Russian forces have moved about 3 miles closer to Kyiv and Chernihiv is now "isolated," US defense official says
From CNN's Ellie Kaufman
Russian forces have moved forward, in the vicinity of Hostomel Airport, by about 5 kilometers (or about 3 miles) in the last day, a senior US defense official told reporters Thursday.
Russian forces continue to “advance their troops” along two parallel lines outside of Kyiv, and in those lines, the closest line has “reached about 40 kilometers east of Kyiv,” the official said.
“We see Russian forces continue to advance their troops, they’re really along two sort of parallel lines there, and we assess that the northern most of those two lines, the closest line has reached about 40 kilometers east of Kyiv,” the official said.
Out of those two lines, “the one that’s to the south of the two which kind of emanated out of Sumy, we also assess that some of [the Russian forces] might have reached approximately 40 kilometers from Kyiv," the official said.
On the southern line, the official believes Russian forces “might be repositioning themselves back towards Sumy,” but it is not clear how many forces, how fast they are moving back, or why they are doing that, the official said.
The town of Chernihiv is “now isolated,” the official said.
The official also said Thursday that Russian forces have conducted “775 missile launches” of “all stripes, all different varieties" since the beginning of their invasion in Ukraine.
The US has seen “reports of internet outages particularly around Mariupol and Kherson,” over the last 24 hours, the official added.
5:27 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Ukraine will create program to help reconstruct every city impacted by the Russian invasion, Zelensky says
From CNN’s Mariya Knight
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he has commissioned the government to create a special state program dedicated to the reconstruction of every Ukrainian city impacted by the Russian invasion.
“After the war, after our victory, we will rebuild everything that was destroyed. Very quickly and with a very high quality," Zelensky said in a statement Thursday. "A special state program for reconstruction will be created for each affected city. I have already instructed the government to start the elaboration.”
Zelensky continued by personally promising that the program will be widespread and of quality.
“The best architects, the best companies, the best projects. For every city! I want to say this on the example of Kharkiv. Our Kharkiv, which is now experiencing the worst suffering since World War II ... Freedom Square will be such that everyone, all of us, all Europeans will be there!" he said.
"Poltava Way, Belgorod Highway, Myronosytska Street, Regional Children's Hospital, Kharkiv Oncology Center, Karazin University, Labor Palace, Korolenko Library ... We will rebuild everything! I promise you personally,” Zelensky added.
4:19 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Russia says it will open evacuation corridors from Ukraine to Russia daily from 10 a.m. local time
From CNN staff
Moscow will unilaterally open evacuation routes for civilians in Ukraine that lead towards Russia at 10 a.m. local time daily (2 a.m. ET), said Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev of the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday.
"We guarantee full security in the territories controlled by the Russian Armed Forces,” Mizintsev said.
It is unclear if there is an end time to these open routes.
He denied reports about Russia not observing promised ceasefire, calling the allegations a “vile lie."
4:31 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Here's a look at the latest companies to announce they are pulling back their business in Russia
Here are just some of the companies who recently announced they are pulling back from Russia:
Burger King pulled corporate support from its businesses in Russia. Restaurant Brands International, which owns the burger chain, said Thursday it "has suspended all of its corporate support for the Russian market, including operations, marketing and supply chain." The company is also stopping investment and expansion in the region.
Goldman Sachs announced the company was "winding down its business" in Russia Thursday, becoming the first major Wall Street bank to announce plans to do so after the invasion of Ukraine.
JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the US, said Thursday it is "actively unwinding Russian business and have not been pursuing any new business in Russia." The bank said its current activities in Russia are “limited” and include helping global clients address and close out pre-existing obligations, helping clients manage Russia-related risks, acting as a custodian to clients and taking care of employees.
A full list of the companies and industries pulling back from Russia can be found here.
3:23 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
State Department stops short of calling Russia's actions "war crimes" after US ambassador to UN says they are
From CNN's Jennifer Hansler and Sonnet Swire
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Thursday that actions committed by Russia against the Ukrainian people are "war crimes."
“They constitute war crimes; they are attacks on civilians that cannot be justified by any – in any way whatsoever,” Linda Thomas-Greenfiel said in an interview with BBC Newshour.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price stopped short of declaring Russia’s actions against Ukrainian civilians “war crimes” during a briefing Thursday, instead reiterating that the United States is “supportive of efforts to document and to investigate reports of potential war crimes in Ukraine.”
“The fact is that we’ve seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which would, under the Geneva Conventions, constitute a war crime,” he said at a State Department briefing Thursday, citing attacks on the hospital in Mariupol and strikes on schools, hospitals, buses, cars, and ambulances.
“We are appalled by the brutal tactics that the Russian Federation, the Kremlin, has employed in prosecuting this war of choice,” Price said.
