February 28, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright, Maureen Chowdhury, Jason Kurtz, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022
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9:12 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Russian presidential aide says talks with Ukraine scheduled for noon Moscow time, state media reports

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Moscow

Russian presidential advisor Vladimir Medinsky speaks to the media during a visit to Belarus on February 28.
Russian presidential advisor Vladimir Medinsky speaks to the media during a visit to Belarus on February 28. (Sergei Kholodilin/BELTA/AFP/Getty Images)

A Russian presidential aide said talks between Russia and Ukraine near the Ukraine-Belarus border are anticipated to begin at noon Moscow time (4 a.m. ET) on Monday, Russian state news agency TASS reported. 

Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, who is leading the Kremlin's delegation, said his team was "ready for negotiations immediately after their (the Ukrainian side's) arrival."

Separately, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted Medinsky as saying the logistics for the Ukrainian delegation were "very difficult," with the arrival time being postponed several times.

More on the meeting: The two delegations will meet near the Pripyat River at the border. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called Zelensky on Sunday and offered safety guarantees, saying Lukashenko had "taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on the Belarusian territory will remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation's travel, meeting and return."

Monday's planned meeting follows a flurry of statements from the Kremlin, which claimed earlier the Ukrainian side had countered Russia's proposal to meet in Belarus with a proposal to meet in Warsaw and then dropped contact. Zelensky's office denied claims that Kyiv refused to negotiate.

Read more on what to expect from the talks:

2:54 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Ukraine ministers: Russian forces have reduced the pace of their offensive

From CNN's Radina Gigova

Russian forces have reduced the pace of their offensive against Ukraine, according to Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers.

"The Russian occupiers have reduced the pace of the offensive, but are still trying to develop success in some areas in the offensive against Ukraine," the Cabinet of Ministers posted on their official Twitter page on Monday, without providing more details. 
3:18 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Kyiv city authorities say they are strengthening defenses after a "calm" night

From CNN's Ivana Kottasova and Olga Voitovich in Kyiv

A deserted street in Kyiv, Ukraine, shortly after curfew ended on the morning of February 28.
A deserted street in Kyiv, Ukraine, shortly after curfew ended on the morning of February 28. (Umit Bektas/Reuters)

The Ukrainian capital had a "calm" night on Sunday, Kyiv City Council said Monday morning — but authorities warned residents should remain home as fighting continued.

"Overall, last night was calm, excluding some skirmishes and fights with sabotage and reconnaissance groups. However, the city was mostly busy preparing for its defense. So, if you'll happen to go to the city after 8:00, you'll see fortifications, tank traps, and other defensive structures that have appeared on the streets of Kyiv," the council said in a statement. 

Grocery stores and public transportation in Kyiv will be open from 8 a.m. local time, though metro trains will run less frequently than usual.

"Please don't leave your homes unless you have an urgent need," such as buying groceries or medicine, the statement said, adding that "street fights continue to occur in the streets of every district in the city."

"We urge you to join forces and help each other: ask your neighbors if they need help, especially when it comes to the elderly or families whose relatives are defending Ukraine. Look after the apartments of neighbors who have left the city to prevent looting," the council said.

A curfew in the city remains in force from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. local time. 

2:43 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Russian Defense Ministry claims "air supremacy" over Ukraine

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Moscow

The Russian military claimed Monday that it has gained control over Ukrainian airspace. 

"Russian aviation has gained air supremacy over the entire territory of Ukraine," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman, said in a statement.

CNN is not able to verify that statement. Since the war began, the Russian military has made incorrect claims regarding its military operations. 

9:12 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Singapore to impose "appropriate sanctions and restrictions" on Russia

From CNN's Lizzy Yee

Singapore will impose “appropriate sanctions and restrictions” on Russia, the country’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in the country's Parliament​ on Monday.

He called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “unprovoked” and a “clear and gross violation of the international norms," adding that Singapore intended to “act in concert” with other countries to take a strong stance.

“We will impose export controls on items that can be used directly as weapons in Ukraine to inflict harm, or to subjugate the Ukrainians. We will also block certain Russian banks and financial transactions, connected to Russia,” he said, adding that the specific measures are still being worked out.

Balakrishnan said the sanctions may “come with some costs,” telling citizens to “be prepared to deal with the consequences” of standing up for Singapore’s national interest.

