As Ukraine enters its sixth day of invasion, Russian troops are beginning to converge on Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and heavy shelling has hit major Ukrainian cities as Russia continues its offensive.
Follow the most important developments here. The latest updates appear highest on the page.
Putin reiterates conditions for ending military operation in Ukraine [19:32]
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated that recognition of the "people's republics" of Luhansk and Donetsk by the Ukrainian government in Kyiv is one of the conditions for ending the military operation in Ukraine, the Kremlin announced.
Kyiv must also recognise Russian sovereignty over Crimea and commit to further renouncing nuclear weapons in the future, it said. Ukraine, which has friendly ties with the West, must also be demilitarised and adopt a neutral status, according to the Kremlin.
Zelenskyy demands halt to bombing before ceasefire talks [18:25]
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he will only talk to Russia about a ceasefire if Russia stops bombing Ukrainian cities. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the second round of negotiations between the two countries is scheduled for tomorrow.
On Monday, the first round of peace talks in the Gomel region in Belarus ended fruitlessly after five hours. However, the option of a follow-up in the coming days was left open.
To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 1, 2022
Belgium sends medicines and aid to Ukraine [17:45]
Belgium is sending €3.4 million worth of medicines and medical aids to Ukraine, announced Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke in a press release on Tuesday.
In concrete terms, the medical aid consists of some 130,000 vials of anaesthetics, 1.28 million ampules of narcotics and 167,000 ampules of muscle relaxants, as well as 428,000 pairs of surgical gloves, 595,000 pieces of airway support material and 10 million syringes and needles.
The resources will be delivered as soon as possible. "This war is hitting the population in Ukraine very hard. We try to help as much as we can," said Vandenbroucke.
Russia shells Kyiv TV tower, stations knocked offline [16:48]
Russian forces have begun to bombard the area surrounding the Kyiv TV tower, eventually scoring a direct hit and cutting TV signal and other communications to the city.
Video of the shelling of the TV tower.#Russians are hitting the communications facilities of the #Ukrainian capital. pic.twitter.com/e2y90keGfV— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 1, 2022
According to Ukrainian TV channel Ukraina 24, shells missed the tower and also damaged the Babyn Yar Holocaust and Second World War memorial center.
This is not an apocalypse, this is "liberators" have come😐 pic.twitter.com/8tnSgLScGX— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 1, 2022
International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity in Ukraine [16:26]
Chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan QC, has opened an investigation into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine.
According to the lawyer, there is "a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine."
The investigation will shortly be moved to the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court for an open investigation, where parties will put force evidence from the situation in Ukraine.
Footage circulating around social media appears to reveal Russia indiscriminately bombing civilian areas, especially in Ukraine's two largest cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv.
🇺🇦Kharkiv central square now. “Whoever rallied for the Russian World on this square - is this what you wanted? We warned you, it’s a bad idea” pic.twitter.com/qJQlBFTNPy— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) March 1, 2022
In a Human Impact Situation Report issued on Tuesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that there had been at least 406 civilian causalities. The true figure is expected to be much higher.
Russia announces new bombing of Kyiv [15:35]
The Russian Ministry of Defence has sent out a warning to the population of Ukraine capital Kyiv, announcing that it will carry out bombings on technological centres of the Ukrainian intelligence service SBU. This is in order to suppress "informational attacks" on Russia, according to the ministry, which is urging civilians to stay away.
Besides the SBU, the "Centre for Information and Psychological Operations (PSO)" is also a target. The Russian armed forces may try to paralyse the internet and mobile phone network in Kyiv.
When the bombing will take place, however, is not specified.
Von der Leyen: "We cannot take our security and the protection of people for granted" [13:49]
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, at an Extraordinary Plenary session on "the Russian aggression against Ukraine", has stated that the invasion of Ukraine marks a "watershed moment for our union."
⚡️European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen:"This is a watershed moment for our union. We cannot take our security and the protection of people for granted. We have to stand up for it. We have to invest in it. We have to carry our fair share of the responsibility." — The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 1, 2022
The commission president also announced an additional €500 million in weapons for Ukraine, as well as an extra €500 million for humanitarian support for Ukraine.
