Ukraine bans exports of key goods, including wheat, sugar and meat
From CNN's Hannah Ritchie
The Ukrainian government will ban exports on key agricultural goods including wheat, corn, grains, salt, and meat, according to a cabinet resolution that passed Tuesday.
According to the resolution it is now “forbidden” to export oats, millet, buckwheat, sugar, salt, wheat, meat, as well as cattle and its by-products from Ukraine.
“This means a de facto export ban,” the cabinet statement read.
Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Roman Leshchenko said the steps had been taken “to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine” and “meet the needs of the population in critical food products.”
Ukraine is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of agricultural produce, per data from the European Commission.
Combined, Russia and Ukraine are responsible for almost 30% of global wheat exports, according to Gro Intelligence, an agricultural data analytics firm.
Some context: Wheat prices spiked in the wake of Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, reaching prices not seen since 2008.
Ukraine had been on track for a record year of wheat exports prior to the invasion, while Russia's wheat exports were slowing, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
7:48 a.m. ET, March 9, 2022
Evacuations are set to begin from the town hosting Europe's largest nuclear power plant
From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych
The mayor of Enerhodar, which was recently attacked by Russian forces, has welcomed the announcement of an evacuation corridor to and from the town.
Enerhodar is the site of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which is held by the Russian troops since they captured the facility late last week. Fierce fighting during that attack drew international condemnation and sparked fears of a potential nuclear incident.
Insulin, some medicines and food will be delivered to Enerhodar," Mayor Dmytro Orlov said Wednesday.
Orlov urged women and children to join the convoy and leave.
The pace of evacuation from the nearby city of Zaporizhzhia has escalated since the plant's capture, yet millions of civilians remain trapped in grim conditions across Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military has agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire with Russia on Wednesday to allow civilians to escape through evacuation corridors, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said earlier.
The "Big Four" consulting firms have pulled back from Russia
From CNN's Michelle Toh
International companies are continuing to disengage with Russia following its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. This includes number of global consulting firms, including the four biggest worldwide, which are Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Deloitte announced on March 7 that it would stop operating in Russia and Belarus.
The firm said:
While we know this is the right decision, it will have an impact on Deloitte’s [approximately] 3,000 professionals located in Russia and Belarus. Like others, we know our colleagues in Russia and Belarus have no voice in the actions of their government."
“We will support all impacted colleagues during this transition and do all we can to assist them during this extremely difficult time.”
EY, otherwise known as Ernst & Young, also said it would remove its Russian practice from its official global network, but allow it to “continue working with clients as an independent group of audit and consulting companies.”
“EY in Russia is a team of 4,700 professionals working in 9 cities of the country. The company has been operating in the Russian market for more than 30 years,” it said.
Consulting and accounting firm KPMGInternational said that its “Russia and Belarus firms will leave the KPMG network.”
“KPMG has over 4,500 people in Russia and Belarus, and ending our working relationship with them, many of whom have been a part of KPMG for many decades, is incredibly difficult,” the company said.
“This decision is not about them – it is a consequence of the actions of the Russian Government. We are a purpose-led and values-driven organization that believes in doing the right thing.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is also planning to break away from its Russian business.
“As a result of the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine we have decided that, under the circumstances, PwC should not have a member firm in Russia and consequently PwC Russia will leave the network,” the “Big Four” consultancy said in a statement.
“Our main focus at PwC continues to be doing all we can to help our Ukrainian colleagues and support the humanitarian efforts,” it added.
“We are also committed to working with our colleagues at PwC Russia to undertake an orderly transition for the business, and with a focus on the wellbeing of our 3,700 colleagues in PwC Russia.”
Another big firm, Accenture, is also discontinuing its business in Russia as it “stands with the people of Ukraine,” it said.
The firm announced the move last week in a statement, where it thanked its “nearly 2,300 colleagues in Russia for their dedication and service to Accenture over the years.”
“We will be providing support to our Russian colleagues,” the company added.
4:30 a.m. ET, March 9, 2022
It's now a criminal offense for Russian aircraft to fly into British airspace
From CNN's Amy Cassidy
The United Kingdom has made it a criminal offense for Russian aircraft to enter British airspace as part of further sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced via Twitter on Tuesday.
When Russia's invasion began on February 24, Britain initially banned any aircraft “owned, chartered or operated by a person connected with Russia, or which is registered in Russia.”
This latest move places the matter in the hands of the police rather than aviation authorities.
“We'll be able to be more specific, for example where we have aircraft which might be connected with Russian oligarchs flying into the country, they should know ... we can impound your aircraft and turn this into a criminal offense,” Shapps told Sky News on Wednesday.
The new law gives the government additional powers to detain Russian planes already present in the UK, according to an official press release.
New trade sanctions banning the export of aviation and space-related goods and technology to Russia were announced by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Wednesday.
