Ukraine live news: Zelenskyy says 100,000 trapped in Mariupol | Russia-Ukraine war News
- French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a ceasefire in call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
- Russia’s siege of Mariupol amounts to “genocide”, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor has said, as at least 100,000 civilians remain trapped in the port city.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia talks tough, sometimes confrontational.
- Kremlin says Russia could only use nuclear weapons in case of “existential threat”.
- The war is going according to plan, Russia says, amid reports its offensive has stalled.
- Moscow has “failed” to achieve its objectives in Ukraine, US says.
Here are the latest updates:
US, EU slam new sentencing of Kremlin critic Navalny
The US and EU have slammed a new sentence handed down to jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, calling it a “sham” and another example of Russia’s widening crackdown on dissenting voices amid its invasion of Ukraine.
A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced Navalny to nine additional years in a maximum-security prison on fraud and contempt of court charges, as well as a fine of 1.2 million roubles ($11,500).
Zelenskyy says 100,000 people trapped in ‘inhuman conditions’ in Mariupol
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has accused Russian forces attacking Mariupol of thwarting attempts to evacuate civilians from the port city.
“As of today, there are about 100,000 people in the city in inhuman conditions, completely blockaded, without food, without water, without medicines, subject to constant shelling, constant bombardment,” he said.
Zelenskyy says Russia talks tough, sometimes confrontational
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has said peace talks with Russia to end the war were tough and sometimes confrontational but added “step by step we are moving forward”.
“We are continuing to work at different levels to encourage Russia to move towards peace … Ukrainian representatives are participating in talks that are taking place virtually every day. It’s very difficult, sometimes confrontational,” said Zelenskyy “But step by step we are moving forward.”
Blinken discusses ‘deterrence’ with NATO chief
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has discussed “efforts to fortify NATO’s Eastern Flank” in a call with the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the State Department has said.
“The Secretary reaffirmed the need for a strong and united Transatlantic response to the Russian government’s war against Ukraine and welcomed ongoing work to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
Important discussion with @JensStoltenberg today on reinforcing NATO’s deterrence and defense. @NATO Leaders will meet this week to underscore our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and commitment to NATO’s collective defense.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 22, 2022
Ukraine’s Zelenskyy to address French lawmakers
French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated France’s support for Ukraine in a call with his Ukrainian counterpart on Tuesday, Macron’s office has said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to virtually address French lawmakers on Wednesday to demand more support amid Russia’s invasion.
In recent weeks, the Ukrainian leader has addressed legislators in the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany and Israel.
Striker returns to Brazil but says heart still in Ukraine
Brazilian-Ukrainian striker Junior Moraes, who returned to Brazil to join Corinthians, has said his mind is far from sport.
The 34-year-old Moraes, who obtained Ukrainian citizenship three years ago, said he fears for his friends and colleagues amid Russia’s invasion.
Moraes played in Ukraine for most of the last decade, scoring dozens of goals for Metalurg Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv, and most recently Shakhtar Donetsk. He has played 11 matches for the Ukrainian national team.
“I can’t smile in a way I would like to. I think I will only do that once this war is over,” a tearful Moraes said during a press conference in Sao Paulo.
Macron calls for ceasefire in call with Putin
French President Emmanuel Macron has discussed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and called for a ceasefire in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the French presidency said.
The call, which was the eighth between the two leaders since the invasion began, lasted for an hour, Macron’s office said. It added that the French president, who last spoke with Putin on March 18, also raised concerns about the situation in Mariupol, calling for the siege on the strategic port city to be lifted.
War going according to plan, Russia says
The Kremlin has pushed back against Western assertions that the Russian military campaign is facing setbacks, reiterating that the invasion is going as planned.
“We’re speaking about a special military operation that is going on, and it is going on strictly in accordance with the with the plans,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN.
Siege of Mariupol is ‘genocide’, says Ukraine chief prosecutor
Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has said evidence shows that Russia is committing “genocide” in its siege on the strategic port city of Mariupol.
Ukrainian officials have said 100,000 civilians are currently trapped in Mariupol, encircled and under relentless shelling.
“What now I see in Mariupol, it’s not about war, it’s about genocide,” Venediktova told the AFP news agency. “Theatres of war have some rules, some principles. What we see in Mariupol, [are] no rules at all,” she added.
Russia could only use nuclear weapons in case of ‘existential threat’: Kremlin
Russia’s security policy dictates that the country would only use nuclear weapons if its very existence were threatened, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told US broadcaster CNN.
Peskov made the comment in an English-language interview when asked whether he was confident President Vladimir Putin would not use nuclear weapons.
“We have a concept of domestic security and it’s public, you can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it [the nuclear arsenal] can be used in accordance with our concept,” he said.
“There are no other reasons that were mentioned in that text.”
Russia has ‘failed’ to achieve objectives in Ukraine, US says
Russia has failed to achieve its goals in Ukraine, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said, warning that despite the apparent Russian setbacks, the war will not end “easily or rapidly”.
Sullivan said Russia had set three objectives for itself when it started its invasion: subjugating Ukraine, enhancing Moscow’s power and prestige, and dividing the West.
“Russia has thus far manifestly failed to accomplish all three objectives. In fact, it has thus far achieved the opposite,” said Sullivan.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Tuesday, March 22 here.