US warns China not to help Russia; Moscow-Kyiv talks to resume

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  • Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials are expected to resume on Tuesday.
  • More than 4,000 people were evacuated from front-line Ukrainian cities on Monday, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says.
  • Vereshchuk accuses Russian forces of firing on civilians in the Kyiv region.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought to extend martial law in the country for an additional 30 days from March 24.
  • UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths confirms an additional $40m will be allocated to respond to “grim and escalating crisis” in Ukraine.
  • US warns China against coming to Russia’s aid in Ukraine.
  • A Fox News correspondent has been injured near Kyiv and hospitalised, the network said.

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Here are the latest updates:


Satellite images show Mariupol damage

A satellite image shows a color infrared view of fires burning near Fontanna street, in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine, March 14, 2022. Picture taken March 14, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar
A satellite image shows a color infrared view of fires burning near Fontanna street, in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine, March 14, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]
A satellite image shows burning and destroyed apartment buildings and the Port City Shopping Mall in western Mariupol, Ukraine, March 14, 2022.
A satellite image shows burning and destroyed apartment buildings and the Port City Shopping Mall in western Mariupol, Ukraine, March 14, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

 


Chechen fighters ‘leading’ Russian assault on Mariupol

The Kremlin-backed leader of the Russian region of Chechnya says that Chechen fighters are spearheading a Russian offensive on the strategic port of Mariupol.

Chechnya’s regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on the messaging app Telegram that Chechen fighters went 1.5 kilometers (about 1 mile) inside the Azov Sea city before pausing their attack when night fell.

Kadyrov said his close associate Adam Delimkhanov is leading Chechen fighters in Mariupol.


More than 43,000 people in UK offer their homes to Ukraine refugees

The UK has launched a programme for British residents to sponsor refugees from Ukraine, with 43,800 people signing up to offer their homes in the first five hours.

British media said the programme’s website crashed at one point on Monday evening due to the level of interest.


Protesters briefly seize London mansion linked to Russian oligarch

Protesters in London briefly took over a mansion linked to the sanctioned Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, unfurling the Ukrainian flag as well as a banner stating “This property has been liberated” from a balcony at the building at 5 Belgrave Square.

Police said later on Monday that four protesters who gained entry to the building’s balcony “have come down and been arrested”.


New Zealand announces ‘Special Ukraine Policy’

New Zealand’s government says it will introduce a new policy that will enable about 4,000 family members of Ukrainian-New Zealanders to move to the country in the short-term.

Ukrainian-born New Zealand citizens and residents will be able to sponsor a Ukrainian family member and their immediate family, Immigration Minster Kris Faafoi said in a statement.

Those accepted will be granted a two-year work visa and their children will be able to attend school.

“The 2022 Special Ukraine Policy will be open for a year and allow the estimated 1,600 Ukrainian-born citizens and residents in New Zealand to sponsor parents, grand-parents and adult siblings or adult children and their immediate family,” Faafoi said. “This is the largest special visa category we have established in decades.”


China in ‘tough spot’ amid Russia’s reported request for aid: Analyst

Brett Bruen, a former Obama administration official, says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses both risks and opportunities for China.

“China is in a tough spot at the moment because on the one hand they see an opportunity with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to weaken the West and try to reorder the international order. But at the same time, there’s a whole number of risks … both economic and security,” he told Al Jazeera.

“The fact that this invasion has not gone according to plan is certainly concerning for Beijing and that is going to weigh heavily on their next move.

“China was fine to go along if this was going to be a quick and relatively easy invasion. The more complicated it gets, the more it complicates China’s position. What the Americans are doing right now is to publicly put that pressure on Beijing to force them into making a decision. And I think the near unanimity in the international community on this makes it even more challenging for Beijing to be an outlier.”


Spanish authorities ‘immobilise’ superyacht believed to be linked to Russian oligarch

Spain’s prime minister has said that authorities in Barcelona “immobilised” an 85 metre (279 foot) superyacht valued at $153m (140 million euros) while links to a prominent Russian armament tycoon are investigated.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that the seized yacht is named Valerie, which is linked to Rostec defence firm chief Sergei Chemezov, an ally of Russian President Putin.

“Today we have temporarily immobilised a yacht of one of Russia’s most prominent oligarchs, and there will be more to come,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said late on Monday during an interview in LaSexta television.


US not currently discussing importing oil from Venezuela: White House

The White House has said the United States is not currently discussing importing oil from Venezuela, dampening speculation that Washington could look to Caracas for help amid concerns over global energy supplies due to the war in Ukraine.

“It’s not an active conversation at this time,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

US President Joe Biden is looking for ways to relieve pressure on oil prices due to the conflict, after his administration last week announced a ban on imports of Russian oil and gas. Europe is also working to become less reliant on supplies from Moscow.


