The latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine war:
KYIV, Ukraine — The separatist forces in Donetsk say they have established two corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, an indication that a large attack on the key Azov Sea port could be imminent.
Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the separatists’ military, said civilian safety of movement is guaranteed until Wednesday in the corridors.
Mariupol, an industrial center, is seen as a key target for Russian forces for its economic value and its location, which would help Russia establish a land corridor between Crimea and the Russian mainland.
PARIS — French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says sanctions are “going to cause the Russian economy to collapse.”
“Russia’s foreign exchange reserves are disappearing into thin air, and Vladimir Putin’s notorious war chest is all but empty,” Le Maire said Tuesday on France Info radio. “The market is collapsing. Inflation is rising. We’re going to see lines of Russian people trying to withdraw cash from their banks.”
Le Maire also said that the Russian Central Bank having to raise interest rates “means that companies won’t have access to loans, or at very high rates” and therefore won’t be able to invest and develop the Russian economy.
BERLIN — Google is blocking the YouTube channels of Russian broadcasters RT and Sputnik in Europe due to the war in Ukraine.
Google said in a statement Tuesday on Twitter that the decision will be “effective immediately.”
But the company added that “it’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up.”
“Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action,” Google said.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The world’s biggest shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk says that all new bookings to and from Russia “will be temporarily suspended, with exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies.”
The move came because “the stability and safety of our operations is already being directly and indirectly impacted by sanctions,” the Copenhagen-based group said in a statement Tuesday adding the suspension applies to “all Russian gateway ports.”
The group said it is “deeply concerned by how the crisis keeps escalating in Ukraine.”
BERLIN — The city of Munich said Tuesday it has fired Valery Gergiev as the chief conductor of the city’s philharmonic orchestra because of his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mayor Dieter Reiter said in a statement that Gergiev had failed to respond to a Monday deadline to distance himself from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“I had expected him to rethink and revise his very positive assessment of the Russian leader,” said Reiter.
“After this didn’t occur the only option is the immediate severance of ties,” he added.
Gergiev has already been dropped as conductor of the Verbier Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Vienna Philharmonic’s five-concert U.S. tour and other engagements in recent days.
BERLIN — German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says unity “has become a question of survival for Europe” in light of Russia’s decision to ignore international rules with its attack on Ukraine.
Speaking Tuesday ahead of a meeting with her Polish and French counterparts in Lodz, Poland, Baerbock said it was important that the three countries bring their own — often quite different — perspectives to the issue and thereby ensure Europe remains united.
“If our three countries can act as one, as we are now in our support for Ukraine, then Europe acts as one,” she said in a statement.
Baerbock said Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine could also be seen in the peace protests that have taken place in recent days “where hundreds of thousands of participants expressed their sorrow and also their anger” over the war.
ROME — Italian Premier Mario Draghi is asking the country’s Parliament to step up military aid to Ukraine, a day after his Cabinet approved supplying arms like anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
Draghi told lawmakers on Tuesday that Russia’s attack on Ukraine “obligates us to make choices that were unthinkable” until recently. Some lawmakers in parties in his wide-ranging pandemic unity government have voiced opposition to sending lethal military aid. But both chambers of Parliament are expected to approve the aid in votes this week.
Just last week, the government said it would be sending only “non-lethal” aid to Italy’s military forces, such as equipment to disable land mines. But “it’s necessary that a democratically elected government is able to resist invasion and defend the independence of the nation,” Draghi said, arguing for supplying lethal weaponry.
BEIJING — China is urging restraint from “all parties” in Russia’s war on Ukraine, continuing its efforts to express support for its northern ally without outright endorsing the invasion.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Tuesday reiterated China’s call for the “reasonable security concerns” of all countries to be respected, and assertion that the Ukraine issue has “a complex reality.”
Russia’s “legitimate security demands should be taken seriously and properly addressed” in the face of NATO’s expansion eastward, Wang told reporters at a daily briefing.
“We express regret over the casualties. The current situation is not something we want to see,” Wang said.
“It is imperative that all parties maintain the necessary restraint to prevent the situation on the ground from further deteriorating or even going out of control, and make efforts to effectively safeguard civilians’ lives and property, especially to prevent a large-scale humanitarian crisis.”
China has largely aligned its foreign policy with Russia’s in recent years as part of joint efforts to challenge the U.S.-led liberal international order. During a visit by Putin to Beijing early last month, Beijing endorsed Putin’s objections to further NATO expansion and Russia backed China’s claim to the self-governing island democracy of Taiwan.
LONDON — Britain’s deputy prime minister again rejected calls for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying it would risk widening the war by putting the alliance in direct conflict with Russian forces.
Dominic Raab told Sky News on Tuesday that Britain instead is pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course by working with other countries to ratchet up sanctions and investigate war crimes during the conflict.
“We’re not going to (impose a no-fly zone) because it would put us in a position where we would have to enforce it by, in effect, shooting down Russian planes,” Raab said in an interview with Sky.
The comments came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked NATO to impose a complete no-fly zone for Russian airplanes, helicopters and missiles.
The U.K. Ministry of Defense on Tuesday said Russia had failed to gain control of the skies over Ukraine, forcing it to shift to night operations to reduce its losses.
Russian forces have “made little progress” in their advance on the capital, Kyiv, over the past 24 hours probably because of logistical difficulties, the ministry said.
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a telephone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in which the two discussed talks between Ukraine and Russia at the Belarus-Ukraine border, the Turkish president’s office said Tuesday.
Erdogan told his Belarusian counterpart late Monday that NATO-member Turkey would continue to exert efforts to “end the war and restore peace,” it said in a statement.
