Russia attacks Ukraine: UK intelligence calls Russian ground advances ‘minimal’

Russia continued its offensive into Ukraine on Sunday as the conflict entered its 11th day.

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine made an appeal to Western nations to impose a no-fly zone over the country, but that was rejected. The president then called on citizens of Ukraine to resist the Russian invasion and praised the courage of protesters who took to the streets of occupied cities and towns.

“Every meter of our Ukrainian land won by protest and humiliation of the invaders is a step forward, a step toward victory,” Zelenskyy said.

On Monday, Ukraine and Russia are scheduled to hold a third round of talks. Meanwhile, intelligence officials expect Russia to step up the pace and strength of its attacks, particularly in the capital of Kyiv.

Here are the latest updates:

Ukrainian unit takes out tanks on outskirts of Kyiv, video shows

Update 11: 22 p.m. EST March 6: A Ukrainian National Police special forces unit took out two Russian tanks in a small village roughly 30 miles northeast of Kyiv, the National Police said.

According to CNN, a video published by the special police unit shows a number of members from the Rapid Operational Response Team ambushing Russian tanks using rocket-propelled grenades.

The video was published on Sunday, but CNN could not verify the video was filmed that day.

Meanwhile, a longer clip of the video was published by the Ukrainian Telegram channel All-Seeing Eye, showing a longer interaction between the special police unit and the tanks. CNN geolocated and verified the authenticity of the longer video.

Read the complete CNN account.

Russian forces made ‘minimal ground advances,’ British intelligence says

Update 10:35 p.m. EST March 6: The United Kingdom’s ministry of defense has just released its latest intelligence report, speculating that Russian forces made “minimal ground advances” over the weekend, The Guardian reported.

“Russian forces probably made minimal ground advances over the weekend. It is highly unlikely that Russia has successfully achieved its planned objectives to date,” the ministry stated in its report, noting that a “high level of Russian air and artillery strikes” have continued to hit military and civilian sites in Ukrainian cities over the past 24 hours.

“Recent strikes have targeted Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Chernihiv, and been particularly heavy in Mariupol,” the report added, according to The Guardian.

Zelenskyy gets secure hotline to Biden, NYT reports

Update 10:22 p.m. EST March 6: A secure hotline that gives Russian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy direct access to U.S. President Joe Biden has been established, The New York Times reported.

Specifically, the U.S. has supplied Zelenskyy with encrypted communications equipment to allow secure exchanges, the newspaper reported.

According to the Times, Zelenskyy used the secure line to hold a 35-minute phone call with Biden on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, both U.S. and German intelligence officials are sending satellite photographs and electronic intercepts of Russian military units to Ukrainian military units “within an hour or two,” the Times reported.

Foreign volunteers flock to Ukrainian fight

Update 8:45 p.m. EST March 6: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said more than 20,000 people from 52 countries have volunteered to fight in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion, The Associated Press confirmed late Sunday.

Kuleba did not specify how many of the foreign volunteers have already arrived in Ukraine, nor did he name the individual countries represented because some nations have forbidden their citizens from fighting for other countries, the AP reported.

“The whole world today is on Ukraine’s side not only in words but in deeds,” Kuleba said on Ukrainian television Sunday night.

Russia intensifies attacks across Ukraine

Update 7:11 p.m. EST March 6: Cities across central, northern and southern Ukraine endured increased overnight shelling late Sunday into early Monday morning, The Guardian reported, citing Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich.

“The latest wave of missile strikes came as darkness fell,” Arestovich told local broadcaster Belsat TV.

Among the cities hardest hit were Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second argest, and Chernihiv where missile attacks had been launched, The Guardian reported.

Meanwhile, Arestovich described a “catastrophic” situation in the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, where efforts to evacuate residents failed on Sunday.

UK pledges additional $100M to Ukraine

Update 7:04 p.m. EST March 6: The office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed to Reuters on Sunday that Britain will provide Ukraine an additional $100 million through the World Bank.

According to Johnson’s office, the financial infusion is intended to help keep core Ukrainian functions running while mitigating financial pressures caused by Russia’s invasion, the news outlet reported.

British authorities confirmed to Reuters that this latest round of cash, which brings the total amount pledged by the U.K. to nearly $391 million, could be used to pay public-sector workers in Ukraine or fund pension and social security payments.

Germany, Poland will treat Ukraine’s wounded fighters

Update 6:43 p.m. EST March 6: Ukrainian fighters wounded while battling the Russian invasion will be treated in German and Polish hospitals, officials from both countries confirmed to The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

German hospitals, including military clinics in Berlin, are slated to begin treating Ukrainian fighters on Monday, two senior German government officials told the newspaper, noting that the wounded will be transported by road and rail from battlefields to neighboring Poland – which shares borders with both Ukraine and Germany – from which they will be “airlifted to specialist German clinics depending on the treatment required.”

A Polish official also confirmed to the Journal that Poland will also treat wounded Ukrainian fighters, noting that a medical train has already transported casualties from Ukraine to Poland.

