A Russian air strike has hit near Kyiv's southern rail station where thousands of women and children are being evacuated, Ukraine's state-run railway company said.
The firm Ukrzaliznytsya said the station building suffered minor damage on Wednesday and the number of any casualties was not yet known.
It comes as attacks on densely populated cities intensify at the end of the first week of war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile a senior US diplomat claimed Russia has used cluster munitions and vacuum bombs during its invasion in breach of the Geneva Convention.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US envoy to the United Nations, said Vladimir Putin’s forces were prepared to use “exceptionally lethal weaponry” to achieve their military objectives.
Fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops has intensified in key cities on Wednesday as Vladimir Putin’s forces closed in on Kyiv.
A fresh wave of artillery strikes hit the city of Kharkiv as Ukrainian authorities warned that more than 2,000 civilians had died since Russia launched an invasion six days ago.
"Children, women and defence forces are losing their lives every hour," the country’s emergency services said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said that Russia was gathering its forces “closer and closer” to the capital – despite the stalling of a large military convoy some 20 miles from the city.
Russia said it had sent delegates for a second round of peace talks in Belarus – though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged Moscow to stop bombing if it wants to negotiate.
22:18 , Anthony France
That’s all from our reporting on the Ukraine conflict. We’ll be back tomorrow morning.
More on Russia’s claims to have taken the strategic port city of Kherson
22:10 , Anthony France
A Russian official says troops have taken the strategic Ukrainian port city of Kherson — a claim that the Ukrainian military denies.
The city is under Russian soldiers’ “complete control,” Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday.
He claimed that the city’s civilian infrastructure, essential facilities and transport are operating as usual and that there are no shortages of food or essential goods.
Konashenkov said talks between the Russian commanders, city administrations and regional authorities on how to maintain order in the city were underway Wednesday. The claims could not be immediately verified.
A senior US defence official said Wednesday that they have seen claims that the Russians have taken Kherson, but that the Ukrainian military is rejecting that claim.
“Our view is that Kherson is very much a contested city at this point,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to make military assessments.
Corbyn speech interrupted by man waving Ukrainian flag
21:53 , Anthony France
A man waving a Ukrainian flag interrupted the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at a Stop the War coalition event in London.
The man burst into Conway Hall waving the blue and yellow flag while shouting at the Labour leader on Wednesday evening.
He showed “shame on you, glory to Ukraine” but was otherwise inaudible over the sound of the crowd’s reaction.
The man was then forcibly removed. Mr Corbyn left the stage – before later exiting the building by the back entrance to Red Lion Street.
Blaming NATO expansionism as the cause of Putin's fascist invasion of Ukraine. Insane.
Ukrainians have the right to defend themselves but not in the eyes of @jeremycorbyn and @STWuk.
Only one Ukrainian flag in there and it wasn't from the hard left!#SlavaUkraini pic.twitter.com/T7P17qMKYM
— C h r i s 🇺🇦 W o r r a l l (@yimbychris) March 2, 2022
Boris Johnson: Russia reported to ICC in largest ever war crimes referral
21:41 , Anthony France
Russia has been reported to the International Criminal Court at the Hague in the largest ever referral of war crimes, Boris Johnson said.
Britain and dozens of allies are pressing for an investigation to be launched rapidly into Vladimir Putin’s bombardment of Ukrainian cities.
Mr Johnson, who earlier accused the Russian president of war crimes, said Mr Putin “cannot commit these horrific acts with impunity” after 37 countries joined the UK on Wednesday in referring Moscow.
The move, allowing the ICC’s prosecutor to proceed straight to investigation without the need for judicial approval, came as Ukraine’s capital Kyiv braced for a siege and second city Kharkiv suffered a further pounding.
Mr Johnson spoke to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday morning, promising further support and weapons for the forces resisting Russia’s military.
Strikes that damaged the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial in Kyiv and the central square in Kharkiv have caused revulsion, and Western allies fear it is a sign of a shift in Russian tactics further towards the indiscriminate targeting of urban areas.
