17 latest development in Russia-Ukraine war as Kyiv rejects Moscow ultimatum


17 latest development in Russia-Ukraine war as Kyiv rejects Moscow ultimatum

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

– Chemical ‘leak’ –

Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky tells residents in the northern Ukrainian town of Novoselytsya to shelter after an ammonia “leak” at a nearby chemical factory. The area has seen heavy fighting.

– Ukraine rejects Russian ultimatum –

Russia gives the besieged city of Mariupol until 5:00 am on March 21 to surrender, warning that more than a “court martial” awaits those who refuse.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk rejects the ultimatum, telling local media “there can be no talk of surrendering weapons”.

– Biden to Europe –

US President Joe Biden will travel to Poland on Friday to meet President Andrzej Duda, the White House says.

– Civilian targets bombed –

Ukrainian authorities accuse Russia of bombing a Mariupol art school where some 400 people, including women and children, had been sheltering.

– Forcible transfer –

Mariupol officials claim Russian forces have forcibly transported around a thousand residents to Russia and stripped them of their Ukrainian passports — a potential war crime.

– Chernigiv hospital hit –

The mayor of the encircled northern city of Chernigiv says dozens of civilians have been killed by “indiscriminate artillery shelling”, and that a hospital has been hit.

“The city is suffering from an absolute humanitarian catastrophe,” he adds.

– Kyiv shopping centre bombed –

At least one person is killed when Russian forces shell a shopping centre in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the city’s mayor says.

– ‘Time to meet’, says Zelensky –

Zelensky calls for urgent talks with Russia, adding Jerusalem is perhaps “the right place for finding peace. If this is possible.”

– Turkey says Russia, Ukraine ‘close to agreement’ –

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Russia and Ukraine have made progress in negotiations and are “close to an agreement”.

Turkey says it is also ready to host a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

– Diplomats to return –

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa announces the country’s diplomats will return to Kyiv “soon” and calls on other EU members to do the same. Ukraine “needs direct diplomatic support”, he says.

– Hypersonic weapons –

Russia says it has again fired hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, destroying a fuel storage site in the country’s south.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin says if confirmed, the use of the weapons would not be a “game changer”.

– China says not arming Russia –

China’s ambassador to the US says his country is not sending weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, but he does not definitively rule out the possibility Beijing might do so in the future.

– Pope denounces ‘senseless massacre’ –

Pope Francis denounces the “senseless massacre where every day slaughter and atrocities are repeated” in Ukraine, appealing to the international community to stop the war.

“There is no justification for this,” he adds.

– Azovstal steel works damaged –

Ukrainian officials say one of Europe’s biggest iron and steel works, Azovstal, has been badly damaged by Russian forces.

– Australia bans alumina, bauxite exports –

Australia bans all exports of alumina and bauxite to Russia while pledging more weapons and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Russia relies on Australia for 20 percent of its alumina.

– 10 million have fled their homes in Ukraine –

Ten million people — more than a quarter of the population — have now fled their homes in Ukraine due to Russia’s “devastating” war, the United Nations refugees chief says Sunday. More than 3.3 million of them have escaped the country. (Punch)

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