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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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:

1:08 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

Mother's anguish in Kherson: "If something were to explode, hold your sister, and do not run to me"

Oleksandra Zhovtyuk is sheltering with her three young children in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, southern Ukraine.
Oleksandra Zhovtyuk is sheltering with her three young children in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, southern Ukraine. (Courtesy Oleksandra Zhovtyuk)

A mother of three seeking shelter at her grandmother's home in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, southern Ukraine tells CNN there is not much left in terms of food or medical supplies.

She also never thought she would have to teach her young children how to hide from bombs, she said.

"We are feeling isolated from the rest of, Ukraine right now," said Oleksandra Zhovtyuk, adding they do not go outside because Russian soldiers won't let then drive through or out of town, or let aid in.

Zhovtyuk's eldest child is 7 years old and already understands what is going on. "She wakes up at night, she cries, and she asked me when it will be over," she said.

"My middle kid, she doesn't understand, and she thinks it's like a game. Actually, I really want her to think it is like a game — that we have to play by the rules."

Zhovtyuk worries what the war is doing to her 18-month old. "With all of this atmosphere, he seems very bad at night, and cries and he wants to be with me all the time, because he feels that something is going on," she said.

Speaking from her shelter, Zhovtyuk said she tells her eldest child that "we have to be strong right now, we need to be together right now, and she needs to listen to me."

The children sleep in the corridor as it's the safest part of the house when the shelling starts — their beds are too unsafe, she said.

"I told her, if something were to explode, she needs to hold her sister, and do not run to me. They need to stay there, and be there for her. The scary thing is that she is 7 years old, and I never thought I would tell my child to not run to me, but to stay with her sister. I don't know what to say. It's very scary," Zhovtyuk said.

Some context: Kherson, a key port city on an inlet of the Black Sea was overrun by Russian forces in the early hours of Wednesday, after days of heavy bombardment and shelling. Its mayor, Ihor Kolykhaiev, said Saturday the 300,000 residents had no more weapons to resist Russian troops, adding the city was without power and water and in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

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

Russian military strike levels part of Ukrainian tank factory outside of Zhytomyr

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Josh Pennington

Destroyed buildings seen in the video footage.
Destroyed buildings seen in the video footage. (From Telegram)

Video published on social media Saturday shows parts of a Ukrainian tank factory outside of Zhytomyr — about 140 kilometers (about 85 miles) west of Kyiv — has been leveled after Russian military strikes at the complex. 

The video, geolocated and its authenticity verified by CNN, surfaced initially on pro-Russian Telegram channels, which are using it to bolster claims that Russia is "demilitarizing" Ukraine. 

While Russia has conducted military strikes on Ukrainian military positions during the invasion, CNN has identified a number of civilian complexes, apartment buildings, schools and markets across Ukraine that have been hit by the Russian military.

Zhytomyr has been the site of intense shelling in recent days.

What the video shows: In the clip, Ukrainian soldiers survey the damage at the factory and one appears to recount how he and others survived. Many of the buildings that once made up the Zhytomyr Armored Plant complex are leveled.  

"Well, that's what flew into us last night," a soldier is heard saying as they walk through the bombed out complex.

His comments suggest the Ukrainian soldiers had taken refuge at the plant overnight.

"I want to show you something," he said, walking down one of the roadways at the complex. "See how much the Russians love us?"

As he continues walking, more and more broken window panes are seen. Then, a destroyed building comes into view.

"To tell you the truth, we were really scared today," the soldier said.

Reduced to rubble: The buildings that once stood in the eastern part of the complex are now mangled heaps of metal and concrete. The soldier continues walking, noting he's passing by pieces of unassembled tanks.

Then, the sound of a jet can be heard. It gets louder then fades away as he nears the location where he believes the massive explosion that tore apart the complex happened.  

"That's where it hit," he says. "We were standing here."  

Some context: The plant is part of the state-run Ukroboronprom defense conglomerate and was involved in making, refurbishing and modernizing armored vehicles, including tracked infantry and armored personnel carriers. According to Ukroboronprom, the plant also assembled other machinery for civilian purposes such as forestry.

12:00 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

It’s 7 a.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

Ukraine's President has urged his compatriots to keep up their resistance against Russian forces, as the invasion enters an 11th day and Putin's forces advance on key Ukrainian cities.