“We cannot accept one country attacking another without justification ... such a rationale would go against the internationally recognized legitimacy and territorial integrity of many countries, including Singapore,” he said, urging Russia to cease its attacks and work toward peace.

8:36 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

South Korea to join SWIFT sanctions against Russia, send humanitarian aid to Ukraine

From CNN’s Gawon Bae in Seoul, South Korea

Protesters demonstrate outside of the Russian Embassy in Seoul on February 27, in Seoul, South Korea.
Protesters demonstrate outside of the Russian Embassy in Seoul on February 27, in Seoul, South Korea. (Chris Jung/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

South Korea will ban exports of strategic materials to Russia and join the international effort to block some Russian banks from the SWIFT global payments system, the country's Foreign Ministry said Monday. 

The ministry did not disclose which key strategic materials would be subject to export bans but said it had notified the United States of its decision via a diplomatic channel. 

The decision on whether to also ban exports of non-strategic materials, including semiconductors and electronics, will be made “as soon as possible,” the ministry added.

The ministry also confirmed that South Korea will push for an additional release of strategic oil reserves to stabilize the international energy market, before further reviewing other measures, such as reselling liquefied natural gas to Europe.

South Korea will increase its humanitarian support to Ukraine by cooperating with the international community and sending non-lethal military equipment, the ministry said.

2:22 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Ukrainian soldier: Russians said they wouldn't hit civilian infrastructure, but "look around"

Heavy shelling at the weekend followed heightened tensions in the port city of Mykolaiv, where CNN reporters saw Ukrainian troops fire warning shots and throw suspected Russian saboteurs from their cars to the ground. 

The city, which sits on an inlet from the Black Sea, raised its bridge Saturday, a rare event locals said had not happened for years. The move was apparently designed to cut a main connection between the north and south of the city after unconfirmed reports that Russian paratroopers had landed in its northern districts.

Heavy shelling reverberated around the the outskirts Saturday night, with one substantial blast lighting up the skyline.

In the morning, a Ukrainian soldier told CNN they had managed to keep out Russian forces overnight — but at a price. Windows of residential buildings are blown out, debris is scattered on the ground, and authorities have cordoned off damaged parts of the town with tape.

Take a look:

2:26 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Japan's Prime Minister: It would be "unacceptable" to seek NATO-like nuclear sharing with the US

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors in Tokyo, Japan, on February 28.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors in Tokyo, Japan, on February 28. (Masanori Genko/The Yomiuri Shimbun/Reuters)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday it would be "unacceptable" for Tokyo to make a NATO-like nuclear sharing arrangement with the United States as a security guarantee following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

"It is unacceptable given our country's stance of maintaining the three non-nuclear principles," Kishida told Japan's Parliament.

Japan's three non-nuclear principles include not producing or permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons.

Some context: Kishida's comments came in response to statements made by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a day earlier. 

On Sunday, Abe said on a television program that Japan should discuss a possible sharing of nuclear weapons similar to that of NATO members following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. NATO's nuclear sharing arrangements permit the US to keep its nuclear weapons in Europe. 

Abe acknowledged the non-nuclear principles and said Japan must stick to the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons — especially as a country that has experienced atomic bombings — but argued "it's essential to understand how the world's security is maintained, and we shouldn't treat those discussions as a taboo."

2:04 a.m. ET, February 28, 2022

Moscow stock exchange open pushed back, sell orders from foreigners banned

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Darya Tarasova in Moscow

Trading on the Moscow stock exchange will be pushed back to 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) and restricted to some markets, the Russian Central Bank said Monday. 

The bank also introduced a “temporary ban” on sell orders from foreign legal entities and individuals, it added in a statement.

Trading will only be allowed on the foreign exchange market, currency market and the repurchase agreement, or "repo" market.

“The Bank of Russia will assess the feasibility of opening trading on other markets, depending on the development of the situation,” the statement said, adding that a decision on whether to open up the floor to other markets would be made at 1 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET), with trading starting no later than 3 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET).

The bank added it would raise its key interest rate from 9.5% to 20% per annum.

Ruble plunges: The central bank's announcements came as the Russian currency fell nearly 30% on Monday, with markets beginning to assess the impact of sanctions imposed by the US and NATO allies on Russia.