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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10:20 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

US has seen "very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians" in Ukraine that would be considered war crimes, Blinken says

From CNN's Chandelis Duster

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Sunday the US has seen "very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians" in Ukraine that would be considered a war crime.

“Jake, we've seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians which would constitute a war crime. We've seen very credible reports about the use of certain weapons,” Blinken told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “And what we're doing right now is documenting all of this, putting it all together, looking at it and making sure that, as people and the appropriate organizations and institutions investigate whether war crimes have been or are being committed, that we can support whatever -- whatever they're doing. So, right now we're looking at these reports. They're very credible and we're documenting everything.”

The assertion from Blinken follows US President Joe Biden’s comments last week that Russia was intentionally targeting civilians in attacks on Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also accused Russia of using cluster munitions and vacuum bombs – weapons that are banned under international law.

9:58 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukrainian MP: Russia has damaged Donetsk-Mariupol pipeline, leaving over 700,000 people without heat

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

Russia has damaged the Donetsk-Mariupol pipeline, leaving over 700,000 people without heat while temperatures are below 0 degrees Celsius, Inna Sovsun, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, posted on Twitter Sunday.

Sovsun tweeted:

"Donetsk-Mariupol gas pipeline was damaged by #Russian occupants. Now, more than 750,000 of people are left wthout any heat, while it's still often below 0°C outside.
"Almost 1 mln of locals will face a humanitarian disaster and risk to freeze till death.
"We need #NoFlyZone now."

See Sovsun's tweet here:

12:13 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

US Ambassador to UN identified 3 areas where US may take action soon on Ukraine

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during an emergency meeting of the General Assembly at UN headquarters on March 2.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during an emergency meeting of the General Assembly at UN headquarters on March 2. (Seth Wenig/AP)

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday identified three areas where the US could take additional steps to ramp up pressure on Russia as its war in Ukraine rages on: a ban on Russian oil imports, a declaration of war crimes, and help facilitating delivery of Polish fighter jets to Ukraine.

In separate answers in an interview on ABC News, Thomas-Greenfield mentioned those areas where the US was reviewing options and coordinating with allies.

She said President Biden was "in discussion with NATO allies" about a potential ban on Russian oil imports. "The President is working with his advisers, security advisers, as well as his energy advisers, on how to address these issues," she said, adding the White House is mindful of how such a ban might affect gas prices.

She said the US has been "in close consultations with the Polish government, as well as with our other NATO allies," on the notion of facilitating a transfer of Soviet-era fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine.

"We have not in any way opposed the Polish government providing these jets to Ukraine and we’re working, as you noted, to see how we can backfill for them," she said, a reference to a plan being formulated to send F-16s to Poland.

And she said the US was "working with our partners to collect and provide information" on potential war crimes.

"Any attack on civilians is a war crime," she said. Earlier this week, Biden stopped short of calling Russia's actions in Ukraine a war crime.

Read more here.

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

Ukrainian authorities confirm evacuation convoy from Mariupol cancelled

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv and Olga Voitovych

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk Region administration, said on Facebook Sunday that the convoy to evacuate locals residents from Mariupol was unable to leave the city.

"The evacuation convoy with local residents was never able to leave Mariupol today: the Russians began to regroup their forces and heavy shelling of the city. It is extremely dangerous to evacuate people in such conditions," Kyrylenko said.

"The convoy with humanitarian aid, which left Zaporizhzhya towards Mariupol today, has not yet reached its destination and is currently on its way," Kyrrylenko added.

9:41 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Blinken says US is working with European allies to look at “prospect” of banning Russian oil imports

From CNN's Devan Cole

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Chisinau, Moldova on March 6.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Chisinau, Moldova on March 6. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the US is working with its allies in Europe to look into the possibility of banning Russian oil imports in an effort to further punish the country for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“When it comes to oil, Russian oil, I was on the phone yesterday with the President and other members of the Cabinet on exactly the subject, and we are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil in world markets,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“That's a very active discussion as we speak,” Blinken added.

The US has already announced a slew of sanctions against Russia and President Vladimir Putin since the country's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last month. But the unprecedented step of sanctioning its oil exports would likely send prices skyrocketing, dealing a painful blow to consumers around the world as Russia is the world's No. 2 oil producer.

