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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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.

8:37 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Plane carrying expelled Russian diplomats leaves US for Moscow

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

A Russian government plane carrying Russian diplomats expelled by the United States has left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Moscow, according to Flight Radar24 data.

"This plane will return to their homeland [the] Russian diplomats, whom the US Government has declared persona non grata," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel Saturday.

CNN previously reported the US government approved the flight chartered by the Russian government to facilitate the departure of Russian United Nations Mission personnel.

A statement from the US Mission to the UN in late February called the 12 Russian diplomats "intelligence operatives ... who have abused their privileges of residency in the US by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security."

8:37 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukraine suspends exports of some products as risk of food shortages grows

From Oleksandra Ochman in Lviv

Ukraine has suspended exports of some food products, its government announced Sunday. 

Exports of "meat, rye, oats, buckwheat, sugar, millet and salt" will be halted, a Ukrainian government statement said. 

Exports of wheat, corn, poultry, eggs and oil will be allowed only with the permission of the Ministry of Economy, according to the statement.

Supermarkets across the country are running short of produce as supply routes become more difficult.

7:07 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Horrific video shows fleeing civilians in Irpin, Ukraine, killed in Russian military strike

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Tim Lister

Ukrainian servicemen help an elderly woman, in the town of Irpin, Ukraine, on March 6.
Ukrainian servicemen help an elderly woman, in the town of Irpin, Ukraine, on March 6. (Andriy Dubchak/AP)

Video has surfaced showing the moment a Russian military strike killed a family in Irpin, Ukraine, a town on the western outskirts of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Irpin has been the site of intense shelling by the Russian military in recent days. The video shows a Ukrainian soldier standing outside a building on a street. Suddenly, an explosion is seen and heard on the video.

Debris is heard raining down on the building and the street is obscured by a dust cloud. A number of journalists are heard reacting to the strike.

As the scene begins clearing, someone is seen pulling the Ukrainian soldier away. Other soldiers run across the street and appear to be checking the condition of a number of individuals on the ground.

"Medic," someone is heard repeatedly screaming.

Photos taken by the Associated Press show the bodies of several civilians covered under sheets. CNN has determined the civilians were killed in the Russian military strike seen in the video.

Civilian bodies are covered by sheets in Irpin, killed by Russian forces after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Ukraine on March 6.
Civilian bodies are covered by sheets in Irpin, killed by Russian forces after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Ukraine on March 6. ( Andrea Filigheddu/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

CNN has previously reported the mayor of Irpin said at least eight individuals were killed in military strikes on Sunday.

"A family died," Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said in a statement. "In front of my eyes, two small children and two adults died."

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

Putin, Macron discuss nuclear power plant safety and evacuations in phone call

From CNN staff

French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin
French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin (Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the safety of Ukraine's nuclear power plants Sunday, according to a Kremlin readout of the call between the two leaders. 

When Macron expressed concern about ensuring the nuclear power plants' safety, Putin responded about what he called "the provocation staged by Ukrainian radicals in the area of ​​the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant with the involvement of a sabotage group," according to the readout. 

"Russian troops are in cooperation with Ukrainian personnel and continue to ensure the operation of the nuclear power plant in the normal mode and the radioactive background remains normal," Putin said, according to the readout.

He added these details were officially confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The physical and nuclear safety of the plant is well protected," the readout said. 

The statement also noted Russian Armed Forces "control the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant" to ensure there are no "provocations fraught with catastrophic consequences by Ukrainian neo-Nazis or terrorists."

When Macron asked about the idea of holding a trilateral (IAEA-Russia-Ukraine) meeting in the Chernobyl zone to ensure the safety of Ukrainian nuclear facilities, Putin said, "In principle, this idea could be useful, but it would be worth considering whether to hold such a meeting via videoconference or in a third country."

The two leaders also discussed the issue of evacuating the civilian population from areas of clashes. Putin accused Ukraine of not fulfilling "the agreements reached on such an acute humanitarian issue."

The Kremlin readout also said "Ukrainian nationalists did not allow the evacuation from these cities. And the pause in hostilities was again used to build up forces and means in their positions."