For the first time the UK explicitly accused Mr Putin of war crimes, with Downing Street claiming “horrific acts” were occurring on an almost hourly basis as population centres are targeted.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that Russian troops are “targeting civilians indiscriminately and tearing through towns across Ukraine”.
“An investigation by the International Criminal Court into Russia’s barbaric acts is urgently needed and it is right that those responsible are held to account.
“The UK will work closely with allies to ensure justice is done,” she said.
Russian leader Putin ‘chose war’, says Macron
21:29 , Anthony France
Emmanuel Macron says Russian President Vladimir Putin “chose war”.
The French President insists he would continue his contacts with the Russian leader to try to stop the conflict and avoid its spread beyond Ukraine’s borders.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Mr Macron hammered home that the consequences will reverberate to France and other European countries, thrusting the continent into a new era.
Mr Macron’s 14-minute address was meant to apprise the French of what has happened and what he predicts the fallout will be.
It was his second such address and comes days before Mr Macron must by law declare his candidacy in French presidential elections in April.
After discussing unsuccessful efforts by Western leaders to prevent the invasion, Mr Macron said, “It is, therefore, alone and in a deliberate way that by denying engagements taken before the international community, President Putin chose war.”
Mr Macron has travelled to the Kremlin and had multiple telephone conversations with Putin, the latest on Monday.
“I chose to stay in contact and will remain in contact as much as I can and as long as it is necessary with President Putin, to convince him to renounce arms, to aid as much as France can ... and prevent contagion and enlargement of the conflict as best we can,” Mr Macron said.
US delays nuclear missile test launch amid Russia’s war on Ukraine
21:14 , Anthony France
The Pentagon announced that it is postponing a nuclear missile test launch scheduled for this week to avoid any possible misunderstanding.
Vladimir Putin recently put his nuclear forces on higher alert.
Press secretary John Kirby said the decision to delay the test of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was made by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
He said the US would like to see Moscow reciprocate by “taking the temperature down” in the crisis over Ukraine.
Mr Kirby said America did not put its nuclear forces on higher alert in response to the Russian president’s move, which the spokesman described as dangerous and unnecessary.
Mr Austin is “comfortable that the strategic deterrence posture that we have in place is up to the task of defending the homeland and our allies.”
The US usually performs about four test launches of Minuteman III missiles per year.
Mayor of Kherson appears to suggest city has fallen to Russians
20:45 , Anthony France
The mayor of Kherson appears to suggest that the strategic hub in southern Ukraine has become the first city to fall since the war against Russia began.
Igor Kolykhaev’s statement cannot be independently verified. Earlier today, US defence officials said that Kherson "remains very much a contested city".
In a message posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Mr Kolykhaev wrote that “there were armed visitors in the city council today.”
He had told the troops: “We don’t have Ukrainian Armed Forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here!”.
Mr Kolykhaev wrote that Kremlin forces have imposed a curfew from 8pm to 6am but cars with food, medicines and some other supplies will be allowed to enter the city.
He added that vehicles must drive at a minimum speed and pedestrians are banned from moving in groups of more than two.
The BBC reported Mr Kolykhaev saying: “So far this is how it is. Ukrainian flag above us. And to keep it the same, these requirements must be met. I have nothing else to offer yet.”
US Secretary of State Blinken: ‘Nuclear war cannot be won’
20:25 , Anthony France
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked whether the US thinks President Putin is bluffing by putting his nuclear forces on alert.
He said: “Both of our countries have stated that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
Mr Blinken will travel on Thursday to Belgium for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers before heading to the Polish border with Ukraine to meet refugees, then Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Poland and the three Baltics are members of NATO and fall under its Article 5 defense provisions, which means the allies are bound to defend them if they are attacked.
Given their location immediately adjacent to Russia, they are believed to be at special risk should the Ukraine conflict spread.
Western-leaning Moldova is not a NATO member but has relations with the alliance and has long objected to the presence of Russian troops in the disputed territory of Transnistria.