Midnight status report in Ukraine

Update 6:30 p.m. EST March 6: As Ukraine ushers in Monday, the BBC offered the following snapshot of Sunday developments helping shape the independent nation’s 12th day under siege by Russian troops:

  • At least three people – including a mother and two children – died as mortar fire hit an evacuation route from the town of Irpin near Kyiv, which has remained under heavy fire.
  • Ukrainian civilians have been fleeing across a destroyed bridge that was blown up by their own troops to prevent a Russian advance on the capital.
  • Another attempt at a ceasefire in the southern city of Mariupol that would have allowed for the peaceful evacuation of civilians failed, with both sides blaming the other.
  • The International Agency for Atomic Energy, the global nuclear watchdog, expressed concern over reports that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been taken by Russian forces, noting that it is vital to safety that facility staff be allowed to work “free of undue pressure.”
  • Roughly two-thirds of Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homeland, or about 1 million people, have crossed into Poland.
  • More than 4,600 protesters were reportedly detained in Russia on Sunday for participating in anti-war demonstrations, meaning that more than 13,000 people have been detained there since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Zelenskyy: ‘God will not forgive’

Updated 5:55 p.m. EST March 6: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky published a new Facebook video on the eve of Lent.

“Today is Forgiveness Sunday. But we cannot forgive the hundreds upon hundreds of victims,” the video was captioned, according to CNN. “Nor the thousands upon thousands who have suffered.

“And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. And instead of Forgiveness, there will be Judgment.”

Videos show Russian missiles in flight near airport

Update 5:14 p.m. EST March 6: Videos depict Russian missiles in midair heading toward the Vinnytsia airport in Ukraine, about 120 miles southwest of Kyiv.

CNN geolocated and verified the authenticity of the videos.

A Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesperson initially posted on Facebook that the missiles were launched from the Transnitsia region in Moldova, CNN reported. The ministry later revised its statement, claiming “most likely the attack was from the Black Sea area of water.”

Macron speaks to Ukraine’s Zelenskyy about call with Putin

Update 4:11 p.m. EST March 6: French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, telling him about his telephone call earlier in the day with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, CNN reported.

“The president of the republic talked to President Zelenskyy about his call today with President Putin,” according to a readout from the Élysée Palace. “(Putin) gave his agreement for joint effort to be undertaken on the basis of the recommendations of the International Agency for Atomic Energy in order to ensure the safety and security of nuclear power plants in Ukraine.”

In his call with Zelenskyy, Macron had “reiterated the absolute necessity to avoid any attack on the integrity of Ukrainian civil nuclear facilities,” the statement said.

Netflix suspends service in Russia

Update 3:55 p.m. EST March 6: Netflix announced it has suspended its service in Russia to protest the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this week, the streaming service announced that it would pause all future projects and acquisitions from Russia, Variety reported.

Netflix had four Russian original programs in the works, but those projects have been shelved, the website reported.

“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a spokesperson for Netflix told Variety.

8 civilians killed after shelling hits Ukrainian city of Irpin

Update 3:07 p.m. EST March 6: Eight civilians were killed during an evacuation in Irpin, the city’s mayor said in a statement on the messaging app Telegram.

Oleksandr Markushyn said there was intense shelling in Irpin, which is located in a district west of Kyiv, CNN reported.

The mayor added that Russian troops opened fire as civilians were evacuating across a bridge.

“A family died,” Markushyn said on Telegram. “In front of my eyes two small children and two adults died.”

Video from the scene showed civilians moving through the checkpoint before an explosion occurred at a crossroads, CNN reported.

“Irpin is at war, Irpin has not surrendered,” Markushyn said. “Part of Irpin was indeed captured by Russian invaders, but part of Irpin is fighting and not surrendering.”

TikTok suspends live-streaming in Russia

Update 1:59 p.m. EST March 6: TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app, announced it would suspend live-streaming and new content being uploaded from Russia, The New York Times reported. The company said it is reviewing the implications of Russia’s new laws about “fake news,” the newspaper reported.

TikTok is the latest tech company to pull back from Russia.

American Express suspends operations in Russia, Belarus

Update 1:48 p.m. EST March 6: American Express joined financial services giants Mastercard and Visa, announcing that it will be suspending operations in Russia and Belarus.

>> American Express suspends operations in Russia, Belarus

“Over the past few weeks, we have been working hard to back our colleagues and customers in these countries,” American Express said in a statement. “While this decision will have an impact on them, we will continue to do what we can to support them.

Ukrainian government-in-exile plans considered by US, Europe

Update 1:10 p.m. EST March 6: U.S and European officials are discussing how the West would support a government-in-exile led by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if he has to flee the country, CNN reported.

Talks ranged from supporting Zelensky and top Ukrainian officials in a potential move to Lviv in western Ukraine, to the possibility that the Ukrainian president and his aides are forced to flee the country and establish a new government, the news outlet reported.

CNN, citing “anonymous Western officials,” said the discussions are preliminary and no decisions have been made.

Russian police arrest thousands of protesters

Update 11:55 a.m. EST March 6: Thousands of Russians participated in antiwar rallies across the country to protest the invasion of Ukraine, The New York Times reported.

