Ukraine-Russia War – Live Updates and Analysis

Note to our viewers:
We are doing our best to bring you the latest and most reliably verified news. Nevertheless, please be careful and do not take anything you see online to be the full truth.

Fake news is a rampant plague in this crisis, and even the world’s largest agencies are falling victim to false reports slipping through.

2 humanitarian corridors agreed

08:45 – 27 Mar 2022

Two humanitarian corridors have been agreed for today, according to Ukraine’s deputy PM.

Iryna Vereshchuk said the corridors will run from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and include people leaving Mariupol in cars.

Battlefield across northern Ukraine ‘static’ – uk MoD

08:30 – 27 Mar 2022

The latest news from the Ministry of Defence this morning says the battlefield across northern Ukraine remains largely static.

Local counterattacks, the MoD said, have hampered Russian attempts to reorganise their forces.

Russia ‘destroying Ukraine’s oil depots and food warehouses’

08:00 – 27 Mar 2022

Russia is beginning to destroy Ukraine’s oil depots and food warehouses, an advisor to the country’s interior minister has said.

This means the government will have to disperse the stocks of both in the near future.

Vadym Denysenko also told local television Russia is bringing more forces on rotation and may make another attempt at forwarding advances.

Fears Chernihiv could become the ‘next Mariupol’

06:00 – 27 Mar 2022

Chernihiv has 44 severely wounded people, including three children, who cannot be evacuated for treatment, the mayor said.

The northern Ukrainian city has been cut off by Russian forces.

There are fears that Chernihiv, which has been holding out against Russian forces since the early days of the invasion, could become the next Mariupol.

It is not far from the border with Belarus on the road to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. It is surrounded, and residents who have been unable to flee have had to contend with a lack of power and drinking water as well as the Russian bombardment.

Man detained in Lviv ‘on suspicion of espionage’

05:00 – 27 Mar 2022

A man has been detained on suspicion of espionage at the site of one of the two rocket attacks in Lviv on Saturday.

The region’s governor Maksym Kozytskyy said police found the man had recorded a rocket flying toward the target and striking it.

Police also found on his photos of checkpoints in the region on his phone.

Mr Kozytskyy said the photos had been sent to two Russian telephone numbers.

Russian general killed near the Ukrainian city of Kherson

04:00 – 26 Mar 2022

Russian general Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev has been killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry

Rezantsev was the commander of Russia’s 49th combined army.

He is highest ranked officer to be killed, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry.

Ukrainian foreign minister condemns Russia’s strike of Holocaust memorial

23:53 – 26 Mar 2022

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today criticized Russia’s strike of a Holocaust memorial site near the city of Kharkiv.

“Why Russia keeps attacking Holocaust memorials in Ukraine?” Kuleba asked in a tweet, adding he expects Israel to condemn what he called an act of “barbarism.” 

Russian shelling damaged a Menorah monument dedicated to “the memory of over 15,000 Jews murdered by the Nazis,” the foreign minister wrote.

Not for Biden to decide if Putin leads Russia – Kremlin

23:32 – 26 Mar 2022

It is not for Joe Biden to decide if Vladimir Putin stays in power, the Kremlin says.

As we reported earlier, the US president gave a speech with comments aimed directly at the Russian people, closing with: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

According to Reuters, a Kremlin spokesman responded: “That’s not for Biden to decide. The president of Russia is elected by Russians.”

A White House official says Biden was not calling for regime change, but making the point Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region.

Biden was delivering the speech earlier in Warsaw, where he has met Ukrainian government ministers and refugees who have crossed the border into Poland.

Oligarchs welcome in Turkey foreign minister

22:57 – 26 Mar 2022

Russia’s oligarchs can continue to do business in Turkey so long as they respect international law, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says.

He was asked at the Doha Forum in Qatar if Russian oligarchs facing sanctions from western countries could do business in Turkey.

“Of course, if it is legal; if it is not against international law, I will consider it,” he says.

“If it is against international law, that’s another story.”

Two superyachts belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich docked in Turkey this week.

Nato member Turkey, which has strong ties with both Russia and Ukraine, hasn’t joined western sanctions targeting Moscow’s oligarchs.

Russian forces ‘firing at nuclear research facility in Kharkiv’

22:03- 26 Mar 2022

“It is currently impossible to estimate the extent of damage due to hostilities that do not stop in the area of the nuclear installation,” a tweet from the Ukrainian parliament said.

It was quoting the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate. 

Damage to nuclear plants in Ukraine has become a regular concern since the Russian invasion began.

