LIVE: Russia – Ukraine invasion latest news

15.30: EU bans RT, Sputnik over Ukraine disinformation – Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik will be banned in the European Union with immediate effect for systematic disinformation over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the 27-country bloc said on Wednesday in an unprecedented move.

The sanction means that EU operators will be prohibited from broadcasting, facilitating or otherwise contributing to the dissemination of any RT and Sputnik content.

15.25: Mariupol mayor reports mass casualties from nonstop Russian attack – The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol is suffering mass casualties and a water outage as it defends itself from a nonstop onslaught by Russian forces, Mayor Vadym Boichenko said in a live broadcast on Ukrainian TV on Wednesday

15.10: More Russian banks could be removed from SWIFT – Discussions are ongoing over whether to remove more Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system that underpins global transactions, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told a news conference on Wednesday. The European Union on Monday excluded seven Russian banks from SWIFT.

14.45: More than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians killed during Russian invasion – The Russian invasion of Ukraine has killed more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians and destroyed hundreds of structures including transport facilities, hospitals, kindergartens and homes, Ukraine’s emergency service said on Wednesday. “Children, women and defence forces are losing their lives every hour,” it said in a statement.

14.25: UK PM Johnson says Russia’s actions in Ukraine qualify as war crimes – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that he believed the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin towards Ukraine already qualified as a war crime. “What we have seen already from Vladimir Putin’s regime in the use of the munitions that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians … in my view already fully qualifies as a war crime,” Johnson told parliament.

14.20: U.S. preparing expanded sanctions against Russian elite, families – The United States is preparing to expand sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs, their companies and family members over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing three people familiar with the measures. The White House and Treasury Department are preparing a list of people that will overlap some with those sanctions by the European Union on Monday, including Alisher Usmanov, the owner of an iron and steel conglomerate, the Post reported, citing internal deliberations.

14.15: Johnson declines to comment on possible Abramovich sanctions – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday declined to comment on whether sanctions would be imposed on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, but said the “vice” was tightening on those around Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases at this stage,” Johnson told parliament, when asked by Labour leader Keir Starmer why Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea soccer club, was not facing sanctions.

14.10: Ukrainian ambassador receives standing ovation from UK lawmakers – Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain received a standing ovation from lawmakers in the House of Commons on Wednesday who applauded him as he watched proceedings from the public gallery. “We generally do not allow applause in this chamber but on this occasion the House quite rightly wants to demonstrate our respect and support for your country and its people in the most difficult of times,” Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle told him.

13.46: Ukraine-Russia talks to resume on Wednesday -TASS cites Ukrainian official – A second round of talks between Russia and Ukraine will take place on Wednesday, Russia’s TASS news agency cited an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as saying.

13.41: Ukrainian official says Kherson not captured by Russia, fighting continues – An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday Russia had not captured Kherson and that there was street fighting going on in the southern port, which sits at the Dnepr river’s exit into the Black Sea.

“The city has not fallen, our side continues to defend,” said the adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych.

13.20: Paralympics-Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete as neutrals at Beijing Winter Games –Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete as neutrals at the upcoming Winter Paralympics in Beijing, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said on Wednesday following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table,” the IPC said in a statement.

13.17 Ukraine central bank asks IMF, G7 to limit Russian and Belarussian access – The Ukrainian central bank on Wednesday asked the International Monetary Fund and the Group of Seven major economies to limit the participation of Russian and Belarussian representatives in their activities. This would include banning them from attending meetings this spring of the IMF and the World Bank group, it said in a statement.

13.16: UK’s Johnson supports need for more sanctions to put ‘maximum pressure’ on Putin – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy have agreed on a call that sanctions need to go further to exert maximum pressure on Russia’s Vladimir Putin in coming days, a Downing Street spokesperson said on Wednesday. “The Prime Minister told President Zelenskyy (on call) that the UK was rallying UN General Assembly members today, to ensure the strongest possible condemnation of Russia at this afternoon’s UN meeting in New York,” the spokesperson added.