Ukrainian and Russian officials met on Monday for talks aimed at ending the Russian military assault on Ukraine. The talks yielded an agreement to keep talking.
Turkey, which is trying to balance its support for Ukraine with its fragile economic ties to Russia, said Monday it is implementing an international convention that allows the country to shut down the straits at the entrance of the Black Sea to warships, to avoid an escalation of the conflict.
Erdogan has said Turkey would “not give up” on its close relations with either Moscow or Kyiv.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian authorities say the center of the country’s second-largest city has been hit by renewed Russian shelling.
Oleh Sinehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said the administration building in the center of Kharkiv came under Russian shelling Tuesday along with residential buildings. Sinehubov didn’t give any specific numbers of casualties from the latest shelling.
Previously, Sinehubov said at least 11 people were killed and scores of others were wounded in the shelling in Kharkiv on Monday.
He said Ukrainian troops are fending off Russian attempts to advance on the city of 1.4 million people.
Videos posted on Ukrainian social networks and media showed a massive explosion next to the towering Soviet-era administrative building on Kharkiv’s central square hitting several cars parked in front of it, shattering windows but leaving the building largely intact.
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel has begun sending 100 tons of humanitarian aid to assist people caught up in the fighting in Ukraine.
An El Al plane was loaded with dozens of cardboard boxes Tuesday at the country’s main international airport. Israel’s Foreign Ministry says it is sending medical equipment and medicine, water purification systems, thousands of tents, blankets, sleeping bags and coats. The planes will land in Poland and the aid will be sent to Ukraine from there.
Israel has repeatedly pledged its support for the people of Ukraine in the war. But it has been cautious in joining the West in condemning Russia.
Israel relies on Russia for security coordination in Syria, where Russia has a military presence and where Israel over recent years has repeatedly struck weapons caches destined for its enemies and other targets.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan says it sent 27 tons worth of medical supplies to Ukraine via a flight to Germany late Monday.
Foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou told reporters Tuesday that Taiwan was happy to assist as “a responsible member of the international community, and a member of the democratic camp.”
Taiwan has strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and had said it would impose economic sanctions against Russia. It has yet to reveal what those sanctions were, but the island is a dominant manufacturer of semiconductor chips, which are crucial to tech products ranging from smartphones to cars.
KYIV, Ukraine — More than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed after Russian artillery hit a military base in Okhtyrka, a city between Kharkiv and Kyiv, the head of the region wrote on Telegram.
Dmytro Zhyvytskyy posted photographs of the charred shell of a four-story building and rescuers searching rubble.
In a later Facebook post, he said many Russian soldiers and some local residents also were killed during the fighting.
The report could not immediately be confirmed.
NEW YORK — Three Hollywood studios are pausing theatrical releases in Russia, including “The Batman” that was to roll out in theaters there this week.
Warner Bros., the Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures announced the pauses Monday. Each studio has significant releases that had been set to debut internationally in the coming weeks. “The Batman,” one of the year’s more anticipated films, launches Friday in North America and many overseas territories.
Warner Bros.′ move closely followed a similar decision Monday by the Walt Disney Co. The studio had planned to open the Pixar film “Turning Red” in Russia on March 10. That film is going straight to Disney+ in the U.S.
Sony said it would delay its release of the comic book film “Morbius” in Russia.
Russia typically ranks in the top dozen countries globally in box office.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will provide Ukraine with $50 million in missiles, ammunition and other military hardware to fight Russian invaders.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison elaborated on his country’s plans Tuesday after revealing his government would provide Ukraine with lethal military equipment. Morrison had promised only non-lethal military equipment last week.
“President Zelenskyy said: ‘Don’t give me a ride, give me ammunition,’ and that’s exactly what the Australian government has agreed to do,” Morrison said.
Australia had committed $50 million to provide both lethal and non-lethal defensive support for Ukraine through NATO, he said, adding the overwhelming majority will be “in the lethal category.”
KYIV, Ukraine — Satellite photos show a convoy of Russian forces north of Ukraine’s capital stretching for 40 miles.
The vast convoy of armored vehicles, tanks, artillery and support vehicles was 17 miles (25 kilometers) from the center of Kyiv and stretched for about 40 miles, according to satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies.
The Maxar photos also showed deployments of ground forces and ground attack helicopter units in southern Belarus.
WASHINGTON — Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S. is telling senators her country needs more military weapons as it fights the Russian invasion.
Senators emerged from a Monday evening meeting with Ambassador Oksana Markarova at the Capitol as Congress is preparing supplemental funding to help Ukraine during the crisis. The White House is seeking at least $6.4 billion in military and humanitarian aid.
“They need more arms,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
“It’s David versus Goliath,” said Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. “I think that any human being reading the reports coming out of there realize that this is dire.”
Senators in the U.S. are working to provide ammunition such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian troops have intensified shelling of Ukraine, calling it an effort to force his government into making concessions during talks held Monday.
In a video address late Monday, Zelenskyy says that “the talks were taking place against the backdrop of bombing and shelling of our territory, our cities. Synchronizing of the shelling with the negotiating process was obvious. I believe Russia is trying to put pressure (on Ukraine) with this simple method.”
The president gave no details about the talks themselves. But he says Ukraine is not prepared to make concessions “when one side is hitting another with rocket artillery.”
LOS ANGELES — Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation says equipment to use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has arrived in his country.
Mykhailo Fedorov thanked SpaceX founder Elon Musk for the equipment in a Twitter post Monday that was accompanied by a photo of boxes on a truck.
Musk replied with his own tweet saying: “You are most welcome.”
The tech billionaire said over the weekend that Starlink was now “active” in Ukraine and more equipment to use it was on the way. That followed a public request from Fedorov for the service.
Starlink is a satellite-based internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world.
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