Powerful explosion felt in Kyiv, near hotel and Defence Ministry
19:58 , Anthony France
Ukrainian officials have reported a powerful explosion in Kyiv, between the Southern Railway station and the Ibis hotel, an area near Ukraine’s Defence Ministry.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that it was a missile strike.
Officials said it wasn’t immediately clear how damaging the strike was, whether there were any casualties or where exactly it hit.
Shearer: No Abramovich condemnation of war in Ukraine
19:53 , Anthony France
Alan Shearer highlighted that the statement put out by Roman Abramovich about the sale of Chelsea FC carried no condemnation of the actions of Russia in Ukraine.
“(It’s a) huge moment for Chelsea, he’s brought massive success over his 20 years, but it’s not as simple as selling a football club – as we know it can take months or years to sell a football club,” Shearer commenting the Blues FA Cup tie against Luton Town on BBC One.
“But I think more importantly there is still no condemnation from Roman or the club about what’s happening in Ukraine.”
Putin is insane but ‘not Dr Evil’, says Tory donor
19:45 , Anthony France
Vladimir Putin may be “insane and an idiot” but he is “not Dr Evil”, a major Tory donor born in the former Soviet Union has said.
Alexander Temerko, an energy tycoon who held roles in the Russian defence ministry in the 1990s, joined a number of people in questioning the Russian president’s mental state after the invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian-born British citizen said Mr Putin is behaving “like a collector of land” as he “tries to restore the Soviet Union”.
“He doesn’t understand, deeply, profoundly, doesn’t understand what Ukraine now is,” the industrialist told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme.
Mr Temerko dismissed a comparison with the fictional supervillain from the Austin Powers films when asked if the Russian president is like a James Bond villain who could launch nuclear weapons to save himself.
He said: “Sorry, he is insane and an idiot but not Dr Evil. He is an old man who is not well, probably, and not well mentally.”
But Mr Temerko, who has given more than £730,000 to the Tories, warned that Mr Putin is “ready to escalate the situation more and more”.
BBC audience in Russia soars as people seek ‘access to the truth’
19:34 , Anthony France
Weekly audiences for the BBC’s Russian language news website more than tripled following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the broadcaster.
Its year-to-date weekly average hit a record reach of 10.7 million people last week – compared to 3.1m.
In English, bbc.com visitors in Russia were up 252 per cent to 423,000 last week.
Audiences for the Ukrainian language site more than doubled year-to-date, with a reach of 3.9m in the past week compared to 1.7m.
The audience for bbc.com also increased 154 per cent in Ukraine.
The BBC said a total of 77.4m unique visitors consumed its online coverage in English in the first five days of the invasion.
BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “It’s often said truth is the first casualty of war.
“In a conflict where disinformation and propaganda is rife, there is a clear need for factual and independent news people can trust – and in a significant development millions more Russians are turning to the BBC.
“We will continue giving the Russian people access to the truth, however we can.”
The BBC has also launched two new shortwave frequencies in the region for four hours of World Service English news a day, which can be received in Kyiv and parts of Russia.
Israel’s prime minister speaks by phone to Zelenskyy then Putin
19:18 , Anthony France
Israel’s prime minister spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, shortly after a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Israeil officials said.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office confirmed that the calls with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders took place but provided no further details.
Israel has close relations with both countries and has acted as an intermediary.
Local media reported that that Mr Zelenskyy repeated Ukraine’s request for Israeli military equipment. But Mr Bennett refused anything that could potentially be used by the army.
Mr Bennett’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Charles and Camilla moved by plight of Ukrainians
19:11 , Anthony France
The Prince of Wales has spoken about the “truly terrible aggression” of President Vladimir Putin’s regime as he showed his solidarity with Ukraine by visiting its UK community.
Charles and Camilla lit candles and left floral tributes at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London as they acknowledged the plight of the eastern European nation as fears grow Russia is planning a greater onslaught in the coming days.