12.55:Ukraine foreign minister says discussed new Russia sanctions with UK’s Truss – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday he had discussed new sanctions on Russia on a call with his British counterpart Liz Truss. They discussed “coordinated new sanctions on Russia for its barbaric aggression against Ukraine, as well as steps to close any loopholes and leave Russia no chance to bypass current and future sanctions,” he said on Twitter.

12.52: Sweden to send medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine – Sweden will send medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine, responding to a EU request for aid, Sweden’s minister of health said on Wednesday. “Sweden will supply a large amount of medical equipment to Ukraine,” Minister of Health Lena Hallengren told a news conference. The aid will include one million face masks and disinfectants but also more advanced equipment, such as ventilators.

12.25: Four killed as air strikes pound Ukraine’s Kharkiv – Four more people were killed and nine wounded as a barrage of Russian air and rocket strikes pounded the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday morning, the local emergency services and Mayor Ihor Terekhov said. “Kharkiv is a Russian-speaking city. Every fourth person in Kharkiv has relatives in the Russian Federation. But the city’s attitude to Russia today is completely different to what it ever was before,” he said in an online video statement.

12.00: Russia’s Lavrov says a third World War would be nuclear and destructive – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that if a third World War were to take place, it would involve nuclear weapons and be destructive, the RIA news agency reported.

11.57: Kyiv mayor says Russia is massing troops closer to the capital – Russia is gathering troops closer and closer to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote in an online post on Wednesday. “We are preparing and will defend Kyiv!,” he added. “Kyiv stands and will stand.”

11.56: Ukraine says Russia may have fired at Odessa airport – Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar said on Wednesday authorities were looking into information about possible Russian rocket or artillery fire on the airport of Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odessa.

11.54: Russia says it’s ready for more talks today, not clear if Ukraine will joinThe Kremlin said Russian officials were ready to hold a second round of talks with Ukraine on Wednesday but it was not clear if Ukrainian officials would turn up. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there was contradictory information regarding the talks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that Russia must stop the bombing of Ukrainian cities before talks could take place.

11.37: EU approves new sanctions against Belarus over Ukraine invasion – European Union diplomats have approved new sanctions against Belarus for its supporting role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an EU senior diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday. A second official said this week that the aim of new sanctions against Minsk is was stop exports of any further Belarusian goods to the EU, on top of those already subject to sanctions. Sanctions would also hit oligarchs, the central bank and would cut Belarusian banks off from the SWIFT banking system, the second official had said.

11.24: Kremlin critic Navalny calls for daily anti-war protests in Russia – Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has called for daily anti-war protests in Russia, his spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

11.23: Ryanair’s O’Leary says bookings can withstand Ukraine crisis – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not have a dramatic impact on airline bookings in eastern Europe so long as the war does not escalate and spread, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday. Asked about the impact of the war on demand to fly to and around eastern Europe, O’Leary told reporters: “I think you will not have a dramatic impact on bookings as long as the period of war doesn’t escalate and spread elsewhere.”

11.14: Russian deputy PM: difficult to foresee scope of sanctions over Ukraine – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on Wednesday it was difficult to foresee the scale and depth of Western sanctions the Russian economy in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported.

11.13:Mariupol in Ukrainian hands, Russia shelling civilians – local authorities – Mariupol city council said on Wednesday their southern city was under Ukrainian control but locked in battles with Russian troops.The council said on social media that Russian attackers were shelling civilian sites, including residential blocks, hospitals and dormitories for people displaced by fighting.

10.47: Ukraine: more Russia talks being considered, depend on agenda – Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters on Wednesday that holding more talks with Russia was under discussion and that a “substantial agenda” was needed. Asked about the date for a second round of talks since Russia invaded its neighbour last week, Podolyak said: “It’s under discussion for now. A substantial agenda is needed.”

10.28 EU Commission proposes temporary residence rights for Ukraine refugees – The European Commission on Wednesday proposed to grant temporary protection to people fleeing war in Ukraine, including a residence permit and access to employment and social welfare. Designed to deal with mass arrivals of displaced persons in the EU, the new legislation will provide the same level of protection in all member states. The proposal, which had been previously announced, will be discussed by EU interior ministers on Thursday.

