Live coverage: Ukraine says 352 civilians dead amid Russian invasion

Russian forces entered Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on Sunday as Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor intensifies.

The Kremlin also said Russia was sending a delegation to Belarus for peace talks. But Ukraine’s president rejected the location, which was used as a staging ground for Russian troops.

Follow The Hill’s live coverage of the latest developments:

Jill Biden on anxiety over Ukraine: ‘It is okay to ask for help’

11:31 p.m.

First lady Jill Biden told Americans on Sunday that “it is okay to ask for help,” as many grapple with uncertainty surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden, in a series of tweets, said “I imagine many of us are feeling the weight of what is happening in Ukraine over recent days,” pointing to parents explaining reports to their children, teachers answering students’ questions and military families being “acutely aware” that unfolding events may directly affect their loved ones.

“In this difficult time there are no easy answers, and that may cause a feeling of uncertainty,” Biden wrote. “It is okay to ask for help.”

“Joe and I continue to pray for the brave and proud people of Ukraine,” the first lady wrote. “Our hearts are with our troops and our military families, including those who are stationed throughout Europe demonstrating solidarity with our Allies. We are profoundly grateful for your service.”


Google Maps disables some tools in Ukraine

10:36 p.m.

Google Maps has reportedly disabled some of its features in Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia.

Among the nixed features are details on traffic and live updates on how busy certain areas are, a company spokesperson told Axios on Sunday. The changes aim to protect the safety of Ukrainian citizens by protecting their movements and locations.

Basic Google Maps functions, including navigation, will still be available, notes Axios.

The decision was made after Google consulted with regional authorities and other officials, according to Reuters.


Tens of thousands protest across Europe against Russian invasion

9:13 p.m.

Tens of thousands protested in cities across Europe on Sunday, denouncing Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

Upwards of 100,000 came together in central Berlin, according to Reuters, with protesters holding signs that read “Stop the War,” “Putin’s last war” and “We stand with Ukraine,” along with Ukrainian and European Union flags.

In Prague, roughly 80,000 protesters gathered in the capital city’s central square, according to the news wire, and thousands of demonstrators in central Madrid held Ukrainian flags and signs that said “Peace,” “Stop Putin” and “Putin, you should be scared: my grandmother is really angry.”

Protesters also demonstrated in Denmark, where approximately 400 individuals came together before the Ukrainian embassy in central Copenhagen, where they lit candles and placed flowers, Reuters reported. 

And in Russia, police reportedly detained upwards of 1,700 individuals this weekend taking part in anti-war demonstrations that took place in 45 cities in the country.


Europe targets Lukashenko regime with latest sanctions

7:26 p.m.

The European Union has imposed new sanctions on Belarus over President Alexander Lukashenko’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

“Lukashenko’s regime is complicit in this vicious attack against Ukraine,” the European Commission said in a statement on Sunday. “So we will hit Lukashenko’s regime with a new package of sanctions.”

The commission said it would impose restrictive measures on key sectors in Belarus. “This will stop their exports of products from mineral fuels to tobacco, wood and timber, cement, iron and steel,” it said. 

“In addition, we will sanction those Belarusians helping the Russian war effort,” the commission said. 

The EU also announced new sanctions against Russia, including barring Russian aircraft from flying in the bloc’s territory.


Several states restrict Russian vodka sales in solidarity with Ukraine

7:17 p.m.

Several U.S. states have moved to remove Russian vodka from store shelves as Moscow continues its full-scale military assault on Ukraine. 

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed an order on Saturday “removing Russian-made and Russian-branded spirits from our liquor and wine outlets until further notice.”

The same day, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) also issued an order restricting Russian-made products, saying, “Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian enterprises, no matter how small the exchange.” 

Also on Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) asked retailers in his state to remove Russian products from stores shelves saying “Texas stands with Ukraine.”

And Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority said on Sunday that it was removing seven Russian-sourced vodka brands from store shelves.


