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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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."

5:22 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Ford suspends operations in Russia until further notice

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

A worker installs components on a Ford Transit van at the Ford Sollers production plant in Elabuga, Russia, in 2020.
A worker installs components on a Ford Transit van at the Ford Sollers production plant in Elabuga, Russia, in 2020. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Ford is suspending their operations in Russia, effective immediately, the company announced Tuesday. The motor company has a 50% stake in Ford Sollers, a joint venture between the American automaker and Russian company Sollers.

“Given the situation, we have today informed our JV partners that we are suspending our operations in Russia, effective immediately, until further notice,” the company said in their statement.

The announcement comes after Ford said earlier today they were “deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine” but did not go so far as to stop operations in the three Russian cities where the company has plants: St. Petersburg, Elabuga and Naberezhnye Chelny.

“As part of the global community, Ford is deeply concerned about the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant threats to peace and stability. The situation has compelled us to reassess our operations in Russia,” the statement said.

The company notes they have “significantly wound down” their Russian operations in recent years — but the joint venture employs at least 4,000 people. And the three plants together produce the Ford Focus, Ford EcoSport, and Ford Transit, Kuga, Explorer, S-MAX and Galaxy, according to Ford's website.

Ford says they are making a $100,000 donation to the Global Giving Ukraine Relief Fund, for Ukrainians and their families who have been displaced during the invasion.

4:57 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

International Court of Justice will hold public hearings next week over accusations of genocide in Ukraine

From CNN's Melissa Gray and Samantha Beech

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague will hold public hearings starting Monday next week over claims of genocide in Ukraine.

In a statement Tuesday, the ICJ said public hearings will be held next Monday and Tuesday regarding “the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).”  

In its application to institute proceedings against Russia, Ukraine said Russia has “falsely claimed that acts of genocide have occurred” in the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, adding Russia then subsequently declared and implemented a “special military operation” against Ukraine, according to an earlier ICJ news release.

Ukraine denied these claims in its application and accused Russia of “planning acts of genocide" in the country, according to the news release.

The hearings will be held at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court, and will be devoted to Ukraine’s request for the indication of provisional measures, the statement said. 

In a separate statement Tuesday, the ICJ said the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Joan E. Donoghue, has sent “an urgent communication” to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

The communication said, “I have the honour to refer to the Request for the indication of provisional measures filed in the proceedings instituted by Ukraine against the Russian Federation on 26 February 2022. Acting in conformity with Article 74, paragraph 4, of the Rules of Court, I hereby call the attention of the Russian Federation to the need to act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects.”

The ICJ said Tuesday that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hearings next week will be held in a hybrid format. It said some Members of the Court will attend the oral proceedings in person in the Great Hall of Justice while others will participate remotely by video link. 

 

4:31 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Britain introduces new sanctions against Russia and bans Russian ships from UK ports

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London 

The United Kingdom on Tuesday introduced new sanctions against Russia, including a ban on ships with Russian connections from accessing British ports, the government announced in a statement

"The ban on Russian ships from UK ports, and new economic sanctions against key Russian financial institutions including its central bank, in close coordination with our allies, will degrade Russia’s economy and help make sure Putin loses," British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in the statement. 

Additional economic measures, "including against the Russian Central Bank and the state’s sovereign wealth fund, also mean the majority of Russia’s financial system” is now covered by UK sanctions, the statement read. 

Starting on Tuesday, "I’m instructing all UK ports to turn away any vessel that is flagged, registered, owned, or operated by Russia," British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in the statement.

"By banning Russian ships from our ports, we are further isolating Russia and crushing its economic capabilities, starving Putin’s war machine," Shapps added. 

4:33 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Pressure mounts on Biden administration to act on growing Ukrainian refugee crisis

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

Ukrainian refugees try to stay warm at a border crossing near Medyka, Poland, on March 1.
Ukrainian refugees try to stay warm at a border crossing near Medyka, Poland, on March 1. (Visar Kryeziu/AP)

Sizable Ukrainian populations in the US and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are pressuring the Biden administration to act on the growing refugee crisis as a result of Russia’s invasion. 

The recent resettlement of Afghan evacuees has, to a degree, set expectations among Ukrainians in the US, desperate to have their family with them.

While most Ukrainian refugees are headed to other parts of Europe, Biden administration officials are preparing to send money to help with the cause, in the absence of an onslaught of refugees arriving to the US in the immediate future. 

More than half a million people are already spilling into neighboring countries, including Poland, Moldova and Slovakia, in what the United Nations refugee agency said could become "Europe's largest refugee crisis this century.” Countries in the region have become the first destination for those desperately seeking refuge. 

That stands in contrast to the evacuation out of Afghanistan last summer, when the US took in thousands of Afghans who had worked for or on behalf of the US during the decades-long war. 

The Biden administration made a series of accommodations to relocate more than 76,000 Afghans after the fall of Kabul in August. As of now, it’s unclear whether those authorities, like humanitarian parole and special refugee designations, will be similarly extended to Ukrainians. 

A State Department spokesperson said the administration is working with European allies and partners, as well as international organizations and NGOs, “to support those displaced internally within Ukraine and those who may seek safety in neighboring countries.”

Prior to the conflict in Ukraine, there had already been a steady stream of Ukrainian refugees to the United States in recent years. Dmytro, a Ukrainian national, arrived in the US and resettled in Michigan only weeks ago. The feeling is bittersweet.  

“It’s pretty stressful to understand that the country you left is essentially not the same country and it’s only been three weeks,” he told CNN through an interpreter. CNN agreed to identify him only by his first name over security concerns for family still in Ukraine. 

Read more here.

4:14 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

New military strike in Kharkiv hits apartment complex near hospital, videos show

From CNN's Gianluca Mezzofiore, Katie Polglase and Paul P. Murphy

A new military strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has hit an apartment complex near a hospital, according to videos that have been geolocated and verified by CNN.

The explosion near the hospital comes hours after a military strike caused significant damage to Kharkiv's regional administration building.

In one video, a fire rages at a clearly damaged apartment complex, located just across the street from the hospital. 

"The building is gone," someone in the video says. 

In another video, which is an edited series of separate videos outside the apartment complex combined, at least two bodies are seen on the ground in the area surrounding the apartment buidling.

"The animals, simply animals," someone said, appearing to refer to those responsible for the military strikes. 

"A house," another person said. "Look at what they've done."  

A number of people are seen walking away from the apartment complex in the video.  

"People are carrying out their suitcases," a voice says in the video.  

Watch here (Warning: This video contains graphic images):

CNN's Josh Pennington contributed to this report.

4:04 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Top general overseeing US nuclear arsenal is "satisfied" with US defensive posture

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

The top general who oversees the US nuclear weapons and nuclear capabilities said Tuesday that he is “satisfied” with the US defensive posture right now, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine and President Putin’s recent announcement that he has put his country’s deterrence forces on high alert.

US Strategic Command Admiral Charles Richard made the comments during a House Armed Services committee hearing. 

Richard participated in the hearing virtually from US Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. He told lawmakers he stayed in Nebraska to make sure he can “assess and be satisfied in terms of our defensive posture.” 

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker said the Defense Department is “comfortable with our strategic defensive posture,” echoing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s previous statements.