The heir to the throne said he and his wife had been moved by the “bravery, generosity and fortitude” of the Ukrainians in the face of the military action by Russian forces.
Cathedral staff reported Ukrainian men have been seeking blessings before travelling back to their homeland to join the fight against Mr Putin’s army.
Camilla was left close to tears when the leading members of the UK’s Ukrainian community sang a mournful version of the song Chervona Kalyna, Red Guelder Rose, to welcome the couple when they walked into a cathedral hall.
The men, women and children performed the song famously sung by Ukrainian insurgents during the Second World War which evokes images of the Ukrainian homeland.
H&M temporarily pausing sales in Russia
18:46 , Elly Blake
H&M has announced it is temporarily pausing sales in Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The world’s second-biggest fashion retailer said it was concerned about the ongoing situation in Ukraine and wanted to “stand with all the people who are suffering”.
“H&M Group has decided to temporarily pause all sales in Russia,” it said in a statement.
H&M closed its stores in Ukraine due to safety concerns for staff and customers.
18:30 , Elly Blake
As war rages on in Ukraine, the civilian death toll in the country has reportedly reached more than 2,000.
Russia claims it has taken control of the city of Kherson - which the UK and Ukraine has denied.
In the Evening Standard’s Leader podcast, we speak with Hussain, a Kherson resident who moved to the city in 2020 with his wife and young daughter.
Listen to it here.
Roman Abramovich says he is selling Chelsea FC
18:20 , Elly Blake
Roman Abramovich has announced he is selling Chelsea FC.
In a statement, he said: “I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC.
“As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart.
“In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.”
He also said he has instructed his team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated.
The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine, the statement added.
Wetherspoons halts sales of Russian beers
18:00 , Elly Blake
Wetherspoons announced on Wednesday that it will stop selling Russian beer following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The pub chain said it would stop selling bottles of Baltika Lager, which is brewed in St Petersburg, at its 870 sites.
A spokesperson said it had made the decision to stop stocking the beer “in light of the current situation” in Ukraine.
Read the full article here.
Ukrainian presidential adviser: 7,000 Russian troops killed so far
17:43 , Elly Blake
A Ukrainian president adviser has said more than 7,000 Russian troops have been killed so far, as the invasion enters its seventh day.
It is being reported by Reuters news agency.
This is significantly different to the Russian figures which state 498 of its tropped have been killed in the conflict, and 1,597 wounded in its first admission of casualties since Vladimir Putin launched the invasion one week ago.
Premier League to show solidarity with Ukraine at matches this weekend
17:34 , Elly Blake
The Premier League has announced a show of support for the people of Ukraine at all matches this weekend.
Captains of all clubs will wear special armbands in Ukrainian colours with fans encouraged to join players, managers, match officials and club staff in a moment of reflection and solidarity before kick-off.
The large screens at grounds will display “Football Stands Together” against a blue and yellow backdrop, matching the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
The words will also be shown on LED perimeter boards during games, which start with Leicester against Leeds at 1230pm on Saturday through to Monday night’s fixture between Tottenham and Everton.
A statement from the governing body read: “The Premier League and our clubs wholeheartedly reject Russia’s actions and will be showing support for the people of Ukraine at all matches this weekend.
“We call for peace and our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted.”
Zelensky reponds to UN General Assembly vote
17:28 , Elly Blake
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has praised the UN General Assembly members for overwhelmingly voting to deplore Russia’s actions in Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”.
He said in a tweet: “I praise the approval by the #UN GA with an unprecedented majority of votes of the resolution with a strong demand to Russia to immediately stop the treacherous attack on ðºð¦.
“I’m grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor. You have chosen the right side of history.
1/2 I praise the approval by the #UN GA with an unprecedented majority of votes of the resolution with a strong demand to Russia to immediately stop the treacherous attack on 🇺🇦. I’m grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor. You have chosen the right side of history pic.twitter.com/1sb0qjxXKs
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 2, 2022
“Destructive results of the vote in ðºð³ for the aggressor convincingly show that a global anti-Putin coalition has been formed and is functioning.