Russian police reported more than 3,000 arrests nationwide, the highest official total reported in any single day of protest, according to the newspaper.

Citizens protested despite the threat of lengthy prison terms.

According to OVD-Info, an activist group that tracks arrests, 4,342 protesters were detained in 56 different Russian cities.

UN says 364 Ukrainian civilians killed

Update 11:06 a.m. EST March 6: At least 364 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

So far, 1,123 civilians have been wounded, OHCHR said, adding that the actual figures are likely to be “considerably higher.”

CNN, which reported the agency’s statement, reported that it cannot independently verify the casualty numbers.

The data was collected between 4 a.m. Ukraine time on Feb. 24, to 12 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to the statement.

The OHCHR fatality figures total killed includes 74 men, 42 women, eight boys and four girls, CNN reported. There also 13 children and 223 adults whose gender is not known.

Blinken: US working on ‘prospect’ of banning Russian oil imports

Update 10 a.m. EST March 6: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that government officials were working with its European allies to explore the possibility of banning Russian oil imports, CNN reported.

“When it comes to oil, Russian oil, I was on the phone yesterday with the President and other members of the Cabinet on exactly the subject, and we are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil in world markets,” Blinken said during an interview with the news organization.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, on Sunday urged the U.S. to ban Russian oil imports and to impose a no-fly zone over her country, according to Fox News.

Markarova also implored the U.S. to step up arms shipments to Ukraine, particularly air defense weapons and aircraft.

Putin speaks with Turkey’s president

Update 9:50 a.m. EST March 6: The New York Times reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia for almost an hour on Sunday, according to the Turkish state broadcaster TRT.

Erdogan, writing on his official Twitter account, emphasized the importance of a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors, and for a peace agreement to be signed. Erdogan added that he was in constant communication with Ukraine and other countries, and would continue to work toward the start of comprehensive peace talks.

Putin, Macron speak again by phone

Update 9:14 a.m. EST March 6: The BBC reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone again on Sunday, in a call that lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Both leaders spoke by phone on Thursday, in talks that left Macron, who is trying to broker a ceasefire in Ukraine, with the impression that Putin’s goal was to take all of Ukraine, according to a French official.

According to the Russian news agency RIA, Putin told Macron he was “not opposed” to a video conference or a meeting in a third-party country with Ukrainian officials and members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israeli PM wants to keep both sides talking

Update 9:02 a.m. EST March 6: A day after his meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that he would continue to assist with dialogue between the sides in the Ukraine conflict, “even if the chance is not great.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, told The New York Times that Bennett met with Putin at the Kremlin in an attempt to help stop the fighting.

“The rest of world is watching like a movie with popcorn,” Korniychuk told the newspaper. “That’s not acceptable.”

Second attempt to evacuate Mariupol fails

Update 8:01 a.m. EST March 6: A Ukrainian official said a second attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol has failed because of shelling from Russian troops, The Associated Press reported.

Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said the planned evacuations along designated humanitarian corridors were stopped because of an assault by Russian troops.

“There can be no ‘green corridors’ because only the sick brain of the Russians decides when to start shooting and at whom,” Gerashchenko said on Telegram, a messaging app.

In a statement, the International Red Cross confirmed that the evacuations had been stopped.

“Amid devastating scenes of human suffering in Mariupol, a second attempt today to start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people out of the city came to a halt,” the agency said. “The failed attempts yesterday and today underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between the parties to the conflict.”

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said Russian rockets had completely destroyed the civilian airport of the central-western city of Vinnytsia, The Guardian reported.

Pope Francis makes appeal for peace

Update 7:55 a.m. EST March 6: Pope Francis made an appeal for peace during his weekly address at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. More than 25,000 people listened to the pontiff’s speech, some waving Ukrainian flags, according to Vatican News.

“Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. It is not merely a military operation, but a war, which sows death, destruction and misery. The number of victims is increasing, as are the people fleeing, especially mothers and children,” Francis said. “The need for humanitarian assistance in that troubled country is growing dramatically by the hour.

“I make a heartfelt appeal for humanitarian corridors to be genuinely secured, and for aid to be guaranteed and access facilitated to the besieged areas, in order to offer vital relief to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear.”

Ukraine officials try to evacuate Mariupol again

Update 6:57 a.m. EST March 6: Ukrainian authorities prepared for a second attempt to evacuate civilians from the southern city of Mariupol, The Associated Press reported.

An evacuation of more than 430,000 people trapped in the port city was scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. local time during a nine-hour ceasefire, according to The Guardian. The city has been pounded all week by a Russian attack.

A similar cease-fire planned there and in the city of Volnovakha collapsed Saturday, trapping women, children and older resident as Russian troops bombarded the city, the AP reported.

‘Fastest growing refugee crisis since WWII,’ refugee agency says

Update 6:04 a.m. EST March 6: More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighboring countries since the Russian invasion began, U.N. refugee agency commissioner Filippo Grandi.

In a Twitter post, Grandi called it “the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.”

Germany’s interior ministry told CNN that nearly 38,000 people have arrived in the country from Ukraine since Feb. 24.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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