Second round of Russia-Ukraine talks to take place today, according to Ukrainian presidential aide
From CNN’s Matthew Chance in Kyiv
The second round of talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine is set to take place today, with delegations expected to comprise of the same representatives present at the first round of talks on Monday.
“Now it’s official. The second round of talks between Ukraine and the occupier will take place today,” a Ukrainian presidential aide told CNN Wednesday.
“The delegations will be in the same composition,” the official added.
On Tuesday, Russian state news agency RIA said that the second round of talks would take place in Belarus, near the Belarus-Poland border.
The first round of talks on Monday lasted for five hours and ended without a breakthrough.
Read CNN analysis prior to the first round of talks here:
Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to participate as neutrals at 2022 Paralympic Winter Games
From CNN's Wayne Sterling and Aleks Klosok
Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to participate as neutrals at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced Wednesday.
IPC said they will compete under the Paralympic flag and the Paralympic anthem. They will not be included in the medal table.
The Russian delegation must cover the Russian Paralympic Committee symbol on their uniforms in all official ceremonies and sporting competitions, the IPC said. The Belarus delegation must cover the Belarus flags on their uniforms in all official ceremonies and sporting competitions
In a statement IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “The IPC and wider Paralympic Movement is greatly concerned by the gross violation of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments in the days prior to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. The IPC Governing Board is united in its condemnation of these actions and was in agreement that they cannot go unnoticed or unaddressed.
“What we have decided upon is the harshest possible punishment we can hand down within our constitution and the current IPC rules. Post-Beijing 2022, we will also take measures with our 206 member organisations to determine whether any breaches of the Olympic Truce for future Paralympic Games could lead to the possible suspension or termination of an NPC."
IPC will host an "extraordinary" General Assembly in 2022 where members will be invited to vote on whether "to suspend or terminate the membership of the Russian Paralympic Committee and Belarus Paralympic Committee" and "whether ensuring compliance with the Olympic Truce should be a membership requirement."
IPC also said that it will not hold any events in Russia or Belarus "until further notice."
The news comes a day after IPC announced that Ukraine will send a full contingent of 20 athletes and nine guides to the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.
The governing body tweeted a picture of the delegation with the message: "Ukraine's Paralympic Team together earlier today before boarding for #Beijing2022."
The IPC declined to share the delegation's whereabouts due to safety concerns.
The Beijing 2022 Paralympics get underway on Friday with the opening ceremony before official competition begins on Saturday.
7:34 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
There's extensive damage and casualties following clashes on the outskirts of Kyiv
From CNN’s Tim Lister in Kyiv, Katie Polglase in London and Celine Al-Khaldi in Abu Dhabi
Videos posted early Wednesday show extensive damage to residential buildings in the town of Irpin, just west of the Ukranian capital of Kyiv.
Local authorities said a missile hit a residential building, and preliminary information indicated there were casualties.
One video geolocated to Irpin showed two unidentified fighter aircrafts flying low overhead, followed by an explosion on the ground. The same incident filmed from another angle showed that part of an apartment building had been destroyed.
Other social media video showed extensive damage to buildings on another street in Irpin, with a military vehicle still smoking.
One video from the Armed Forces of Ukraine showed Ukrainians soldiers moving among what appear to be the bodies of Russian soldiers. At least four bodies can be seen.
The area around Irpin has seen extensive clashes since the Russian invasion began last week.
7:31 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
Ukrainian foreign minister says he's unsure whether new talks will take place with Russia
From CNN’s Tim Lister in Kyiv
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says it is “unknown now when a new round of talks will take place” with Russia.
“The first round of talks took place .... Russia’s conditions remain unchanged," Kuleba wrote in a post on Facebook. “We are ready for talks, we are ready for diplomacy, but we are not in any way ready to accept any Russian ultimatums,” he added.
7:33 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
Russian Central Bank suspends bank transfers abroad for non-residents, state media reports
From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Nathan Hodge in Moscow
The Russian Central Bank has suspended transfers from the accounts of non-residents abroad in an attempt to avoid the withdrawal of funds due to sanctions imposed on the country, state news agency TASS reported Wednesday.
“In order to prevent export of cash from the Russian financial market and to maintain financial stability, the Bank of Russia has temporarily suspended transfers to foreign bank accounts from accounts held by non-resident corporate entities and individuals from a number of countries,” the Russian Central Bank said, according to TASS.
“Transfers by non-residents without a bank account are restricted to $5,000 or equivalent per month," the bank added, according to the news agency.
The restrictions do not apply to Russian citizens or to foreign nationals from countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The move comes as the Russian currency, the ruble, continues its downward spiral and the Moscow Stock Exchange remained closed for a third day in a row, in light of sanctions.
