Russia's invasion of Ukraine, day 9. Timeline of events, March 4
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fire at the nuclear power plant
The ninth day of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine – there is a fire at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as a result of the shelling, key cities, including Kyiv, are captured or are under siege and rocket fire. The parties have agreed on establishing humanitarian corridors. According to the UN, a million people have already fled Ukraine. Western countries are supplying weapons to Ukraine, military volunteers from all over the world are doing Ukraine’s territorial defense, unprecedented sanctions have been introduced against Russia. President Zelensky calls for more international assistance and demands that NATO closes the skies over Ukraine.
Live updates: Fighting in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, day 10, March 5 HERE
Summary of events by 11.30 pm: 124 Louis Vuitton stores to close in Russia
The first residents of Mariupol have begun to leave the city along the humanitarian corridor. Ukraine and Russia agreed on their establishment yesterday during the second round of negotiations.
The third stage of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations may take place on March 5 or 6 – adviser to the head of Zelensky’s office.
Video: Railway station in Zaporozhye. Residents try to leave the city:
UN: More than 1.25 million people have left Ukraine. Most refugees have been accepted by Poland and Moldova.
International response to Russo-Ukrainian war
NATO cannot intervene in the situation in Ukraine, because no one wants the conflict to escalate into an unlimited escalation, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock.
The G7 countries came to the conclusion that dependence on Russian gas should be reduced.
UK authorities plan to place refugees from Ukraine in confiscated mansions of Russian oligarchs – The Times.
Volunteers from Georgia arrived in Ukraine to fight against Russia. They could not fly out of Tbilisi for several days.
Another rally in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression has been held in Tbilisi. “You are the people who represent the dignity of Georgia today, and I thank you very much for this”, president Salome Zurabishvili addressed the participants of the rally.
Cases of threats and discrimination against citizens of Russia and Belarus have become more frequent in Georgia. In this regard, the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kabakhidze, held a special briefing, at which he stated that “discrimination against people on the basis of nationality is an unheard of phenomenon in the civilized world. With such an approach, Georgia cannot become a member of the European Union”. Besides, he said, it’s not part of Georgian culture. All those responsible for such actions should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, Kobakhidze said, adding that the parliament had already begun work on a law against discrimination based on ethnicity and inciting ethnic hatred.
Putin has signed a law criminalizing fakes about the actions of Russian troops and calls for anti-Russian sanctions, RIA Novosti reports.
Booking.com service has stopped working in Russia.
Reuters writes that Louis Vuitton will close 124 stores in Russia starting next week.
Russia has blocked Twitter and Facebook on its territory;
Ukraine launched a campaign to boycott Coca-Cola, as it said that, despite the military invasion of Ukraine, it would continue to work in Russia.
Photo: Unexploded bomb in Kharkiv
At least 10,000 people rallied in front of the Georgian parliament in support of Ukraine. Video
At least 10,000 people have gathered in front of parliament In Tbilisi to support Ukraine and demand Georgian government to unconditionally condemn Russia as an aggressor. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the audience from Kyiv
Human rights activists in Baku rally in front of the Russian embassy
“Police protects the security of Azerbaijan’s ‘new ally’” – Police prevented human rights activists in Baku from approaching the Russian embassy to hand over a statement demanding an immediate end to the Russian occupation, the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and solving problems with neighbors at the negotiating table. The protesters read out their statement and then handed it over to the police, who promised to hand it over to the embassy.
Summary of events by 4 pm: Russia 'has no ill intentions towards its neighbors'
Ukraine and Russia about the fire at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant at dawn, which was quickly extinguished
IAEA: Safety systems of the Zaporizhzhya NPP are not affected, there is no radiation release.
Press service of the Ukrainian Energoatom: During the assault on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant by the Russian military, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed.
President of Ukraine Zelensky: “We have survived a night that could have ended the history of Ukraine and Europe. Russian troops attacked the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant”, the President of Ukraine said. He once again demanded that the West impose new sanctions against Russia and close the sky over Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation: “At night, on the territory adjacent to the Zaporizhzhya NPP, the Kiev regime made an “attempt to implement a monstrous provocation”. It is alleged that the Russian patrol was monitoring the area adjacent to the station, and at that time “heavy fire from small arms from the windows of several floors of an educational and training complex located outside the power plant” was opened on it. “The firing points of Ukrainian saboteurs were suppressed by return fire from small arms. While leaving the building, the Ukrainian sabotage group set fire to the building”, the Russian Ministry of Defense claims.
Reports from the frontline
In Chernihiv, 47 people died as a result of the bombing by Russian aircraft.
The General Staff of Ukraine reports a second downed Russian fighter, this time a SU-25 in the sky over Volnovakha. The ejected pilot is being sought.