WHO warns that Ukrainian hospitals may soon run out of oxygen 

7:00 p.m.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that Ukrainian hospitals may run out of their oxygen stockpiles “within the next 24 hours” because trucks are unable to transport supplies throughout the country.

“The oxygen supply situation is nearing a very dangerous point in Ukraine,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge said in a statement on Sunday.

“Trucks are unable to transport oxygen supplies from plants to hospitals across the country, including the capital Kyiv. The majority of hospitals could exhaust their oxygen reserves within the next 24 hours. Some have already run out. This puts thousands of lives at risk,” they added.

Additionally, the officials said essential medical supplies, including oxygen, are needed to treat patients with various conditions including COVID-19. They said 1,700 individuals are currently infected with the virus in Ukrainian hospitals.

The WHO is now looking at ways to “increase supplies that likely would include the importation of oxygen (liquid and cylinders) from regional networks.”


Ukraine says 352 civilians dead amid Russian invasion

6:10 p.m.

At least 352 civilians are dead in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Fourteen of the casualties are children, it added. 

At least 1,684 civilians have been wounded in Ukraine, according to the Internal Affairs Ministry, 116 of whom are children.

The United Nations Refugee Agency said on Sunday that 4 million Ukrainians may flee the country amid the invasion.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that roughly 4,300 Russian servicemen had been lost in the invasion, according to Reuters.


US urges citizens in Russia to consider leaving ‘immediately’

6:03 p.m.

The U.S. is urging citizens in Russia to consider leaving the country “immediately” amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The security alert comes as more countries are closing their airspace to Russian airlines, including Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania, according to Reuters.

“An increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines,” the U.S. Embassy in Russia wrote in a security alert on Sunday.

“U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available,” the embassy added.


EU members considering fighter jets for Ukraine

5:19 p.m.

A top Ukrainian official has asked European Union members to supply Ukraine with fighter jets in the wake of Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, confirmed on Sunday that some members of the 27-nation bloc will supply planes to Ukraine directly instead of financing weapons deliveries.

The talks are reportedly still ongoing.


Google blocks Russian channels from selling ads

4:34 p.m.

Google on Saturday announced that Russia’s state-owned media outlet RT and other channels would be prohibited from receiving money from their ads on YouTube videos, as well as websites and apps that use the company’s technology to generate revenue, Reuters reported. 

Google’s YouTube unit said it would be “pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube” as a result of “extraordinary circumstances” amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

“We’re actively monitoring new developments and will take further steps if necessary,” spokesman Michael Aciman told Reuters.

YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo also noted that content from media impacted by the new policy may appear less in recommended videos. 

The Hill has reached out to Google for comment.


Hall of Famer calls on NHL to suspend Russian players

3:58 p.m.

Hall of Fame Hockey player Dominik Hasek urged the National Hockey League to suspend Russian players amid the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

“The NHL must immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players!” Hasek, a Czech Republic native who played in the NHL for sixteen seasons, wrote in a Twitter thread on Saturday. 

“Every athlete represents not only himself and his club, but also his country and its values and actions. That is a fact. If the NHL does not do so, it has indirect co-responsibility for the dead in Ukraine.” 

Hasek’s response comes after Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin said he wants peace between both sides, but avoided criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he has supported in the past, according to USA Today

“It’s a hard situation. I have lots of friends in Russia and Ukraine, and it’s hard to see the war,” the Russian-born skater told reporters on Friday.


Finland closing airspace to Russian flights

3:35 p.m.

Finland is preparing to close its airspace to Russian flights, according to an official in the country.

Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka announced in a tweet on Saturday that Finland is preparing to close off its airspace to Russian air traffic, according to a Twitter translation.

Sweden and Denmark are preparing a similar measure, according to Reuters, which comes after Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania all closed their airspace to Russian flights. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Iceland are also reportedly doing the same, and Germany has said it is planning to follow suit, according to Reuters.

The European Union announced the same measure on Sunday.


Putin thanks Russian special forces

3:28 p.m.

