March 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes and Alaa Elassar, CNN

Updated 8:07 a.m. ET, March 7, 2022
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8:06 a.m. ET, March 7, 2022

Our live coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has moved here.

11:42 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

India continues evacuation efforts for students in eastern Ukraine

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi 

The Indian government is continuing attempts to evacuate hundreds of Indian students stuck in the city of Sumy in northeastern Ukraine, around 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Russian border. 

On Sunday, the Indian embassy advised students to be ready to leave on short notice, adding that a team from the embassy was positioned nearby to help coordinate efforts. 

"Team from Embassy of India is stationed in Poltava City to coordinate the safe passage of Indian students stranded in Sumy to Western borders via Poltava,” the embassy tweeted. 

As of Saturday, at least 700 Indian students were stranded in Sumy, according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). No reports of further evacuations from the city have since been announced. 

Over the weekend, MEA said it was asking both sides for a temporary ceasefire, which would allow the students safe passage to the nearest evacuation point.

Russia fires at civilian evacuations: Russia has repeatedly broken pledges to hold from firing during negotiated civilian evacuations. On Sunday, a Russian military strike hit an evacuation crossing point in a Kyiv suburb, killing a family with two children and several other civilians trying to flee from attacks.

11:36 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Australian Prime Minister says country is facing "its most dangerous security environment in 80 years"

From Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen at a press conference in Canberra, Mar. 1.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen at a press conference in Canberra, Mar. 1. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image/Reuters)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was facing its "most dangerous security environment in 80 years" since World War II, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking virtually Monday at a Lowy Institute forum on the situation in Ukraine, Morrison called the invasion a "wake-up call" for Europe and said "a new arc of autocracy" has threatened peace.

Moscow “has chosen the path of violence and is seeking to overturn the global order," he added. 

Criticizing China: Morrison also criticized China for refusing to condemn the invasion, calling it a "moment of choice" for the country to uphold its principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“It's now up to China and their leaders at this hinge point of history to demonstrate that these are more than just words,” Morrison said, calling for Beijing to join in imposing sanctions on Moscow. 
“No country would have a greater impact right now on Russia's violent aggression towards Ukraine than China joining the rest of the world in denouncing Russia's aggression and applying the same sanctions we have."

Ukrainian refugees: Morrison said Australia had fast-tracked around 1,700 visas for Ukrainians to provide temporary safety, with the expectation that the displaced will want to return home after the conflict. 

11:24 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

South Korea will suspend transactions with Russia's central bank

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul

South Korea will join the United States and others in suspending transactions with Russia's central bank as part of additional sanctions against Russia, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The government said it will announce further details of the sanctions after consultation with related government agencies.

Earlier, South Korea had banned financial transactions with seven major Russian banks and blocked Russian banks from the SWIFT global payments system.

It also strongly recommended South Korean financial institutions halt investing in Russian government bonds.

10:25 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

South Korea issues travel ban to areas in Russia and Belarus bordering Ukraine

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

South Korea is banning its nationals from traveling to areas in Russia and Belarus that share borders with Ukraine, the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Sunday.

The ministry said it would raise the travel alert for these areas to its highest level, Level 4, which will take effect from 6 p.m. Moscow time (10 a.m. ET) on March 7.

South Koreans traveling to countries or regions under a Level 4 alert can be punished under related laws, the statement added.

10:23 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Japan raises alert level for Russia and urges nationals not to travel there

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Japan's Foreign Ministry raised its travel advisory for Russia Monday, urging Japanese nationals to refrain from traveling to the country.

Japanese nationals should "consider leaving the country by commercial flights, keeping in mind that ways to leave the country will be further restricted in the future," it said.

The ministry raised its risk warning for Russia to Level 3 out of four levels.

It's a decision that came after the Russian air transport agency recommended domestic airlines temporarily suspend passenger flights to foreign countries, the ministry said in a statement.