5,208 people evacuated through humanitarian corridors

21:27 – 26 Mar 2022

That includes 4,331 people who left the besieged city of Mariupol, said the deputy head of the president’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

The total is down on Friday’s figure of 7,331.

Rockets that hit Lviv ‘fired from Crimea’

21:02 – 26 Mar 2022

The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, has said rockets that hit the western Ukrainian city earlier were fired from Sevastopol in Crimea.

He also said no one was killed in the strikes.

A defence facility and a fuel depot were hit, the governor of Lviv, Maksym Kozytskyy said.

White House: Biden was ‘not calling for regime change’

20:39 – 26 Mar 2022

At the end of his speech in Warsaw earlier, US President Joe Biden said of Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

The White House has since clarified that Mr Biden was not calling for regime change.

The Kremlin said such matters were “not for Biden to decide”, adding: “The president of Russia is elected by Russians.”

Missile strikes cause ‘significant damage’ to infrastructure in Lviv

20:01 – 26 Mar 2022

The update came from the mayor of the western Ukrainian city, Andriy Sadovyi, following two missile strikes.

Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyy commented: “There were three more powerful explosions. The air alarm remains!

“Stay in the shelters, stay calm.”

“Do not distribute any information, photos or videos to official announcements.”

Biden warns Russia not to go any further

19:34 – 26 Mar 2022

The US president has warned Vladimir Putin not to move on a “single inch” of NATO territory.

He also said that “swift and punishing costs” are the only things that will make Moscow change course.

All the democracies of the world have a responsibility to help Ukraine, he said. 

The war has “already been a strategic failure for Russia”, he added.

Mr Biden said that by mis-calculating the Ukrainian response, Vladimir Putin was “not much of a student of history”.

The invasion of Ukraine was not the “action of a great nation”.

There is a “brain drain leaving Russia”, he said, and “state media is all propaganda”.

Mr Biden also said he refused to believe that ordinary Russian people supported the war, saying it was “not worthy” of them.

The war is taking Russia back to the 19th century, he said, and Europe must “end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels”.

It is “in the darkest moments that the greatest progress happens”, he said, evoking the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

“Be not afraid,” he said, saying that a dictator can never erase people’s desire to be free.

Of Vladimir Putin, he said: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Finland’s president says joining NATO would be beneficial, but would “increase tensions with Russia”

18:54 – 26 Mar 2022

A NATO membership “would permanently increase tensions with Russia” along Finland’s border with Russia, President Sauli Niinistö said Saturday in an interview with the country’s public broadcaster Yle TV1.

Niinistö said the greatest benefit of a NATO membership would be “gaining a preventive effect,” but there would also be a risk for various types of Russian retaliation, including hybrid threats.

The president also said that the benefits of being part of NATO would outweigh the negative ramifications, and that it is most important to find solutions to increase his country’s security.

“Sufficient security is where Finns can feel that there is no emergency and there won’t be one,” he said, while also adding that being part of the alliance would provide the “most sufficient” security.

Putin’s defence and army officials speak publicly in a video for first time in weeks amid speculation over their whereabouts

17:19 – 26 Mar 2022

Two of Russia’s top defence and military officials have been seen speaking in a video for the first time in over two weeks, amid speculation about their whereabouts.

Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, is shown chairing an army meeting, which General Staff Valery Gerasimov was seen attending, to discuss weapons supplies.

Explosions heard in Lviv

16:03 – 26 Mar 2022

Reuters is reporting that smoke is rising after explosions were heard in the western city of Lviv. 

The news agency cites a witness.

The city’s council and governor added that three explosions have been heard, with a communications tower reportedly the target.

Lviv, which is close to the border with Poland,  has been relatively safe from Russian attacks and has been the location to which those from the west of the country have fled to escape.

Ambulance donated by Pope Francis en route to Lviv

15:39 – 26 Mar 2022

An ambulance that was donated and blessed by Pope Francis is on its way to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, according to the Holy See press office.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, on Saturday left for Lviv and will make the approximately 18-hour drive to give the vehicle to authorities in Lviv in an effort to provide relief to the city. Lviv has seen a stream of internally displaced Ukrainians arriving from the east.

On Thursday, the Pope issued strong criticism against countries for increasing military spending as Russia’s onslaught of Ukraine continues, branding it “madness.”

Speaking to an audience with the Italian Women’s Center in Rome, Pope Francis blamed the “shameful” war in Ukraine on the “old logic of power that still dominates the so-called geopolitics.”

