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EU leaders meet in Versailles this evening for talks on Ukraine Michel Euler

As it happened: Ukraine to dominate EU summit in Versailles as Russian 'atrocities' condemned by Taoiseach

Here were the main developments throughout the day.

LAST UPDATE | 10 Mar 2022

TODAY MARKED THE 15th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and fighting continued around a number of key cities, including Kyiv.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Yesterday, at least 35,000 civilians were able to leave the cities of Sumy, Enerhodar and areas around Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
  • High-level peace talks took place today in Turkey between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba. No progress on a proposal for a 24-hour ceasefire was made, however, Ukraine’s minister said afterwards.
  • The UK announced a full asset freeze and travel ban on seven additional Russian oligarchs, including Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described an attack on a maternity hospital and children’s ward in Mariupol as a war crime. At least 17 women were injured in the attack. Women were in labour inside the hospital, Ukraine said.
  •  The United States has rejected Russian claims that it was involved in bioweapons research in Ukraine, and warned Russia could be preparing to use chemical or biological weapons in the war.
  • The UK’s Ministry of Defence says Russia has confirmed the use of thermobaric rockets – often called vacuum bombs – in Ukraine and is also “likely” deploying private mercenaries.

Good morning, Michelle Hennessy here to bring you through the latest updates on the war in Ukraine.

Here are some of the main points to know this morning:

  • At least 35,000 civilians were evacuated from besieged Ukrainian cities during a 12-hour ceasefire yesterday, Ukrainian officials have said.
  • Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are in Turkey to hold face-to-face talks today in the first high-level contact since the invasion.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described an attack on a maternity hospital and children’s ward in Mariupol as a war crime. At least 17 women were injured in the attack.
  • The mayor of Mariupol has said 1,207 civilians were killed in a nine-day Russian seize at the port city.
  • Moscow’s forces have continued making rapid advances towards the capital, approaching Brovary.
  • The UK’s Ministry of Defence says Russia has confirmed the use of thermobaric rockets – often called vacuum bombs – in Ukraine and is also “likely” deploying private mercenaries.
  • The UN nuclear watchdog IAEA, warns the Chernobyl plant, now in Russian hands, is no longer transmitting data but says it sees no “critical impact on safety”.
  • Washington rejected Russian claims that it supports a bioweapons program in Ukraine, saying the allegations were a sign that Moscow could soon use the weapons themselves.
  • Meanwhile US lawmakers passed a €13.6 billion aid plan for Ukraine. The International Monetary Fund has also approved €1.4 billion in emergency funding.
  • The European Union agreed to add more Russian oligarchs to a sanctions blacklist.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has released a new intelligence update this morning, which states that Russia has deployed conscript troops to Ukraine, despite assurances by President Putin that this would not happen.

There has also been a notable decrease in overall Russian air activity over Ukraine in recent days, likely due to the unexpected effectiveness and endurance of Ukraine’s air defence forces, it said:

The United States estimates as many as 6,000 Russian troops have died in the conflict.

Russia’s own official estimates are significantly lower. Last week the governemnt said 500 of its soldiers had been killed in Ukraine.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has also this morning said Russia has confirmed the use of thermobaric rockets, also known as vacuum bombs, in Ukraine.

Al Jazeera English / YouTube

It comes as the UK government said the Russian state “almost certainly maintains extensive links” with Russian private military companies and is “likely deploying” their mercenaries to Ukraine.

Twitter has launched a privacy-protected version of its site to bypass surveillance and censorship after Russia restricted access to its service in the country.

Known as an “onion” service, users can access this version of Twitter if they download the Tor browser, which allows people to access sites on what is also referred to as the “dark web”. Instead of .com, onion sites have a .onion suffix.

Russia has blocked access to Facebook and has limited Twitter in an attempt to try to restrict the flow of information about its war in Ukraine.

Both companies have said they are working on restoring access to people inside Russia, though they are blocking the country’s state media from their services.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said the HSE is working with government departments to ensure refugees arriving from Ukraine have access to medical care when they arrive.

He said most of those arriving are in good health. 

Dr Henry acknowledged it would be challenging for an already strained health service to cope if large numbers of people come into the country. However he said the troubles of the people of Ukraine put Ireland’s own challenges into perspective.

“It’s very difficult but there’s a long tradition – not just in this country – of providing, providing assistance or offering the hand of friendship and offering support to people,” he said.