“The world is with us. The truth is on our side. Victory will be ours”.
Meeting in New York, 141 nations voted in favour of the motion calling for the withdrawal of all occupying forces, while five were against and 35 countries abstained.
Resolutions of the General Assembly are not legally binding but do show the strength of international feeling and further diplomatically isolates Russia at the UN.
Londoners ‘stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainians’ – Sadiq Khan
17:22 , Elly Blake
The mayor of London has vowed that Londoners will “stand shoulder to shoulder” with Ukrainians amid the Russian invasion.
Sadiq Khan met the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, at the Ukrainian Institute in London to offer his support for Ukraine and meet members of other Ukrainian organisations.
Mr Prystaiko passed on a request to Mr Khan from ex-heavyweight boxer and current mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko for anti-tank rockets to help defend the city.
“I spoke to the mayor of Kyiv already. I asked him what would you expect me to tell the mayor of London? What support? What help?” Mr Prystaiko said.
He added: “You know what he told me? We need anti-tank rockets. He said please, I’m talking mayor to mayor.
“We will cover everything but we need to survive as a nation.”
Vladimir Putin spoke to Indian PM on phone - Tass
17:13 , Elly Blake
The Russian news agency Tass has cited the Kremlin as saying Vladimir Putin spoke on the telephone with India’s Narendra Modi earlier on Wednesday.
The pair discussed evacuating Indian nationals from Ukraine.
Earlier, India urged its citizens to leave Kharkiv by this evening based on information from Russia - although it refused to give further details.
United Nations overwhelming votes to deplore Russia’s invasion ‘in the strongest possible terms’
16:59 , Elly Blake
A meeting of the UN General Assembly has voted to deplore Russia’s actions in Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”.
Meeting in New York, 141 nations voted in favour of the motion calling for the withdrawal of all occupying forces, while five were against and 35 countries abstained.
Resolutions of the General Assembly are not legally binding but do show the strength of international feeling and further diplomatically isolates Russia at the UN.
Speaking after the vote, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “People in Ukraine desperately need peace”.
Russian attack on Kharkiv has killed 21 people, Ukrainian official says
16:53 , Elly Blake
The Russian bombardment of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, has killed 21 people and injured 112 others, a Ukrainian official has said.
Some Russian planes have been shot down, they added.
Ukraine delegation to arrive in Belarus on Thursday for talks
16:45 , Elly Blake
Ukrainian officials are due to arrive in Belarus on Thursday for the next round of talks, the Russian news agency Tass has said.
The Russian army is providing a security corridor for the Ukrainian delegation, they said.
Ukraine and Russia will discuss the possibility of a ceasefire during the talks, Interfax news agency has reported.
Nations urged to ‘join the west in reprimanding Russia'
16:23 , Daniel Keane
Ms Thomas-Greenfield urged members of the General Assembly to vote in favor of a resolution that is set to reprimand Moscow over its invasion.
“This is an extraordinary moment,” she said.
“For the first time in 40 years, the Security Council has convened an emergency special session of the General Assembly.”
Breaking: US envoy to UN says Russia has used cluster munition and vacuum bomb
16:08 , Daniel Keane
The US envoy to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said that Russia has used cluster munitions and vacuum bombs during its invasion of Ukraine.
Both weapons are banned under the Geneva convention.
Ms Thomas-Greenfield compared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the beginning of the Second World War.
“If the UN has any purpose, it is to prevent war, to condemn war, to end war,” she said.
Biden: ‘Nothing off the table when banning Russian oil or gas’
15:50 , Daniel Keane
President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that nothing was off the table when asked about whether the United States would ban Russian oil and gas after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
The White House has said it was balancing concerns with the global oil market and Americans' needs when considering whether to include the energy sector in the measures it is taking against Russia over Ukraine.
Zelensky ‘in constant contact with EU President’
15:37 , Daniel Keane
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is in “constant contact” with EU Council president Charles Michel.