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian President appealed to the Pope to visit the country, thanking the Pontiff for his “clear and strong position against the war” during an address Tuesday that was posted on the Ukrainian government’s Facebook page.

Ukraine has ‘cautious optimism’ after Biden meeting

15:18 – 26 Mar 2022

Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov says there is “cautious optimism” after meeting Joe Biden earlier today, where he discussed the needs of his country’s army.

Joe Biden tells Polish leader ‘stability in Europe is critically important’

14:08 – 26 Mar 2022

Joe Biden has been speaking to Polish President Andrzej Duda this afternoon in front of the world’s press.

He explained how important European stability is to the US, and reaffirmed his support to NATO and in particular Article 5 – the collective defence responsibilities.

He said: “One of the things that I thanked the president for downstairs was the fact that the single most important criteria in this changing world… is that NATO stays absolutely, completely, thoroughly united, that there be no separation in points of view, that whatever we do, we do in unison and everyone comes along.”

Mr Biden also said the whole of NATO should be taking on refugees, given Poland’s significant role in that process.

Kyiv mayor cancels extended curfew Saturday

13:14 – 26 Mar 2022

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Saturday cancelled an extended curfew planned for the capital.

In a statement on Telegram, Klitschko said the curfew – planned to begin Saturday at 8 p.m. and run until 7 a.m. on Monday – would not be introduced.

“Curfew time will remain normal – from 20:00 to 07:00,” Klitschko said. “It will be possible to move around the capital and the region on Sunday afternoon.”

Biden arrives to meet Polish leader in Warsaw

12:57 – 26 Mar 2022

The US national anthem rang out across Warsaw this morning as Joe Biden arrived to meet his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.

In a mark of allegiance, Mr Biden and Mr Duda stood while the national anthems were performed by Polish servicemen, before the pair inspected a line of soldiers.

Russia claims new missile strikes on military targets in Ukraine

11:26 – 26 Mar 2022

The Russian military on Saturday claimed new missile strikes on military targets in western, central and southwestern Ukraine.

In a statement released on Saturday, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles “destroyed a warehouse with ammunition and weapons near the settlement of Velyki Korovyntsi, Zhytomyr region.”

Konashenkov continued: “Also, a high-precision Onyx cruise missile destroyed a fuel base in the Mykolaiv area, which supplied the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] grouping in the southern part of Ukraine with fuel.”

Biden to attend meeting with Ukrainian officials today

11:04 – 26 Mar 2022

US President Joe Biden will attend a meeting Saturday with Ukrainian officials as he completes his visit to Poland.

The White House said Biden would drop by a meeting between his Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and their Ukrainian counterparts, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

It comes as Ukraine laments the outcomes of this week’s NATO summit, which rebuffed calls from the country’s leader to impose a no-fly zone.

“We expected more bravery. We expected some bold decisions,” Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to President Zelenskyy, told the Atlantic Council in a live video interview Friday.

The White House said Biden would drop by a meeting between his Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and their Ukrainian counterparts, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

It comes as Ukraine laments the outcomes of this week’s NATO summit, which rebuffed calls from the country’s leader to impose a no-fly zone.

“We expected more bravery. We expected some bold decisions,” Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to President Zelenskyy, told the Atlantic Council in a live video interview Friday.

Curfew announced in Kyiv

10:44 – 26 Mar 2022

The mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko has announced another curfew in Ukraine’s capital city.

From 8pm local time, residents will be ordered to stay indoors until 7am on Monday.

Russian forces have ‘seized Chernobyl workers’ town’

09:58 – 26 Mar 2022

Vladimir Putin’s forces have taken control of the town of Slavutych, where workers at the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant live, the governor of Kyiv region Oleksandr Pavlyuk said this morning. 

Mr Pavlyuk wrote in an online post that Russian troops had occupied the hospital in Slavutych and kidnapped the mayor. The reports are yet to be verified. 

Yesterday, Ukraine said its troops had repulsed the first attack by Russian troops closing in on the town.

Ukrainian official claims Kherson will be recaptured by Ukrainian forces today

09:46 – 25 Mar 2022

Last night, US defence officials claimed that Russia had lost control of Kherson – the first city Vladimir Putin’s troops captured.

Now, a Ukrainian official has said the country’s forces will retake the city today.

Markian Lubkivskyi, an adviser to the defence minister, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I believe that today the city will be fully under the control of Ukrainian armed forces.

“We have finished in the last two days the operation in the Kyiv region so other armed forces are now focused on the southern part trying to get free Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities.”