5:56 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Russia has fired 600 missiles; 95% of amassed combat power now in Ukraine, senior US defense official says

From CNN’s Oren Liebermann

Russia has fired a total of 600 missiles since its invasion of Ukraine began, a senior US defense official said Sunday, and it has committed approximately 95% of its amassed combat power inside Ukraine.

The US observed ongoing fighting in Kherson and Mykolaiv on Sunday and Russian forces are still trying to encircle Kyiv, Khakhiv, Chernihiv, and Mariupol, according to the official.

But the advances have been met with strong Ukrainian resistance, slowing the Russian assault. 

Meanwhile, the massive Russian convoy north of Kyiv that spans some 40 miles of road remains stalled, but there is no update on how far it is from Kyiv. Late last week, it was approximately 16 miles (25 kilometers) from Kyiv's city center.

The skies above Kyiv remain contested, and both Ukrainians and Russians retain a significant majority of their air combat power.

“We believe the Ukrainian people in most parts of the country still have means of communication, access to internet and the media,” the official added. 

The official also said the US has not observed an amphibious assault near Odessa and they do not assess one is imminent.

The official could not confirm reports of Russians firing on protestors in Kyiv or violations of the ceasefire agreement to allow for humanitarian corridors. The official also could not corroborate reports the Russians are calling up reserves.

5:25 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

“God will not forgive,” Ukraine President Zelensky says

From Samantha Beech and translator Josh Pennington


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky published a new Facebook video on Sunday, the last Sunday before Lent.

“Today is Forgiveness Sunday. But we cannot forgive the hundreds upon hundreds of victims. Nor the thousands upon thousands who have suffered," the video was captioned.

"And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. And instead of Forgiveness, there will be Judgment.”

Zelensky accused Russia of planning “deliberate murder” in the shelling of Ukrainian territory.

“For tomorrow Russia has officially announced the shelling of our territory. Our enterprises of the defense complex. Most were built decades ago by the Soviet government, built in cities. And now they are in the middle of an ordinary urban environment," Zelensky said. "Thousands of people work there. Hundreds of thousands live nearby.”

He added, “this is murder. Deliberate murder.”

Video published on social media on Saturday showed parts of a Ukrainian tank factory outside of Zhytomyr, Ukraine -- about 85 miles (140 kilometers) west of Kyiv -- that has been leveled after Russian military strikes. 

Zelensky said he has not heard from any allies on Sunday.

“And I have not heard a reaction from any world leader today. From no Western politician. There are no reactions to this announcement. Think about the sense of impunity of the occupiers: they announce the atrocities that are planned. Why?”

The UK Ministry of Defense said Sunday Russia is targeting populated areas in Ukraine "likely" as an effort to break the country's morale.

5:11 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Netflix suspends service in Russia

From CNN’s Brian Stelter

(Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)
(Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Netflix said Sunday it will stop selling and providing its streaming video service in Russia for the time being.

"Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia," the company said in a statement. 

The company did not specify what would happen to existing subscriber accounts or when it would reevaluate the matter.

Netflix and other major entertainment companies have shunned Russia in a variety of ways in the past week and a half. Netflix put productions in Russia on hold after the war in Ukraine began. Major Hollywood studios have also postponed new movie releases in the country.

4:58 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Videos show Russian missiles in flight near airport in Vinnytsia

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Gianluca Mezzofiore

(Obtained by CNN)
(Obtained by CNN)

Videos show Russian missiles in midair heading toward the Vinnytsia airport in Ukraine, about 120 miles southwest of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the videos.

One video, taken from a cemetery more than two miles southwest of Vinnytsia airport, shows a missile overhead. CNN has analyzed the video and determined the missile, heading in the direction of the airport, is coming from the southwest.

Before the missile is seen, the camera moves in the airport's direction and a smoke plume is already seen rising. The video, obtained by Ukrainian Telegram channel "All Seeing Eye," has been geolocated and its authenticity confirmed by CNN.

Another video posted to social media -- captured more than four miles southwest of the airport -- shows another missile heading in the airport's direction from the southwest.

A Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesperson initially said on Facebook the missiles were launched from the Transnitsia region in Moldova. Russia has a contingent of troops in Transnitsia, a breakaway region in Moldova that borders Ukraine.

The ministry later revised its original report to claim "most likely the attack was from the Black Sea area of water."