“Even if you’ve have your own troubles, the troubles of the people of Ukraine certainly put our own challenges into perspective.”

Just in: Local officials in Mariupol have said at least three people were killed in the attack on the maternity and children’s hospital in the city.

“Three people were killed, including a female child, in yesterday’s attack on a children’s and maternity hospital in Ukraine’s besieged Mariupol, according to updated figures this morning,” the city council said on its Telegram channel.

Officials had previously given a toll of 17 injured, including doctors, in the attack.

You may have seen a photo in recent days of the bodies of a family in Irpin, near Kyiv, who were killed in a mortar blast as they tried to flee.

The New York Times has an interview with the husband and father of the woman and children who were killed. 

He said realised they had been killed when he saw a photograph of the scene on social media and recognised the luggage.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have begun talks in Turkey in the first such high-level contact since Moscow invaded.

JUST IN: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been added to the UK sanction list, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced this morning.

“Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account,” she said. “Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chlesea and its fans. We have been working hard to ensure the club and the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.”

More from UK Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss on the sanctions against Roman Abramovich and six other oligarchs:

Abramovich will see his assets frozen, a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses, a travel ban and transport sanctions imposed.

His one-time business partner, leading industrialist Oleg Deripaska, was also sanctioned with the same measures.

Putin’s right-hand man Igor Sechin and four more of Putin’s inner circle have also been targeted with asset freeze and a travel ban.

The UK government said these individuals have a collective net worth of around £15 billion (€17.8bn).

Commenting on the additions to the sanction list today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.

“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.”

The Kremlin has said it will approach the Russian military for details of a strike on the maternity and children’s hospital in the city of Mariupol yesterday.

“We will certainly ask our military about this, since we don’t have clear information about what happened there. Without fail, the military will provide some kind of information,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Ukraine and Russia made no progress towards agreeing a 24-hour ceasefire at tense talks in Turkey, the Ukrainian foreign minister has said.

“We also talked on the ceasefire but no progress was accomplished on that,” Dmytro Kuleba told reporters after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Antalya.

He described the meeting as “difficult” and accusing his counterpart of bringing “traditional narratives” to the table.

Speaking after talks in Turkey, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed his country “did not attack Ukraine”:

He accused the European Union and other countries of ”dangerously” backing the supply of arms to Ukraine, as it resists an incursion by thousands of Russian troops.

Lavrov also claimed that a maternity and children’s hospital which was attacked in Mariupol had been serving as a military base for nationalists.

“This maternity hospital has long been occupied by the Azov Battalion and other radicals,” he said.

“They drove out the women in labour, nurses and general staff. It was the base of the ultra-radical Azov Battalion.”

In his latest address, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of genocide over the air strike on the maternity hospital in Mariupol: / YouTube

“What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?” he asked.

This morning Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed the hospital had been serving as a military base for nationalists. However images and video footage from the scene show a number of injured pregnant women, as well as some children, exiting the building after the attack.

Sky News is reporting a government source has indicated that while the new sanctions on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich technically mean it cannot be sold, an arrangement to sell it may be made.

It is reported that a new bespoke licence may enable the sale, but it would be conditional on the fact that none of the proceeds could go to Abramovich.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron had a call this morning with Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue diplomacy attempts over the war in Ukraine.

“Germany and France demanded an immediate ceasefire from Russia” and “insisted that any solution to this crisis must come through negotiations between Ukraine and Russia”, German government sources said.

russia-ukraine-war Cars driving past a destroyed Russian tank in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv. VADIM GHIRDA VADIM GHIRDA

Russian forces are edging closer in their attempts to encircle Kyiv, today rolling their armoured vehicles up to the northeastern edge of the Ukrainian capital.

An AFP team saw plumes of smoke rise over the village of Skybyn, just a few hundred metres past the last checkpoint marking Kyiv’s northeastern city limits.

Ukrainian soldiers described a night of heavy battles for control of the main highway leading into the city.

“There are ongoing military operations in Skybyn,” said a soldier, adding that one Russian column of armoured vehicles had been partially destroyed.

An AFP team also witnessed Grad missile strikes in Velyka Dymerka, a neighbouring village five kilometres outside Kyiv’s city limits.

Russian forces have been slowly encircling Kyiv, reaching its northwestern edge on the first day of their assault on February 24.

Kyiv’s northwest suburbs such as Irpin and Bucha have endured shellfire and bombardments for more than a week, prompting a mass evacuation effort.