Russia conducts military drills on isles disputed with Japan

08:16 – 26 Mar 2022

Japanese media said Russia was conducting drills on islands claimed by Tokyo, days after Moscow halted peace talks with Japan because of its sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It comes after Russia’s Eastern Military District said it was conducting military drills on the Kuril islands with more than 3,000 troops and hundreds of pieces of army equipment, Russia’s Interfax news agency said Friday.

It did not say where on the island chain, connecting Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula and Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the drills were taking place. Japanese media said they were on territory the Soviet Union seized at the end of World War Two that is claimed by Tokyo.

The territorial dispute over the four islets – which Russia says are part of its Kuril chain and which Japan calls its Northern Territories – has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from reaching a peace treaty formally ending hostilities.

Japan reacted angrily on Tuesday after Russia withdrew from long-running treaty talks and froze joint economic projects related to the islands, in retaliation for Japan joining Western sanctions over Moscow’s invasion.

‘Western sanctions won’t sway Kremlin’ – Medvedev

07:21 – 26 Mar 2022

It is “foolish” to believe that Western sanctions against Russian businesses could have any effect on the Moscow government, Russian ex-president and deputy head of security council Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying.

The sanctions will only consolidate the Russian society and not cause popular discontent with the authorities, Mr Medvedev told Russia’s RIA news agency in an interview.

The West has imposed an array of sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, with some specifically targeting billionaire businessmen believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin.

“Let us ask ourselves: can any of these major businessmen have even the tiniest quantum of influence of the position of the country’s leadership?” Mr Medvedev said.

“I openly tell you: no, no way.”

Mr Medvedev said opinion polls showed three-fourths of Russians supported the Kremlin’s decision to carry out a military operation in Ukraine and even more supported Mr Putin.

UK to send £2 million of food supplies to encircled Ukrainian areas

03:32 – 25 Mar 2022

The UK is providing £2 million of food supplies to parts of Ukraine encircled by Russian forces, the government has announced.

Warehouses in Poland and Slovakia are being readied to supply the “rapid donation” of dried food, tinned goods, and water to the Ukrainian government from early next week, according to the Foreign Office. 

 Around 25 truckloads of goods will then be transported by road and rail to the communities in greatest need. 

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “This vital donation of food and supplies will help support the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s barbaric invasion.”

US preparing sanctions on Russian firms providing tech to Moscow’s military – report

01:44 – 26 Mar 2022

The Biden administration is preparing sanctions targeting Russian companies it says provides goods and services to Moscow’s military and intelligence services, the Wall Street Journal has reported. 

The US Treasury Department sanctions could be announced as early as next week, the report stated, citing US officials.

Most of the companies that are expected to come under the reported sanctions – including Serniya Engineering and equipment maker Sertal – were earlier added to a US list banning exports of sensitive technologies to them, according to the report. 

Putin approves law that states Russians who spread fake news about officials abroad could face jail

23:03- 25 Mar 2022

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has formally approved a law which says people found guilty of spreading fake news about the work of officials abroad can be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail, Interfax news agency has reported. 

The penalties are similar to those allowed under a law adopted earlier this month which aims to punish those who spread false information about the Russian armed forces, the agency said.

The law was enacted after the invasion of Ukraine.

 Interfax cited a senior legislator as saying the new law was needed because people were spreading false news about Russia’s embassies and other organisations. 

Russian military remains in full control of city of Kherson, residents say

22:40 – 25 Mar 2022

The city of Kherson remains under total Russian control, four residents of the city told CNN, contrary to what has been reported in other media outlets.

“Today I saw them with their guns at the market, possibly searching vegetables for buying,” one resident said to CNN tonight. “They lost only couple of villages, not towns.”

The US official told the outlets that “we’ve seen reports of resistance there in areas that were previously reported to be in Russian control.”

“We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson, but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before,” the official said. “We would argue that Kherson is actually contested territory again.”

The assessment that the city of Kherson was contested was based in part on images and media reports from the city showing the Ukrainian flag draped from city hall, according to two other defense officials.

More than 7,300 people evacuated from Ukraine today, says senior official

21:50 – 25 Mar 2022

A total of 7,331 people were evacuated from cities across Ukraine through humanitarian corridors today, a senior Ukrainian official said. 

The figure is more than double that of the 3,343 who managed to escape yesterday. 

Writing in an online post, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that 2,800 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol using private transport. 

EU commission to discuss options on energy with stakeholders, Italy says

21:16 – 25 Mar 2022

The European Commission will discuss options to ease the energy market crunch with all the involved parties, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said. 