Here's the latest:

  • No power or water, no way to collect the dead: The besieged city of Mariupol has been without power for five days, is out of water, and mobile networks are down, the mayor said. The wounded and dead number in the "thousands" and they are unable to recover bodies as Russian airstrikes bombard the city, he added. An evacuation corridor was halted after Ukrainian authorities accused Russian forces of breaching an agreement to pause fire and give civilians safe passage. Evacuations from the eastern city of Volnovakha were also halted.
  • Possibility of fighter jet support: The US is working with Poland on the possibility of Warsaw providing fighter jets to Ukraine along with consulting with other allies, a White House spokesperson confirmed, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushes for eastern European countries to send fighter aircraft into his country.
  • Putin says sanctions are equal to war declaration: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that sanctions imposed on his country are the “equivalent of a declaration of war.” Putin also said he would consider nations imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine as participating in the conflict. Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have repeatedly pleaded with NATO and Western officials to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which the US and NATO have said they oppose. Zelensky asked US lawmakers over Zoom to assist with the establishment of a no-fly zone and harsher Russian sanctions.
  • Zelensky's defiant message: In a video address posted to his official Facebook page on Saturday, Ukraine's President said Ukrainians would not give their country "away to an enemy." "Ukrainians! In all of our cities, where the enemy invaded, go on the offensive, go out on the streets, we need to fight every time we have an opportunity," he said.
  • US diplomacy: Speaking by phone to Zelensky on Saturday, President Joe Biden "highlighted the ongoing actions undertaken by the United States, its Allies and partners, and private industry to raise the costs on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine." 
  • Warning for global economy: The International Monetary Fund said it would bring Ukraine's request for $1.4 billion in emergency financing to its executive board as early as next week, but warned of serious economic consequences in the region and that the war and associated sanctions would have a "severe impact on the global economy."
  • Businesses show support for Ukraine: Visa and Mastercard have suspended their operations in Russia, citing the invasion. Meanwhile, after being criticized for purchasing discounted oil from Russia, Shell Oil committed the profits from the transaction to humanitarian aid for Ukraine.   
  • Airbnb hosts in Ukraine flooded with bookings: People all over the world who have no plans to visit are booking up rooms on Airbnb in Ukraine. It's part of a creative social media campaign to funnel money to besieged Ukrainians.
11:34 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Chinese Foreign Minister: "Evolution" of Ukraine situation is "something China does not want to see"

From CNN's Elizabeth Yee in Hong Kong

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the “evolution” of the situation in Ukraine is “something China does not want to see,” in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saturday. 

Wang said the Ukraine crisis should be solved through "dialogue and negotiation" and called on the United States, NATO, and the European Union to engage in “equal dialogue” with Russia. He said they should “pay attention to the negative impact of NATO's continuous eastward expansion on Russia's security.”

"China supports all efforts conducive to de-escalation and political settlement of the situation, while opposing any moves which are adverse to promoting a diplomatic solution and add fuel to the flames," Wang said.

Blinken underscored on the call that Moscow will “pay a high price” for its “premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified war” in Ukraine, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. He said “the world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of freedom, self-determination and sovereignty.”

Some context: China and Russia share a strategic interest in challenging the West but the invasion of Ukraine has put their friendship to the test.

Beijing finds itself in a complex position as Russia's invasion intensifies, needing to balance a close strategic partnership with Moscow with its seemingly contradictory policy of supporting state sovereignty.

China has not rushed to help Russia after its economy was slammed by sanctions from all over the world, with experts saying Beijing's options are limited. Analysts say Chinese banks and companies also fear secondary sanctions if they deal with Russian counterparts.

12:17 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022

US working with Poland on the possibility of providing fighter jets to Ukraine

From CNN's Arlette Saenz

A file photo of a Polish Air Force MIG-29 seen at 22nd Air Base Command in Malbork, Poland on August 27, 2021.
A file photo of a Polish Air Force MIG-29 seen at 22nd Air Base Command in Malbork, Poland on August 27, 2021. (Cuneyt Karadag/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images/FILE)

The US is working with Poland on the possibility of Warsaw providing fighter jets to Ukraine along with consulting with other allies, a White House spokesperson confirmed, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushes for eastern European countries to send fighter aircraft into his country.

As part of the conversations with Poland, the US is determining what “capabilities we could provide to backfill Poland if it decided to transfer planes to Ukraine,” said the spokesperson, who would not detail what backfill options are under consideration.

The spokesperson said sending fighter jets into Ukraine is a “sovereign decision for any country to make” and noted there are a host of logistics to work through, including how the aircraft would be transferred from Poland to Ukraine.

Two lawmakers participating in a Zoom call with the Ukrainian President on Saturday said Zelensky indicated Poland had signaled it is prepared to send MiG fighter jets but “they are only waiting for you [the US] to allow it.”