He tweeted: “I’m in constant contact with our trusted friend @eucopresident.
“We discussed the current situation on the battlefield and diplomatic efforts. Waiting for the positive signals about Ukraine's membership in the #EU.”
I’m in constant contact with our trusted friend @eucopresident. We discussed the current situation on the battlefield and diplomatic efforts. Waiting for the positive signals about Ukraine's membership in the #EU. 🇺🇦➡️🇪🇺
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 2, 2022
Oxygen supplies in Ukraine’s hospitals ‘running dangerously low'
15:24 , Daniel Keane
The director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of dangerously low oxygen supply levels in Ukraine's hospitals due to the conflict.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a WHO press conference that these low levels will impact the ability of doctors to treat patients with Covid-19.
"Critical shortages of oxygen will have an impact on the ability to treat patients with Covid-19 and many other conditions", he said.
He added that "at least" three major oxygen plants have closed in the country.
"At least three major oxygen plants in Ukraine have now closed and we are seeking ways of accessing oxygen from neighbouring countries, and ways to deliver it safely to where it's needed", he said.
Asos suspends sales in Russia
15:16 , Daniel Keane
Online fashion giant Asos has announced it is quitting Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the company said: "Immediately following the invasion, Asos suspended sales in Ukraine as it became impossible to serve customers there.
"Against the backdrop of the continuing war, Asos has decided that it is neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia, and has, therefore, today suspended our operations there."
Majority of train stations in Ukraine still in operation
15:02 , Daniel Keane
The majority of train stations in Ukraine are continuing to operate, according to a map shared on social media.
The map, shared by Ukraine’s state rail company, shows that stations east of the Dnipro river have remained open despite their proximity to Russian artillery fire.
However, many in the east and south of Ukraine have closed as a result of the conflict.
Important map from Ukraine’s state railway company @Ukrzaliznytsia identifies train stations still operating around the country and tho not working. Majority still operational but many in the north, east, and and large swath of the south/southeast are out of service. pic.twitter.com/Y5f4iob0yy
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) March 2, 2022
Moscow police arrest five children for protesting war in Ukraine
14:49 , Daniel Keane
Russian police arrested five children protesting the war who had laid flowers outside the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow.
The terrified protesters, reportedly aged between seven and 11-years-old, had also handed in hand-drawn ‘No To War’ posters.
A haunting video shows the Russian mother trying to explain to her tearful daughter why they have been detained by armed police.
Read the full story here from Will Stewart.
Labour urges Britons not to fly to Ukraine
14:39 , Daniel Keane
Labour has urged Britons not to fly to Ukraine to fight against the Russian invasion.
A spokesperson for the party said: “We categorically do not support Brits going to fight.”
They told reporters earlier: “We totally understand people’s desire to want to support the Ukrainian people in any way that they can and there are plenty of excellent charitable initiatives... I think those are the routes that people should be looking at.”
Pictured: Firefighters extinguish a fire at the Kharkiv National University
14:29 , Daniel Keane
Russia can still send oil and gas to UK despite shipping ban
14:18 , Daniel Keane
Russia will still be able to send oil and gas to the UK despite a ban on the country’s ships visiting British ports, the Department for Transport (DfT) has said.
It comes after ministers passed a law banning all ships with any connection to Russia from entering its ports - including any that are Russian owned, operated, controlled, chartered, registered or flagged.
The DfT said the sanctions were focused on the vessel, not its cargo, and so would not stop ships registered with other countries from transporting Russian oil or liquefied national gas to Britain.
Watch: Boris Johnson says Vladimir Putin’s bombing of civilians ‘qualifies as war crime’
14:06 , Daniel Keane
‘Significant proportion’ of people associated with Putin to be sanctioned
13:57 , Daniel Keane
A "significant proportion" of people who are set to appear on a published UK Government list of people in Briton deemed to have links with Vladimir Putin's regime will be sanctioned, No 10 said.
