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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10:52 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Area near Kyiv TV tower hit by military strikes

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Olya Voitovych

(From Telegram)
(From Telegram)

The area surrounding a massive TV tower in Kyiv has been hit by military strikes, according to videos and photos posted to social media that have been geolocated and verified by CNN.

On Telegram, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed there was a military strike near the TV tower.

"The channels will not work for a while," the ministry said in its statement. "The backup broadcasting of some channels will be enabled in the near future."

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian military warned that it would carry out strikes against Ukraine's State Security Agency and "the 72nd Main Center for Information and Psychological Operations [PSO] in Kyiv." 

It's unclear at this time whether these new strikes were targeting either of those Ukrainian state entities. 

CNN's Nathan Hodge contributed to this report.

10:50 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

US oil soars above $102 for the first time since 2014

From CNN’s Matt Egan

US oil prices jumped 7% on Tuesday and climbed above $102 a barrel for the first time in more than seven years amid growing worries about the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Even as energy officials around the world near a deal to release emergency oil stockpiles, oil prices are rising sharply.

US crude climbed 6% and briefly topped $102 a barrel for the first time since July 2014. 

Brent crude rose about 7% to $104.37 a barrel, closing in on the intraday high set last week of nearly $106 a barrel. Brent, the world benchmark, finished above $100 a barrel on Monday for the first time since 2014.

While a coordinated release of oil reserves could be imminent, the market also received fresh signals that OPEC and its allies are not coming to the rescue. 

Despite pressure to ramp up production, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet reaffirmed its commitment to the OPEC+ agreement – a pact that calls for just a modest increase in output, according to a statement from the Saudi state news agency on Tuesday.

The latest march higher in the oil market will only drive up prices at the gas pump, which move with a lag to oil.

 

10:46 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Pro-Kremlin Chechen leader acknowledges casualties in Ukraine

From CNN's Nathan Hodge

Ramzan Kadyrov, the pro-Kremlin leader of Russia's Chechnya region, made a rare admission about casualties sustained by forces from Chechnya in the invasion of Ukraine.

"Unfortunately, there are already losses among the natives of the Chechen Republic," he said in a statement on Twitter. "Two died ... six more were injured to varying degrees."

The Russian government has not released detailed statistics about troops killed and wounded in Ukraine, despite extensive documentation by international media of Russian casualties.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was fully briefed on the situation in Ukraine, but Peskov said he had no specific information on casualties. 

10:44 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

On the ground: Some fleeing Ukraine are getting sick after waiting in line for days, they tell CNN

Ukrainian refugees wait in line at a border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland, on March 1.
Ukrainian refugees wait in line at a border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland, on March 1. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)

People fleeing the violence in Ukraine have been waiting in line for days to enter Poland, CNN correspondent Arwa Damon reports.

Many students from mainly African and Asian nations have been waiting in Shehyni, Ukraine, a village bordering Poland.

"It's almost as if it's the story of two very different flows of people with, to a certain degree, very different stories. Right here, you have this long line of mostly men, many of them students from, really, across the world. You have people from all different countries in Africa, you have people from different countries in Asia, and the thing is ... they have been waiting here, most of them, for days," she reported.

Some have been falling ill in freezing temperatures while waiting in line. One man said he has moved only roughly 100 feet in more than 24 hours.

There is a different line for Ukrainians, mostly women and children, who have had to leave their male family members to potentially fight in the war, Damon reported.

Foreign students have been alleging encountering racism by Ukrainian security forces and border officials at crossings.

Around 660,000 refugees have now fled Ukraine to neighboring countries in the past six days, according to the latest data, the United Nations' refugee agency said in a statement.

10:49 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

UK prime minister says British troops will not fight Russian forces in Ukraine

CNN's Nada Bashir

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes questions during a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, on March 1.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes questions during a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, on March 1. (Leon Neal/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that British troops will not fight Russian forces in Ukraine, adding that recent military reinforcements are “nothing more than defensive measures.”

“I want to be crystal clear on that point: We will not fight Russian forces in Ukraine,” Johnson said.

“As we support the people of Ukraine, we must also shore up our shared resilience to protect our people and our values. These are nothing more than defensive measures, which have been the essence of NATO for more than 70 years,” he added. 

Speaking alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas following a visit to Estonia's Tapa Military Base, Johnson also noted that recent reinforcements were firmly within NATO borders.