Though the US consumes very little Russian oil -- oil imports from Russia stood at just 90,000 barrels per day in December -- the interconnected global market means supply shocks in one part of the world can impact prices everywhere.

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

ICRC says Mariupol evacuation attempts today have failed

From CNN Staff

The ICRC tweeted a series of statements on Sunday that evacuation attempts in Mariupol, Ukraine, have failed.

The ICRC wrote the following about evacuation efforts in Twitter posts:

“We are not and cannot be the guarantor of a ceasefire agreement between the parties or of its implementation. As a neutral and impartial humanitarian intermediary, we've been facilitating dialogue between the parties on the safe passage of civilians. Civilians need safety.
Parties need to agree not just in principle but also on the details of safe passages. In particular: *Specific time, locations and evacuation routes *Who may be voluntarily evacuated *Whether aid can be brought in, not just the evacuation of civilians out.
Today, our team began opening up the evacuation route from Mariupol before hostilities resumed. We remain in Mariupol and are ready to help facilitate further attempts – if the parties reach an agreement, which is for them alone to implement and respect.
People in Mariupol and in other places across #Ukraine are living in desperate situations. They must be protected at all times. They are not a target. People urgently need water, food, shelter. The basics of life. We need safety guarantees to be able to bring them aid.”

See their initial tweet here:

8:43 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

A strike on a Ukrainian village wreaks unimaginable human tragedy

From CNN's Gul Tuysuz in Markhalivka

Igor stands in the ruins of his home in Markhalivka, Ukraine.
Igor stands in the ruins of his home in Markhalivka, Ukraine. (Gul Tuysuz/CNN)

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its 11th day, a CNN team in Markhalivka, southwest of Kyiv, spoke to a victim of the conflict.

Igor, who is 54, said that his 12-year-old daughter -- who had disabilities and used a wheelchair -- was killed in a strike that hit their village.

Igor's wife, mother-in-law, two sons-in-law and his wife's friend also died. Two of his grandchildren survived the attack, along with his cat, Marsik.

8:26 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Here are the latest developments in Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged his compatriots to keep up their resistance against Russian forces, as the invasion enters an 11th day.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Children killed at checkpoint: Two mortar or artillery shells hit a checkpoint in the suburb of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities said, and two children were among the victims.
  • Civilians trapped: Concern was mounting Sunday for the civilians trapped in the besieged southeastern Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha. Mariupol has been without power for five days, is out of water, and mobile networks are down, according to the city's mayor, who on Saturday added that they are unable to recover bodies as Russian strikes bombard the city.
  • Refugee crisis: More than 1.5 million people have crossed from Ukraine into neighboring countries in 10 days, UN refugee agency commissioner Filippo Grandi said Sunday. In a Twitter post, Grandi called it "the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II."
  • Russia is preparing to attack port, warns president: In a Facebook address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia is preparing to bomb Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine.
  • Kyiv still rocked by bombardment: Heavy shelling was reported to the west and northwest of Kyiv on Sunday morning. The impact of explosions was heard by CNN teams in Kyiv and in rural areas to the southwest.
8:49 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Convoy of humanitarian aid ready to set out for besieged Mariupol

From CNN's From Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych

Ukrainian authorities say a convoy of buses to evacuate Mariupol residents is to leave the central city of Zaporizhzhya on Sunday. 

Officials say the column has assembled in Zaporizhzhya, three hours from Mariupol, a port city of some 400,000 people.

Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhya Regional Military Administration, said there "was an agreement reached yesterday between our side and the other that today there would be a second attempt of humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol. As per the agreement while buses evacuating people go out from Mariupol other buses and humanitarian goods vehicles will move from Zaporizhzhya towards Mariupol."

"We are supposed to accept a group of people from Mariupol in Zaporizhzhya to accommodate them and provide assistance, evacuate some of them further in Ukraine," Starukh said.

Andriy Ignatov, a representative of the Mariupol City Council, said the violence continued Sunday in and around Mariupol. 

"The city administration of Mariupol is working on getting the green corridor, our government is working on all levels, so let’s hope that today the whole convoy can make it. Because we were getting ready to do it yesterday, but unfortunately our enemy or opponent did not let us evacuate people, although people were already getting in lines ready to evacuate. I hope today we’ll have a breather that will allow us to evacuate civilians."