The issue has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“The European Commission will discuss with stakeholders, the large oil and electricity companies, distribution companies and others,” Mr Draghi told a news conference after a summit of the EU leaders in Brussels. 

He said the leaders agreed that any demand by Russia to receive payment in roubles for its gas exports would represent a breach of contract. 

Russian troops no longer in full control of Kherson, US official claims

21:01 – 25 Mar 2022

Russian troops are no longer in full control of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson after a counter-attack by Ukrainian forces, a senior US defence official has said. 

Kherson was the first major city to be captured by Russia, with forces taking control of it within the first week of its invasion. 

“We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson, but the point is it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before. The Ukrainians are trying to take Kherson back,” the defence official told reporters. 

“We would argue that Kherson is actually contested territory again.”

The official said the southern city is being contested by the Ukrainians in heavy fighting.

Russia hits back at claims that it has been using phosphorus bombs in Ukraine

20:34 – 25 Mar 2022

Yesterday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed Russian forces had used phosphorus bombs in their attacks on his country. 

At the time, he said: “This morning phosphorus bombs were used. Phosphorus Russian bombs. Adults were killed again and children were killed again.” 

Now, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hit back at the claims calling them “fake news”. 

It said: “In fact, this was illumination ammunition, not bombs. Phosphorus bombs look different.” 

President of France ‘hoping’ to speak to Putin in ‘coming hours’

20:16 – 25 Mar 2022

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has said he is “hoping” to speak to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the “coming hours”.

He said they will discuss further plans to organise the departure of people from the besieged port city of Mariupol.  

Mexican president dismisses Russian spy claims

20:02 – 25 Mar 2022

The Mexican president has dismissed allegations made by a senior US military official that there are more Russian spies in Mexico than anywhere else in the world. 

Andrés Manuel López Obrador brushed off the comments on Friday, made in an apparent reference to Russia’s huge embassy in Mexico City which has a decades-old reputation for being an espionage hub. 

Mr López Obrador said Mexico was nobody’s colony and didn’t send spies abroad. 

It follows comments made by General Glen VanHerck, head of US Northern Command, who said before a Senate committee yesterday that “the largest proportion of the GRU members is in Mexico right now. Those are Russian intelligence personnel.” 

Chernobyl staff not rotated in four days

19:26 – 25 Mar 2022

Staff on duty at Chernobyl’s Russian-held radioactive waste facilities have not been rotated in four days.

Ukraine officials cannot say when that will change because of fighting in the town where many of them live, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday.

The staff currently on duty replaced a shift that had been on for almost three weeks. 

“Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency today that there had been no rotation of technical staff at (Chernobyl) since 21 March and it did not know when it might next take place,” the IAEA said in a statement.

Spotify to suspend services in Russia

19:16 – 25 Mar 2022

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, a number of companies have withdrawn their services from Russia over its invasion. 

Now, streaming giant Spotify has also made the move to suspend its services in response to the country’s new media law.

Russia’s latest legislation makes it illegal to report any event that could discredit the Russian military.

Earlier this month, Spotify closed its office in Russia indefinitely earlier because of, what it called, Moscow’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine.


18:34 – 25 Mar 2022

The Institute for the Study of War has released the following map showing an approximation of what areas of Ukraine are, as of yesterday afternoon, under Russian occupation.

JK Rowling responds after Russian president cites her as proof that the West likes to ‘cancel’ people

17:05 – 25 Mar 2022

Sharing an article about incarcerated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Twitter, Ms Rowling wrote: “Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics.”

The writer also shared the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine.

In a subsequent tweet, she detailed the work her Lumos charity is doing in the country.

Ms Rowling said she was personally matching all donations to the Lumos emergency appeal up to £1 million.

Hungary PM rejects Zelensky appeal for weapons and sanctions

16:53 – 25 Mar 2022

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has dismissed an appeal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for weapons and tougher sanctions against Russia, saying it would be “against Hungary’s interests”.

Orban rejected Zelensky’s demands at the European Council “because they are contrary to the interests of Hungary”, Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said in a statement.

“Hungary wants to stay out of this war, so it will not allow the transfer of arms and weapons to Ukraine,” Kovacs said.

Orban says that the ethnic-Hungarian minority in the west of Ukraine would be threatened if Hungary sent weapons to Kyiv.

Hungary, an EU and Nato member, has refused to send military aid to Kyiv, or let it cross its territory. However, it has allowed more than half a million Ukrainian refugees to enter its territory.

Orban, a nationalist, has cultivated close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years.

Zelensky used an address to EU leaders on Thursday to call on Orban to approve expanding sanctions, let weapons through to Ukraine, and cut off business ties with Russia.