US Vice President Kamala Harris and Polish President Andrzej Duda are holding a joint press conference.  

Harris said the two countries are united in what they have done and are prepared to do to help Ukraine.

kamala Kamala Harris and Andrzej Duda. Sky News Sky News

Half of Kyiv’s population has fled since the Russian invasion began, city mayor Vitali Klitschko has said as Moscow’s forces press ever closer to the Ukrainian capital.

“From our information, one in two Kyiv residents has left the city,” he told Ukraine television.

A little less than two million people have currently left. However, Kyiv has been transformed into a fortress. Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified.

Former Ukrainian prime minister Volodymyr Groysman, who lost much of his family in the Holocaust, has compared Russia’s invasion of his country to Nazism and said the West and Israel needed to do more in response.

Groysman, Ukraine’s first openly Jewish prime minister, was in office from 2016 to 2019.

“What’s happening now, I’m not exaggerating, is a continuation of the Nazi policy on a national basis,” rather than religious, he told AFP. 

“Hitler was not stopped by economic sanctions… We need more weapons, we need to close the sky,” he said, echoing calls from the Kyiv government to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, something Nato has so far ruled out for fear of starting a world war. 

Our reporter Niall O’Connor is at Prezmysl train station in Poland, where Ukrainian refugees have been arriving from Kyiv and Lviv:

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned Russia’s bombing of a maternity hospital in Ukraine’s Mariupol and demanded Moscow allow aid into the besieged city.

“Russia’s shelling of maternity hospital is a heinous war crime. Strikes of residential areas from the air and blocks of access of aid convoys by the Russian forces must immediately stop. Safe passage is needed, now,” Borrell wrote in a tweet.

At least 71 children have been killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on 24 February, a Ukrainian parliament official said on Thursday.

“From the start of the Russian invasion and up to 11am on 10 March, 71 children have been killed and more than 100 wounded,” Lyudmyla Denisova, parliament’s point person on human rights, wrote in a Telegram message.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has held further talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron: 

The Journal‘s Niall O’Connor arrived at Przemyśl, Poland, close to the Ukraine border, earlier today. 

He has now travelled to the border town of Medyka, 10km from Przemyśl.

He says refugees, mostly women and children, are arriving on foot from Ukraine into the border town. NGOs are present, handing out food to those arriving. 

The atmosphere is calm, he says, but people appear quietly anxious to keep moving. 

Image from iOS (1) People handing out food to those arriving into Medyka Niall O'Connor / The Journal Niall O'Connor / The Journal / The Journal

Image from iOS (2) Items being prepared for those arriving into Medyka Niall O'Connor / The Journal Niall O'Connor / The Journal / The Journal

Image from iOS (3) People arriving into Medyka Niall O'Connor / The Journal Niall O'Connor / The Journal / The Journal

The Journal’s Niall O’Connor says the NGOs based at the border town of Medyka are feeding the refugees arriving on foot from Ukraine with barbecue food and fruit.

Image from iOS (5) People at the border town of Medyka Niall O'Connor / The Journal Niall O'Connor / The Journal / The Journal

Russia’s war on Ukraine has “substantially” increased the risks to the eurozone economy and will have a negative impact on growth, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has warned. 

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine will negatively affect the euro area economy and has significantly increased uncertainty,” she told reporters, warning that supply chain upsets and higher energy costs could drag down consumption and investment.

“The risks to the economic outlook have increased substantially,” she added.

The latest from The Journal’s Niall O’Connor in Poland: 

russian-president-vladimir-putin-speaks-on-signing-documents-recognizing-donetsk-and-lugansk-peoples-republics-as-independent-states-donetsk-and-lugansk-are-breakaway-regions-of-ukraine Russian President Vladimir Putin Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow is continuing to export oil and gas, including through Ukraine, where the Kremlin sent troops three weeks ago spurring a wave of costly Western sanctions.

“We are respecting all of our obligations in terms of energy supplies,” Putin said during a televised government meeting on the sanctions fallout.

He added that “even the gas transportation system in Ukraine is 100% filled as per contracts”.

Ukraine’s President is telling Russian leaders that their country’s invasion of Ukraine will backfire, by landing them in court and making their people hate them.

“You will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video released today.

The West has slapped harsh financial and economic sanctions on Russia because of the invasion, and the Ukrainian leader said the consequences will be felt by all Russians.