Appearing by livestream in the European Parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine was fighting for its land and freedom, assuring members of the European Parliament that "no one will enter our freedom and state."
⚡️Ursula von der Leyen:"This is a clash between the rule of law and the rule of the gun, between democracies and autocracies, between a rules-based order and naked aggression. How we respond today to what Russia is doing will determine the future of the international system." — The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 1, 2022
Von der Leyen stated on Sunday that Ukraine belonged in the EU, describing them as "one of us, and we want them in."
Ukraine's application to join the EU was accepted today, and a special admission procedure has begun to assess Ukraine's admissibility.
⚡️⚡️⚡️The European Parliament has accepted Ukraine's application to join the European Union. A special admission procedure has begun.— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 1, 2022
Visa, Mastercard block Russian financial institutions [12:33]
Government sanctions will force U.S payment card system companies Visa and Mastercard to suspend access to its network for select Russian banks. VTB, Russia's second largest bank, will be affected. This means that customers will not be able to use their bank cards, and financial institutions will not longer be able to issue payment cards.
International Criminal Court opens investigations into war crimes in Ukraine [12:05]
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is opening an investigation into the war in Ukraine "as rapidly as possible," announced ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC in a statement.
The ICC wants to investigate possible war crimes committed by the parties involved in the conflict – meaning Russia but also Ukraine – and has already received several reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Monday, Ukraine accused Russia of war crimes. According to the Ukrainian ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova, Russia used a vacuum bomb (also called a thermobaric bomb) against the Ukrainian people.
When they explode, vacuum bombs draw all the oxygen out of the air and use it to generate a high-temperature explosion. Due to the enormous air pressure and shock wave at that moment, they can cause enormous damage, especially in urban areas. Their use goes against the principles of the Geneva Convention.
However, it is not clear where Russia would have deployed the vacuum bomb, as there is (currently) no evidence for it. Several countries, including the US, have developed thermobaric bombs since the Second World War.
Belarusian troops enter Ukraine [11:55]
According to the official media outlet of the Ukrainian parliament, Belarusian forces have now entered Ukraine's Chernihiv Oblast to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine. This would mark Belarus' official entry in the conflict.
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has denied allegations that Belarus is planning to join Russia's military operations in Ukraine, and even denied that Belarus was being used as a staging ground for Russian troops attacking Ukraine.
‼️На Чернігівщину зайшли білоруські війська. Інформацію Суспільному підтвердив речник регіонального управління сил тероборони «Північ» Віталій Кирилов. Більше деталей згодом.— Верховна Рада України (@verkhovna_rada) March 1, 2022
Translation: Belarusian troops entered Chernihiv region. This information was confirmed to the Public by Vitaliy Kryrylov, spokesman for the North Territorial Defence Forces. More details to come.
Central Kharkiv rocked by massive explosion [09:12]
In Kharkiv, Eastern Ukraine's largest city, the Freedom Square in the heart of the city has been hit with missiles causing massive damage to civilian infrastructure and the regional administration building.
Russia has heavily bombarding the city since Monday, apparently targeting civilian infrastructure despite assurances that it would attack only military targets. Kharkiv region head Oleg Synegubov said on Tuesday that the city was being targeted by Russian GRAD rocket launchers and cruise missiles, denouncing the attacks as "genocide" and "a war crime."
⚡️ Russian forces have struck Independence Square in central Kharkiv with a powerful explosion.According to a video of the event, the blast detonated right in front of the headquarters of the Kharkiv Oblast government. Video: Ukraine NOW/Telegram pic.twitter.com/poZjYcjRjD — The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 1, 2022
40-mile long Russian military convoy approaches Kyiv [05:00]
Satellite imagery has confirmed that a massive 60 km-long convoy of Russian military equipment is heading towards Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv, from the North. Space technology company Maxar Technology has photographed the convoy from space and also warns of ground attack helicopter units spotted in southern Belarus, just 32 km from Kyiv.
Satellite images show a Russian military convoy north of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv that stretches for 64 km. It is substantially longer than the 27 km reported earlier. #Ukraine needs the world's support pic.twitter.com/aCelyghcB5— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) March 1, 2022
Coverage of the previous days can be found here.