This is all that remains of a single copy of the An-225 “Mriya” – the largest and most lifting aircraft in the world. It was stationed at the Gostomel airport near Kiyv, which, as of today, is once again under the control of Ukrainian forces.
Support for Ukraine
The UN Human Rights Council decided to urgently create an international commission to investigate Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Only Russia and Eritrea opposed, 13 other countries abstained.
France announced its readiness to transfer to Ukraine the latest fifth-generation anti-tank missile system.
NATO is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and is not looking for war with Russia, but will increase its presence on the borders of the Russian Federation, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Putin: “We have no bad intentions towards our neighbors”
“I would also advise them not to escalate the situation, not to introduce any restrictions, we fulfill all obligations and will continue to fulfill them. We see no need to escalate the situation or worsen our relations. All our actions, if they arise, always arise exclusively in response to some unfriendly actions against the Russian Federation. I think that everyone should think about how to normalize relations and cooperate normally”, the President of Russia said.
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine: “Either close the sky of Ukraine – or give us modern air defense systems”
Advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Gerashchenko: “In a situation where Russia is carrying out genocide of the inhabitants of Ukraine, regardless of nationality, and the West is not ready to make a no-fly zone over the country’s territory, fearing a war with an aggressor state, an alternative option is possible. Give us modern air defense systems capable of shooting down all types of aircraft and cruise missiles! Deliver them by military transport aircraft to military airfields in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary. Then escort them to the border with Ukraine under the cover of your air defense systems and hand them over to the Ukrainian armed forces”.
Russia also blocked the websites of independent publications: Voice of America, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Meduza, Radio Liberty. The explanation is “they are spreading fakes throughout Ukraine.”
The Village closed its Russian office, saying that “the editorial office is safe and working from Warsaw.”
Russian independent publication Znak. com announced the suspension of work “due to the large number of restrictions that have appeared recently for the work of the media in Russia.”
S7 Airlines is closing all international flights from March 5. S7 passengers will be able to return home on flights of partner companies
The telegram channel of the pro-Kremlin Russia Today is blocked in Europe. The channel is almost never present in any social media.
VIDEO: At the Tel Aviv airport, Russian aircraft are signaled with the flag of Ukraine:
Summary of events by 12 pm: "Someone in Russia should take responsibility and take this guy [Putin] out"
The Ukrainian authorities told the IAEA that the fire at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant did not affect the “main” equipment, according to a UN tweet. According to the organization, there have been no reports of changes in radiation levels. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine writes on Facebook that the fire has affected the training building and has already been extinguished. There were no injured or dead, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. The radiation level at nuclear power plants does not differ from the values in neighboring settlements.
Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Galushchenko said that there was a threat of the largest man-made disaster in the history of mankind. President Zelensky called on world leaders to stop Russia “before it becomes a nuclear catastrophe.”
Fighting in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said it had destroyed 20 Russian military vehicles near the Gostomel air base near Kyiv. This fact was confirmed by NATO military experts, reports CNN. The vehicles were marked with a V, indicating that they were among the Russian troops that arrived from Belarus. The beginning of the 40-kilometer column of tanks, identified a few days ago on satellite images and moving towards Kiev, was close to the Gostomel air base. It was alleged that the Gostomel airfield was captured by Russian troops on the first day of the war, February 24th.
Bombing of Severodonetsk all night long:
Comments: US Deputy Secretary of State, US Senator, former Russian Defense Minister
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland: “New Western sanctions on Moscow will be lifted if Russia ends the war in Ukraine. If Russia ends this war and helps rebuild Ukraine, restores peace and recognizes its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as her right to exist”.
Former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev has called the war in Ukraine “barbaric” in an interview with CNN. “It’s a barbaric act. Whether I could imagine it when I was the foreign minister, it was completely out of question. But later on, I started to understand that they are going downhill, so to say, and they feel impunity, both at home and abroad. And that’s kind of increased the appetite unfortunately, not for building Russia. Now they are destroying the future of all brotherly people with this fratricidal war”, he added. Kozyrev cautioned that sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are “like doing almost nothing — because nothing, I think, is in their names … You can’t find their assets. It’s all [with] other people”.
Kozyrev took to Twitter calling on all Russian diplomats to resign from their posts in protest of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Kozyrev was the first Russian foreign minister under Boris Yeltsin after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In his Twitter call for all Russian diplomats to resign from their posts in protest against the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
US Senator Lindsey Graham called live on Fox to eliminate Putin. “Someone in Russia needs to take responsibility and take this guy out. You will be doing your country and the world a great service. I hope there is a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg [referring to the German officer whose bomb failed to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944] in the Russian army. Of course, he will first have to get into the cellar where the slug lives”:
The popular independent publication Meduza has been blocked in Russia. Prior to this, the famous independent media, the Dozhd TV channel and the Ekho Moskvy publication, were blocked and forced to stop working.
