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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5:22 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

"Hero of the night": 11-year-old boy crosses from Ukraine into Slovakia on his own

From CNN's Ivana Kottasova

A boy from Zaporizhzhia, southeast Ukraine, was hailed “a hero of the night” by Slovakian authorities after they said he crossed Ukraine's border into Slovakia on his own.

The 11-year-old was carrying a backpack, a plastic bag and a passport, and had a telephone number written on his hand, according to the Slovak Ministry of Interior. CNN could not independently verify those statements.

He came all alone because his parents had to stay in Ukraine. Volunteers took care of him, took him to a warm place and gave him food and drink,” the ministry said.

The statement, posted on the ministry’s Facebook page Saturday, said that thanks to the information written on the boy’s hand and on a piece of paper that was folded in his passport, the staff at the border were able to get in touch with the boy’s relatives in Slovakia who were then able to come and collect him.

“He won over everyone with his smile, fearlessness and determination worthy of a real hero,” the statement said. It is unclear why the boy was unaccompanied.

CNN could not independently verify this individual case but more than 1.2 million refugees have now left Ukraine since February 24, according to the UN as of March 3. Of the 1,209,976 refugees who have fled, a majority of them, 53.7%, crossed into Poland.

Others have gone to countries including Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.

5:19 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Evacuation checkpoint near Kyiv shelled

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv

An evacuation crossing point for civilians trying to escape the Irpin district west of Kyiv was shelled Sunday morning.

International media were filming at the location when what appears to have been an artillery shell landed.

At the time a stream of civilians was coming through the checkpoint.

Media organizations at the scene of the explosion near Irpin say at least three civilians have been killed, including two children.

CNN cannot independently confirm the casualties.

7:55 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

World Health Organization warns of "multiple deaths and injuries" as Ukraine's health care facilities attacked

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed "several attacks on health care [centers] in Ukraine, causing multiple deaths and injuries," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Sunday.

"Additional reports are being investigated," Tedros said on his verified Twitter account, without mentioning Russia. "Attacks on healthcare facilities or workers breach medical neutrality and are violations of international humanitarian law," he added.

So far, the WHO has confirmed six attacks to health care facilities, the head of the WHO office in Ukraine, Jarno Habicht, told the BBC on Sunday.

These are either hospitals or some of them are ambulances," Habicht said, adding that the attacks affect health care workers who are in the front lines.

What is important is to "respect the humanitarian law as well to ensure safe corridors because the health needs of people are increasing daily and every hour, and it's very, very important to ensure that there is a safe passage of trauma and surgery goods," he added.

Habicht also said the work of health care workers is increasingly difficult due to the military offensive, with many of them now working in bomb shelters.

Habicht described the situation as "quite devastating," since the health care system is already "relatively stretched" and facing multiple health challenges, including Covid-19.

4:25 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Humanitarian corridors set to open again after being shut yesterday, according to Russian state media

From CNN's Tim Lister and Radina Gigova

Humanitarian corridors in the southeastern Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha will be opened again today, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Some skepticism over the routes has grown after Ukrainian authorities paused evacuations of civilians Saturday, citing Russian violations of a ceasefire.

"In the morning, humanitarian corridors will again be opened both in Mariupol and Volnovakha," Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the so-called People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic told reporters, TASS reported.

Civilians in the battered Ukrainian port city of Mariupol are trapped without power and water and unable to recover their dead, its mayor said Saturday, as he accused Russia of trying to "choke" the city by shutting off agreed evacuation routes.

Russia agreed to a ceasefire on Saturday to allow civilians to safely leave Mariupol and Volnovakha, where residents have endured days of heavy, indiscriminate shelling.

But evacuations were paused, with Ukrainian authorities accusing Russia of violating the agreement by resuming its attacks, leaving thousands of civilians trapped in what people on the ground describe as increasingly dire conditions.

Another attempt to open a humanitarian corridor for civilians in the city of Mariupol will begin at 12 p.m. local (5 a.m. ET), the Governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said Sunday on his official Twitter account.

A ceasefire will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time Sunday, Kyrylenko said.

3:12 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Protesters gather in Taiwan against Russia's invasion of Ukraine

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Taipei, Taiwan

Hundreds of protesters gather in Taipei’s Liberty Square on Sunday in solidarity with Ukraine. 
Hundreds of protesters gather in Taipei’s Liberty Square on Sunday in solidarity with Ukraine.  (Eric Cheung/CNN)

Hundreds of people gathered in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, on Sunday to protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Among the demonstrators were Ukrainians living in Taiwan and Taiwanese lawmakers. They waved Ukraine and Taiwan flags, and held placards reading "no war" and "Taiwan stands with Ukraine."