“Listen, Viktor, do you know what’s going on in Mariupol?” Zelensky said, referring to Ukraine’s besieged south-eastern port city.

“Once and for all, you should decide who you are with,” he said.

Russia gives update on its military casualties

16:24 – 25 Mar 2022

The Russian defence ministry has given an update on its military casualties – for only the second time – claiming 1,351 of its soldiers have been killed and 3,825 wounded, news agency Ria Novosti reports.

Ukrainian military sources have previously estimated that as many as 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, though this figure may include injured as well as dead. US intelligence suggests half that number may have died.

The first update from the Russian defence ministry on casualties was on 2 March, and stated that 498 servicemen had died during the invasion.

biden and duda arrive in poland

16:00 – 25 Mar 2022

US President Joe Biden has arrived at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport, in Poland this afternoon.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has also arrived at the airport in his reserve plane, after an earlier technical problem.

Russia to focus war on eastern Ukraine – Russian army chief

15:15 – 25 Mar 2022

The chief of the Russian army says Russia will now focus its main war effort on the “complete liberation” of the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region.

The defence ministry said Russia had been considering two options for its “special military operation” – one covering the whole of Ukraine and one focusing on the Donbas.

The comments – carried by Russian state news agencies – hinted at a possible downgrading of Russia’s war aims. Russian forces have met strong resistance in the north of Ukraine and around Kyiv.

However, the defence ministry did not rule out storming Ukrainian cities that had been blockaded and said Russia would react immediately to any move to close airspace over Ukraine – something President Zelensky has repeatedly urged.

Polish president’s plane makes emergency landing – state news agency

15:00 – 25 Mar 2022

The plane carrying Poland’s President Andrzej Duda to meet US President Joe Biden has had to turn back, and has made an emergency landing in Warsaw, Poland’s state-run news agency PAP reports.

Duda did not face any danger, Reuters quoted his chief of staff as saying.

Polish reports say the president’s plane had to return to Warsaw airport shortly after take-off because of a technical issue.

US planning for possible Russian strikes on NATO territory

14:45 – 25 Mar 2022

En route to Poland on Air Force One, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan held a briefing with reporters.

Asked whether Russia would attempt to bomb convoys carrying supplies to Ukraine over land through NATO countries, he said: “We are doing contingency planning for the possibility that Russia chooses to strike NATO territory in that context or in any other context.

“And the president has been about as clear as one can be about his absolute determination to respond decisively, alongside the other members of our alliance if Russia attacks NATO.”

He also said the US and its allies could still impose new measures to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

UK PM speaks with China’s president

14:15 – 25 Mar 2022

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken to China’s President Xi Jinping about the invasion of Ukraine, Downing Street says.

The call between lasted around 50 minutes this morning, a spokesman for the prime minister said.

Rocket strike hits ‘Ukrainians queuing for humanitarian aid’

14:00 – 25 Mar 2022

Video has emerged that appears to show a rocket strike hitting a crowd of people as they queued for humanitarian aid .

The footage was posted online of by Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of Ukraine’s Centre for Civil Liberties, who said it took place at the Nova Poshta postal department in Kharkiv.

West trying to ‘cancel Russia’ – Putin

13:15 – 25 Mar 2022

Putin has accused the West of “trying to cancel” Russia.

Speaking publicly he has blamed “cancel culture” and likened it to the cancellation of Nazi’s trying to burn books in the 1930s. 

He cited JK Rowling as proof the West likes to cancel people, saying she was cancelled “just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights”.

evidence growing of Mariupol mass graves – UN rights office

13:00 – 25 Mar 2022

The head of the UN human rights team in Ukraine said today that monitors had received increasing information on mass graves in the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, including one that appeared to hold 200 bodies. 

“We have got increasing information on mass graves that are there,” Matilda Bogner told journalists by video link from Ukraine, saying some of the evidence came from satellite images. 

Ms Bogner said that civilian deaths in Ukraine exceeded 1,000, adding that the UN team was probing what appeared to be indiscriminate attacks by both sides in the conflict.

Putin could launch nuclear strike on Poland – former NATO commander

12:45 – 25 Mar 2022

A “frustrated” Putin could launch a limited nuclear strike on Poland, a former NATO commander has said.

General Wesley Clark told CNN the Russian leader might use a “low-yield nuclear weapon to deter NATO”.

“And where would he use it? Probably not in Ukraine, but perhaps on the staging areas or some populated area in Poland,” he added.

