March 2, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Maureen Chowdhury, Jason Kurtz and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 4:01 p.m. ET, March 7, 2022
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10:57 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Borscht and Molotovs: How one Ukrainian woman is supporting her country

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in Kyiv

Kateryna Yurko said that she and her friends have made several thousand Molotov cocktails in recent days.
Kateryna Yurko said that she and her friends have made several thousand Molotov cocktails in recent days. (Ivana Kottasova/CNN)

Kateryna Yurko was in her store when the first missile hit the ground just across the street.

The impact shook her. It was very, very loud.

She and her employees ran to the basement, making it underground just before the next explosion. Yurko’s store is just across the road from Kyiv’s TV tower, which was hit by a Russian strike on Tuesday.

Five people were killed in the assault. There was still blood on the streets the next day.

The aftermath of Tuesday's explosion.
The aftermath of Tuesday's explosion. (Ivana Kottasova/CNN)

On Wednesday morning, Yurko was back at work sweeping up the shattered glass and debris. Most of her merchandise was gone. While most stores in Ukraine's capital have been shut since the invasion started, she kept the store open because it stocks spare car parts, oil and other necessities.

Yurko said that the events of the last few days had hardened her resolve.

I’m not scared anymore. I know Ukraine will win,” she said.

Yurko has three children and they all understand what is going on, she said. She showed off a video of her 5-year-old twin girls singing the national anthem. Yurko said her other child, who is 18, is volunteering with the Territorial Defense Forces, which is the volunteer military unit of the country's armed forces.

Yurko showing off pictures of her family.
Yurko showing off pictures of her family. (Ivana Kottasova/CNN)

Yurko has also been cooking Ukrainian borscht and making Molotov cocktails for the Territorial Defense units.

“The two most important things a Ukrainian woman needs to know is how to make borscht and Molotovs,” she said, referring to homemade petrol bombs commonly known as Molotov cocktails.

Yurko said that she and her friends have made several thousand of the projectiles in recent days, using up 2 tonnes (4,400 pounds) of gasoline.  

2:23 p.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Conflicting accounts about civilian deaths in Ukraine

From Olya Voitovych in Kyiv 

Police officers remove the body of a passerby on March 2 after an airstrike that hit Kyiv's main television tower in Kyiv, Ukraine, the previous day.
Police officers remove the body of a passerby on March 2 after an airstrike that hit Kyiv's main television tower in Kyiv, Ukraine, the previous day. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians have so far been killed during Russia’s ongoing invasion, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said Wednesday. CNN has not been able to independently verify this figure.

“More than 2,000 Ukrainians died, not counting our defenders,” the service said in a statement before removing it.

CNN has reached out to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service for more information.

“Children, women and our defense forces are losing their lives every hour,” the statement said before it was removed. 

According to the service, some transport infrastructures, houses, hospitals and kindergartens have been “destroyed” by Russian forces over the last seven days. 

Meanwhile, the United Nations’ reported civilian death toll is far lower than the “more than 2,000” figure, although the UN has cautioned that the real toll is likely to be “much higher.” 

The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights said Tuesday that more than 500 civilian casualties had been reported in Ukraine by the UN – including at least 136 civilians killed and 400 civilians injured. 

“Most of these casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and air strikes,” the UN office said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“These are only the casualties we were able to cross-check, and the real toll is likely to be much higher,” the statement added.

This post has been updated to reflect that the statement from Ukraine’s State Emergency Service was removed.  

8:03 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Here's the latest on the fighting in Ukraine

It's just gone 3 p.m. in Kyiv, and fierce battles are being fought between Ukrainian and Russian forces throughout Ukraine.

Here's what you need to know:

Talks to continue: A second round of Russia-Ukraine talks is set to take place today, according to a Ukrainian presidential aide.

The first round of talks on Monday lasted for five hours and ended without a breakthrough.

'The real test': US President Joe Biden used his annual State of the Union address to put forward a show of resolve that Western democracies stand firmly behind Ukraine, which Russia invaded last week.

"Throughout our history, we've learned this lesson: When dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos. They keep moving," Biden said.

Yet Biden made it clear that no US troops would be deployed to fight alongside Ukrainians, but the West would instead use sanctions and economic measures to, as he said, continue "inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine."

Biden also affirmed that US would staunchly defend its NATO allies, including those in Eastern Europe who are concerned that they, like Ukraine, could one day be the target of Russian aggression.

The fight for key cities: Russia's military appears to be steadily advancing on key southern cities. Russia's Ministry of Defense said its forces now fully held Kherson, though Ukrainian authorities denied it, saying "some parts are under our control.”

Fighting also continues in nearby Mariupol, where heavy shelling left dozens injured, its mayor said. Russian troops and Russian-backed separatist have surrounded the city on three sides. The Kremlin hopes to take Mariupol to complete a land corridor that would link the Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014 from Ukraine, with southern Russia. 

Kharkiv pummeled: Russian artillery and missile strikes have also pounded Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-most populous city. Videos posted to social media and confirmed by CNN have shown significant destruction in the northeastern Ukrainian city. One strike hit an apartment complex near a hospital on Tuesday, while Kharkiv's regional police department and Kharkiv National University were struck Wednesday morning.