“Our reinforcements, like these reinforcements here in Tapa, are firmly within the borders of NATO members, and they are profoundly the right thing to do,” Johnson said. 

10:34 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

US secretary of state calls out Russia for killing civilians in Ukraine

From CNN's Zachary Cohen and Kylie Atwood

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appears on a screen as he delivers a remote speech, during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 1.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appears on a screen as he delivers a remote speech, during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 1. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone/AFP/Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called out Russia on Tuesday for killing civilians in Ukraine, telling the United Nations Human Rights Council that Russian strikes “are hitting schools, hospitals and residential buildings.”

“They are destroying critical infrastructure, which provides millions of people across Ukraine with drinking water, gas to keep them from freezing to death, and electricity. Civilian buses, cars, and even ambulances have been shelled. Russia is doing this every day – across Ukraine,” Blinken added. 

The remarks by the top US diplomat come after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of war crimes for bombing the city of Kharkiv. 

Over the past two days, Russian attacks have hit civilians, suggesting a shift towards a far-less restrained bombing campaign. Earlier Russian attacks were more focused on military targets.

Zelensky also made an impassioned plea Tuesday for European leaders to “prove” their solidarity with his country.

"We are fighting for our life," he said in a speech to the European Union Tuesday.

10:13 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

US secretary of state floats kicking Russia off of UN Human Rights Council

From CNN's Kylie Atwood and Zachary Cohen

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, appears on a screen as he delivers a remote speech, during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 1.
U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, appears on a screen as he delivers a remote speech, during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 1. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone/AP)

As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Russia’s human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law as it carries out its assault on Ukraine, he floated the idea of kicking Russia off of the UN Human Rights Council during a speech before the council on Tuesday morning.

“One can reasonably ask whether a UN member state that tries to take over another UN member state – while committing horrific human rights abuses and causing massive humanitarian suffering – should be allowed to remain on this council,” Blinken said.

There are 47 member states on the council, which are elected by the UN general assembly, with Russia being one of them. 

Blinken also criticized countries such as China who have not clearly stated that Russia is the sole perpetrator of this crisis.  

“Council members should stop using language implying that all sides bear equal responsibility for the unprovoked attack of one side. This isn’t evenhanded – it’s wrong – and fails to place accountability where it belongs. The same goes for members who argue, falsely, that denouncing human rights abuses is 'politicizing' the situation. It is failing to speak up about human rights abuses that politicizes the situation,” Blinken said. 

Blinken challenged the UNHRC to come together to try and prevent an even more deadly war. 

“These are the human rights abuses this council was created to stop. If we cannot come together now, when will we come together?” Blinken said. 

10:04 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

How to provide aid to those in Ukraine

From CNN's Ryan Bergeron

Russian troops have crossed into Ukraine and bombardments are taking place in several cities. These attacks have sent people fleeing for safety. 

Concerns grow for civilians and families as a larger humanitarian crisis could unfold. Organizations around the world are on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries to help those in need with shelter, food, water and additional aid

You can find out how to help here. 

9:46 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Saudi reaffirms commitment to OPEC+ agreement with Russia, calls for de-escalation in Ukraine

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

Despite international pressure to increase output, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet, chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, reaffirmed its commitment to the OPEC+ agreement — a pact made by 10 major crude oil producers and Russia to gradually pump more oil in the market to meet demand — a statement by the Saudi state news agency said on Tuesday.   

The cabinet was briefed on a call held between Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, where the kingdom expressed its keenness “on the stability and balance of oil markets," the state news agency said. 

Oil prices surged above $100 per barrel after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine last week, piling pressure on a global economy already reeling from rampant inflation.

The Russian economy is heavily dependent on revenue from oil and gas, and Moscow wants prices to remain elevated. Saudi Arabia is under intense pressure from developed economies to increase output.  

The Saudi cabinet discussed “the situation in Ukraine and its impact on energy markets, and the Kingdom's keenness on the stability and balance of oil markets and its commitment to the (OPEC Plus) agreement,” the Saudi Press Agency said. 

The Saudi cabinet also called for “de-escalation” and a “political solution in Ukraine,” according to the state news agency said. This is the first official Saudi reaction to the Russian invasion, which started last week. 

Saudi Arabia — a major US ally — has not presented a pro-Western position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.