March 9, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, George Ramsay, Jack Bantock, Ed Upright, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Amir Vera, Maureen Chowdhury and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
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3:00 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

Video shows firefights between Ukrainian and Russian troops in streets of Ukrainian city of Voznesensk

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy 

(from Facebook)
(from Facebook)

Ukrainian troops are engaging in firefights with Russian troops in the Ukrainian city of Voznesensk, over 50 miles north of Mykolaiv, a video posted to social media shows. 

CNN has geolocated, and verified the authenticity of the video. 

In the video, a number of Ukrainian military troops are seen on the southern side of Voznesensk near market. The soldiers are seen armed with shoulder-fired missiles and the sound of gunfire is heard. 

Suddenly, an explosion is seen and heard near the side of the building where at least two Ukrainian troops are seen taking cover. As the camera suddenly backs away, one of the soldiers is seen falling back. It's unclear if any soldiers were injured in the explosion. 

Continued fighting in Voznesensk is notable given that the Russian military have yet to defeat Ukrainian forces in Mykolaiv, 50 miles to the south. It suggests that some of the Russian military is bypassing the intense exchanges in Mykolaiv and attempting to advance further north.

2:37 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

Russian Central Bank will not resume trading on Moscow Stock Exchange on March 10 in stock market section

From CNN staff

Russian Central Bank will not resume trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange on Thursday, March 10 in the stock market section, with the exception of "Redemption: Direct Orders" mode with settlements in rubles, the bank announced on its website on Wednesday.

The foreign currency market will reopen at 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET), forgoing the morning session, it added.

2:33 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

US secretary of defense: Russian aggression has "already killed and injured innocent people" in Ukraine 

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman:

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Putin’s “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine” has “already killed and injured innocent people” and forced more than 1.5 million people to “flee their country."

Austin was speaking ahead of a bilateral meeting with Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen at the Pentagon on Wednesday. Austin also thanked Finland for sending aid to Ukraine amid the crisis.

“Your government’s decision to send assistance will certainly help the brave people of Ukraine, and I know that they are grateful for it,” Austin said.

The two leaders are meeting a week after US President Joe Biden met with Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö at the White House last week.

Austin said the two would discuss “strengthening” the bilateral relationship between the US and Finland and “starting a new process of bilateral defense cooperation including space and irregular warfare.”

Kaikkonen said the crisis in Ukraine is not a European crisis, it’s a “global crisis.”

“The war in Ukraine has profound implications for European security, for EU, for NATO, for Finland. But as both of our Presidents have stressed, this is not a European crisis, this is a global crisis,” Kaikkonen said. “In these troubling times, Finland stands ready to work together with the United States.”

2:17 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

Ukraine's prosecutor general calls for special tribunal on war crimes in Ukraine 

From CNN's Anastasia Graham-Yooll

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova has called for a “new model” of investigative efforts to tackle alleged war crimes in Ukraine. 

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Venediktova thanked 39 countries that reportedly joined Ukraine’s appeal to the International Court of Justice against Russia. 

Venediktova also called for a special tribunal to be created for the “unprecedented” crisis in Ukraine. 

“International Humanitarian Law, International Public law, all the institutions created after WW2 as preventative, are not quite capable. Therefore, we need new models, new mechanisms. We’re asking our partners to joint investigative models, because the ones we have unfortunately don’t work,” she said. 

Venediktova announced her office had already launched criminal investigations into “encroachment of territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine and waging an aggressive war” and issued warnings to 40 individuals that are part of Russia’s political elite.   

The prosecutor general said her office also “took action against those who incited war and provoked further atrocities in Ukrainian territory”. 

A warning was reportedly issued to a number of people she called Russian “propagandists,” including several Russian celebrities who Venediktova described as Putin supporters. 

Venediktova also unveiled a new government portal where the public can report war crimes they witness in Ukraine: 


2:15 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

Mariupol officials say about 1,300 civilians have been killed in the city since start of Russian invasion

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv

Two officials in the besieged city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine say that about 1,300 civilians there have been killed since the Russian invasion began.

The city was first shelled in the opening days of the conflict and has been under siege for almost a week.

"Preliminarily, 1,300 Mariupol residents have already died during the blockade genocide of the Russian Federation," Petr Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, told the Ukrainian agency UNIAN.

"We will fight for everyone," he added.

Earlier Wednesday, Mariupol's Deputy Mayor, Sergei Orlov, said that at least 1,207 victims of shelling had been confirmed through Tuesday. 

"Really we can't calculate how many deaths we have — I mean three to four times more. We are not even able to count how many people on the streets have been killed by bombing and artillery," Orlov told CNN.

2:12 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

On the ground: Strangers leave strollers, winter coats and toys at Polish border for Ukrainian refugees

From CNN's Alisha Ebrahimji, AnneClaire Stapleton and Anna-Maja Rappard

Strollers for refugees and their babies fleeing the conflict from neighboring Ukraine are left at a train station in Przemysl, Poland, on March 2.
Strollers for refugees and their babies fleeing the conflict from neighboring Ukraine are left at a train station in Przemysl, Poland, on March 2. (Francesco Malavolta/AP)

To help alleviate some of the stress and emotions that millions of refugees may be experiencing after fleeing Ukraine, strangers in Polish communities are helping strangers get settled with basic necessities in a place that may not feel anything like home.