In a televised address, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Russia’s special forces for “heroically fulfilling their military duty” amid the ongoing war with Ukraine, Reuters reported.

“First, I want to thank military commanders and personnel at the special operation forces combat veterans of the special forces for the loyalty to their oath,” Putin said in his address on Sunday. 

“And special gratitude to those who are within these days heroically fulfilling their military duty in the special operation to help People’s Republic in Donbas,” Putin added. 

Officials said on Sunday that Russian military forces have attacked oil and gas facilities in Ukraine, sparking huge explosions, according to Reuters.

Ukraine’s deputy defense minister said on Sunday that roughly 4,300 Russian servicemen have been lost in the invasion.


Ukrainian agency asks citizens to help remove road signs

3:22 p.m.

Ukraine’s government is asking citizens to help remove road signs in an effort to confuse Russian soldiers seeking to navigate unfamiliar territory, The Washington Post reported

Ukravtodor, the agency responsible for the country’s road system, shared the plan in a Facebook post on Saturday, along with an image of a road sign saying “Go f— yourselves” in three different ways.  

“Lets help them go straight to hell,” the agency wrote, asking people to hand over removed sings to local authorities. 

“Ukravtodor calls on all road organizations, territorial communities, local authorities to immediately start dismantling road signs nearby.”


Romania sending fuel, ammunition to Ukraine

2:50 p.m.

The Romanian government announced on Sunday it will send over $3 million worth of provisions and equipment to Ukraine and has also offered to take care of wounded in military and civilian hospitals.

The provisions Romania is sending will include fuel, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, helmets, military equipment, food and water, according to government spokesperson Dan Carbunaru.

As Reuters reported, Romanian ambulances will be cooperating with Ukrainian border officials to pick up children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Romania,  a member of both the European Union and NATO, was once a satellite state of the Soviet Union and shares a border with Ukraine about 380 miles long. Reuters noted that local Romanian authorities have already begun sending trucks with food, blankets and winter clothes to towns just across the border.


NATO chief: Russia does not pose imminent threat to alliance members

2:46 p.m.

Russian does not currently pose an imminent threat to NATO allies, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday.

CNN’s “State of the Union” host Dana Bash asked Stoltenberg if there were signs that Russia posed a threat to any NATO allies, noting that he was activating NATO’s Response Force and deploying forces to NATO’s eastern flank near Ukraine.

“We don’t see an imminent threat. But we see a much more aggressive Russia, a Russia which is contesting core values for our security, willing to use force against Ukraine, but also threatening NATO allies,” said Stoltenberg.

“And that’s exactly why we, over the last years, since actually 2014, have increased our presence and, over the last months, have stepped up further, with thousands of more troops, and also deploying parts or elements of the NATO Response Force for the first time in a collective defense mission,” he added.


Nuclear watchdog: No reports of radioactive release after missile strike at waste disposal site in Kyiv

2:00 p.m.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on Sunday that there have been no reports of a radioactive release after a waste disposal facility in Kyiv was hit by missiles during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) informed the IAEA that communications and the radiation monitoring system at the site have been restored, noting that it expects to receive the results of on-site radioactive monitoring soon.

The incident comes only a day after an electrical transformer at a similar disposal facility near the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was damaged, also without reports of radioactive release.

“These two incidents highlight the very real risk that facilities with radioactive material will suffer damage during the conflict, with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.

“Once again, I urgently and strongly appeal to all parties to refrain from any military or other action that could threaten the safety and security of these facilities,” he added.

While the disposal facilities do not necessarily contain high-level radioactive waste, the IAEA noted that the waste can still cause a severe radiological event. The watchdog said it continues to monitor developments in Ukraine.


UN Refugee Agency says up to 4 million Ukrainians may flee

1:47 p.m.

The United Nations Refugee Agency said on Sunday that 4 million Ukrainians may flee the country amid an invasion by Russia.

“We are aware of reports of substantial movements within Ukraine but also across borders. In terms of our planning figures, I can give you a relatable update from us,” UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said in a news conference.

