A fresh bid to evacuate civilians from the southern city of Mariupol which began at 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) has been halted.
The city council said the attempt was not possible due to Russian shelling. A similar plan announced on Saturday was also aborted due to Russian attacks along a different route. At least three people are reportedly killed fleeing the town of Irpin, after Russian mortar shells targeted a damaged bridge they were using.
Russian forces are responding to Ukraine’s resistance by targeting “populated areas” in several cities, according to the UK government.
Africa And Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine
More than 1.5m people have now fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries, the UN says
More than 3,500 people have been detained at anti-war protests in Russia.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 US counterpart his country needs fighter jets and air defence systems and says 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.
Bennett Says Israel Will Try To Mediate On Ukraine
Israel will continue trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine even if success seems unlikely, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said after returning from surprise talks in Moscow on Saturday.
In televised remarks to his cabinet, the prime minister said he had “the blessing and encouragement of all parties.”
Ukraine requested that Israel serve as intermediary, citing the government’s good relations with both Kyiv and Moscow.
American Express Suspends Operations In Russia And Belarus
American Express Co says it has suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus, following a similar move by fellow US payments firms Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc over the invasion of Ukraine.
Battles ongoing on Kyiv’s outskirts
Russian and Ukrainian forces are locked in a long-range shelling war along the outskirts of the capital Kyiv, putting towns including Hostomel and Irpin in the line of fire.
Several buildings in Hostomel were on fire after being hit by air strikes. Both Russian and Ukrainian forces claim to control the area.
In the nearby town of Irpin, residents fled their homes after buildings were severely damaged. Civilians tried to get to the remains of a bridge leading to Kyiv over the Irpin River, which Ukrainian forces blew up last week to stall the Russian advance.
IAEA Alarmed Over Russia’s Takeover Of Nuclear Plant
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been informed by Ukrainian authorities that the country’s largest nuclear plant is under the command of Russian forces, which took control of the site on Friday.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement that while regular staff continued to operate the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the developments violated the safety “pillars” governing the management of nuclear sites.
Grossi said operating staff must be able to fulfil their safety and security duties and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressure. He added that Ukraine reported Russian forces had switched off some mobile networks and the internet so that reliable information from the site could not be obtained through the normal channels of communication.