Hundreds of thousands of children are among two million refugees who have fled Ukraine, since the Russian invasion began. Most of those who have fled have gone to Poland, to Ukraine's west, with large numbers also entering Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia. The journey, in many cases, lasts several days and they arrive with next to nothing.

Polish citizens left shopping carts filled with diapers at the Przemyśl train station platform.
Polish citizens left shopping carts filled with diapers at the Przemyśl train station platform. (Anna-Maja Rappard/CNN)

Strollers, carriers, jackets, toys, stuffed animals, diapers, even walkers for the elderly, have filled the area alongside the railway.

Dozens of volunteers with yellow vests, speaking multiple languages, are helping the refugees any way they can.

And help isn't just available in the form of physical supplies — some people have been holding up signs, offering rides to different places across Europe and volunteers are helping refugees find a place to stay.

Read the full report here.

2:08 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

The Constitutional Court of Russia withdraws from the Conference of European Constitutional Courts 

From Mariya Knight

The Constitutional Court of Russia announced it has withdrawn from the Conference of Constitutional Courts of Europe (CECC) as of March 5, the court said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.

Russian state media said that the Russian Constitutional Court’s withdrawal comes after the CECC chairman emailed ballots on March 4 to all members of the organization members to vote on terminating or suspending the Russian Constitutional Court's membership and associated membership of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus.

Russian state media quoted the Russian Constitutional Court as saying in a statement that “the authors [CECC] of this initiative proposed terminating the Russian Constitutional Court's membership as part of the CECC on the grounds that the Russian Constitutional Court justified the annexation of Crimea in its ruling of March 19, 2014.”

The statement went on to say the CECC efforts are also because the Russian Constitutional Court has “not clearly expressed their disapproval of the Russian Federation's actions in Ukraine, therefore, no efficient loyal cooperation can be expected any longer between the CECC and the Russian Constitutional Court.”

Russian state media quoted the Russian Constitutional Court justifying its decision to withdraw as saying: “The Conference of European Constitutional Courts considered it possible to openly, in a form completely unacceptable for the courts, to join the one-sided and biased position taken by the governments of the respective countries regarding the latest events in Ukraine." 

"Taking into account the foregoing and reaffirming its commitment to the goals and values for which the Conference of European Constitutional Courts was originally formed, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, under the circumstances, considers its further participation in the Conference of European Constitutional Courts impossible and declares its withdrawal from it from March 5, 2022,” according to the statement.

The Constitutional Court of Russia emphasized that it can exercise its powers only within the procedural framework outlined by the constitution.

2:04 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

On the ground: How a convention center in Bucharest is preparing for an influx of Ukrainian refugees

As the United Nations estimates more than two million people have fled Ukraine so far, the neighboring country of Romania is preparing for an influx of those escaping violence.

In the capital of Bucharest, CNN's Miguel Marquez detailed how officials are readying the city's convention center to accommodate up to 2,000 refugees.

Cots line the floor, and donations of food, water, blankets and clothing are being organized. There is also a separate area for mothers and babies.

"As far as we know, the people coming here are only in transit. A few of them remain in Romania. The rest are going through eastern countries. But we don't know how many people will come so we need to be prepared," Cosmina Simiean, Bucharest's general manager of the directorate of special services, told Marquez.

4:53 p.m. ET, March 9, 2022

Here's a look at the latest companies to announce they are pulling back their business in Russia

From CNN's Amir Vera and Matt Egan 

As NATO and Western powers continue to economically isolate Russia via sanctions, companies are taking note of their ties to the country and are halting or modifying business as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Here are just some of the companies who have recently announced they are pulling back from Russia:

General Electric suspended operations in Russia, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

John Deere, the world’s largest agriculture equipment maker, halted shipments of its products to Russia two weeks ago, the company told CNN on Wednesday.

Amazon has suspended access to Prime Video in Russia, and the e-commerce giant is no longer shipping retail orders to customers in both Russia and Belarus, the company said Tuesday.

Papa John's International announced Wednesday it has suspended all corporate operations in Russia. The company said it has stopped all operational, marketing and business support to, and engagement with, the Russian market. However, the Papa John’s brand will still exist in Russia. 

British American Tobacco (BAT) said Wednesday it will continue to operate in Russia, but it will suspend all planned investment into the country to focus on its portfolio of locally produced tobacco products.

Hilton has shut down its corporate office in Moscow and is suspending all new development activity in Russia, the hotel company announced Wednesday. Hilton said that it will “ensure continued work and pay” for employees impacted by the closure of its Moscow office. The company also announced it is donating up to 1 million room nights to support Ukrainian refugees and humanitarian relief efforts across Europe.

Hyatt is halting development in Russia and new investments there following the invasion of Ukraine, the hotel company told CNN in a statement on Wednesday.

3M has halted operations in Russia, the post-it maker said in a statement to CNN.

Whirlpool, one of the world’s largest appliance makers, told CNN the company is limiting production in Russia and it has suspended its sales operation in Ukraine. Whirlpool did not specify how much of its operations in Russia will be sidelined.

A full list of the companies and industries pulling back from Russia can be found here.