7:24 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
Nearly 836,000 refugees have left Ukraine since February 24, says UN
From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau in London
The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees said 835,928 refugees have left Ukraine since February 24.
More than half of them (453,982) fled via Poland. Another 116,348 went to Hungary, according to the UNHCR.
Another 96,000 people moved to the Russian Federation from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions between 18 and 23 February. Those two regions are controlled by Russian-backed separatists. The Kremlin in February recognized them as independent states in defiance of international law.
7:21 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
Natural gas prices in Europe hit record high, spiking 60% since Tuesday
From CNN’s Julia Horowitz in London
The price of natural gas in Europe hit a record on Wednesday amid concerns from traders that its supply could be disrupted due to Russia's war in Ukraine.
Benchmark futures jumped as high as 194 euros ($215) per megawatt hour. That's a 60% leap versus Tuesday and more than double where prices stood on Friday.
Russian pipe flows to Europe are continuing normally, according to Alex Froley, a market analyst at Independent Commodity Intelligence Services. But there's "a lot of uncertainty and concern about how things could change," he said.
Froley noted that the United Kingdom has banned Russian owned and controlled ships from its ports, which could disrupt shipments of liquefied natural gas from Russia that account for between 3% and 4% of the country's gas supply.
"Traders may be concerned whether continental Europe introduces a similar ban on Russian ships," he said.
As of 2019, the European Union imported more than 40% of its natural gas from Russia — more than any other country.
7:21 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
Poland won't send fighter jets into Ukrainian airspace, says President Andrzej Duda
From CNN's Nada Bashir in London
Poland will not send fighter jets into Ukraine, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday, adding that Poland is “not joining” the ongoing conflict as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.
“We are not sending any jets to Ukraine because that would open military inference in the Ukrainian conflict. We are not joining that conflict. NATO is not party to that conflict,” Duda said.
We are supporting Ukrainians with humanitarian aid. However, we are not going to send any jets to Ukrainian airspace,” he continued.
Speaking alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg during a press conference at Poland's Lask airbase, Duda stressed that Poland and NATO will continue to “stand at the side of Ukraine.”
While Polish jets will not be operating in Ukrainian airspace, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said Tuesday that “fighter jets from the United States are flying alongside the Polish air force” in NATO airspace.
"Putin’s war affects us all and NATO allies will always stand together to defend and protect each other,” Stoltenberg said.
"NATO is a defensive alliance. We do not seek conflict with Russia. Russia must immediately stop the war, pull out all its forces from Ukraine, and engage in good faith in diplomatic efforts,” he added.
7:11 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022
Voices from Ukraine's global diaspora speak out on Putin's invasion
From CNN Opinion
In London, a sister remembers her brother killed on Ukraine's frontline. In Glasgow, a truck driver gets a call from his wife in Lviv: war has arrived in their homeland. And in Connecticut, a university professor reflects on Putin's unraveling.
For the Ukrainian diaspora, Putin's war resonates deeply. We asked Ukrainians, expats and political experts from across the globe to weigh in. The views expressed in this commentary are their own.
Olesya Khromeychuk is a historian, writer and director of the Ukrainian Institute London. She told CNN that her elder brother, Volodymyr, was killed by shrapnel in 2017 in the conflict in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine.
"I am a historian. I realize that we are living through a moment that will be on every syllabus of European history. Now is the time to decide what place each one of us wants to have in that history. Stand With Ukraine," Khromeychuk said.
Ukrainian truck driver and father-of-two Oleksandr Bilyy, spoke to CNN as he was crossing the Polish border into Ukraine. His words are lightly edited for clarity.
"On Thursday I woke up in Glasgow (Scotland) at 6.00 a.m., my wife calling me, telling me Russians were bombing our capital and our country. So that's it. I drove my truck to London, picked up my car, and started driving to Poland -- I arrived there Saturday.
"My family live in Lviv. I have two kids there. I'm a truck driver, I do jobs all over."
"Ukraine is my homeland, and if Ukrainians will not fight for our homeland, who will? We don't want to live with the Russian style of life, we want to live with our style of life," the 39-year-old told CNN.
Marci Shore is associate professor of modern European intellectual history at Yale University, focusing on 20th and 21st century Central and Eastern Europe.
"This is no longer the master chess player, the shrewd grand strategist. He is no longer a rational actor, even in the coldest and most cynical sense. He seemed unwell and unhinged," she said of Putin's speech last Monday.
This no longer felt like a man playing a high-stakes chess game, now it felt like a scene from 'Macbeth.' My intuition was that an aging man facing his own death had decided to destroy the whole world. Ukraine is very possibly fighting for all of us."