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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9:35 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Boeing will suspend support for Russian airlines

From CNN’s Paul P. Murphy

Aerospace company Boeing will suspend support for Russian airlines, a company spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

“We have suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed our office in Kyiv. We are also suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines. As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region,” said the spokesperson in a statement.

Some context: Many countries have closed their airspace to all Russian airlines and aircraft as the invasion of Ukraine continues, and a number of international airlines have suspended flights in and out of the country.

US President Joe Biden announced the US would ban Russian aircraft from US airspace at his State of the Union address tonight.

8:49 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

These parts of Ukraine have been occupied by invading Russian forces

Almost a week into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Moscow's forces have made major advances in border regions in the north, east and south of the country — but faced slower progress than expected toward the capital, Kyiv.

Russian forces attacked key cities from several sides on Tuesday, scaling up their bombardment of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, in the northeast. They also broke through a heavily contested port city in the south, and have likely encircled several others.

Russia has also stepped up its attacks on Kyiv, with rockets hitting a Holocaust memorial site in the city on Tuesday. A missile also hit a private maternity ward near the city, though everybody had evacuated.

Meanwhile, a 40-mile long Russian convoy of tanks, armored vehicles and towed artillery is heading toward the Ukrainian capital, according to satellite images from Maxar Technologies.

8:28 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Ukraine-born member of US Congress: "It's not a war. It's a genocide of the Ukrainian people"

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

When Rep. Victoria Spartz was elected to the House in 2020, she became the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress.

Little did she know that after just one year on the job, that distinction would take on even greater significance as Russia brutally invades her home country and the United States debates what to do about it.

As a freshman, the Indiana Republican is using her microphone in Congress to make passionate pleas for a stronger US response to the rapidly escalating crisis in Ukraine, and hoping her personal connection to the conflict will make the message resonate more strongly. All the while, Spartz is dealing with the emotional toll of watching the bloody invasion unfold, knowing she still has friends and family — including her grandmother —who are in Ukraine.

Spartz is calling for stiffer sanctions, immediate aid and more military resources, saying the Ukrainian people want more weapons — not troops — because they want to fight the Russians themselves. She also is advocating for refugees and drawing attention to the horrors of the humanitarian crisis that is quickly unfolding.

"I think we need to understand the situation in Ukraine. It's not a war. It's a genocide of the Ukrainian people by a crazy man, who cannot get over that Ukrainian people do not want to be with Soviet Union," Spartz told CNN, choking back tears as she donned a yellow dress and blue blazer in honor of the Ukrainian flag.
"This is a slaughter," she said. "It's a murder of the Ukrainian people. ... And the free world is standing and watching. How many he's going to kill? Well, I'll tell you: He's going to kill all of them, and as many as he can if we don't do something about it."

Read more:

8:02 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

No ban on Russian motorsport drivers — but they must race under a neutral flag

From CNN Sports staff

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for many motorsport events including Formula One, said Tuesday it would not bar Russian and Belarusian drivers from competitions amid the invasion of Ukraine.

Drivers from both countries are allowed to continue racing — but under a neutral “FIA flag” and without displaying any Russian or Belarusian national symbols, colors or flags on their uniform, equipment and car, the FIA ruled at a World Motor Sport Council meeting.

This ruling also extends to individual competitors.

“We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU) and the wider FIA family in the country," said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. "We sincerely hope for a peaceful resolution to their intolerable hardship.”
8:05 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Military strike in town west of Kyiv tears through multiple apartment blocks

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Josh Pennington and Eoin McSweeney

A Russian military strike Tuesday tore through two apartment blocks in Borodjanka, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the center of Kyiv.
A Russian military strike Tuesday tore through two apartment blocks in Borodjanka, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the center of Kyiv. (From Facebook)

A Russian military strike in the small Ukrainian town of Borodjanka on Tuesday tore through two apartment blocks, videos on social media show.  

Borodjanka, located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the center of Kyiv, is the latest civilian area facing a hail of Russian munitions as President Vladimir Putin's forces advance on the capital.

CNN is unable to verify whether there were any injuries or fatalities in the military strike in Borodjanka. CNN has reached out to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry for comment but has not yet received a response.

The videos from Borodjanka have been geolocated, and their authenticity verified by CNN. 

"Look what's happening," a man yells in a video taken moments after the military strike, with smoke still rising nearby and the bombed-out apartment complexes in view. "They are bombing everything."

Videos showed a restaurant on the first floor of the complex reduced to rubble. A number of people, bundled in heavy coats, are shown running away. Additional videos show the extent of the destruction, with the ground behind the complex littered with burning cars.

Parts of the apartment buildings have collapsed, with significant portions missing from the facades. A playground nearby is on fire, with the swinging benches and slides strewn with rubble and splintered trees.

"A plane flew by twice dropping three or four bombs here," another man says in the one of the videos. "Cries can be heard (from inside the rubble). We are trying to find out if anyone's still alive (in there), based on their sounds. Good Lord!"

Back in front, near the destroyed walls of the restaurant, another video shows the roadway littered with debris and the twisted metal frame of a vehicle.   

"The Russian world has come to us," a man says in the video. "Just take a look at what they've done."
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.