Ukraine says Russian forces have ‘partially’ created a land corridor to Crimea

12:30 – 25 Mar 2022

Ukraine’s defense ministry says Russian forces have successfully created a land corridor from territory in Ukraine’s Donetsk region to Crimea.

“The enemy was partially successful in creating a land corridor between the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of  Crimea and part of Donetsk region,” it said in an online post.

Russian missiles have up to 60% failure rate – US officials

12:15 – 25 Mar 2022

Russian missiles in Ukraine have a failure rate of up to 60%, US officials have said, citing it as a possible explanation for the poor progress of Russia’s invasion. Failures can include anything from launch failures to a missile failing to explode on impact.

The US officials who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity did not provide evidence to support this assessment and did not disclose what precisely was driving such high failure rates.

These figures have also not been independently verified.

US talk of Russia using chemical weapons is a tactic to divert attention – Kremlin

11:45 – 25 Mar 2022

The Kremlin said today that US’ talk of Russia possibly resorting to chemical weapons in Ukraine was a tactic to divert attention away from awkward questions for Washington. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters that the military would submit proposals to President Vladimir Putin on how Russia should strengthen its defences in response to NATO beefing up its eastern flank. 

There was no official position on whether Russia would rebuild Ukrainian towns and cities such as Mariupol, Mr Peskov added. 

The Kremlin also said that Western sanctions targeting German Gref, the head of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, did not pose a threat to the country’s banking sector or Sberbank. 

The US Treasury slapped sanctions on Gref yesterday, saying he was a close associate of Mr Putin, as Washington and its allies sought to ramp up pressure on Moscow to try to force it to withdraw from Ukraine. 

India and China want immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, Indian foreign minister says

11:30 – 25 Mar 2022

India and China have agreed on the importance of an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said today after holding talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Both countries are significant allies of Russia and have rejected Western calls for condemnation of its invasion of Ukraine.

International observers continue to look closely for any sign of shifts in their stances towards Moscow.

US President Joe Biden previously told China’s president of the “implications and consequences” Beijing would face if it gave Russia material support for its war in Ukraine, as Xi Jinping said the conflict needs to end as soon as possible.

Ukrainian city of Chernihiv cut off by Russian forces

11:15 – 25 Mar 2022

The northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has in effect been cut off by Russian forces, the regional governor said today. 

“The city has been conditionally, operationally surrounded by the enemy,” Governor Viacheslav Chaus said on national television, adding that the city was under fire from artillery and warplanes.

Turkey’s position on procurement of Russian S-400s remains unchanged – turkish president

11:00 – 25 Mar 2022

Turkey’s position on its acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defence systems is unchanged and the matter is a “done deal”, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying today.

He added that talks with Washington on new F-16 jets and kits were going well. 

The US imposed sanctions on NATO member Turkey’s defence industry in December 2020 over the S-400s and expelled Ankara from the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, where it was a manufacturer and buyer. Ankara says the moves are unjust. 

Broadcaster Haberturk quoted Mr Erdogan as telling reporters on a return flight from a NATO summit in Brussels that he hoped positive talks on purchasing new F-16 jets and modernisation kits from Washington would yield results soon. 

He also dismissed reports that US officials had informally raised with Turkey the unlikely possibility of sending the S-400 systems to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, saying “all they do is cause commotion” in reference to Washington. 

Mr Erdogan said he also discussed the possibility of buying SAMP-T missile defence systems from the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the summit.

300 people killed in theatre bombing – Mariupol officials

10:38 – 25 Mar 2022

Last week’s bombing of a theatre in Mariupol where hundreds of people were sheltering had prompted international outrage, particularly after images emerged showing the word “children” had been written clearly on the ground outside the venue to alert Russian forces to their presence inside.

Mariupol City Council is today reporting that around 300 people were killed in the strike.

“Unfortunately, we start this day with bad news,” a statement said.

“Eyewitnesses reported that about 300 people died in the Mariupol Drama Theatre as a result of the bombing by a Russian plane. I do not want to believe in this horror to the last.

“Until the last I want to believe that everyone managed to escape. But the words of those who were inside the building at the time of this terrorist act say the opposite.”

Claims that Russia ‘telling armed forces war must end by 9 May’

10:12 – 25 Mar 2022

Despite widespread accounts of problems faced by Vladimir Putin’s forces in Ukraine, Russian soldiers in the country are reportedly being told by superiors that the war must end by 9 May.

