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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5:56 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

(Facebook)
(Facebook)

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."

4:46 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukrainian military reportedly knocks out Russian artillery position near Mykoliav

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Nick Paton Walsh and Natalie Gallón

The Ukrainian military has reportedly knocked out a Russian military artillery position near Mykoliav in southern Ukraine, according to videos published Sunday by Vitali Kim, the area's regional governor.

In the videos, a number of Russian military vehicles are seen in addition to artillery guns. CNN has been unable to geolocate the videos or verify their authenticity.

"Here the [tanks] are abandoned," someone said in the video. "They just abandoned them here."

In another video, a Ukrainian soldier narrated what he said happened to the artillery position.

"One of the columns was withdrawing from Mykoliav and this is what's left of our 'brothers,' the ones that came to 'save us'," he said, sarcastically referencing Russian claims that Ukrainians need saving.

He later said the Russian Howitzers that had been shelling them will now be turned back on the Russians.

This new apparent victory by Ukrainian forces comes two days after Vitali Kim published a video showing the Ukrainian military claiming to have pushed Russian military from their positions at a heavily contested air base in southeastern Mykoliav.

4:32 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Moldova's prime minister says every 8th child in the country is a refugee

From CNN staff

Moldova Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita
Moldova Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita (CNN)

Moldova's Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita spoke exclusively to CNN in the capital city Chisinau on Sunday about how Moldova is responding to the influx of Ukrainian refugees and the escalating conflict in neighboring Ukraine. 

"We strongly condemn this military attack on Ukraine. And we have called for peace ever since the beginning of the war. We are seeing an extraordinary humanitarian crisis. Already 230,000 people have crossed the Moldovan border from Ukraine. And about 120,000 have chosen to stay now," Gavrilita said during the interview. 

"We are also seeing a lot of families and children move from Ukraine. So every eighth child in Moldova is now a refugee .... at least three fourths of the refugees are staying with families ... we are at capacity. The flow of refugees is higher and faster than even predictions indicated."

When asked about the Moldovan government closing its airspace on the first day of the Russian invasion, Gavrilita said the decision was made "to protect civilian airspace," adding "we received a request that indicated there may be military operations in the vicinity of Moldovan airspace. In order to ensure civilian flights are not under risk, we have taken the decision to close the airspace. We have exceptions to this for humanitarian flights and for flights of refugees out of the country."

Gavrilita said a recent visit from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken showed "a strong sign of support" to the Moldovan government's response to the influx of refugees.

The prime minister also spoke about Russian troops currently in the separatist region of the country's eastern Ukrainian border. 

"We have called continuously for the withdrawal of the troops. And we have a negotiating format with the separatist region. We are currently seeing no signs of involvement in the military conflict. And we expect this to remain so," Gavrilita said.

"Moldova is a neutral state. Its military neutrality is enshrined in the constitution and we expect everyone to respect this status."

Gavrilita also shared her thoughts about the Russian people.

"I feel for the Russian people as well because they will also be suffering from the consequences of the war," she said. "And I hope they seek truthful information and choose to oppose this war.

"This conflict is not only affecting Ukraine and neighboring countries. It's also affecting the whole world. We plead for diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the conflict."

3:59 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

It's 11 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

George Keburia says goodbye to his wife and children as they board a train to Lviv in Odessa, Ukraine, on Saturday, March 5.
George Keburia says goodbye to his wife and children as they board a train to Lviv in Odessa, Ukraine, on Saturday, March 5. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Eight civilians were killed in the midst of an evacuation in Irpin — a district west of Kyiv that saw intense shelling on Sunday — the mayor of Irpin, Oleksandr Markushyn, said in a statement on Telegram Sunday. Markushyn said Russians opened fire during an evacuation across a bridge.  

If you're just reading in now, here are more of the latest Russia-Ukraine developments...

