Ukraine’s president emphasizes need for negotiations as Russian forces intensify attacks across the country.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges Russian President Vladimir Putin to sit down for talks, while calling for more international support.
- Russian troops edge closer to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Energodar, where mayor says shot have been heard.
- Ukrainian and Russian negotiators agree to a tentative plan to create humanitarian corridor.
- Putin says Russia’s military operations in Ukraine are “going to plan”.
- While Kherson is under Russian controlother cities including the capital, Kyiv, northeastern Kharkiv and Mariupol, in the southeast, continue to be attacked.
- More than one million people have fled Ukraine amid Russia’s assault, according to the UN.
Here are all the latest updates:
Saudi crown prince supports de-escalation in call with Zelenskyy
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has told Zelenskyy in a phone call that Saudi Arabia is willing to mediate between Russia, Ukraine and all parties related to the ongoing crisis, the state news agency reported.
The Saudi leader, known as MBS, also said the Gulf kingdom will extend the visas of Ukrainian visitors, tourists and residents in the country.
WHO fears more vulnerable refugees could flee Ukraine
The next wave of refugees to flee Ukraine is likely to be even more vulnerable to illness and economic hardship than the one million people who have already left, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official has said.
Speaking from a warehouse in Warsaw, Poland, where the WHO is coordinating the delivery of 36 tonnes of medical aid to Ukraine, Europe director Hans Kluge said the “humanitarian catastrophe” was set to worsen as Russian troops surround and bombard major Ukrainian cities.
“If the military conflict escalates, that means we are going to see more and more very vulnerable people coming with only the clothes on their body,” Kluge told the Reuters news agency.
Senegal calls Ukraine embassy war recruitment post illegal
Senegal’s foreign ministry has condemned as illegal a Facebook post by Ukraine’s embassy that called for Senegalese volunteers to join its fight against Russia.
The recruitment of volunteers, mercenaries and other foreign fighters is illegal in Senegal and punishable by law, the ministry said in a statement.
Ukrainian ambassador Yurii Pyvovarov was summoned to the ministry to explain the post, where after verifying his legitimacy he was asked to take it down, the statement said.
Fresh US sanctions target Russian elites, Putin’s inner circle
The White House has announced additional sanctions on several wealthy Russian elites and individuals in Putin’s inner circle, including Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
The sanctions, which include visa restrictions and seizure of assets, target 19 “oligarchs” and 47 of their family members.
Read more here.
Zelenskyy asks Putin to meet for talks
Zelenskyy has challenged Putin to sit down for talks while urging the West to offer stronger military assistance to Ukraine.
In a sarcastic reference to a long table Putin used for his recent meetings with foreign leaders and Russian officials, Zelenskyy said: “Sit down with me to negotiate, just not at 30 meters.”
The Ukrainian president added: “I do not bite. What are you afraid of? ”
Zelenskyy said that prospects for another round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiations do not seem promising, but emphasized the need to negotiate, adding that “any words are more important than shots”.
Russian troops head to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine
The mayor of the Ukrainian town of Energodar said a column of Russian troops was headed towards the nearby Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plantEurope’s largest, late on Thursday.
Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian troops were stepping up efforts to seize the plant in southeast Ukraine and had entered Energodar with tanks.
“Loud shots can be heard in the town,” Mayor Dmytro Orlov said in an online post.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Thursday, March 3, here.