Last week, the foreign ministry urged Japanese nationals to evacuate areas in Russia along the border with Ukraine after raising its alert level specifically for those border areas to its highest Level 4. 

10:23 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukrainian police special unit takes out tanks in outskirts of Kyiv

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Josh Pennington.

A frame from a verified video showing Ukrainian National Police special forces launch an RPG against a Russian tank.
A frame from a verified video showing Ukrainian National Police special forces launch an RPG against a Russian tank. (From Всевидящее ОКО)

A Ukrainian National Police special forces unit took out two Russian tanks in a small village roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Kyiv, the National Police said.

In a video published by the special police unit, a number of members from the Rapid Operational Response Team are seen ambushing Russian tanks using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

The video was published on Sunday, but CNN could not verify the video was filmed that day.

A longer clip of the video was published by the Ukrainian Telegram channel All-Seeing Eye, showing a longer interaction between the special police unit and the tanks.

In that video, officers are seen crouching on a dirt road outside the village of Zavorychi, Ukraine.

CNN has geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the video.

An officer can be seen pulling on his gloves and then sneaking along the dirt road behind two other officers armed with RPGs.

"See, he's over there," one officer says.

One of the officers armed with the RPG stands up. The signal is given to fire.

An impact is heard and two of the officers run back for cover as they begin to reload the RPG.

Another explosion is heard; it's unclear if the tanks are returning fire or if it's more RPG munitions from the officers.

Once reloaded, the officer runs back out and fires once again.

The video then picks up after the encounter. Two tanks -- one is on fire -- are seen in the distance.

"My mother's going to squeeze the hell out of me," one of the soldiers says, holding up a fist. "Great job boys! Glory to Ukraine!"

9:36 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

50 Russian diplomats including their family members leave NYC for Moscow

From CNN’s Hande Atay Alam

Nearly 50 Russian diplomats including their family members left New York for Moscow Sunday, according to Russian state news agency RIA.

It follows a request last week by the Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations that 12 Russian UN diplomats leave the US by March 7.

The US asked for the removal of the diplomats due to their alleged engagement in “activities that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats,” Ambassador Richard Mills said during a UN Security Council meeting last Monday.

Late Sunday ET a Russian government plane carrying Russian diplomats expelled by the US left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Moscow, according to Flight Radar24 data.

9:35 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Police brutally beat anti-war protesters in St. Petersburg, Russia

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Security forces take measures during an anti-war demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia on March 6.
Security forces take measures during an anti-war demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia on March 6. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Anti-war protesters in St. Petersburg, Russia were violently beaten by police Sunday, videos posted to social media show. 

CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the videos, which were taken on Sunday evening.

In the clips, protesters are seen walking along Nevsky Avenue in central St. Petersburg. Outside of the Kazan Cathedral, a violent interaction between protesters and police was captured on two of the videos. 

One of the videos, which was posted to social media, shows a police officer attempting to detain an individual in the street. When one protester walks up to try to engage in the situation, another police officer appears and shoves that protester on the ground.  

Another video, published by Russian news outlet SOTA Vision, shows police attempting to detain a woman on the ground.

In both videos, more protesters walk up and engage the police. Screaming is heard, and the video published by SOTA Vision shows police punching the man shoved on the ground. 

In the video posted to social media, it later shows police successfully detaining the woman on the ground while also holding back protesters. Then, a police wagon shows up. 

"No to war," protesters shout repeatedly.

CNN has contacted St. Petersburg police to ask about the nature of the arrest and did not receive an immediate response. 

On Sunday, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs told Russian state news outlet TASS that around 1,500 people “took part in an uncoordinated rally” in St. Petersburg Sunday, and around 750 were detained. 

At least 4,640 people were detained in Russia on Sunday in connection with anti-war rallies across the country, according to OVD-Info, an independent human rights monitoring group tracking detentions. More than 13,000 people have been arrested in Russia over anti-war demonstrations since the invasion, the group calculated.