In Russia, they nevertheless reduced the commission for currency purchase operations – from the initial 30% to 12%.
Assistance to Ukraine
In the United States, Ukrainians who are in the country were allowed to stay even after their visa expires. The Migration Policy Institute says about 30,000 Ukrainians are expected to benefit from this assistance.
Airbnb suspends its work in Russia and Belarus.
VIDEO: Mila Kunis, an American actress of Ukrainian origin, recorded a video in support of Ukraine with her husband Ashton Kutcher: “Today I am more proud than ever to be Ukrainian.” They donated $3 million for humanitarian support to Ukraine
VIDEO: Local residents in different cities of Ukraine catch looters and tie them to a pole in the street as a public punishment. This is a video from Kharkiv: “Yes, I wanted to rob the pharmacy, take narcotic drugs”
President of Georgia: It looks like Putin is destroying the "whole country"
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she doesn’t believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is only aiming to take select regions of Ukraine, but that he’s “destroying the whole country.”
“It doesn’t look anymore that he’s just aiming at annexing a few regions. It now looks that he’s destroying the whole country. It’s a war of mass destruction in a way”, Zourabichvili said.
She added, ” I heard his declarations today that all of that is moving according to plans, I’m not so sure that it’s according to plans… He was not planning on the way Ukraine is resisting. He had a mass assault that was very psychological with his forces that were used from all sides. And it has not worked. Of course militarily, he has superiority, which one day or the other will manifest itself. But the determination and the resistance of the Ukrainian people and leadership is really very admirable”.
Summary of events by 8 am: fire at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant extinguished
Fire at the Zaporozhye NPP
The Zaporozhye NPP caught fire after a night shelling by Russian troops. By 6 am, the fire was extinguished as firefighters were allowed into the station. This is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, it produces 23% of all electricity consumed by Ukraine. The mayor of Energodar, Dmitry Orlov, reports that there are wounded at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
President of Ukraine Zelensky: “There are 15 nuclear power units on the territory of Ukraine. If every one of them explodes, this is the evacuation of all of Europe, the end of everything, the end of Europe.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Twitter with reference to the Ukrainian authorities that the main units have not yet been damaged by the fire.
The US has activated its Nuclear Incident Response Team and is monitoring the situation along with the Department of Defense, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the White House. “So far, radiation levels are normal. The plant’s reactors are protected by strong protective structures”, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm tweeted.
“A nuclear disaster could occur at the plant if the electricity or water supply is cut off. If the Russian military wants to disable the plant, they should seize the facility, not physically attack it because of the dangers involved”, national security analyst Joe Cirincione told CNN.
The British Prime Minister announced that he would convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in the coming hours.
Ninth day of Russia’s attack on Ukraine
Key cities of Ukraine under rocket attacks.
According to preliminary data, after several days of fighting and shelling, Russian troops captured Kherson.
Mariupol has been under siege and under continuous shelling for two days. Mariupol’s deputy mayor Sergei Orlov said the city was “surrounded” by Russian troops and was in dire need of military and humanitarian assistance.
In Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, 34 civilians have died in the last 24 hours. For the fourth day there are battles, rocket attacks have intensified. Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov said the Russian military was “deliberately trying to destroy the Ukrainian people” by attacking civilian targets: “The situation is extremely difficult. Airplanes are constantly flying, launching (rockets), launching grenades, hitting residential buildings.
Russian troops are advancing towards Odessa.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby praised the level of resistance of the Ukrainian army. “They are fighting on the streets and outside of their cities, not only bravely and heroically – they are using a very creative approach”, Kirby told CNN.
Sanctions against Russia
US President Joe Biden has announced additional sanctions against Russian oligarchs. The new list includes eight people from Putin’s inner circle and members of their families. They will be cut off from the US financial system, their assets in the US will be frozen, and their property will be expropriated.
The US has announced “full blocking sanctions” against 42 Russian companies. Basically, these are enterprises engaged in the production of aircraft and military equipment.
A group of investigators from the International Tribunal in The Hague (ICC) left for Ukraine. They will conduct an investigation into an international class action lawsuit against Russia – it is accused of possible war crimes.
The European Union will provide temporary protection to all refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, said the bloc’s commissioner for internal affairs, Ylva Johansson.
Germany should immediately freeze the assets of Russian oligarchs as part of sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck called on Thursday.
Previous reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 8. Follow the timeline of March 3 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 7. Follow the timeline of March 2 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 6. Follow the timeline of March 1 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 5. Follow the timeline of February 28 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 4. Follow the timeline of February 27 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 3. Follow the timeline of February 26 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 2. Follow the timeline of February 25 events here.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, day 1. Follow the timeline of February 24 events here.