Boris Johnson told MPs that his administration was planning to publish "a full list of all those associated with the Putin regime" as part of UK efforts against the Russian president following his invasion of Ukraine.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman told reporters: "I think it is in the interest of transparency (to publish the list).
"We want to highlight the individuals - and I think you will have seen some MPs doing that in the House, using privilege - and where possible we will publish further details so the public can see where we believe there are individuals who are benefitting from the Putin regime."
Asked whether those on the list could face sanctions, the spokesman replied: "I think you would expect that a significant proportion would end up on our sanctions regime or indeed sanctions we are co-ordinating with the EU and the US.
"I just can't be definitive at this point."
No 10: Possible war crimes occurring ‘almost hourly’ in Ukraine
13:35 , Elly Blake
Downing Street said possible war crimes were occurring “almost hourly” in Ukraine.
Asked whether Boris Johnson regarded the Russian attack on the Kyiv holocaust memorial at Babi Yar or the targeting of apartment blocks as war crimes, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I think all of those you’ve listed could fall in that category.
“Obviously, formally it will be for a criminal court to make that ruling but I think no one can be in any doubt that what we’re seeing daily, almost hourly now, are horrific acts that would certainly appear to be war crimes.”
The spokesman confirmed it was the first time No 10 had explicitly stated that view.
Ukraine’s foreign minister: More than 1,000 foreign volunteers signed up to fight on Ukraine’s side
13:33 , Elly Blake
Ukrainian foreign minister Kuleba Dmytro has said more than 1,000 volunteers from abroad have signed up to fight on his country’s side.
Mr Dmytro also called on the international community for tougher economic sanctions on Russia, saying all Russian banks should be cut off from Swift.
Ukraine deputy PM asks Pope to talk to Putin about ‘humanitarian corridors'
13:16 , Elly Blake
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has said the country has asked the Pope to speak to Vladimir Putin about humanitarian corridors, Reuters has reported.
More than 2,000 Ukrainians killed, says country’s emergency service
13:06 , Elly Blake
Ukrainian authorities have said more than 2,000 civilians have been killed so far in Russia’s invasion, which has entered its seventh day.
“During the seven days of war, Russia has destroyed hundreds of transport hubs, residential buildings, hospitals and kindergartens,” it said.
Reeves: We need action against oligarchs immediately
12:56 , Daniel Keane
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves tweeted: "We need action against Russian oligarchs in weeks, not months.
"That's why we need swift enactment of the register of foreign and beneficial ownership in the UK by 31 March. The government must take this action on Putin's cronies - they will have Labour's support to do so."
We need action against Russian oligarchs in weeks, not months.
That's why we need swift enactment of the register of foreign and beneficial ownership in the UK by 31 March.
The government must take this action on Putin's cronies - they will have Labour's support to do so. #PMQs
— Rachel Reeves (@RachelReevesMP) March 2, 2022
US to ‘expand sanctions on oligarchs'
12:37 , Daniel Keane
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 reports.
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.
This will include Alisher Usmanov, the owner of an iron and steel conglomerate, the Post reported, citing internal deliberations.
Ukraine facing problems distributing medicines to pharmacies
12:27 , Daniel Keane
Away from PMQs for a moment, Ukraine is facing problems distributing medicines to pharmacies and hospitals due to the Russian invasion.
Health minister Oleh Lyashko said she wished to establish a humanitarian corridor to do so amid fears that they may not reach citizens needing treatment.
Lyashko also raised the issue of supplying medical oxygen to coronavirus patients, but added that there were still enough stocks for the moment. (
Blackford: ‘Putin is a war criminal'
12:21 , Daniel Keane
Ian Blackford, SNP leader in Westminster, says Vladimir Putin is committing “war crimes” in Ukraine.
He says: “Vladimir Putin is a war criminal – and he must face prosecution in the Hague.”
Mr Johnson responds that he believes that what Putin’s Russia has done already qualifies as a war crime.
