top


10:02 a.m. ET

Canadian dollar hits two-month low as Russia attacks Ukraine

The Canadian dollar weakened to its lowest level since December against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a flight to safety in global financial markets.

Stock markets globally slumped and the safe-haven U.S. dollar rallied after the biggest attack by one country against another in Europe since World War Two.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.7 per cent lower at 1.2819 to the greenback, or 78.01 U.S. cents, after touching its weakest intraday level since Dec. 27 at 1.2847.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, climbed 7.60 per cent to $99.10 a barrel as the invasion added to concerns about disruptions to global energy supply.

-Reuters


Apartment buildings in and near Kharkiv, Ukraine were on fire and had extensive blast damage on Feb 24. after witnesses said they were shelled as Russia invades the country.

The Globe and Mail


9:29 a.m. ET

Russia to respond to European, U.S. sanctions in tit-for-tat manner

Russia would respond to European and U.S. sanctions with tit-for-tat measures after Western nations sought to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Thursday.

-Reuters


9:19 a.m. ET

Ukraine’s foreign minister calls for ‘severe’ sanctions on Russia now

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday told other countries to impose tough sanctions on Russia immediately and to provide Ukraine with military and financial support.

“Right now, Putin is plunging Europe into its darkest time since 1939. Any government hoping to sit this out is naive. Don’t repeat mistakes of the past,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

-Reuters


8:37 a.m. ET

Lithuania declares state of emergency after Russia invades Ukraine

Lithuania’s president declared a state of emergency on Thursday, telling the NATO country’s army to deploy along its borders in response to “possible disturbances and provocations due to large military forces massed in Russia and Belarus.”

The state of emergency, declared hours after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, will be valid for two weeks.

Parliament will meet later on Thursday to vote whether to confirm or export President Gitanas Nauseda decision.

-Reuters


8:25 a.m. ET

France will respond without weakness to Russia’s “act of war” on Ukraine, Macron says

France will respond without weakness to Russia’s act of war against Ukraine, said President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, adding that Russia could expect tough sanctions that would hit its military, its economy and its energy sector.

“The events of last night mark a turning point in the history of Europe,” said Macron in a televised address to the French nation, standing before French, European Union and Ukranian flags.

“We will respond to this act of war without weakness, with cold blood, determination and unity,” he added.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had also earlier said that France would reinforce its support to Ukraine “in all its forms,” without further specifying whether or not this could include military means.

-Reuters


8 a.m. ET

UEFA to move Champions League final from St. Petersburg in wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, source says

UEFA will move this year’s Champions League final from St. Petersburg in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee on Friday morning and it is expected to agree on moving the final.

The Champions League final, the showcase match in European club football, was set to be held at Zenit St Petersburg’s stadium on May 28 – an event that would have normally drawn thousands of fans from across the continent.

A group of European lawmakers wrote to UEFA on Thursday, asking it to change the venue and to stop considering Russian cities for international football competitions.

-Reuters


7:59 a.m. ET

Ukrainians cross into Poland to face an uncertain future and possibly unwelcome reception

Ukrainian citizens arrive at the main train station in Przemysl, Poland, on Feb. 24 on a route from Odessa via Lviv. The exodus from Ukraine into Poland intensified after Russia's large-stale attack the night before.Omar Marques/Getty Images

Vitali Koval didn’t waste much time packing suitcases after he heard the air raid sirens blaring early Thursday morning around his home in Lviv in western Ukraine.

He and his wife, Oleksandra, quickly stuffed three big suitcase for themselves and their children, Alisa, 5, and Eleonora, who is three. They jumped in a cab, headed for the Polish border and then walked the last short stretch across the boundary, pulling their bags along the highway.

“There is a big queue of the cars on that side,” said Mr. Koval as he pointed across to Ukraine. “There are huge queues at petrol stations and in the markets. People are buying rice or pasta or something.”

The family had already relocated to Lviv from Kyiv a few days ago and now they hope to stay with friends in Poland until they figure out what to do next.

The Kovals were part of a slow but steady stream of people crossing into Poland from Ukraine Thursday morning, just hours after the Russian military intensified its campaign with bombing raids near Lviv, Kyiv and other parts of the country.

While the numbers were small, the fear and anxiety among many of the arrivals was real.

-Paul Waldie in Przemysl, Poland Back to top


Video shot in Boryslav in western Ukraine shows a missile moments before an explosion, and another blast in the distance on Thursday Feb. 24. Boryslav is close to the Polish border where some Ukrainians are fleeing from the Russian invasion of the country.

The Globe and Mail


7:52 a.m. ET

Russian exposed European stocks take hit as West prepares more sanctions

Shares in Russian-exposed companies bore the brunt of selling pressure across European equity markets on Thursday after Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Among the hardest hit were shares in London-listed miners Polymetal and Evraz, Polish clothing company LPP, banks Raiffeisen and OTP, and German energy trader Uniper. Their shares were down between 10 and 36% by 9:44 a.m. GMT.