Ukrainian authorities said the "massive" shelling continued on Wednesday.

Targets in Kyiv: On Tuesday, Russian forces fired rockets near a TV tower in the Ukrainian capital, hours after warning of "high-precision" strikes on other facilities linked to Ukrainian security agencies. The rocket attack took out broadcasting hardware, raising fears that Russia is attempting to knock out the city's communications infrastructure.

The UN said at least 136 people, including 13 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Thursday, February 24, though those figures are likely to underestimate the true toll.

Zelensky said in six days, almost 6,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. The Kremlin has not publicly shared any death toll.

8:06 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

White House: Further US moves to punish Putin are coming and targeting oil exports is "not off the table"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested Wednesday that more US efforts to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine are coming as the US seeks to squeeze the Russian economy.

During an appearance on CNN, she touted the global unity from NATO and other countries aimed at “holding President Putin accountable,” citing sanctions steps and other announced moves. 

“The ruble has plummeted; they kept the stock market closed because it has been so devastating, and we’re seeing the impacts already,” she said, also pointing to military and security assistance for Ukraine as she said there is “more to come to continue to squeeze Putin.”

Pressed on whether the US will target Russia’s fuel exports, she said the US “wants to maximize the impact on President Putin” and those around him but made clear that the White House priority is to minimize the impact at home. 

“It’s still on the table, it’s not off the table,” Psaki said of efforts to ban Russian oil exports.

But she added, “What he (Biden) does not want to do is topple the global oil markets or the global marketplace, or impact the American people more with higher energy and gas prices. And obviously, the announcement that was made yesterday to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve here and do that in the united way, in a coordinated way with the global community, is an effort to address that and mitigate the impact, but that's something we heavily weigh.”

She reiterated Biden’s vow to not send US troops to fight in Ukraine but pointed to humanitarian and economic assistance.

Asked if the US is directly coordinating with its Ukrainian military partners, she said there was “absolutely” intelligence-sharing. But she declined to comment on whether US defense officials have been involved in military plans to stop the massive Russian convoy outside Kyiv, noting broadly that the US is in “regular, constant touch” with Ukrainian leaders.

She called Russia’s advances on civilian centers “frustrating,” “upsetting” and “horrifying.”

“This is a pattern of horror from President Putin and from the cronies around him,” she said.

8:26 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Motorsport UK bans Russian and Belarusian licensed competitors from events

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 9.
Haas driver Nikita Mazepin at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 9. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

Motorsport UK announced on Wednesday that the licenses issued to Russia and Belarus have been suspended "with immediate effect."

The governing body for four-wheel in the UK said that no Russian and Belarusian licensed teams are approved to enter competitions in the country or participate in motorsports events.

The decision means that Haas’ Russian Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin will not be permitted to race in the British Grand Prix scheduled for July 3.

In addition, no Russian and Belarusian national symbols, colors, flags on uniforms, equipment and cars will be displayed at Motorsport UK permitted events.

“The entire Motorsport UK community condemns the acts of war by Russia and Belarus in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity and support towards all those affected by the ongoing conflict," David Richards CBE, chair of Motorsport UK, said in a statement.
“We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community following the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have unfolded. This is a time for the international motorsport community to act and show support for the people of Ukraine and our colleagues at the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU).”

He added: “It is our duty to use whatever influence and leverage we might have to bring this wholly unjustified invasion of Ukraine to a halt. We would encourage the motorsport community and our colleagues around the world to fully embrace the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and do whatever we can to end this war."

“Motorsport UK stands united with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the president of the FAU, the Ukrainian motorsport community and the Ukrainian people and calls for the violence to end with a peaceful resolution,” according to the statement.

On Tuesday, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the governing body for numerous motorsport events, determined at a World Motor Sport Council meeting to not bar Russian and Belarusian drivers from its motorsport competitions.

7:50 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Area around Kharkiv city council building hit by strike, according to local officials and videos

From CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore in London 

The area close to the city council building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has been impacted by a military strike, according to local officials and videos geolocated by CNN.  

The videos and images show smoke rising near the administrative building in Ukraine's second city, which has been battered by Russian strikes in recent days. 

Roman Semenukha, deputy head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, tweeted: “The cruise missile hit the building of the City Council in Kharkiv.” 

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

7:41 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

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:

10:05 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to participate as neutrals at 2022 Paralympic Winter Games

From CNN's Wayne Sterling and Aleks Klosok

(Left to right) IPC chief brand & communications officer Craig Spence, IPC President Andrew Parsons, IPC athletes council chairperson Jitske Visser and IPC Vice President Duane Kale at a press conference ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, following the IPC governing board decision in regards to Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in the games at the Main Media Centre in Beijing, China, on March 2.
(Left to right) IPC chief brand & communications officer Craig Spence, IPC President Andrew Parsons, IPC athletes council chairperson Jitske Visser and IPC Vice President Duane Kale at a press conference ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, following the IPC governing board decision in regards to Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in the games at the Main Media Centre in Beijing, China, on March 2. (Thomas Lovelock/OIS/Reuters)

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.