- Pentagon reaffirms US opposition to Poland’s offer to send fighter jets to Ukraine, saying transfer risks escalating crisis.
- Ukrainian officials say a hospital complex in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol has been hit by a Russian attack.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in Turkey for talks with Ukrainian counterpart.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterates call for Kyiv’s allies to impose a no-fly zone over the country.
- US and UK again rule out no-fly zone, saying it could lead to direct confrontation with Russia.
Here are all the latest updates:
Caterpillar suspends operations in Russia
Caterpillar Inc has said it was suspending operations in its manufacturing facilities in Russia, joining a growing number of companies that have halted business in the country.
“Operations in Russia have become increasingly challenging, including supply chain disruptions and sanctions, and we are suspending operations in our Russian manufacturing facilities,” a company spokesperson said.
UN humanitarian chief decries strike on hospital as ‘deeply shocking’
The UN’s humanitarian affairs chief has denounced the attack on a Ukrainian children’s hospital in Mariupol as an “appalling breach” of international humanitarian law.
“It’s deeply shocking in all kinds of different ways. It’s shocking because it’s a medical facility, which under international humanitarian law is protected,” Martin Griffiths told Al Jazeera.
“It’s shocking because it kills babies, newborns and it’s shocking because this is the kind of thing that happens appallingly in the war like the one we are seeing in Ukraine.
He added: “I hope we will find out in due course who did this and hold them to account.”
UK’s Johnson commits to further tighten sanctions on Russia
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukraine’s Zelenskyy he is committed to further tightening sanctions to impose maximum economic cost on Russia, a Downing Street spokesperson has said.
Over 1,200 civilians have died in siege of Mariupol, mayor says
A total of 1,207 civilians have died during a nine-day siege by Russian forces of Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol, its mayor has said.
The first nine days of the Russian siege saw “1,207 peaceful Mariupol residents dying”, the city authorities posted on Telegram along with a video message by Mayor Vadym Boichenko.
UN chief condemns ‘horrific’ attack in Mariupol
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has decried what Ukrainian officials said was a Russian attack on a hospital in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol.
“Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific,” Guterres said on Twitter.
“Civilians are paying the highest price for a war that has nothing to do with them. This senseless violence must stop. End the bloodshed now.”
Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific.
Civilians are paying the highest price for a war that has nothing to do with them.
This senseless violence must stop.
End the bloodshed now.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 9, 2022
Russian banks can lend to firms owned by non-residents
Russian banks will be allowed to lend to companies controlled by non-residents, the finance ministry has said amid sanctions that have prompted many western firms to pull out or suspend operations.
“This decision was taken so that companies wishing to continue their business activities in Russia can work normally and receive loans from domestic banks,” the ministry said in a statement, without providing details.
US weighs sanctions on Russian nuclear power supplier
The United States was weighing sanctions on Russian nuclear power supplier Rosatom, Bloomberg has reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
No final decision has been made and the White House is consulting with the nuclear power industry about the potential impact of imposing sanctions on Russia’s state-owned atomic energy company, which is a major supplier of fuel and technology to power plants around the world, the report added.
Russia’s uranium production is controlled by Rosatom, which was formed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007. The company is an important source of revenue for Moscow.
Pentagon does not support more jets for Ukraine
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has informed his Polish counterpart that Washington does not back Warsaw’s plans to transfer its Russian-made MiG-29 jets to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has said.
He said the effectiveness of Russia’s “significant” air force has already been limited by Ukraine’s air defences.
“Polish generosity is clearly on display for the whole world to see,” Kirby said. “But at this time, we believe that provision of additional fighter aircraft provides little increased capabilities at high risk.”
He added that transferring the jets to Ukraine would risk an escalation with Russia.
Lavrov arrives in Turkey for talks with Ukrainian counterpart
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has landed in Antalya, Turkey, ahead of planned talks with Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday.
The meeting would be the first between the nations’ top diplomats since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago.
Ukraine evacuates 40,000 civilians in one day: official
Ukraine has evacuated more than 40,000 people in one day but has fallen short of the target of 100,000, one of the negotiators in the talks with Russia said.
David Arakhamia said in a post on social media said that evacuations remained problematic around the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol.
Ukrainian official says 67 children killed since Russian invasion began
Ukraine’s top security official Oleksiy Danilov says 67 children have been killed since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
Danilov also joined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in urging Kyiv’s allies to enforce a no-fly zone over the country.
The US, UK and NATO have ruled out that call, saying a no-fly zone would risk escalating the conflict and leading to a direct military confrontation with Russia.
No evidence of weapons of mass destruction produced in Ukraine: UN
The United Nations has seen no evidence of weapons of mass destruction allegedly produced in Ukraine, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is “unaware of any activity on the part of the Ukrainian government, which is inconsistent with its international treaty obligations, including on chemical weapons or by biological weapons”.
The UN statement follows Russian allegations that Ukraine is developing nuclear or biological weapons.
IAEA chief to join Russia-Ukraine meeting in Turkey
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, will fly to Turkey later today, as the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are set to meet.
“In meetings there I hope to make progress on the urgent issue of ensuring the safety and security of #Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We need to act now!” Grossi wrote on Twitter.
Russia has seized a nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia and radioactive waste facilities near the defunct nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. Ukrainian staff are still operating both but in conditions Grossi has said put the facilities’ safety at risk.
At the invitation of #Turkey’s Foreign Minister @MevlutCavusoglu I will travel tomorrow to Antalya. In meetings there I hope to make progress on the urgent issue of ensuring the safety and security of #Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We need to act now!
— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) March 9, 2022
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Wednesday, March 9, here.