10.14: Ukraine has enough for current spending despite war – finance minister – Ukraine had enough funds to cover all current spending, Finance Minister Sergiy Marchenko said on Wednesday, noting international support amid Russian invasion of his country. “We have huge international support… We carry out all social payments, pensions, salaries and financial support for the army,” Marchenko told Ukrainian TV in an interview, adding the ministry would continue issuing domestic war bonds.

10.09: Ryanair boss predicts tough months ahead due to rising oil prices – The next 12 months will be “very difficult” for most airlines after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up oil prices above $100 a barrel, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday as he reassured that the Irish airline was comfortably hedged.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult for most airlines for the next 12 months,” O’Leary told Sky News.

10.03: UK predicts increasingly brutal approach from Russia’s Putin – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will become more brutal, British defence minister Ben Wallace said on Wednesday.”Anyone who thinks logically would not do what he (Putin) is doing, so we are going to see … his brutality increase,” Wallace told LBC radio. “He doesn’t get his way, he surrounds cities, he ruthlessly bombards them at night … and he will then eventually try and break them and move into the cities.”

9.56: Belarus says it boosts security on southern, western borders – Belarus said on Wednesday it had stepped up security at its western and southern borders as Russia invades neighbouring Ukraine.Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday that his country had no plans to join Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and dismissed Kyiv’s allegations that Russian troops were attacking Ukraine from Belarusian territory.

9.51: Ukraine’s Mariupol under heavy shelling, Kherson surrounded – officials – Ukraine‘s south-eastern port of Mariupol was under constant shelling from Russia and unable to evacuate the injured while Kherson, on the Black Sea to the west, was completely surrounded by invading forces, Ukrainian authorities said on Wednesday.”We are fighting, we are not ceasing to defend our motherland,” Mariupol mayor Vadym Boichenko said live on Ukrainian TV.

9.45: China says over 2,500 of its citizens in Ukraine have been relocated – More than 2,500 Chinese nationals in Ukraine have been moved out of the country, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular media briefing on Wednesday. China has said previously that there were about 6,000 Chinese citizens living in the country.

9.41: Transneft sees high risk of further sanctions against Russian energy – Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft TRNF_p.MM said on Wednesday there was a high risk of further sanctions against the Russian energy sector, Interfax news agency reported. The West has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russian companies and individuals over last week’s invasion of Ukraine. The energy sector has not been directly sacntioned, however trade with Russian oil is virtually paralysed due to restrictions on banking operations.

9.38: Russia cancelled Black Sea passage bidRussia cancelled a bid to send four of its warships through Turkish waters into the Black Sea at Turkey’s request, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding the decision was made before Ankara closed the straits over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine

9.37: Russia aims to erase us, Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says on day 7 of war – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday nearly 6,000 Russians had been killed in the first six days of Moscow’s invasion, and that the Kremlin would not be able to take his country with bombs and air strikes. Referring to Russia’s attack on Babyn Yar – the site of a World War Two massacre of Jews by German occupation troops and Ukrainian auxiliaries – Zelenskiy said: “This strike proves that for many people in Russia our Kyiv is absolutely foreign.”

“They don’t know a thing about Kyiv, about our history. But they all have orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all,” he added in the address made on video.

9.09: Russia says it captures Ukrainian city of Kherson -RIA – Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday Russian armed forces have captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, RIA news agency reported.

9.01: Ukraine to receive more missiles and Turkish drones, minister says – Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Wednesday the country was set to receive Stinger and Javelin missiles from abroad, as well as another shipment of Turkish drones. Several Western countries have pledged to supply Ukraine with weapons to fend off a Russian invasion.

8.43: Germany is prepared if Russia stops gas exports -economy minister – Germany is prepared should Russia stop exporting gas to the country, which is Europe’s largest economy, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Wednesday. Asked by Deutschlandfunk radio what the government would do if Russia stops gas exports, Habeck replied: “We are prepared for that. I can give the all-clear for the current winter and summer.” “For the next winter, we would take further measures,” he added, pointing to planned new legislation to ensure gas storage is full for winter.