London-listed shares in Russia’s two biggest companies by market value, Sberbank and Gazprom fell as much as 77 per cent and 42 per cent in early trading before recouping some losses. The broader European stock market fell 3 per cent.

-Reuters


7:21 a.m. ET

China rejects calling Russia move ‘invasion,’ urges citizens in Ukraine to stay home

China rejected calling Russia’s moves on Ukraine an “invasion” and urged all sides to exercise restraint, even as it advised its citizens there to stay home or at least take the precaution of displaying a Chinese flag if they needed to drive anywhere.

“China is closely monitoring the latest situation. We call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent the situation from getting out of control,” said Hua Chunying, spokesperson at China’s Foreign Ministry.

At a packed daily media briefing in Beijing, Hua bridled at journalists’ characterization of Russia’s actions.

“This is perhaps a difference between China and you Westerners. We won’t go rushing to a conclusion,” she said.

“Regarding the definition of an invasion, I think we should go back to how to view the current situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainian issue has other very complicated historical background that has continued to today. It may not be what everyone wants to see.”

The ministry said later that senior diplomat Wang Yi, also China’s foreign minister, had spoken with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

-Reuters


7:22 a.m. ET

U.K. PM Boris Johnson vows massive sanctions against Russia

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain and its allies would unleash a massive package of economic sanctions to hobble the Russian economy.

“Today, in concert with our allies, we will agree a massive package of economic sanctions designed in time to hobble the Russian economy,” Johnson said in a televised address to the nation.

He said the West must end its reliance on Russian oil and gas which had given Russian President Vladimir Putin a grip over Western politics: “Our mission is clear: diplomatically, politically, economically, and eventually military, this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.”

On Wednesday, Johnson told finance chiefs he wanted to impose the “toughest possible next tranche” of sanctions on Russia, an action he described as being able to “make a difference and change the outcome.”

In earlier comments on Twitter, the British leader called the invasion a “catastrophe” for Europe, and said he would talk to other G7 group of rich nations.

-Reuters


  • People rest in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press

    1 of 40

7:03 a.m. ET

Ukraine shuts down ports as conflict threatens grain supplies

Ukraine’s military has suspended commercial shipping at its ports after Russian forces invaded the country, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff said, stoking fear of supply disruption from the leading grain and oilseeds exporters.

Russia earlier suspended the movement of commercial vessels in the Azov Sea until further notice, but kept Russian ports in the Black Sea open for navigation, its officials and five grain industry sources said on Thursday.

Ukraine is a major exporter of corn (maize), much of it destined for China and the European Union. It also competes with Russia to supply wheat to major buyers such as Egypt and Turkey.

“The market is still struggling to get a clear picture about the actual military situation on the ground. The ports in the Azov and Black Sea so far seem not to have been damaged according to the initial shipping agency reports,” one European grain trader said.

Shipping group Maersk said on Thursday it has halted all port calls in Ukraine until the end of February and has shut its main office in Odesa on the Black Sea coast, because of the conflict.

-Reuters


6:08 a.m. ET

NATO agrees to beef up eastern flank over Ukraine attack

NATO agreed at emergency talks on Thursday to further beef up its land, sea and air forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia, putting hundreds of warplanes and ships on alert, after President Vladimir Putin ordered a military offensive in Ukraine.

“We are deploying additional defensive land and air forces to the eastern part of the alliance, as well as additional maritime assets,” NATO ambassadors said in a statement. “We have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said he had convened a virtual emergency summit of the alliance’s 30 nations for Friday, which is set to include U.S. President Joe Biden, and they would be joined by the leaders of Sweden, Finland and European Union institutions.

-The Associated Press Back to top


Thursday, Feb. 24, 5:06 a.m. ET

Ukrainians flee as Putin warns other countries not to interfere

People wait for buses at a bus station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Pierre Crom/Getty Images

The highways out of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were jammed with traffic on Thursday, as thousands of Ukrainians fled their homes in the first hours after a Russian invasion of their country began.

Residents of the Ukrainian capital were awaked by a series of early morning missile and air strikes, followed by the belated sound of an air raid siren. Attacks were reported on cities across the country, with airports and military bases – along with the Black Sea port of Odesa – appearing to be the main target in the first wave.

In a televised address broadcast as the attack began, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would “lead to consequences you have never seen in history.” He said the aim was to “demilitarize” Ukraine – a country he has sought to portray as a threat to Russia – and said his army didn’t plan to occupy the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war was about more than just this country. He said Mr. Putin “has unleashed a war with Ukraine and the entire democratic world” and “wants to destroy our state, everything that we have built.” He compared the Russian invasion to the attacks that Nazi Germany launched against its neighbours during the Second World War.

-Mark MacKinnon in Kyiv, Nathan VanderKlippe in Odesa, Ukraine Back to top

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow topics related to this article:

Check Following for new articles