These include cancelling insurance policies in the sector and prohibiting UK insurers from paying claims.
4:16 a.m. ET, March 9, 2022
More than 1.3 million people have fled to Poland from Ukraine
From CNN’s Hannah Ritchie
At least 1.33 million people have arrived in Poland from Ukraine since Russia launched its military invasion, Poland’s embassy to the European Union tweeted Wednesday, citing figures from the country’s border guard agency.
“Among them 93% are Ukrainian, 1% are Polish and 6% are from 100 other different countries,” the post read.
On Tuesday alone, some 125,800 people crossed into Poland according to the agency.
4:13 a.m. ET, March 9, 2022
Ukraine agrees to proposed humanitarian evacuation routes
From CNN's Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych
The Ukrainian military has agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire with Russia on Wednesday to allow civilians to escape through humanitarian corridors, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.
Vereshchuk added that Prime Minister Denys Shmygal would be talking to the International Committee of the Red Cross Wednesday about the proposed routes for the ceasefire, which runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m local time.
"I appeal to the Russian Federation: you have made a formal public commitment," she said.
Vereshchuk said the ceasefire would allow civilians to escape through "green corridors" in the following areas:
Vorzel, Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, Gostomel-Kyiv
Vereshchuk highlighted two routes in particular — the evacuation of civilians from the port city of Mariupol and the eastern town of Volnovakha, both of which have been surrounded by Russian forces for several days.
"The residents of Volnovakha turn to me and ask me to get the promise of the Russian Federation today fulfilled, people have to be able to leave the places where they are now hiding from the hail of GRADs [rockets] and the devastating fire that is killing them," she said.
Vereshchuk said there would also be a special operation to evacuate an orphanage near Kyiv, in the suburb of Vorzel. She said there were 55 children and 26 staff members there.
3:41 a.m. ET, March 9, 2022
Russian forces almost destroyed this Ukrainian artist's work. Now it's becoming a global symbol of peace
From CNN's Oscar Holland
Not only is Maria Prymachenko among the 20th century's great self-taught artists, she is an icon of Ukrainian national identity.
Her fantastical paintings, praised during her lifetime by the likes of Pablo Picasso, are now found in some of the country's most important museums. Her work has also been featured on postage stamps and her likeness is immortalized on commemorative coins.
But 25 years after her death, the Russian invasion is threatening Prymachenko's legacy.
Last week, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said that several of the artist's paintings were among those destroyed at a museum in her native region of Ivankiv, about 50 miles northwest of the capital, Kyiv, following an attack by Russian forces.
Her brightly-colored, almost childlike depictions of flora and fauna — as well as of farmers tending crops and plowing fields — were among the items initially thought to have been lost.
But reports have since emerged suggesting that an act of bravery may have saved more than a dozen of her works from the blaze.
Dutch brewer stops sale and production of its Heineken beer in Russia
Heineken has become the latest major brand to halt operations in Russia.
The Dutch brewer said it is stopping the sale, production and advertising of its Heineken brand beer in the country.
It will also take immediate steps to ringfence its Russian operations from its wider business and said it will no longer “accept any net financial benefit derived from our Russian operations”. Heineken had already announced plans to stop all new investment and exports to Russia.
In a statement Wednesday, Heineken said it is “assessing strategic options for the future of our Russian operations. We see a clear distinction between the actions of the government and our employees in Russia. For more than 20 years, our local employees have been valued members of our Heineken business. Supporting our employees and their families is a clear principle as we define the path forward.”
Heineken said it will also step up support and donations for NGOs operating in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Some context: It comes as McDonald's and Starbucks said they are shutting their restaurants and cafes in Russia, and Coca-Cola is suspending its operations there in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. PepsiCo is also pulling some products from the country.
3:22 a.m. ET, March 9, 2022
New York Times withdraws all correspondents from Russia for first time in more than a century
From CNN’s Hannah Ritchie
The New York Times (NYT) has pulled all its correspondents out of Russia, marking the first time in over a century that the paper will have no reporters on the ground there.
"Very sad day for the history of @nytimes in Moscow. Pulling all its correspondents out of the country. We have had reporters there continuously since 1921, with one or two short interruptions due to visa hiccoughs. Not Stalin, not the Cold War, nothing drove us out," Neil MacFarquhar, a former NYT Moscow bureau chief tweeted.
The paper announced its formal withdrawal from Russia in a statement Tuesday, citing new legislation which seeks to criminalize journalists reporting on Moscow’s invasion in Ukraine by outlawing any references to "war."
"Russia’s new legislation seeks to criminalize independent, accurate news reporting about the war against Ukraine. For the safety and security of our editorial staff working in the region, we are moving them out of the country for now," said New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha.
Read more on the difficult decisions news outlets are making in Russia: