March 10, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, George Ramsay, Jack Guy, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Jason Kurtz, Aditi Sangal and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:11 a.m. ET, March 11, 2022
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1:33 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

UN estimates 549 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russian invasion began 

From CNN's Amy Cassidy

At least 549 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR). 

The figures, compiled up to Wednesday and published Thursday, said 957 others have been injured so far, but the UN agency believes the real numbers are “considerably higher,” particularly in government-controlled areas.   

“The receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration,” the statement read. 

“This concerns, for example, the towns of Volnovakha, Mariupol, Izium where there are allegations of hundreds of civilian casualties. These figures are being further corroborated and are not included in the above statistics," the statement read.

1:15 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

Turkey's Erdogan discussed "shared concern" about Ukraine in a call with Biden

From CNN's Betsy Klein

As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his attempts to position himself as the broker between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the West, he spoke by phone with US President Joe Biden.

They discussed “their shared concern about Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine," according to a statement from the White House. 

“They reaffirmed their strong support for the government and people of Ukraine, underscored the need for an immediate cessation of Russian aggression, and welcomed the coordinated international response to the crisis. President Biden expressed appreciation for Turkey’s efforts to support a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, as well as Turkey’s recent engagements with regional leaders that help promote peace and stability,” the statement read. 

The two also discussed “opportunities to strengthen bilateral ties," it added.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki described the call as “constructive” and “lengthy,” saying they spoke for roughly an hour. She declined to say whether they discussed access to the Black Sea.

1:48 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

US and Canada "stand in solidarity" in outrage toward Russia, Vice President Harris says

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US Vice President Kamala Harris hold a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US Vice President Kamala Harris hold a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AP)

The United States and Canada "stand in solidarity" in outrage toward Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Vice President Kamala Harris said in a meeting Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Harris and Trudeau were both in Warsaw, Poland, for talks about the ongoing war and met Thursday evening after a full day of events and meetings.

Harris described her mission as reaffirming the NATO alliance and the US commitment to Ukraine, as well as to the people of Poland, who are welcoming refugees by the millions.

She also said she would discuss security and humanitarian assistance with Trudeau, who has been visiting Europe this week.

Trudeau described the Biden administration as "strong" on the issue of the Ukraine war, which he deemed "unthinkable." He also said Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimated the Ukrainian people.

Harris and Trudeau didn't respond to questions. The meeting was Harris' last of the day.

On Friday, the vice president will greet US and Polish troops in Warsaw before traveling onward to the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

1:07 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

British PM says he fears Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine, as it’s "straight out of their playbook"

From CNN's Amy Cassidy

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday echoed fears from US officials this week in predicting that Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine, saying that it’s “straight out of their playbook”.  

“The stuff that you're hearing about chemical weapons, this is straight out of their playbook,” Johnson said in an interview with British broadcaster Sky News. 

“They start saying that there are chemical weapons that have been stored by their opponents or by the Americans. And so when they themselves deploy chemical weapons – as I fear they may – they have a sort of a maskirovka [Russian military deception] of a fake story ready to go,” he added.  

Johnson continued: “I just note that that is what they're already doing. It is a cynical, barbaric government, I'm afraid.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss this morning also told CNN that the UK is “very concerned” about the potential of Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine, saying “we’ve seen Russia use these weapons before in fields of conflict.”

Noting Russia’s “track record,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday warned that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine or manufacture a “false flag” operation that uses them. 

2:44 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

French president says conditions set by Russia’s Putin for ceasefire in Ukraine "not acceptable to anyone"

From CNN’s Joseph Ataman, Xiaofei Xu and Sugam Pokharel   

French President Emmanuel Macron waits for EU leaders to arrive for an EU summit in Versailles, France, on Thursday.
French President Emmanuel Macron waits for EU leaders to arrive for an EU summit in Versailles, France, on Thursday. (Michel Euler/AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that the conditions set by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a ceasefire in Ukraine are “not acceptable to anyone,” without specifying what Putin's conditions were.

“I do not see a diplomatic solution in the coming hours or even coming days,” Macron told reporters in Versailles ahead of a summit of European Union leaders that will center on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, solutions to rising energy prices and less dependence on Russian gas and oil. 

Macron said he does not see ceasefire in Ukraine as "realistic" in the coming hours. 

“I’m definitely optimistic but I have to be realistic as well,” he added. 

Earlier on Thursday: Putin held a telephone conversation with Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

Speaking of Ukraine's request for a fast-track accession to the EU, Macron told reporters: “With a country at war? I don’t think so … Must we close the door and say ‘never’? That would be unjust.” 

