March 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Angela Dewan, Adrienne Vogt, Joe Ruiz and Alaa Elassar, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022
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2:26 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Ukraine demands new round of sanctions against Russia

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during a televised address on Saturday that his country wanted stronger sanctions against Russia.

"They include, among others, banning the Russians bank Sberbank from SWIFT, closing European ports for Russian ships, closing access of Russia to cryptocurrency and stopping purchases of Russian oil," Kuleba said. 

Russian oil "smells with Ukrainian blood today," the foreign minister said, adding that "buying it is financing Russian war crimes."

He reiterated Ukraine's call on international allies to protect Ukrainian airspace from the "indiscriminate and barbaric bombardment by the Russians" and to provide the country with "combat aircraft and serious air defense, missiles and weapons."

"My message to the world is clear. When all European and other leaders at all ceremonies throughout the year, repeat those separate words, 'never again,' they now need to prove with actions that they stand by those words," Kuleba remarked, harking back to the Nazi bombings of European capitals during World War II. 

"Prove now that you have learned to the lessons of the past, that a new brutal force in Europe can be stopped before it drags the whole continent into devastating conflict," the foreign minister said, concluding his speech.

During the message, Kuleba commended the "admirable" courage of "peaceful protestors" in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson who "demonstrated in front of armed Russian invaders," telling them that "they are Ukrainians, and their city belongs to Ukraine."

"The message of the heroic Ukrainian people is simple," he said. "Russians, go home. You are on foreign land where no one needs you. And no one welcomes you with flowers. Putin, leave Ukraine alone. You will not win this war," Kuleba emphasized during the brief message. 

2:06 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Zelensky calls for establishment of no-fly zone and harsher Russian sanctions in call with US lawmakers

From CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, Jeff Zeleny, Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky called on the United States for assistance in establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine during a Zoom call with US lawmakers, according to a person familiar with the session.

Zelensky asked US senators for greater sanctions on Russia, including on energy, and for more military assistance directed to Ukrainian forces. He thanked the US for the support it has delivered so far, but his overall message was that his country needs more help as it strains against Russia's invasion.

Another senator on the call said that Zelensky advocated for banning Russian oil imports, suspending all commercial transactions — like Visa and Mastercard — and implored the lawmakers to help Ukraine get more planes that Ukrainian pilots are trained in and can fly. He said they would do the fighting and flying, but he needs the aircraft.

The call, which started at about 9:30 a.m., ET, lasted an hour.

At the end of the call, dozens of lawmakers unmuted themselves to thank Zelensky and voice their support, with some saying “Slava Ukraini,” according to someone who was on the call who said the Ukrainian president was clearly moved by the gesture.

His message was delivered amid ongoing conversations between the US and European allies about the possibility of providing Ukraine with fighter jet aircrafts from Eastern European countries, five sources familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Officials say there is a divide among countries about whether or not individual nations should provide Ukraine aircraft, given the associated risks. The US and NATO oppose creating a no-fly zone in Ukraine — such a move, they have warned, could lead to "full-fledged war in Europe." Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that countries that impose such a no-fly zone would be considered to be participating in the conflict.

Read more about the call here:

1:54 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

US aircraft carrier is in northern Aegean Sea to ensure flight operations if tensions escalate in region

From CNN's Barbara Starr

The American aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman has been in the northern Aegean Sea this week in part to ensure it can conduct flight operations from there if tensions escalate in the region due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a US official familiar with the carrier’s current task.  

The official did not disclose the exact location of the ship, but noted it is not routine to operate in the Aegean’s northernmost waters. The area is relatively confined for carrier operations due to the number of small islands and heavy commercial maritime traffic.

“In the event of further escalation,” the Navy could be told to project more fighter jet air patrols into the Black Sea, the official said. “If Russia sought to run the Turkish strait and Turkey asked for NATO support,” then the carrier aircraft could be used for combat air patrols over the Black Sea and Strait of Dardanelles, according to the official. 

Turkey administers passage permission to transit into the Black Sea for warships, and there is concern about Russia’s future plans there. US fighter aircraft often conduct air patrols for deterrence, and it would not necessarily signal the US is entering conflict. 

The Truman’s fighter jets are currently flying over Romania as part of the NATO mission to demonstrate presence and resolve against Russian aggression.

The carrier is accompanied by the cruiser USS San Jacinto in the North Aegean. Five other US warships and a Norwegian surface combatant are further south in the Aegean.

This development comes as the Pentagon is also acknowledging it may have to reconsider and increase the long-term US military presence in Europe in the wake of Russia’s aggression.


1:35 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Jordan to allow Ukrainians to enter country on "humanitarian grounds"

From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Kareem Khadder

Jordan announced that it will allow family members and relatives of Ukrainians residing in the country to enter Jordan without visas on "humanitarian grounds," adding they will be issued temporary residency, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement on Saturday. 

The ministry said the move would be "part of measures that will be implemented through the ministry in coordination with the competent authorities.” 

It added that "it is continuing to cooperate with Jordanian embassies in Ankara and Moscow to conduct 'intensive' diplomatic contacts with all concerned parties and international organizations to push for providing safe corridors for Jordanians in the cities of Sumy and Kharkov," adding that there are no Jordanians registered in the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha.

Jordan has said that it has so far evacuated 718 Jordanians at the border crossings between Ukraine and its neighboring countries, according to Jordan state-run News Agency Petra.

1:41 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Ukraine's foreign minister says he had "productive discussion" with US secretary of state along Polish border

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, right, speaks alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Saturday, March 5.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, right, speaks alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Saturday, March 5. (Pool)

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had a "productive discussion" with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on future steps to support Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion. 