The Ukrainian army says there is “constant propaganda work being carried out among the personnel of the Russian Federation’s armed forces” which refers to the date – which is carries significance as the annually celebrated “Victory Day” on which Russia’s successful Second World War campaign is commemorated with a parade in Moscow.

EU signs US gas deal to wean itself off Russian supplies

09:45 – 25 Mar 2022

The US will work to ensure it supplies 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) of liquified natural gas (LNG) to European Union markets this year, as Europe seeks to wean itself off Russian gas supplies, according to a document seen by Reuters news agency. 

US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will today announce the formation of a task force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The Commission will also work with EU countries to ensure they can receive about 50 bcm of additional LNG until at least 2030, the document said. 

Use of chemical weapons by Russia should be ‘met in kind’ – uk shadow foreign secretary

08:45 – 25 Mar 2022

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has said the use of chemical weapons by Russia would be an escalation and should be “met in kind”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Absolutely it’s the case that the use of chemical weapons would be an escalation and it should be met in kind.”

He added: “It’s important not to speculate about that escalation and what the response would be.

“I don’t want to signal that to Vladimir Putin but I think that it’s right that the scenario that is now going on both in the White House and in the Ministry of Defence is prepared for that act.”

It comes as Ukrainian defenders have fought Moscow’s ground troops to a near-stalemate, raising fears that a frustrated Russian President Vladimir Putin will resort to chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. 

‘Sanctions were a little late’ – Zelenskyy

08:00 – 25 Mar 2022

Had sanctions been imposed earlier then Russia would not have invaded Ukraine, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In his address to the EU last night, the Ukrainian leader also urged the bloc not to delay Ukraine’s membership in the same way.

He said: “Now, you and I are preparing Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. Finally, here I am asking you not to be late. Please. 

“Because during this month you have compared these worlds, and you see everything. You saw who is worth what. And you saw that Ukraine should be in the EU in the near future. At least, you have everything for that. And we have this chance.”

Russia fires missiles at Ukraine military unit

07:15 – 25 Mar 2022

Russian forces fired two missiles overnight at a Ukrainian military unit on the outskirts of Dnipro, the fourth-largest city in the country, regional emergency services said.

The strikes destroyed buildings and set off two fires, it said, while the number of those killed and wounded was still being established.

Japan to freeze assets of additional 25 Russian individuals

03:44 – 25 Mar 2022

Japan will freeze the assets of an additional 25 Russian individuals and prohibit exports to 81 Russian organisations, the foreign ministry has announced. 

Earlier, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan will proceed with steps to strip Russia of the most favoured nation trade status. 

He also said the country will prevent Russia from evading financial sanctions using digital assets. 

It comes after US President Joe Biden announced new sanctions on more than 400 individuals and entities that “fuel the Russian war machine”. 

Ukraine is ‘bringing victory closer’ – zelensky

03:00 – 25 Mar 2022

During Zelensky’s evening address, he said the country “must move towards peace” and it is “bringing victory closer”. 

“The 30th day. It’s been a month! If Russia had known it would face that, I’m sure they would have definitely been afraid to come here,” he said. 

“The world has applied destructive sanctions and we are reaching an agreement on new ones”

Commenting on the NATO and G7 summit that have been held, he said they are needed for Ukraine’s “protection” and “for the sake of support”. 

Mr Zelenskyy also announced the title of the Hero of Ukraine will be awarded to seven servicemen of the National Guard.

“To five of them, unfortunately, posthumously,” he added. 

NATO placing specialist troops to deal with chemical attacks

00:30 – 25 Mar 2022

NATO is putting specialist troops that deal with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attacks at a greater level of readiness in case Russia decides to launch such an unconventional attack.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, said service personnel trained to respond to CBRN attacks would be deployed to the alliance’s existing battlegroups in the Baltic states and Poland as well as to four new battlegroups in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

The move is in response to growing concerns in particular that Putin could launch a chemical or biological weapons attack in Ukraine.

Australia imposes sanctions on president of Belarus, places more on Russia

00:15 – 25 Mar 2022

Australia has placed sanctions on the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The country has also announced sanctions on 22 Russian individuals it described as”propagandists and disinformation operatives.”

The latest sanctions will include editors from organisations including Russia Today, the Strategic Culture Foundation, InfoRos and NewsFront, Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said in a statement.

Belarus continues to provide strategic support to Russia and its military forces “in their assault on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Ms Payne added. 


00:00 – 25 March 2022

Hello, and welcome back to our rolling coverage of the Ukrainian crisis.

Refer to this article if you’d like to revise the events from the very start of this invasion.


4 thoughts on “Ukraine-Russia War – Live Updates and Analysis

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