International support for Ukraine and diplomacy efforts

  • US and European officials have been discussing how the west would support a government-in-exile helmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should he have to flee Kyiv, western officials tell CNN. The discussions have ranged from supporting Zelensky and top Ukrainian officials in a potential move to Lviv in western Ukraine, to the possibility that Zelensky and his aides are forced to flee Ukraine altogether and establish a new government in Poland, the officials said.  
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “undertook to work with partners to provide further defensive equipment” to the Ukrainian armed forces in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday.  “The leaders discussed the urgent needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Prime Minister undertook to work with partners to provide further defensive equipment,” according to a Downing Street spokesperson.  
  • French President Emmanuel Macron has voiced his “grave concern” about nuclear safety during a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. A readout from the French Presidential Palace says Macron told Putin it was imperative concrete steps should be taken to address nuclear safety, security and safeguards. 
  • Meanwhile, the United States and its allies are looking for more ways to take action against Russia. The US is “now talking to our European allies and partners to look at a coordinated way” to ban Russian oil while “making sure there’s still an appropriate” oil supply globally, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union’ Sunday morning. 

Russia's invasion continues

  • More than 360 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began last Thursday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement Sunday. So far, 1,123 civilians have been wounded, including 364 killed and 759 injured, OHCHR said, while acknowledging that the real figures are likely “considerably higher.” 
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency said that the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia in South Eastern Ukraine is now under orders from a Russian forces commander.  
  • There has been heavy shelling to the west and northwest of Kyiv Sunday morning. The impact of explosions was heard by CNN teams in Kyiv and in rural areas to the south-west. Two mortar or artillery shells hit a checkpoint for civilians to cross into Kyiv from the suburb of Irpin. Three people were reported killed, say Ukrainian authorities, including two children. Social media video showed extensive destruction in Irpin, just North West of Kyiv, on Sunday. Several children have died, according to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. 
  • The first emergency medical supply shipment from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has arrived in Kyiv, the international humanitarian organization said in a statement. The supplies include surgical kits, trauma kits, medications for chronic diseases and mass casualty supplies. They will be donated to local hospitals in the city and in other towns further east in Ukraine.  

Odessa under threat

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Russia is preparing to bomb Odessa, in a broadcast address on Facebook. “Russian people always used to come to Odessa and they only knew warmth and generosity and what’s now? Artillery, bombs against Odessa. This will be a war crime. This will be historic crime”, Zelensky said. 
  • More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighboring countries in 10 days, U.N. refugee agency commissioner Filippo Grandi said Sunday. 
  • The UK Ministry of Defense said Sunday that Russia is targeting populated areas in Ukraine, "likely" as an effort to break Ukranian morale. 

Anti-war protests continue across Russia

  • In Russia, at least 4,357 people have been detained during protests on Sunday, OVD-Info, an independent monitoring group that tracks detentions in Russia reports. People have been detained in 56 cities according to OVD-Info. 
  • Other protests in support of Ukraine took place across the world this weekend in Serbia, the UK, Kazakhstan and Chile, among others. 

More companies are cutting Russia off

  • TikTok said Sunday it is suspending some features in Russia in light of the country’s new law penalizing misinformation. On Sunday, American Express said in a statement that globally issued American Express cards will no longer work in Russia, and cards issued in Russia won't work outside the country. 

 

3:56 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

French President Macron speaks to Ukraine President Zelensky about call with Putin

From CNN’s Eva Tapiero and Emmet Lyons

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday and updated him on his earlier call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a read out from the Élysée Palace. 

“The President of the Republic talked to President ZELENSKY about his call today with President PUTIN, during which the latter gave his agreement for joint effort to be undertaken on the basis of the recommendations of the International Agency for Atomic Energy in order to ensure the safety and security of nuclear power plants in Ukraine,” the statement said.  

French President Emmanuel Macron had voiced his “grave concern” about nuclear safety during a call with President Vladimir Putin earlier on Sunday.

In his call with Zelensky, Macron had “reiterated the absolute necessity to avoid any attack on the integrity of Ukrainian civil nuclear facilities.”

According to the Élysée, the humanitarian situation was also discussed and Macron had told Zelensky that he will pay “close attention to the needs of Ukraine and France will continue to increase its support in this area.”

3:34 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Kharkiv radio and TV broadcasts knocked out by Russian military strikes

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Josh Pennington

Television and radio broadcasts have been knocked out in Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, after Russian military strikes, according to the Regional Administration.

In a post on Facebook Sunday, the Regional Administration said, "repeated shelling" of the TV tower in Kharkiv had knocked out tv and radio broadcasting. 

"Areas of the building housing technical equipment were destroyed, and it the extent of damage to the towers themselves is still being assessed," the department said in their statement.  

On Tuesday March 1, Russian military strikes targeted Kyiv's TV Tower, also resulting in an interruption in its broadcast capabilities.