Ukraine war: Russian attack on Mariupol hospital a ‘heinous war crime’, says EU’s Borrell

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A woman walks outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

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The EU’s chief diplomat has echoed Ukraine’s president in accusing Russia of carrying out a “war crime” by attacking a Mariupol children’s hospital. The local authority has said three people including a girl were killed.

Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers failed to see eye to eye when they met in Turkey, their first encounter since Putin’s invasion.

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has been added to the UK government’s sanctions list.

Follow our live updates below for the latest on the Ukraine war.

06:52

Thursday’s key points:

    Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has lamented “no progress” towards a ceasefire after meeting his Russian counterpart in Antalya. Sergei Lavrov suggested Vladimir Putin may be open to meeting Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss “specific” issues.Ukraine’s president accused Russia of war crimes and genocide after Russia attacked a children’s hospital in Mariupol, despite a ceasefire deal. The local authority said on Thursday that three people including a girl were killed.The White House says Russia could be planning to launch a chemical or biological attack in Ukraine, after Moscow accused Kyiv of developing non-conventional weapons.The Pentagon has rejected providing MiG fighter jets to Ukraine, calling the idea “high risk” and ineffective.The UK has moved to seize the assets of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, PM Boris Johnson saying “there can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine”.Thursday marks two weeks since Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine. Thousands have been killed as towns and cities have been pounded, two million have fled abroad, while Russia has been hit by Western sanctions and a business exodus.

16:34

‘We need full investigation’ into Mariupol hospital bombing: Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission chief described Wednesday’s bombing as “inhumane, cruel and tragic”.”I am convinced that this can be a war crime. We need a full investigation,” she added. 

16:24

Power supply to Chornobyl cut: Ukraine

The Ukrainian government just said that “the only electrical grid supplying the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and all its nuclear facilities occupied by the Russian troops is damaged.””The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant has lost all electric supply,” it said.”Reserve diesel generators have a 48-hour capacity to power the Chornobyl NPP. After that, cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent. Russia puts the entire Europe in danger,” it also said. 

16:14

Sweden asks citizens to report unusual underwater activity

Sweden’s navy is asking the public to report anything suspicious underwater along the country’s Baltic coast, saying “we are very interested in tips.”

The request came amid heightened awareness around the Baltic Sea region after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Skärgården, a newspaper covering Stockholm’s vast archipelago, said that Naval Security Chief Anders Engqvist asked residents to keep an eye out for things such as unnatural-looking waves or periscopes.

He also asked people to alert authorities if they see anyone moor or go ashore near military installations or if someone drops anchor in a prohibited area.

Sweden’s Baltic Sea island of Gotland sits a little more than 300 kilometres from the Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad.

16:01

‘You will be prosecuted for war crimes’: Zelenskyy tells Russian leaders

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 Zelenskyy said in a video released Thursday.

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.”

15:49

‘Progress being made’ on Ukrainian nuclear safety: IAEA chief

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is in Antalya, Turkey, where he has met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and his Russian equivalent Sergey Lavrov.He said he had “important and forward-looking conversations” with Kuleba and an “important and constructive meeting” with Lavrov.”We are making progress on the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine,” he added. 15:43

Russia doubles down on claims Ukraine has US-sponsored chemical weapons facilities

The Russian Ministry of Defence on Thursday doubled down on its claim that it has intercepted Ukrainian documents that show there are biological and chemical weapons plants in Ukraine, sponsored by the US.In a Facebook post, the ministry claimed that “Russian specialists of the NBC protection troops have studied documents on the transfer of human biomaterials taken in Ukraine to foreign countries on the instructions of US representatives.”
“Detailed information about the implementation of a project by the United States on the territory of Ukraine to study the transfer of pathogens by wild birds migrating between Ukraine and Russia and other neighboring countries was of particular interest.”
“According to the documents, the American side planned to organize work on pathogens of birds, bats and reptiles in Ukraine in 2022. And further study of the possibility to transfer of African swine fever and anthrax by them,” it added.The White House slammed those claims as “false” and “preposterous” on Wednesday evening with Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying it is “an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine.”Washington also warned that Moscow may deploy chemical weapons, arguing Russia “has a long and well-documented track record of using chemical weapons, including in attempted assassinations and poisoning of Putin’s political enemies like Alexey Navalny.””It’s Russia that continues to support the Assad regime in Syria, which has repeatedly used chemical weapons. It’s Russia that has long maintained a biological weapons programme in violation of international law,” Psaki said. 15:18

Half of Kyiv residents have left: Mayor

The mayor of the Ukrainian capital Vitaliy Klitschko said Thursday that half of the population of Kyiv has fled since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
“According to our information, every second inhabitant of Kyiv has left the city. Today, just under two million people are there,” he told Ukrainian television.
“However, Kyiv has turned into a fortress,” Klitschko insisted, on the 15th day of the Russian invasion: “Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified.”
Kyiv had a population of 3.5 million before the conflict with Russia began.
 13:56

Mariupol hospital attack: EU’s Borrell condemns ‘heinous war crime’

The European Union’s chief diplomat has joined the chorus of condemnation over Wednesday’s Russian attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, which local authorities say killed three people including a child.

13:25

Scholz and Macron urge Russian President Putin to continue with diplomacy

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that any solution to the crisis must be negotiated between Russia and Ukraine in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

They also called for an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, according to a statement from the Elysée.

The three leaders agreed to stay in close contact in the coming days, the statement said.

It came as talks between the top diplomats of Moscow and Kyiv produced no breakthrough on ending the war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

(AP, AFP)

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