“So what we expect up to 4 million people may flee Ukraine to other countries if the situation escalates,” Mantoo added. “Further, we are present both in Ukraine and with those neighboring countries that are ready to support any efforts to help forcibly displaced people.”

The UN’s high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said in a tweet that 368,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova.

“The number of refugees from Ukraine who have crossed to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and other countries is escalating and is now 368,000,” Grandi said.

“The governments and people of those countries are welcoming refugees,” Grandi added. “It is now urgent to share this responsibility in concrete ways.”


4,300 Russian troops lost in invasion, Ukrainian official says

1:40 p.m.

Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Malyar, said on Sunday that roughly 4,300 Russian servicemen had been lost in the invasion, according to Reuters.

That figure was reportedly still being clarified, but Malyar added that Russian forces had also lost approximately 146 tanks, 27 aircraft and 26 helicopters.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs r eported at least 64 Ukrainian civilian deaths in the invasion as of Saturday, Reuters noted.


EU closing airspace to Russian flights, financing weapons for Ukraine

1:16 p.m.

The European Union announced that it would close its airspace to Russian flights and finance weapons for Ukraine in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.

“We are shutting down the EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft,” Ursula von der Leyen, who serves as president of the European Commission, announced on Sunday.

“They won’t be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU,” she added, noting that the ban included “the private jets of oligarchs.”

She also announced that the European Union would, for the first time, “finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and equipment to a country under attack.”


BP divesting stake in Russian oil giant over Ukraine invasion

1:09 p.m.

Multinational oil and gas company BP will be divesting its approximately 20 percent stake in a Russian state-owned oil firm due to Moscow’s “act of aggression in Ukraine.”

BP announced it will be offloading its 19.75 percent stake in the Rosneft oil firm, which it has held since 2013. BP Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney will also be resigning from Rosneft’s board of directors as will former BP chief executive Bob Dudley, who was nominated to Rosneft’s board by BP.

–Joseph Choi

World Bank president warns of global financial consequences from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

12:43 p.m.

President of the World Bank David Malpass warned on Sunday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have dire financial implications for the entire global economy, including Russia, but said there are some promising factors at play.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Malpass said the invasion of Ukraine would affect the Russian ruble and in turn the Russian people.

“Their per capita income has fallen below China’s, so as you think about the sanctions, it hits the the banks in Russia, but apparently not the oil and gas industry,” Malpass said. “But if they go — if they’re able to stop the Central Bank of Russia from operating, that would really have an effect on Russia and the people.”

Malpass also warned that food and oil prices would likely spike in response to the crisis in Ukraine. He noted that the price of oil and food was “already at a point of fragility because inflation really hits the poor.”


UK: No talk before Russian withdrawal from Ukraine

12:06 p.m.

British foreign minister Liz Truss said on Sunday that the United Kingdom would not engage in talks with Russia so long as Moscow still has troops in Ukraine.

“Now if the Russians are serious about negotiations, they need to remove their troops from Ukraine. They cannot negotiate with a gun to the head of the Ukrainians…So frankly, I don’t trust these so-called efforts of negotiation,” she told Sky News.

Truss also noted that the British government would target the private jets, properties and other possessions of Russian oligarchs, adding that “there will be nowhere to hide.”

“I’ve compiled a hit list of oligarchs,” she also said. “We are working through putting the cases together and every few weeks we will sanction new oligarchs. There will be a rolling program of sanctions.”


Former national security adviser: ‘Putin got a lot more than he bargained for’

11:55 a.m.

H.R. McMaster, who served as former President Trump’s national security adviser, said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “got a lot more than he bargained for” when he invaded Ukraine last week.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McMaster said Ukrainian forces have done a “tremendous” job.

“I think Putin got a lot more than he bargained for. He’s in a very difficult position,” McMaster told host Margaret Brennan. “And I think anything we can do obviously financially — going after his international criminal enterprise with sanctions and so forth is important. But the support for Ukraine’s ability to defend themselves is also important.”