“And then, it will definitely happen, you will be hated by Russian citizens — everyone you have been deceiving constantly, daily, for many years in a row, when they feel the consequences of your lies in their wallets, in their shrinking possibilities, in the stolen future of Russian children.”

Hi all, Lauren Boland here, I’ll be taking you through the latest developlements for the next while.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened so far today:

  • The Journal reporter Niall O’Connor has travelled to Poland, close to the Ukraine border, where refugees are arriving on foot.
  • High-level peace talks took place in Turkey between Russian and Ukrainian ministers, but no progress was made on a proposal for a 24-hour ceasefire.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described an attack on a maternity hospital and children’s ward in Mariupol as a war crime.
  • Russian forces are trying to encircle Kyiv, rolling armoured vehicles up to the northeastern edge of the capital today.
  • The UK added Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to the country’s sanction list.

Goldman Sachs, a major international investment bank, has decided to pull out of Russia – the first Wall Street Bank to do so in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A spokesperson said it is is “winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements”.

Bloomberg has the full story.

Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs is accusing the EU and Nato of posing an “enormous risk to international civilian aviation and other means of transport in Europe and beyond” by sending weapons to Ukraine.

In a statement, it claimed that “lessons have not been learned” by the West from sending weapons to countries in conflict in the past.

With Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and other Russian oligarchs now on the UK’s sanctions list, here’s what British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to say today:

“We’ve got to be very careful in the way that we approach these things… you’ve got to go through due process.

“There is enough connection, enough of a link between the Putin regime and the individuals in question to justify the action.”


Across the Atlantic, the US is likely to impose another round of sanctions on Russia, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said today.

Yellen said that the “atrocities” Russia is “committing against civilians seem to be intensifying, so it’s certainly appropriate for us to be working with our allies to consider further sanctions”.

In a conversation with Washington Post Live, she said: “We have isolated Russia financially.”

The ruble has been in a freefall, the Russian stock market is closed.

“Russia has been effectively shut out of the international financial system.”

Lithuania is temporarily banning all Russian and Belarusian state TV broadcasts and any public events supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Its parliament adopted the ban as it extended a state of emergency that was first imposed last month when Putin ordered troops into Ukraine.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said it is “not restricting the rights of citizens, but the rights of propagandists to spread lies in Lithuania about the war that Putin started in Ukraine”.


london-uk-8th-feb-2022-lithuanian-prime-minister-ingrida-imonyte-arrives-for-a-state-visit-at-no-10-downing-street-credit-uwe-deffneralamy-live-news Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Our reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha is in Versailles where leaders from around Europe are attending an informal European Council summit.

Arriving in Versailles, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said there is “huge anger at the atrocities being visited on people in their towns” in Ukraine as Russia continues to launch attacks.


Also in Versailles, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said there is “no such thing as a fast track” to joining the EU.

“I want to focus on what can we do for Volodymyr Zelensky tonight, tomorrow, and EU accession of Ukraine is something for the long term, if at all,” Rutte told reporters.

Ukraine submitted an application to become an EU member last weeks in the days after Russia invaded.

Presidents of eight eastern European countries signed a letter to the EU urging members states to take steps to grant Ukraine candidate status.

'Inhumane, cruel and tragic'

The EU has joined Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in describing an attack on a maternity hospital and children’s ward in Mariupol as a war crime.

European Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen called it an “inhumane, cruel and tragic” act.

“I am convinced that this can be a war crime. We need a full investigation,” she said. 

Meanwhile the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that “Russia’s shelling of a maternity hospital is a heinous war crime”.

“Strikes of residential areas from the air and blocks of access of aid convoys by the Russian forces must immediately stop. Safe passage is needed, now.” 

At least 17 women were injured in the attack and three people, including a young girl, were killed.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s DriveTime this afternoon, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney was asked whether Ireland would use its influence on UN Security Council if Russia was found to be using chemical weapons in Ukraine.

“What we don’t want here is an escalation of this war, where more people will be killed, where we will turn a totally unacceptable, illegal war that is completely inconsistent with the UN Charter and that Russia has to bear full responsibility for, into an even bigger global conflict,” Coveney said.

On sanctions, he said that “the West isn’t sitting back”.

“Yesterday in Washington, there was a $13.6 billion package agreed and signed off to support Ukraine. The EU is spending half a billion euro supporting the Ukraine military, and has signed off on another €1.2 billion in terms of economic supports for Ukraine.

