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

At least 964,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine into Poland, says Polish government

From CNN's Emmet Lyons

Ukrainian refugees rest in a tent after crossing the border into Medyka, Poland on March 6.
Ukrainian refugees rest in a tent after crossing the border into Medyka, Poland on March 6. (Visar Kryeziu/AP)

The Polish Border Patrol said that nearly one million people have been cleared to cross over the Polish border from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last month.

In a tweet on Sunday, the Polish Border Guards confirmed that “already 964 thousand people fleeing from Ukraine to Poland have been cleared at border crossings.”

A record number of over 129,000 refugees had crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border on Saturday alone, according to the Polish Permanent representation to the European Union.

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

First emergency medical supplies arrive in Kyiv from Médecins Sans Frontières

From CNN's Alex Hardie

The first emergency medical supply shipment from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders 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. 

“It was urgent to do this fast,” said Christopher Stokes, MSF Emergency Coordinator in Ukraine, according to the statement. 

“We may be in a race against time here — we have no certainty how long train access to Kyiv will remain possible. We chose to go with the train option for reasons of speed and the high volume capacity,” he added.

12:20 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

UK PM Johnson spoke with President Zelensky on need to provide further defensive equipment to Ukrainian forces

From CNN’s Luke McGee and Emmet Lyons

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a joint press conference on March 1 in Tallinn, Estonia. 
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a joint press conference on March 1 in Tallinn, Estonia.  (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone on Sunday on the need to provide further defensive equipment to Ukrainian forces.

“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.

Zelensky and Johnson also discussed the “deteriorating humanitarian situation” in the country.

Johnson “outlined what the UK is doing, both to provide humanitarian support and impose economic costs on Russia which strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine. This includes calling on other countries to take further action to remove Russia from SWIFT,” the spokesperson said.

“The leaders discussed the increasing threat Russia's barbaric attacks pose to Ukrainian civilians and the Prime Minister underlined the UK's determination to ensure Putin fails.”

The two leaders agreed to continue speaking, the spokesperson said.


11:31 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

French President Macron has raised "grave concern" about nuclear safety with Putin

From CNN's Eva Tapiero in Paris

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.

“He (Macron) stressed the absolute necessity to avoid any damage to the integrity of Ukrainian civilian nuclear facilities, whose safety and security must be guaranteed in accordance with the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the proposals of its Director General. The Russian President has agreed that the IAEA should begin work in this area without delay.”

The readout continued: “The (French) President also called for respect for international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians and the delivery of aid. He reiterated the importance of a negotiated solution, fully acceptable to the Ukrainians."

"Finally, the President of the Republic took advantage of this exchange to relay his concern about an imminent attack on the city of Odessa,” said the Elysee.

11:22 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Kyiv Regional Military Administration appeals for international help in coping with humanitarian crisis

From CNN's Tim Lister

The Kyiv Regional Military Administration has appealed to international organizations for help in resolving a growing humanitarian crisis in the region. 

"Thousands of people found themselves in isolation, because of direct hostilities, and in some places for 5-6 days they survive without electricity, water, food, medical help and means of subsistence. They are in direct danger," the administration said. 

"We ask for a humanitarian corridor to help people affected by the warfare. For the sake of people's lives and health, to ensure the immediate delivery of medical and food aid to those residents of Kyiv region who need it. And to ensure the evacuation of civilians," the administration added,

It said: "The most difficult situation is on the territory from Borodyanka to Hostomel, it is worse than in Mariupol."

Borodyanka and Hostomel, to the north of Kyiv, have seen intense shelling by Russian forces for several days.

11:56 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Ukrainians have "continuity of government" plan if Zelensky is killed, Blinken says

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

Ukrainians have a plan for “continuity of government one way or another,” if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is killed, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

“The Ukrainians have plans in place that I’m not going to talk about or get into any detail about to make sure that there is continuity of government one way or another, and I’m going to leave it at that,” Blinken said.

Blinken also complimented Zelensky for his “leadership” through this crisis.

“The leadership that President Zelensky has shown, the entire government has shown is remarkable, they’ve been the embodiment of these incredibly brave Ukrainian people,” Blinken said.

11:04 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Sweden advises its citizens to avoid all travel to Russia

From CNN Staff

The Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted on Sunday, advising its citizens not to travel to Russia because of the “serious and unpredictable security situation in the wider region.”

10:59 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

United Nations: More than 360 civilians killed in Ukraine

From CNN's Eleanor Pickston

More than 360 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began last month, 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.”

CNN cannot independently verify the casualty numbers.

The data was collected between 4 a.m. Ukraine time on Feb. 24, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to midnight local time on March 5, the statement said. 

The total killed includes 74 men, 42 women, 8 boys, and 4 girls, as well as 13 children and 223 adults whose gender is not known. The total injured includes 67 men, 48 women, 11 girls, and 2 boys, as well as 28 children and 603 adults, per OHCHR. 

503 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and 374 casualties in government-controlled territory, according to OHCHR. 

Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of “explosive weapons with a wide impact area,” the statement said, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.

The OHCHR added it believes the “real figures are considerably higher” especially in government-controlled territory in recent days from where data regarding casualties has been delayed.

12:38 p.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Sen. Manchin reiterates support for banning Russian oil imports

From CNN's Ali Main

After hearing from Ukrainian President Zelensky in a virtual meeting with American lawmakers on Saturday, Sen. Joe Manchin reiterated his support for cutting off the Russian oil sector from the US and said he wouldn't take the option of a no-fly zone over Ukraine "off the table."

Manchin called the Zoom meeting with Zelensky "surreal," saying on NBC's "Meet the Press," "all [Zelensky] asked for basically, just help me. I'll fight my own flight, just give me the tools to do it, and for us to hesitate, for anyone to hesitate in the free world is wrong."

Pressed specifically on Zelensky's request for a no-fly zone, something top US and NATO officials have pushed back on, Manchin said, "I would take nothing off the table, but I would let it be very clear that we're going to support the Ukrainian people." 

Manchin emphasized that the Ukrainian president also asked for Western nations to help get more planes to his country to fight Russia.

"Zelensky very clearly said we don't need you to fight our fight. We don't need you to fly our planes or fly your planes into our war zone. We need the planes that we can fly ourselves, and we have them on the border," he said.

The West Virginia Democrat again expressed his support for banning Russian oil imports, saying his constituents think "it's basically foolish for us to keep buying products and giving profit, giving money, to Putin to be able to use against Ukrainian people."

Some more context: Manchin and Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday to cut off Russian oil and increase US domestic production to make up for it.   

Addressing the potential economic impact of this move, Manchin said gas prices are already high and "it wasn't because of this."

"Inflation has already wreaked havoc on it now, and basically we're gonna say we're gonna sit back now because we're afraid it might go up a little bit more, it might go up anyway. We have done nothing. I'm willing to least do something," he said, adding that he thinks the US can both ramp up domestic energy production and transition to cleaner fuel technology at the same time.

Asked about the effect of the war in Europe on how his party approaches its climate agenda, part of President Biden's social spending plan that Manchin effectively stalled last year, he answered, "I think it makes us more realistic. This is this is the real world. We keep talking these aspirational things we want to do, whether it's the far left or right whatever it may be, forget about the aspiration."

"Our energy that we produce in America is better and cleaner than anyplace else in the world, so anything that we backfill is going to be better than what they produce," he said.

Manchin said no formal talks are going on right now about Biden's spending plan.