Cheney on Ukraine: Isolationism has ‘always been wrong’

11:40 a.m.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Sunday said isolationism has “always been wrong” and “dangerous” in response to some public figures who have called for a policy of nonintervention in Ukraine.

While the majority of conservatives have called for strong U.S. support for Ukraine, some prominent figures like author J.D. Vance called for an non-interventionist approach to Ukraine prior to the invasion.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Cheney said this approach has “always been wrong.”

“We’ve been down that road before we’ve seen isolationism in both parties, and it’s always been wrong and it’s always been dangerous,” Cheney said. “America cannot defend and maintain our own freedom and security. If we think that we’re going to simply withdraw from the world and not lead.”


Portman on Ukraine: ‘I haven’t seen this kind of unity since 9/11’

11:24 a.m.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said on Sunday that the global unity seen in support of Ukraine amid its invasion from Russia is unlike any he had seen since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“This is something where the American people are standing firmly with Ukraine, and there are many rallies around the country today in support of Ukraine. I’ll be at one in Cleveland, Ohio this afternoon,” Portman said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Around the world you see this, including in Russia,” he added. “The world is standing up in ways that frankly I haven’t seen this kind of unity since 9/11.”


Thomas-Greenfield says UN will ‘isolate’ Russia

10:55 a.m.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday said that the United Nations could isolate Russia in an effort to penalize Moscow for their invasion of Ukraine.

“We can isolate them in the United Nations. We can isolate them in UN specialized agencies. They are feeling that isolation,” Thomas-Greenfield said of Russia on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Thomas-Greenfield added that “we have a number of tools to put pressure on the Russians and we’re using all of those tools.”


Biden will speak on Ukraine, ‘optimism’ in State of the Union

10:53 a.m.

President Biden will speak about the Russian invasion of Ukraine during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, but he will also send a message of optimism.

ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Psaki on Sunday how Biden’s address had changed with the invasion of Ukraine this past week.

“I think there’s no question that in the State of the Union, the American people and anybody watching around the world will hear the president talk about the efforts he has led over the past several months to build a global coalition to fight against the autocracy and the efforts of President Putin to invade a foreign country,” Psaki said.

“But what people will also hear from President Biden is his optimism and his belief in the resilience of the American people and the strength of the American people,” she added.


NATO chief calls Putin’s nuclear threats ‘dangerous rhetoric’

10:36 a.m.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats of using nuclear defense systems “dangerous rhetoric.”

“This is dangerous rhetoric. This is behavior which is irresponsible,” Stoltenberg said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“If you combine this rhetoric with what they’re doing on the ground in Ukraine- waging war against the independent sovereign nation, conducting full fledge invasion of Ukraine- this adds to the seriousness of the situation,” he also said.

“That’s the reason why we both provide support to Ukraine but also why we over the last weeks and months have significantly increased the presence of NATO in the eastern part of the alliance,” he added.


US ambassador not surprised by Putin’s threat of nuclear deterrence

10:33 a.m.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said on Sunday that she is not surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent threats of nuclear deterrence in response to the international condemnation for invading Ukraine.

Thomas-Greenfield was asked during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about Putin’s order earlier Sunday to put Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.

“It means that President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable, and we have to continue to condemn his actions in the strongest possible way,” said Thomas-Greenfield.


Romney calls Putin ‘a small, feral-eyed man’

10:24 a.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “a small, feral-eyed man” amid the Russian full scale military invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re seeing a small, feral-eyed man who was trying to shape the world in the image where, once again, Russia would be an empire, and that’s not going to happen,” Romney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“The people of the world see him and see Russia for what it is and they say, ‘no, we will fight for freedom,'” the senator added.


Condoleezza Rice describes Putin as ‘delusional,’ ‘erratic’

10:21 a.m.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “seems erratic,” adding he has an “ever-deepening, delusional rendering of history.”