“Ireland is using every tool at its disposal to raise issues of of illegality here and to hold Russia to account and we will continue to do that.”


new-york-ny-september-22-2021-minister-for-foreign-affairs-and-defence-of-ireland-simon-coveney-briefing-on-security-council-interactive-dialogue-with-the-league-of-arab-states-at-un-headquarters Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says healthcare workers in Ireland are horrified by the attack on the maternity hospital in Mariupol.

“Irish nurses and midwives have looked on in horror at photos and videos of the attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol,” INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said in a statement.

Ní Sheaghdha said: “Our members stand in full solidarity with the nurses, midwives and other medical professionals who are working despite the war raging in Ukraine.”

“We have heard through the International Confederation of Midwives and the International Confederation of Nurses how difficult it is on the ground for nurses and midwives in Ukraine.

The latest attack on a maternity hospital is truly shocking and our thoughts are with the brave midwives and nurses who were under attack, their families, and the patients they were caring for yesterday.

The protection and safety of our nurses and health systems are paramount and enshrined in international law.

“We call on all parties involved in the conflict and the international community to do everything in their power to protect the safety of our nurses and midwives who often put themselves in mortal danger to care for others.

“Access to healthcare and the delivery of humanitarian assistance must remain a priority for all concerned as we see cities under attack and tens of thousands of people being displaced.”

There are “big concerns” about taking care of the huge number of children who have fled Ukraine, according to EU home affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

“It is extremely important now that we focus on giving these children some kind of normality, to make them go to school, or to childcare, this is also an opportunity for parents to be able to work and be part of society,” Johansson told reporters today.

She raised the risk posed to unaccompanied minors by trafficking gangs and said the EU is activating a network to counter the threat.

Over 2 million refugees have entered the EU from Ukraine in the last two weeks since Russian invaded the country.

The bloc triggered a temporary protection directive that will grant temporary residence to refugees, allowing them to live, work, study and access healthcare in EU countries.

Here are some photos coming out of Mariupol today after the attack on the city:

russia-ukraine-war AP / PA Images AP / PA Images / PA Images



Hi everyone, Tadgh McNally here to take over the Liveblog for the next little while.

We’re getting some new information on the number of people who have been evacuated from both Kyiv and Sumy in the last two days now.

According to the Ukrainian government, there have been 80,000 people evacuated from the two cities.

In Sumy, there were 60,000 people evacuated from the city and surrounding areas, while 20,000 people have been evacuated from Kyiv.

Irish student Racheal Diyaolu, who reached an EU border yesterday, was one of the 60,000 people evacuated after she became stuck in the city when the war broke out on 24 February.

Leaders say no fast track to EU membership for Ukraine

At the summit in Versailles this evening, Ukraine’s hopes for a quick accession to the EU appear to have been dashed by multiple European leaders.

Speaking to the media, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said “there is no such thing as a fast track” to allow Ukraine join the EU in a speedier manner.

Luxembourg’s PM Xavier Bettel said that Europe should not give Kyiv the impression that “everything can happen overnight”.

It’s likely to be a disappointing blow to Zelenskyy, who had rallied for an accelerated process to join the EU following the Russian invasion.

Chelsea manager says he’s not concerned by Abramovich sanctions

Following the sanctions announced by the UK Government on Russian oligarch and Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, the club’s manager says that he isn’t concerned about it.

Speaking to the media before Chelsea’s game against Norwich, Thomas Tuchel said that he is aware of the situation, but not concerned.

Actually, I’m not sure I am concerned but I am aware of it. It changes almost every day.

Moscow says humanitarian corridors to Russia will be opened

In an announcement this evening, Moscow has said that it will be opening daily humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians into Russia, despite calls from Kyiv that no evacuation corridors should lead east.

According to AFP, Russian Defence Ministry official Mikhail Mizintsev said:

Humanitarian corridors towards the Russian Federation will now be opened, without any agreements, every day from 10:00 am.

However, there were no unilateral humanitarian corridors granted towards other countries, with Mizintsev saying that they would be opened “in agreement with the Ukrainian side”.

Some very striking images here of destroyed Russian tanks on a road near Brovary, a suburb to the north of Kyiv.

russia-ukraine-war Felipe Dana Felipe Dana



Red Cross says situation in Mariupol is deteriorating

The International Committee of the Red Cross has said that some residents in Mariupol have resorted to fighting one another for food during Russia’s siege of the city.