“I am here in solidarity with the people of Taiwan and other nationalities who came here to protest against the war,” said Oleg Nevenglovskiy, a Ukrainian who has lived in Taiwan for two years.
“It is important for everyone to wake up and raise their voice — however they can — to remind others that this is not just a war against Ukraine, but against all of humanity. We all want this to stop, but I can’t see it. I’m afraid for my nation, I’m afraid for my people.”

Anatolii Bakurov, a Ukrainian who has lived in Taiwan for 10 years, said while some people often compared Taiwan with Ukraine, he is more optimistic about the future of Taiwan.

“The neighboring country now knows the cost of an invasion,” he said, referring to mainland China.
“Also, even if your army is much stronger, it doesn’t mean anything because all civil people in the small country will come together and attack your tanks without any arms. You will never conquer any country.”

The protest was held at Liberty Square, a gathering ground in Taipei that played a key role in Taiwan’s transition from one-party rule to a democracy in the 1990s.

Some context: Taiwan has pledged its support for Ukraine, recently announcing it would donate 27 tons of medical supplies to the country. While there may be parallels between Taiwan and Ukraine — both are Western-friendly democracies whose status quo could be upended by powerful autocracies — experts question how much Beijing could glean from the spiraling crisis in Ukraine when it comes any future actions toward Taiwan.

In Taiwan’s case, China’s Communist Party seeks eventual “reunification” with the self-ruled island it claims as its territory despite having never governed it — and has not ruled out doing so by force.

3:06 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

South Korea to impose sanctions against Belarus for its support of Russia

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea will impose export controls against Belarus for its support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

The export control will apply in a similar way to the one it earlier imposed on Moscow, the ministry said in a news release. In February, South Korea blocked exports of strategic goods to Russia.

“Our government ... decided today to implement export control against Belarus under the judgement that Belarus is practically supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the ministry said. 
3:05 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukraine-Russia talks to resume Monday, negotiators say 

From CNN's Radina Gigova

Delegations from Ukraine and Russia will hold a third round of talks tomorrow, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on his official Facebook account.

"The third round of negotiations will take place on Monday," Arakhamia said without providing additional details. 

Russian state news agency TASS reported Sunday that Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky confirmed during a live stream at the Soloviev Live YouTube channel that the third round of talks will take place on March 7. 

Slutsky earlier told Russian state channel Russia-24 that, "During the second round, the Ukrainian side demonstrated its ability to negotiate," according to TASS.
"They realize that people’s lives are at stake. This is our common priority. At least, this is how it was during the talks," Slutsky said according to TASS.

Arakhamia and Slutsky didn't say where the negotiations would take place. 

1:59 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukraine's military says operations to defend the cities of Mariupol and Chernihiv are ongoing

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Jake Kwon

Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze in Chernihiv, Ukraine on March 5.
Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze in Chernihiv, Ukraine on March 5. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A defense operation is ongoing in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, the general staff of the country's armed forces said Sunday in its latest operational update.

"The main efforts are focused on defending the city of Mariupol and inflicting fire damage on the overwhelming forces of the enemy," the Ukrainian military said. 

Ukrainian Armed Forces also "stopped enemy columns trying to advance towards Dnipropetrovsk region from Balakliya," according to the statement.  

An operation to defend the northern city of Chernihiv is underway in the Siverskyi region, the Ukrainian military said. 

And in the southern Mykolayiv area, "capture of a considerable quantity of armored and automobile equipment of the enemy was planned and realized."

1:38 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Analysis: Trump has been on Putin's side in Ukraine's long struggle against Russian aggression

Analysis from CNN's John Harwood

The butchery of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been in plain view via saturation coverage for anyone with a video screen. But Americans may not yet have absorbed this disturbing reality: The American president who left office just 14 months ago sided with the butcher.

That’s right: In the struggle now uniting the free world against an autocrat’s lawless aggression, America’s most recent ex-President sided with the autocrat.

It’s not just that former President Donald Trump recently hailed the “genius” of Putin’s strike against Ukraine. Since his political career began, Trump has backed Putin in ways connected directly to the Russian’s quest to subjugate that country.

For years, relations between Russia and the celebrity real estate executive were lubricated by money. There was the development financing Trump’s sons boasted about, the Palm Beach mansion he sold to a Russian oligarch for $95 million four years after buying it for $41 million, the Manhattan project in association with a mob-linked Russian émigré.

He sought to place a Trump Tower in Moscow even as he ran for president. In 2013, when he staged a beauty pageant there, Trump asked on Twitter: “Will (Putin) become my new best friend?”

But things haven’t worked out as either Trump or Putin wanted.

Read the full analysis: