March 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Jessie Yeung, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2305 GMT (0705 HKT) March 8, 2022
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7:38 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden to announce ban on Russian aircraft from US airspace at State of the Union

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak

President Joe Biden will announce during the State of the Union tonight that the United States will ban Russian aircraft from US airspace, two sources familiar with the decision tell CNN.

The US would join a growing number of countries who are closing their skies to Russia following the invasion into Ukraine. 

When asked if they were considering this move in recent days, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the number of US flights that fly over Russia to go to Asia and other parts of the world played a role in the decision.

Follow our live coverage of Biden's State of the Union address here.

7:31 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Ukrainian diplomat to Bolsonaro: "Impartiality" can't apply when you know who the aggressor is

From CNN’s Marcia Reverdosa in Sao Paulo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is seen during a news conference on February 17 in Budapest, Hungary.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is seen during a news conference on February 17 in Budapest, Hungary. (Janos Kummer/Getty Images/File)

A Ukrainian diplomat in Brazil has criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s "neutral" stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, arguing the concept of neutrality can't be applied in a conflict where it's clear who the aggressor is.

On Sunday, Bolsonaro refused to sanction Moscow and insisted Brazil would "adopt a neutral stance" on the invasion, pointing to his country's reliance on Russian fertilizer for its agriculture.

Afterward, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos França clarified that Bolsonaro had meant to use the word "impartiality."

Speaking during a news conference at Ukraine's Embassy in Brasilia Tuesday, Ukrainian diplomat Anatoliy Tkach said Kyiv had not received any word of solidarity from Bolsonaro.

"We know who the aggressor is. There are victims. I don't understand how impartiality can apply in this situation," he said.

Tkach also warned that maintaining ties with Russia at this time could lead to indirect financing of the war against Ukraine.

“We call on everyone to cut all trade ties with Russia. All ties. Doing business with Russia now means funding aggression, war crimes, disinformation, cyber attacks and even Russian leader Vladimir Putin,” he said. 
7:50 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

White House: Biden will highlight "unprecedented coalition" against Russia in State of the Union address

From CNN's DJ Judd

President Joe Biden speaks as he address the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the East Room of the White House on Thursday, February 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
President Joe Biden speaks as he address the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the East Room of the White House on Thursday, February 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain declined to say Tuesday if US President Joe Biden will announce any “concrete military steps” against Russia at tonight’s State of the Union addressing, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Biden will highlight, “what he has assembled, which is an unprecedented coalition — NATO plus our EU partners, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan — to do two things: to provide all kinds of aid…and also coming together with unprecedented sanctions against the country as large as Russia.” 

“So, what you’ll hear the President tonight talk about is this coalition he's helped assemble, he's led in assembling,” Klain told Wolf, “Along with the next steps further tightening the sanctions on the oligarchs who buck up Putin, who benefit from Putin's regime, and also the next steps in getting humanitarian and military aid to the Ukrainians.”

Klain also declined to weigh in on Putin’s mental state, only telling CNN Putin “has done something now that he has not done to this extent before, which is launch a completely unprovoked unjustified invasion of a country as large and as significant as Ukraine.” 

Earlier Tuesday, CNN reported the US intelligence community has made evaluating Russian President Vladimir Putin's state of mind a top priority in recent days as it seeks to establish how that is affecting his handling of the rapidly escalating Ukraine crisis, according to two sources familiar with the effort.

Klain pointed to the sanctions in effect already following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, indicating that the actions have already garnered Biden praise from allies and political opponents alike,

“It’s hard to impose sanctions like that on a country as big as Russia, it's hard to pull everyone together to do that, and I think that's why you're seeing both Democrats and Republicans, including people who have not been big fans of Joe Biden previously, saying that this effort, this global effort to punish Putin and punish his regime is tighter and stronger than they ever expected,” he said.

Follow our live coverage of Biden's State of the Union address here.

6:08 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

US moves to expel a 13th Russian "intelligence operative" working at the UN, official says

From CNN’s Richard Roth

The United States has begun the process of expelling a 13th Russian “intelligence operative” for allegedly abusing “their privileges of residence” in the US, according to a US official.

The individual is a United Nations staff member, the official said. On Monday, Deputy US Ambassador Richard Mills confirmed that they had asked 12 Russian UN diplomats to leave the country due to their alleged engagement in “activities that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats.”

UN Secretary-General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric also announced the additional expulsion during a news briefing Tuesday.

“I can confirm that the United States Mission informed the Secretariat on 28 February 2022 of its decision to take action under Section 13(b) of the UN-US Headquarters Agreement with respect to a staff member of the Secretariat. We regret that we find ourselves in this situation but are engaging with the host country in line with Section 13(b). In deference to the privacy of the individual concerned and the sensitivity of the matter we will not comment further,” Dujarric said.

More context: Section 13(b) of the UN-US Headquarters Agreement states that if a diplomat or UN staffer abuses their residence privileges outside of their official capacity, they will not be exempt from United States laws and regulations regarding their continued residence.

CNN has also reached out to the US State Department for more information.

CNN’s Kylie Atwood contributed reporting to this post.

5:58 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

A maternity clinic near Kyiv hit by a missile, clinic chief says

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam 

A missile hit a private maternity clinic near Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday, according to the Adonis maternity clinic chief Vitaliy Gyrin's Facebook post

"A missile hit the maternity clinic. Much damage was done but the building is standing. Everyone has been evacuated," Gyrin wrote on his Facebook page.

Gyrin also specifically asked people not to come to the clinic, "Most important is do not come now to get anyone from here. Everyone is in a secure place and in safety. This is for sure."

Gyrin also posted photos on his Facebook page that show the damaged building of the Adonis clinic.

6:21 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Russian media outlet RT will no longer be available on Sky in the UK, culture secretary says

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite

Russian media outlet Russia Today (RT) will no longer be available on Sky in the UK, British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced Tuesday.

"The French satellite which broadcasts Russia Today (RT) in both the EU and UK will be switched off. This means RT will no longer be available via Sky," Dorries tweeted.

"Putin’s polluting propaganda machine will now have severely restricted access into British homes via our TV screens," she added.

You can see Dorries' tweet here:

5:53 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Turkey says Russia's "unreasonable" demands of Ukraine will not help ceasefire talks at this point

From CNN’s Celine Alkhaldi, Mostafa Salem and Adam Pourahmadi

Turkey says Russia's "maximalist" and "unreasonable" demands of Ukraine will not help ceasefire talks at this point.

The comments come from Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, who spoke with CNN’s Becky Anderson on Tuesday.

Turkey, which has a line of communication open with Russia, said Putin increasing his military assault on Ukraine will not “realistically” help upcoming negotiations, Kalin said.

“The Russian proposals that came up in the ceasefire negotiations are rather maximalist and not reasonable,” said the Turkish spokesperson.

“For today, to reach an agreement for a ceasefire, [Russia’s demands] are rather larger political issues that will no help the ceasefire talks at this point,” Kalin added.

Kalin noted that Turkey remains optimistic for the next round of talks which he said will be over the course of “the next couple of days,” but expressed concern over the continuation of the conflict, which could have ramifications for years to come.

“The first meeting took place yesterday.. and there were some good signs and hopefully, the next meeting will take place within the next couple of days,” Kalin said.

Turkey said the issue will be resolved at some point, but the impact and consequences from the Russian invasion will be “with us in the years to come.”

“We don’t want to exclude anybody and that is why we are keeping lines of communication open with Russia,” he added.

Highlighting the country’s close economic ties with Moscow, Kalin said Turkey has no plans of applying sanctions on Russia.

“We are not planning to apply any sanctions to Russia at this point, because we don't want our economy to be affected negatively by this,” he said.

6:59 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden will call out Putin for "premeditated and unprovoked" invasion of Ukraine in State of the Union address

From CNN's DJ Judd

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Ukraine from the White House on February 24.
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Ukraine from the White House on February 24. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

US President Biden in his first State of the Union address tonight will blast Russian President Vladimir Putin for a “premeditated and unprovoked” war, according to excerpts released by the White House. 

“He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond,” Biden is expected to say. “And, he thought he could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready.”

More background: The initial excerpts provided by the White House showed how the speech has evolved in recent days as a result of invasion of Ukraine.

The annual speech also marks an opportunity for him to speak directly to the American people about his vision to build a better country, demonstrating how he'll lead America out of the Covid-19 pandemic, into an economic recovery and through the ramifications of a war between Ukraine and Russia.

Follow our live coverage of Biden's State of the Union address here.

CNN's Maegan Vazquez contributed reporting to this post.

6:59 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Ukraine's Chief Rabbi condemns violence, says 3 missiles have hit a sacred memorial in Kyiv

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv 

Emergency crews respond to the scene of an airstrike near Kyiv's TV tower on March 1. The nearby Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial site was also hit during the attack.
Emergency crews respond to the scene of an airstrike near Kyiv's TV tower on March 1. The nearby Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial site was also hit during the attack. (Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Moshe Reuven Azman, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, has condemned the missile attack close to the Babyn Yar memorial in Kyiv, saying three missiles hit the area. 

"War crimes are taking place here," he said in a video statement on his Facebook page.

"The Russian army, which fought the fascists in 1941, is bombing the civilians of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa. Just now the Babyn Yar was shelled. Three missiles hit the place."

"Babyn Yar - this is symbolic. Babyn Yar is a place where 200,000 innocent elderly, women and kids lie," he added. 

Between 1941 and 1943, the Nazis shot tens of thousands of people at Babyn Yar, including almost the entire Jewish population of Kyiv, according to the memorial's official website.

"I’m constantly receiving calls from Jews, not just Jews, Ukrainians and Russians from all over Kyiv asking for help," the Rabbi said. 

"They need humanitarian aid. Every day I’m trying to help. The elderly [are] calling saying they don’t have the necessary medicines, mothers [are] calling saying they don’t have food for kids, they are suffering from the shelling." 

Azman's Facebook video continued with the Rabbi pledging to no longer keep quiet amid the violence.

"I’ve kept silent for a long time, I will not anymore. I address you, dear Russians, dear Jews, everybody who’s not indifferent: those, who silently agree with what’s happening or those who stay indifferent - are complicit in this military crime. crime against humanity. I’m only saying what I see. I’m not afraid to die. I could never imagine in my worst nightmare that I could die under Russian shelling."