The French president said the war in Ukraine is a “tragedy … a human, political and humanitarian tragedy” but added that it’ll “lead to completely redefining the architecture of Europe.” 

“These are discussions that are strategic and historic. They will lead to, today, in the coming weeks and months, historic decisions for our Europe,” Macron said. 

The French leader said that he was “troubled” by seeing images from the deadly bomb attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol in southern Ukraine on Wednesday. 

He said since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, “humanitarian tragedies of this kind were made at multiple occasions.” 

“The weapons, profoundly lethal, without discernment, were being used right in the middle of cities,” Macron continued.  

12:37 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

No-fly zone would not protect against majority of weapons Russia is using in Ukraine, DIA director says 

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would not protect against many of the weapons Russian forces are using in Ukraine right now, said Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier.

Russian forces are using “a combination of mostly missiles, artillery, multiple rocket launchers. There are some precision guided munitions that are being dropped from aircraft, but that number is small,” Berrier said in an exchange with Sen. Angus King.

A no-fly zone would not protect against “inhibit missiles, rockets and artillery,” Berrier added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked NATO allies and the United States to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. The airspace over Ukraine remains contested, a senior US defense official told reporters on Wednesday.

12:30 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

The war in Ukraine will likely push inflation up "considerably higher" in Europe, says ECB president

From CNN’s Anna Cooban in London

The European Central Bank (ECB) predicts the war in Ukraine will push levels of consumer inflation up even further in the near term.

“The Russia-Ukraine war will have a material impact on economic activity and inflation through higher energy and commodity prices, the disruption of international commerce and weaker confidence,” ECB President Christine Lagarde said in a speech on Thursday. 

Lagarde said the impact of the conflict could push inflation in the euro area – which hit 5.8% in February – “considerably higher in the near term,” but is still expected to decline progressively to the central bank’s 2% target in 2024.

Financial sanctions against Russia, which include the banning of some Russian banks from the SWIFT payment network, have not yet caused problems for European banks, she said.

“[Sanctions] have so far not caused severe strains in money markets or liquidity shortages in the euro area banking system,” Lagarde said. “Bank balance sheets remain healthy overall, owing to robust capital positions and fewer non-performing loans.”

12:32 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

Intelligence chief declines to say if US has new information that led to fighter jet decision

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines would not say if the US has new intelligence that informed the decision not to send US fighter jets to Poland, so that Poland could send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday.

When Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, asked Haines if the intelligence community had new information that said Russian President Vladimir Putin would see Poland sending MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine as escalatory, Haines said there was a “new assessment” done by the intel community that informed that decision. But she would not clarify if there was new intelligence leading them to believe Putin would see the move as escalatory.

“This is a recent assessment that was done by the intelligence community. I’m very happy to provide that to you,” Haines said. “I know you know this, but obviously they’re looking at a body of intelligence, and then they are also providing their own knowledge and experience, and I do not know whether there is…”

Haines was cut off by Cotton, who said he believes there is no new intelligence on the matter.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday the move would be seen as an escalatory step by Putin, according to the intelligence community.

12:23 p.m. ET, March 10, 2022

CIA director: Chinese president "unsettled" by Russian invasion of Ukraine

From CNN's Katie Bo Lillis

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing on February 4.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing on February 4. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is “unsettled” by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in part because “his own intelligence doesn’t appear to have told him what was going to happen,” CIA Director Bill Burns told the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Chinese leadership is also concerned because of “the reputational damage that China suffers by association with the ugliness of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine” and “the economic consequences at a time when growth rates in China are lower than they’ve been in 30 years,” according to Burns.

Finally, he said, “President Xi is probably a little bit unsettled as he watches the way in which President Putin has driven Americans and Europeans more closely together and strengthen the Transatlantic alliance in ways that would have been a little bit hard to imagine before the invasion began.” 

More background: US officials have closely watched China’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as fears have grown that the two autocratic nations are moving closer together on the world stage. Just weeks before the beginning of the invasion, Putin and Xi met at the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing and the two nations issued a joint statement affirming a partnership “without limits.

A Western intelligence report indicated that Chinese officials around the same time requested that senior Russian officials wait until after the Beijing Olympics had finished before beginning military action in Ukraine, CNN has previously reported — but the particulars of the report were open to interpretation, according to a source familiar with the intelligence, and it is not clear whether Putin addressed the matter with Xi directly.