According to ICRC representative Sasha Volkov, people have attacked one another for food, while supplies of water are running low.

“People started to attack each other for food. People started to ruin someone’s car to take the gasoline out,” said Volkov.

Many have no water at all for drinking. All the shops and pharmacies were looted four to five days ago.

Some people still have food but I’m not sure for how long it will last. Many people report having no food for children.

Volkov has said that a black market for goods has begun to emerge in the city, as there is no longer running water, electricity or heating.

russia-ukraine-war A residential area in Mariupol, where explosions from Russian shelling can be seen Evgeniy Maloletka Evgeniy Maloletka

According to Volkov, people are beginning to get sick due to the cold weather.

“People are getting sick already because of the cold. They have nowhere to go,” he said.

On the current state of the global economy, the International Monetary Fund has said that they expect to cut global growth estimates due to the impacts of the Russian invasion on economies.

Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva said that sanctions placed on Russia would cause a “sharp contraction” of the Russian economy.

She added that Russia defaulting on its debts is no longer “an improbable event”.

Russia and Ukraine to engage with nuclear watchdog

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that both Ukraine and Russia are prepared to work with the watchdog after Russia captured the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe.

Rafael Grossi said that he spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in separate meetings in Turkey today.

“We had good meetings, not easy ones, but serious meetings,” Grossi said.

Both sides agree… that something needs to be done. They are both ready to work and to engage with the IAEA.

It comes after there were concerns raised when Russia captured the Zaporizhzhia plant as well as Chernobyl during their invasion of Ukraine.

The IAEA has said that there is no “critical impact on safety” following power being cut to the Chernobyl plant, the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

In the Latvian capital of Riga, the street on which the Russian embassy is located is set to have it’s name changed to ‘Street of Ukrainian Independence’.

In a tweet this evening, the Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said that the Riga city council had made the decision to change the street name this evening.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said that Russia has become a “global pariah” following it’s invasion of Ukraine over two weeks ago.

Speaking at an event in Washington, Truss said that the West was now paying the price for “years of complacency” on Russia.

We knew what Putin was doing. We had the intelligence… but actually we didn’t need it, because Putin announced his designs on Ukraine in public.

He set his plans down in black and white and put them up on the Kremlin’s website. But still we didn’t want to believe it.

Well, we believe it now. The world has woken up. The era of complacency is over. We must rise to this moment.

Truss said that while there has been a united effort to sanction Russia, more must now be done to put further pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime.

She compared the invasion of Ukraine to 9/11, saying that they were of similar scale and will change things into the future.

How we respond today will set the pattern for this new era.

Our reporter, Niall O’Connor is in Poland this week reporting on the thousands of refugees that are crossing the border every day.

He’s reporting from the town of Przemysl, just ten kilometres from the Polish/Ukrainian border, where a makeshift transport hub has sprung up in the last two weeks to deal with the massive influx of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion.

You can read his full report here, but here’s a short extract:

The town of Przemysl, located ten kilometres from the Ukrainian/Polish frontier, is now the centre of the European aid effort as thousands of refugees throng the train platforms and bus queues each day. 

More than two million people have fled to the EU in the two weeks since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine.

This is where many of them are crossing the border as the local train station connects directly with the city of Lviv, and then on to the besieged capital Kyiv.

Among the weary crowds arriving, crossing the threshold from war-torn Ukraine into the safety of Poland, there is a calm, determined anxiousness to keep moving.

The town is just under 100kms from Lviv. The main border road crossing is Medyka, a short distance from the town. In the last two weeks the entire area has been transformed with makeshift refugee villages and aid stations dotted all around.

At Medyka those who enter country on foot gather, waiting for a bus to bring them to Przemysl – a mid-size town with a normal, peace-time population of some 60,000. That figure has swollen considerably since the war began. 

The town is being used as a processing centre. Those that don’t have family to stay with in Poland or elsewhere have their details processed by officials in Przemysl before being sent to other cities to be temporarily housed. 

Image from iOS (5) Refugees boarding buses in Poland Niall O'Connor / The Journal Niall O'Connor / The Journal / The Journal

We’re going to call it on the Liveblog for tonight. More coverage on the war in Ukraine can be found on The Journal‘s main site.

See you all tomorrow.

- With reporting from PA and AFP.

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