8.34: At least 21 killed, 112 wounded in shelling of Kharkiv – Ukrainian official – At least 21 people were killed and 112 wounded in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said on Wednesday. The authorities have said Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Ukraine’s second-largest city, including residential areas and the regional administration building.

8.34: Over 450,000 people came to Poland since Ukraine invasion started: Over 450,000 people entered Poland from Ukraine since a Russian invasion of the country started last Thursday, Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Szefernaker told private Radio Zet on Wednesday.

He added that the number of people entering Poland fell slightly on Tuesday to 98,000 from a record number of over 100,000 on Monday.

8.15: Dozens volunteer to fight for Ukraine in pacifist Japan – As of Tuesday, 70 Japanese men – including 50 former members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and two veterans of the French Foreign Legion – had applied to be volunteers, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said, quoting a Tokyo company handling the volunteers. A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Embassy acknowledged receiving calls from people “wanting to fight for Ukraine,” but declined to give further details.

7.52: Taiwan president to donate salary for Ukraine relief efforts – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday that she, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang will each donate one month’s salary to help with humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine.

7.50: Google blocks RT, Sputnik from Play app store in Europe – Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O Google said on Tuesday that it has blocked mobile apps connected to RT and Sputnik from its Play store, in line with an earlier move to remove the Russian state publishers from its news-related features.

7.26: Twitter to comply with EU sanctions on Russian state media – Twitter TWTR.N will comply with the European Union’s sanctions on Russian state-affiliated media RT and Sputnik when the EU order takes effect, the social network said on Tuesday. “The European Union (EU) sanctions will likely legally require us to withhold certain content in EU member states,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters. “We intend to comply with the order when it goes into effect.”

7.13: Moscow Exchange won’t resume stock trading on Wednesday – Russia’s central bank kept stock market trading on the Moscow Exchange suspended for a third day in a row on Wednesday, but said it would allow a limited range of operations for the first time this week.

4.21:Biden says Putin will pay ‘over the long run’ for Ukraine invasion – U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday vowed that Russia’s Vladimir Putin will pay over the long run even if he makes gains on the battlefield in Ukraine. “While he may make gains on the battlefield – he will pay a continuing high price over the long run,” Biden said in his State of the Union address.

4.31: Ban on Russian use of U.S. airspace will be in place by end of Wednesday – The U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration said orders blocking Russian aircraft and airlines from entering and using all U.S. airspace will be fully in effect by the end of Wednesday. The orders suspend operations of all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, any Russia citizen. This includes passenger and cargo flights, and scheduled as well as charter flights that will “effectively closing U.S. air space to all Russian commercial air carriers and other Russian civil aircraft,” the department said.

3.32: Boeing suspends parts, maintenance and support for Russian airlines – U.S. airplane manufacturer Boeing Co BA.N said on Tuesday it was suspending parts, maintenance and technical support for Russian airlines as well as major operations in Moscow after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region,” a Boeing spokesperson said.

00.31: ECB orders European arm of Russia’s Sberbank closed, Austria’s FMA says – The European arm of Sberbank SBER.MM, Russia’s biggest lender, has been closed by order of the European Central Bank, which had warned it faced failure due to a run on deposits after Russia invaded Ukraine, Austria’s Financial Market Authority said. “By order of the European Central Bank (ECB), the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) issued a decision today banning the licensed credit institution ‘Sberbank Europe AG’ … from continuing business operations in their entirety with immediate effect,” the FMA said in a statement late on Tuesday. Sberbank Europe is based in Vienna.

23.45 – Russia sees ‘no desire’ from Ukraine to find legitimate solution – Russia sees “no desire on the part of Ukraine” to try to find a legitimate and balanced solution to the problems between the two countries, Gennady Gatilov, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told Lebanese television in an interview aired on Tuesday. Gatilov said Russia “supports diplomacy based on respect for the positions of all countries and equality, but for now we don’t see that”, the Russian news agency RIA quoted him as saying in the interview.