The sun is rising in Kyiv, where a Ukrainian official says Ukraine's forces are "going on the counterattack" around the capital. Meanwhile, Russia says it will now concentrate on eastern Ukraine, claiming the "first stage" of its military plan is complete.
Here's what you need to know:
- "First stage": A top Russian general claimed Friday that the "first stage" of Russia's military plan is complete, with their primary focus now centered on eastern Ukraine. It's unclear if this implies a shifting of the goalposts for the Russian military, or just represents a change in public messaging.
- Theater bombing casualties: An adviser to Mariupol's mayor says about 300 people were killed by the Russian bombing of a theater on March 16, with about 600 survivors. CNN has not independently verified the figures. New footage has emerged on social media showing people making their escape from the scene.
- Mass graves: The UN said it has information corroborating the existence of mass graves in Mariupol, which has seen a heavy civilian toll after weeks of relentless shelling by Russian troops.
- Battle for Kyiv: Russian forces around the capital are now in defensive positions and have stopped “any interest in terms of ground movements,” though air attacks and long-range strikes continue, according to a senior US defense official. Intense combat is ongoing in several directions around the city, but Ukrainian forces seem to have retaken territory to the east, pushing back Russian forces.
- Biden in Poland: US President Joe Biden is in Ukraine's western neighbor, where he is set to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and deliver a "major address" on Saturday, according to the White House. Read more about Biden's visithere.
- Russian losses: The Russian military said on Friday that more than 1,300 military personnel had been killed in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a much higher figure on Friday, at 16,000 Russian troops. CNN cannot independently verify these numbers.
- Alleged assassination plan: A senior Ukrainian adviser told CNN the notorious Russian private military group Wagner was involved in an alleged assassination plot against the Ukrainian president and prime minister. Wagner has previously been accused of human rights abuses by US officials and human rights advocates.
- Crackdown in Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new federal law banning "fake news" or discrediting of government agencies working abroad — broadening tough new censorship laws introduced shortly after the invasion.