Thomas-Greenfield said the question of whether Russia is guilty of war crimes is the one “we’re being asked every day, and we’re working with others in the international community to document the crimes that Russia is committing against the Ukrainian people.”
In the BBC interview, Thomas-Greenfield said she couldn’t predict how the war crimes would be prosecuted, but “what is important is that we collect the evidence and have the evidence ready and available to be used.”
The ambassador also indicated that the US is supportive of the International Criminal Court (ICC) probe of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, despite the US not being a member of the ICC and criticizing other ICC investigations.
“We’ve always been supportive of the Criminal Court taking actions when actions are required,” she said.
What other US officials are saying: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the US is looking into “credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which would constitute a war crime,” but had not declared that the US had made the assessment that Moscow was guilty of war crimes.
“What we’re doing right now is documenting all of this, putting it all together, looking at it, and making sure that as people and the appropriate organizations and institutions investigate whether war crimes have been or are being committed, that we can support whatever they’re doing,” Blinken said on CNN’s State of the Union. “So right now we’re looking at these reports. They’re very credible. And we’re documenting everything.”
Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris stopped short of calling Russia's actions in Ukraine "war crimes" as civilians continue to be killed in the conflict
Speaking alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw Thursday, Harris said: "We are also very clear that any intentional attack on innocent civilians is a violation."
She added: "The UN has set up a process by which there will be a review and investigations and we will of course participate as appropriate and necessary."
Images from Ukraine clearly showed atrocities taking place, Harris said, even before an investigation determines what to call them.
4:20 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Mariupol is "on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe" as food supply decreases daily, city council says
From CNN’s Carmen Conte Widman
Food supply in the city of Mariupol is “decreasing day by day,” according to a statement from the Mariupol city council on Thursday.
The statement called the situation in the city “critical” and said with blocked entrances to the city, there is no way to deliver food and water.
“The city of Mariupol is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe,” the city council said.
The maternity and children's hospital that was bombed Wednesday — a strike that left three dead and 17 injured — is located in Mariupol.
The attack came despite Russia agreeing to a 12-hour pause in hostilities to allow refugees to evacuate a number of towns and cities.
The city council posted a video of the devastated hospital in the city and accused Russian forces of dropping several bombs on it from the air.
"The destruction is enormous," said the council. "The building of the medical facility where the children were treated recently is completely destroyed."
3:02 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Russia says China refused to supply aircraft parts, according to state media
From CNN's Chris Liakos
A top Russian official said on Thursday that China refused to support Russia with aircraft parts as Russia looks to source components following tough aviation sanctions.
Valery Kudinov, head of the Aircraft Airworthiness Department at the Federal Air Transport Agency, said on Thursday that there were around 70 aircraft in the Russian register before the end of February, Russian state news agency TASS reported.
Kudinov said the situation with maintenance of aircraft and imports of spare parts is planned to be resolved, including through the re-export of components, TASS reported.
Quoted in TASS, Kudinov said: “As far as I know … China refused,” adding that the search would continue through other countries, possibly through Turkey or India. "Each company will negotiate on its own," Kudinov added.
The world’s two biggest plane manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, have both halted supply of aircraft components to Russian airlines.
2:47 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
There will be no fast-track procedure for Ukraine EU membership, German chancellor says
From Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday said that he rejects a fast-track procedure for Ukraine's membership in the European Union.
"It is very important that we continue to pursue the things that we have indeed decided in the past," Scholz told reporters on Thursday ahead of an EU summit in Versailles, France.
Scholz referred to the association agreement that the EU and Ukraine concluded in 2017 that aims to deepen political and economic ties. "This is the course we have to follow,” Scholz said.
The German leader insinuated that with 27 EU membership states, it is already difficult to reach unanimous decisions in the EU on issues such as foreign, economic and financial policy. He said that the EU must continue to develop in perspective "when it comes to bringing about decisions, making majority decisions possible."
Speaking in Versailles ahead of the summit, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also rebuffed Ukraine's call for a fast-track EU membership.
“There’s no such thing as a fast-tracking of accession, such a thing doesn’t exist," he said.
2:49 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Turkey’s foreign minister says Putin is not against direct talks with Ukrainian president
From CNN’s Isil Sariyuce in Antalya
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is not against direct talks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Cavusoglu has said as much to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while speaking at a Thursday press conference in Antalya, following the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia and Turkey.
“It’s been said that Zelensky is ready for this kind of meeting, and Putin is not against it in principle. Putin also mentioned this idea to President Erdoğan,” Cavusoglu said at the press conference.
Cavusoglu also said the face-to-face meeting between Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov — facilitated and held in Turkey earlier Thursday, and which resulted in no breakthroughs — was at least a start.
“No one should expect miracles with one meeting, but a ministerial level meeting is an important start”, the Turkish foreign minister said.