Rice said on “Fox News Sunday” that she’s met with Putin many times, noting that he was always a “KGB man” and “calculating and cold.”

Today, however, he is very different, she said.

“He seems erratic,” Rice said. “There is an ever-deepening, delusional rendering of history, it was always a kind of victimology of what had happened to them, but now it goes back to blaming Lenin for the foundation of Kyiv in Ukraine. So he’s descending into something that I personally haven’t seen before.”


Ukrainian ambassador to the US calls on American businesses to cut ties with Russia

9:47 a.m.

Ukraine Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova on Sunday called on American businesses to cut their ties with Russia as a way of supporting her country as its fends off Russia’s military invasion.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Markarova expressed gratitude for the support that the international community has given Ukraine so far, but said more defensive weapons and more sanctions were still needed.

Markarova said Russia needed to “clearly see that and feel” that it is not OK to attack “a sovereign country without any reason.”

“I also would like to use this opportunity also to call on American business, because you know this is a full-fledged, unjust war,” Markarova said.


US ambassador to UN vows more sanctions on Russia

9:44 a.m.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday vowed that the Biden administration would impose more sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and said that U.S. officials had not “taken anything off the table.”

“We’re continuing to look at this. We’re ramping up as the Russians ramp up, so there’s more to come,” Thomas-Greenfield said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“While energy is not in this current announcement, it doesn’t mean it’s off the table, but we also want to do everything we can to protect our own economy from the impact of this,” she added.


Peace talks reported between Russia, Ukraine

9:14 a.m.

Multiple media organizations are reporting that Ukraine and Russia will hold peace talks on the border of Ukraine and Belarus. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed to Sky News that the two sides would hold the talks on the border of Ukraine and Belarus, where some of the Russian troops invading his country had been held. 

Zelensky had refused to agree to an earlier request for talks in Belarus, arguing it was not neutral territory. 

Sunday was the fourth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been slowed by fierce resistance from Ukrainian troops and private citizens. 

Several cities including the capitol of Kyiv have been bombarded by Russia, and there has additionally been fighting in the streets.

Sky News, referring to a statement from Zelensky’s office, said the two delegations will meet “without preconditions” near the Pripyat River.

Earlier in the day, Zelensky had spoken with Belarus strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Alexander Lukashenko has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return,” the statement said, according to Sky News. 

— Ian Swanson

US announces additional $54M in humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians

8:56 a.m.

The U.S. State Department announced nearly $54 million in humanitarian on Sunday for Ukrainians who have been affected by Russia’s invasion.

The State Department said it would be providing nearly $26 million as well as $28 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

These funds will move through humanitarian organizations will deliver assistance with “impartiality, humanity, neutrality, and independence,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement

“This additional assistance will enable international humanitarian organizations to further support the people of Ukraine, working closely with the Government of Ukraine and European allies and partners at the forefront of any response,” Blinken said. “This includes the provision of food, safe drinking water, shelter, emergency health care, winterization, and protection.”


Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces put on high alert

8:54 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his country’s nuclear defense systems be put on higher alert, citing what he says are threats from the West amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in a televised address on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.


Zelensky calls on top UN court to stop Russian invasion

8:47 a.m.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday announced Ukraine has requested that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hold Russia accountable for its military invasion.

“Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week,” Zelensky tweeted.


Russia hits Ukraine fuel supplies, airfields in new attacks

8:30 a.m.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia unleashed a wave of attacks on Ukraine targeting airfields and fuel facilities in what appeared to be the next phase of an invasion that has been slowed by fierce resistance. The U.S. and EU responded with weapons and ammunition for the outnumbered Ukrainians and powerful sanctions intended to further isolate Moscow.

Huge explosions lit up the sky early Sunday south of the capital, Kyiv, where people hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale assault by Russian forces.

Flames billowed into the sky before dawn from an oil depot near an air base in Vasylkiv, where there has been intense fighting, according to the town’s mayor. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said another explosion was at the civilian Zhuliany airport.


