Russia-Ukraine live news: Mariupol to attempt civilian evacuation

  • More than 64 people detained at anti-war protests in Russia’s Far East and eastern Siberia.
  • Mariupol city officials say a temporary ceasefire will be from 10:00 to 21:00 GMT.
  • The Red Cross says the situation in Mariupol is extremely “dire”.
  • Mastercard and Visa announce they are suspending operations in Russia.
  • Ukraine’s foreign minister tells his US counterpart his country needs fighter jets and air defence systems and said NATO’s refusal to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine is a “sign of weakness”.
  • The IMF warns that the “serious” global economic effects of the war in Ukraine would be “more devastating” if the conflict escalates.
  • Israel’s Bennett, returns from Moscow, speaks to Ukraine’s Zelenskiy again

    Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, their third conversation in two days, a Bennett spokesperson said, without giving further details.

    On Saturday, Bennett’s office said he made a surprise visit to Moscow to discuss the Ukraine crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    More than 1.5 million refugees flee Ukraine in past 10 days: UN

    The number of people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has topped 1.5 million, making it Europe’s “fastest growing refugee crisis” since World War II, the United Nations said.

    “More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring countries in 10 days — the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II,” it said in a statement on Twitter.

    At least 64 detained at anti-war protests in Russia: Protest monitor

    More than 64 people have been arrested at anti-war protests in Russia’s Far East and eastern Siberia, OVD-Info protest monitor said.

    According to OVD-Info, people were detained at protests in the port city of Vladivostok and the Siberian city of Irkutsk, Reuters news agency reported.

    Reuters was not able to independently verify the information.

    UK deputy prime minister: Ukraine conflict to last months, if not years

    The conflict in Ukraine will last months, if not years, Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab says, and international allies need to show “strategic stamina” to ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin fails.

    “Our mission with our allies is to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine, and it’s going to take some time,” Raab told Sky News.

    Russia: Ukrainian military air base hit with long-range weapons

    Russia’s defence ministry says it struck and disabled Ukraine’s Starokostiantyniv military airbase with long-range high-precision weapons.

    Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “On the morning of March 6, strikes were carried out by high-precision long-range weapons. The Ukrainian air force base near Starokostiantyniv was disabled.”

    He said a Ukrainian-controlled S-300 missile system had also been destroyed and that Russia downed 10 Ukrainian planes and helicopters over the past 24 hours.

    Mariupol to attempt civilian evacuation

    The Ukraine port city of Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian troops, said it will restart efforts to evacuate its civilian population after earlier efforts were scuppered by ceasefire violations.

    “From 1200 (1000 GMT) the evacuation of the civilian population begins,” city officials said in a statement, which said a ceasefire had been agreed with Russian-led forces surrounding the city.

    WHO chief: Ukraine health centres attacked

    The World Health Organization has confirmed “several” attacks on health care centres in Ukraine and is investigating others, the agency’s chief says.

    The attacks caused multiple deaths and injuries, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added in a Twitter message.

    “Attacks on healthcare facilities or workers breach medical neutrality and are violations of international humanitarian law,” he said.

    Ukraine: More than 11,000 Russian troops killed

    More than 11,000 Russian troops have been killed since Moscow launched an invasion into Ukraine on February 24, the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff said.

    A day earlier, the Ukrainian army put Russian casualties at more than 10,000 but did not report Ukrainian casualties.

    Humanitarian situation in Mariupol ‘dire’

    The humanitarian situation in Mariupol is extremely “dire” with huge displacement of people, the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned, adding that many people are stranded in shelters without food, water or electricity.

    Mirella Hodeib, ICRC Ukraine, told Al Jazeera: “The safe passage for civilians is a guarantee under international humanitarian law. The ICRC welcomes any initiative to offer respite to civilians fleeing the conflict.”

    “The parties in the conflict are in negotiation now. The ICRC is willing to facilitate the movement of civilians who wish to do so. We are ready ones agreement based strictly on humanitarian terms is reached,” Hodeib added.

    UK intelligence: Russia targeting populated areas

    British military intelligence says Russian forces were targeting populated areas in Ukraine but that the strength of resistance slowed their advance.

    “The scale and strength of Ukrainian resistance continue to surprise Russia,” it said in an update, adding that Moscow “has responded by targeting populated areas in multiple locations, including Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol.”

    “Russia has previously used similar tactics in Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016, employing both air and ground-based munitions,” the update said.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied that it is targeting civilian areas.

    US, Poland exploring deal to provide Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine

    The US is holding talks with Poland about supplying warplanes to Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials.

    The American officials said the US could provide a number of F-16s to Poland, while Warsaw could supply Kyiv with Soviet-era warplanes. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told members of the US Congress in a video call that Kyiv urgently needs fighter jets.

    Stressing that details such as how the planes will be delivered to Ukraine are still being studied, the officials said Congress is ready to approve the agreement as soon as it is reached.

    Ukraine tennis star Yastremska: ‘Spirit strong’ after reaching Lyon final

    Ukrainian tennis player Dayana Yastremska, who was forced to flee her home last week, said her spirit was strong after reaching the final of the Lyon Open.

    The world number 128 beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 7-6(5) 4-6 6-4 over the course of two hours 31 minutes in a hard-fought victory at the WTA 250 event on Saturday.

    The 21-year-old and her younger sister Ivanna spent two nights in an underground car park last week before their parents sent them out of Ukraine by boat to Romania and then on to France.

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