In a televised message on Saturday, Kuleba said he had just returned from the Ukrainian-Polish border, where he held talks with Blinken along the neutral zone before crossing into Ukraine in what Kuleba called a "symbol of support."

"We had a productive discussion about the efficiency of the sanctions already imposed on Russia and the measures taken, but also more importantly about our future steps in supplying Ukraine with necessary weapons and in imposing additional sanctions on Russia," Kuleba announced in English. 

He added that he was "confident" that Ukraine and the US will be implementing the outcome of the talks "in the coming days," adding that the US will join up its efforts with its European allies. 


1:40 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Israel's prime minister met with Putin in Moscow, official says

From CNN's Hadas Gold

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on February 27.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on February 27. (Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met for about three hours Saturday with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, according to an Israeli official.

The unannounced meeting took place with the blessing of the US administration, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The Israeli official said that Bennett’s diplomatic push was also coordinated with Germany and France and added that the Israeli leader “is in ongoing dialogue with Ukraine.”

Bennett also spoke with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday following his meeting with Putin.

Ukraine's ambassador to Israel told CNN that Ukrainian leadership was informed in advance of Bennett's meeting with Putin and had been supportive of it.

Following the conclusion of the Moscow meeting, Bennett is now en route to Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Israeli official said.

Three days ago, Bennett held separate phone conversations with both Putin and Zelensky.

Zelensky has appealed to Israel to mediate efforts to bring about a ceasefire.

While Israel has condemned Russia’s invasion in comments by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Bennett himself has avoided direct criticism of Russia or Putin.

Israel has sought to maintain good relations with Russia in recent years so it can continue air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria – which Israel regards as critical to prevent the transfer of precision-guided missile technology to Hezbollah.


6:05 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

It's just after 8 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

This is the latest on Russia's invasion into Ukraine, which is in its 10th day:

Evacuation corridors suspended: Ukrainian authorities halted evacuations from the besieged city of Mariupol on Saturday, accusing Russian forces of breaching an agreement to pause fire and give civilians safe passage out.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said Saturday night it would resume its offensive in Mariupol and Volnovakha.

In a statement carried by Russian news agency TASS, the defense ministry said that "not a single civilian was able to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha along the announced security corridors."

The defense ministry had said earlier on Saturday it would stop bombarding the cities, which have endured days of heavy, indiscriminate shelling. But just a few hours after the announcement to pause fire, a top regional official said Russia broke its agreement.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also said it “understands” that civilian evacuations from Mariupol and Volnovakha will not go ahead on Saturday as planned.

Putin says sanctions are equal to war declaration: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that the sanctions introduced on his country are “equivalent of a declaration of war.”

Putin also said on Saturday that he would consider countries imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine as participating in the conflict. 

President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have repeatedly pleaded with NATO and Western officials to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which the US and NATO have said they oppose. Zelensky asked US lawmakers over Zoom today to assist with the establishment of a no-fly zone and harsher Russian sanctions.

Ukrainian officials praise protests: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has tweeted video from two cities in Ukraine – Berdyansk and Kherson – showing protests against Russian occupation. CNN has confirmed there have been protests against Russian occupation in both cities Saturday, as well as at least one in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk.  

New video posted to social media shows at least one man getting hit by gunfire during a protest against the Russian military in the small town of Novopskov in northeastern Ukraine. CNN has geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the video.

Humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate: As cities come under heavy shelling, some Ukrainian officials say people lack basic access to food, water and medication.

The US secretary of state visited a refugee center in Poland, where waves of people from Ukraine continued to come in from over the border. The UN estimates over 1.2 million refugees have fled since Feb. 24.

1:09 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Russia says "offensive operations" have resumed in areas where evacuation corridors were agreed upon 

From CNN’s Tim Lister in Kyiv and Mariya Knight in Atlanta

The Russian defense ministry said its forces have resumed their offensive in Mariupol and Volnovakha, where evacuation corridors had been arranged between Ukraine and Russia.

In a statement to Russian news agency TASS, the ministry said that "not a single civilian was able to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha along the announced security corridors."

"The population of these cities is being held by nationalist formations as human shields. The nationalist battalions took advantage of the silence to regroup and strengthen their positions," said Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defense ministry.

"Due to the unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to influence the nationalists or to extend the ceasefire, offensive operations have been resumed from 18:00 Moscow time," Konashenkov said.

More background: The Russian defense ministry said earlier on Saturday it would stop bombarding Mariupol and Volnovakha, which have endured days of heavy, indiscriminate shelling.

Residents there have hunkered down in basements without power and with limited supplies of food and water, volunteers gathering information from the ground told CNN.

But just a few hours after the announcement to pause fire, a top Ukrainian regional official accused Russia of breaking its agreement and evacuations were ceased.

12:56 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Russian government plane headed to US will take Russian diplomats back to their country

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Jamie Crawford

A Russian government plane heading from St. Petersburg to Washington, DC, will return Russian diplomats back to their country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Saturday on her Telegram channel.

"This plane will return to their homeland [the] Russian diplomats, whom the US Government has declared persona non grata," Zakharova added. No timeline was provided in Zakharova’s statement.

The US government approved a flight chartered by the Russian government to facilitate the departure of Russian United Nations Mission personnel who were expelled for abuse of their privileges of residence. This special exception was done in accordance with federal regulations to ensure Russian mission personnel and their families departed by the date we had instructed, a state department spokesperson said.