Ukraine internet disrupted

8:18 a.m.

Internet connectivity in Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions has been disrupted by Russia’s military invasion of the country.

Connectivity to Ukraine’s largest internet provider, GigaTrans, temporarily dropped below 20 percent of normal levels on Friday before returning to normal, Reuters reported.

“We currently observe national connectivity at 87 percent of ordinary levels, a figure that reflects service disruptions as well as population flight and the shuttering of homes and businesses since the morning of the 24th,” Alp Toker, director of the internet monitoring organization NetBlocks, said, according to the news service.

“While there is no nation-scale blackout, little is being heard from the worst affected regions, and for others there’s an ever-present fear that connectivity could worsen at any moment, cutting off friends and family,” he added.


EU official says Russian flights could be banned from its airspace

7:58 a.m.

Russia may be banned from Europe’s airspace due to its invasion of Ukraine.

As the BBC reported, a European Union  official said Russia may be barred from the bloc’s airspace, as many countries have already moved to restrict Russian flights.

A formal EU vote on the decision is expected later Sunday.

Countries including the U.K., Ireland, Poland, Finland, Latvia and Romania have all announced airspace bans against Russia. Germany, Italy and Denmark have announced intentions to do the same.

Many airlines have also declared plans to avoid Russian airspace. These plans will result in longer times for flights that usually cross over Russia.


Zelensky says Russia should be removed from UN Security Council

7:45 a.m.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said he had called for Russia to be effectively removed from the U.N. Security Council over its invasion of his country. Zelensky said he had brought up the potential action to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“To deprive the aggressor country of the right to vote in the UN Security Council, to qualify [Russian] actions & statements as genocide of [Ukrainian] people, to help with the delivery of corpses of [Russian] soldiers. Talked about it in a conversation with the #UN Secretary General @antonioguterres,” Zelensky tweeted on Saturday.

Guterres said he “conveyed the determination of the @UN to enhance humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine” during his phone call with Zelensky.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on Sunday to hold an emergency meeting on Russia’s military action against Ukraine. This would mark the council’s 11th time convening an emergency session since 1950. The action would need a simple majority vote and could not be vetoed by Russia, a permanent member of the council.


Russians enter Ukraine’s second-largest city

7:36 a.m.

Russian forces have moved into Ukraine’s second-largest city, resulting in street fighting and damage to Kharkiv’s infrastructure.

Russian troops had remained on the outskirts of Kharkiv until Sunday, when they moved into the city of 1.4 million people. Videos posted on social media showed Russian vehicles moving across the city and Ukrainian soldiers firing at the Russian forces.


‘Saturday Night Live’ opens with tribute song to Ukraine

7:27 A.M.

NEW YORK (AP) — “Saturday Night Live” normally kicks off each show with some humor, but the comedy sketch series opened with a tribute performance to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York performed a “Prayer for Ukraine” during the opening of “SNL” on Saturday. Cast members Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong introduced the choir.


World judo body suspends Putin as its honorary president

7:26 A.M.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Vladimir Putin temporarily lost his most senior official position in world sports on Sunday.

The International Judo Federation cited “the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine” for suspending Putin’s honorary president status.

The Russian president is a keen judoka and attended the sport at the 2012 London Olympics.


Germany commits 100 billion euros to new armed forces fund

7:22 a.m.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday that Germany is committing 100 billion euros to a special fund for its armed forces, raising its defense spending above 2 percent of GDP.

“It’s clear we need to invest significantly more in the security of our country, in order to protect our freedom and our democracy,” Scholz told a special session of the Bundestag in Berlin Sunday morning.

The move is a significant one for Germany, which has come under criticism from the United States and other NATO allies for not investing adequately in its defense budget.


Tags Antony Blinken Chris Sununu Dana Bash Donald Trump George Stephanopoulos Greg Abbott Jen Psaki Jill Biden Joe Biden Linda Thomas-Greenfield Liz Cheney Mitt Romney Rob Portman Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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