Impact of war on civilians reaching ‘terrifying’ level: UN chief

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the impact of the war in Ukraine on civilians is reaching “terrifying proportions”, as he confirmed the UN emergency fund would allocate an additional $40m to ramp up assistance.

“This funding will help get food, water, medicines & other livesaving [sic] aid into the country,” Guterres wrote on Twitter.


Efforts continue to restore external power to Chernobyl plant, Ukraine tells IAEA

Ukraine has informed the UN’s nuclear watchdog that efforts were continuing to resume external electricity supplies to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement.

On Sunday, Ukrainian specialist teams repaired one of two damaged power lines connecting the site to the grid, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

The agency also said it was aware of reports that Russian forces carried out munition explosions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and was “seeking information about the situation” from Ukraine.


MENA faces food shortages amid Ukraine war: WFP spokesperson

Nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) face food shortages as the conflict in Ukraine continues, a spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP) has said.

Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of wheat around the world, with Lebanon relying on Ukrainian wheat for up to 50 percent of its supply, compared with 42 percent for Tunisia and 22 percent for Yemen, said Shaza Moghraby.

“It’s definitely going to have a ripple effect. And you know, this comes at a time when we were warning about unprecedented hunger,” Moghraby told Al Jazeera. “It could not come at a worse time.”


Putin unlikely to provoke NATO to enter war: US analyst

Russia President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to provoke NATO forces to enter the war in Ukraine as Russian forces continue to suffer logistics and organisational failures, said Lauren Speranza, a director at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, DC.

“I do think he would be hesitant to actually fully escalate this war to bring in NATO,” Speranza told Al Jazeera. “There is no successful political or military endgame for Russia.”

A war involving NATO “would be disastrous for Mr Putin, perhaps even more so than the war that’s already going on in Ukraine”, she added.


Ukraine’s president seeks to extend martial law

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has submitted a bill to Parliament that seeks to extend martial law for another 30 days from March 24, according to the president’s website.

Zelenskyy declared martial law on February 24, the day Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine. Read more about what the measure entails here.

image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks in Kyiv.
Zelenskyy has called for additional support from Ukraine’s allies amid Russia’s ongoing military advance [File: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP]

Russia temporarily bans export of sugar, wheat to ex-Soviet countries

Russia’s Prime Minister has signed a decree banning the export of white and raw sugar until August 31 to neighbouring Eurasian Economic Union states, a government statement said.

The statement said Russia would also ban wheat, rye, barley and maize exports until June 30.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said, however, that the country would keep on providing special export licences to traders within its current quota.


US defence secretary adds Bulgaria to European trip

United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is adding a stop in Bulgaria to a Europe trip focused on bolstering NATO allies as war rages on in Ukraine, the Pentagon has said.

Austin will leave on Tuesday for Brussels, where he will attend a NATO meeting before travelling to Slovakia. In Bulgaria, Austin will meet military and civilian leaders, it said, without offering further details on his agenda.

Bulgaria, Moscow’s closest ally during the Cold War, is now a European Union and NATO member state that has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


More than 4,000 evacuated from front-line cities: Ukraine’s deputy PM

Ukraine was able to evacuate more than 4,000 people from front-line cities on Monday via seven humanitarian corridors, its Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video statement.

She said three other humanitarian corridors did not operate successfully and she accused Russian forces of firing on civilians who were evacuating the Kyiv region.

Russia has repeatedly denied firing on civilians.


Fox News correspondent injured in Ukraine

A correspondent for Fox News was injured and hospitalised on Monday while covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States television network said.

Benjamin Hall, a Briton who covers the US Department of State for Fox News, was injured while “newsgathering outside of Kyiv”, Fox News said in a statement.

“We have a minimal level of details right now, but Ben is hospitalized and our teams on the ground are working to gather additional information,” it said.

INTERACTIVE_RefugeesDAY19 - March 14_2.8 million


World Bank approves $200m in additional funding for Ukraine

The World Bank has announced it is making available nearly $200m in additional and reprogrammed financing to bolster Ukraine’s social services for vulnerable people, on top of the $723m approved last week.

The financing is part of a $3bn package of support the World Bank previously announced for Ukraine over the coming months.


Can the UAE be a safe haven for Russia’s oligarchs?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), and in particular, the emirate of Dubai, has a reputation for being a playground for the rich, and one that does not ask too many questions about how wealth has been obtained.

That looks likely to continue, despite increasing Western pressure to squeeze Russia financially – turning the UAE into an even more attractive proposition for rich Russians seeking a safe haven for their wealth and undermining the effort to force Russia to pull back from its invasion of Ukraine.

Read more here.


US official raises ‘deep’ concern over China’s alignment with Russia

United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has raised “deep” concerns over China’s alignment with Russia in an “intense” seven-hour discussion with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, a senior Biden administration official said.

In a statement, the White House said the pair discussed a range of issues in US-China relations, “with substantial discussion of Russia’s war against Ukraine”.

“They also underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China,” it said.


Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Monday, March 14 here.

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