‘We must protect a free and independent Ukraine'
12:17 , Daniel Keane
Sir Keir calls on the PM to sanction “every oligarch and crack open every shell company”.
Mr Johnson pledges to do so, but reminds MPs that the “blame for this crisis lies wholly with Vladimir Putin and his regime”.
“I’m glad the benches opposite agree that Putin must fail… we must protect a free, sovereign and independent Ukraine,” he adds.
Starmer: Labour will back Economic Crime Bill
12:14 , Daniel Keane
Sir Keir says Labour will back the Economic Crime Bill when it is brought before the House.
However, he asks the PM why it will take 18 months to kick in, claiming this will allow “Putin’s cronies to quietly launder their money out of property markets”.
Mr Johnson says the sanctions already in place have caused the Russian stock market to crash - with the Rouble at its lowest level.
Watch: House of Commons gives standing ovation to Ukrainian ambassador to the UK
12:13 , Daniel Keane
PM: We can sanction any individual connected to Kremlin
12:11 , Daniel Keane
Pressed on why the Government has not sanctioned all of the same oligarchs as the EU, Mr Johnson says the UK has the power to “sanction any individual connected to the Putin regime”.
He adds: “This government banned Aeroflot… it led the way in the use of banning Swift. If he spoke to any of our European partners the leading role the UK has already planned.”
Starmer asks why Abramovich has not been sanctioned
12:08 , Daniel Keane
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says “this House and this country stand united in our support for the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression”.
He adds: “We are all appalled by the shocking footage that has emerged in the past few days.”
Sir Keir asks why Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has not been sanctioned yet by the Government despite being named a “person of interest” by the Home Office due to his “links to the Russian state”.
Mr Johnson says it would be “inappropriate to comment on individual cases at this stage”.
12:02 , Daniel Keane
PMQs has begun.
The Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko is in attendance and receives a standing ovation from MPs across the House.
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle says: “On this occasion the House quite rightly wants to demonstrate a respect and support for your country and its people in the most difficult of times.”
The PM will take to the despatch box shortly.
Fresh air strikes kill 4 in Kharkiv
11:57 , Daniel Keane
Renewed Russian strikes on Kharkiv in Ukraine have killed at least four people, with several wounded.
Ukrainian officials claim Russia has not captured Kherson
11:48 , Daniel Keane
An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that Russia has not captured Kherson - despite claims from its military that the city had fallen.
Oleksiy Arestovych told Reuters 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," they added.
11:39 , Daniel Keane
Boris Johnson will face MPs in the House of Commons shortly, with questions likely to focus on the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The prime minister is likely to be pressed on what further sanctions ministers are planning to impose on oligarchs and figures linked to the Kremlin.
On Tuesday, Mr Johnson visied Nato allies Poland and Estonia in a show of support. He also spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday morning and reiterated his pledge to impose maximum sanctions on Russia.
The Foreign Office on Tuesday announced that sanctions were in force against Russia’s central bank and its sovereign wealth fund and its director.
Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, which accounts for 35% of the financial sector, has also been prohibited from clearing sterling payments through the UK’s financial system.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is unlikely to push Mr Johnson on his refusal to support a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Sir Keir echoed the prime minister’s view that doing so is “not an option” as it would trigger a European-wide conflict.
However, Sir Keir could grill Mr Johnson over his plans for further sanctions on oligarchs based in the UK, such as Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.
Pictured: Police stand guard at the site of yesterday’s airstrike that hit Kyiv’s main television tower
11:28 , Daniel Keane
PM condemns ‘abhorrent attack’ on Ukraine in Zelensky call
11:18 , Daniel Keane
Boris Johnson has condemned “the abhorrent attacks on Ukraine in the recent hours and days” in a call with President Volodomyr Zelensky on Wednesday morning, writes David Bond.
According to a read out of the call from Downing Street, the Prime Minister also told Mr Zelensky that the UK was rallying UN General Assembly members to ensure the strongest possible condemnation of Russia at a UN meeting in New York.
“President Zelensky thanked the Prime Minister for the UK’s support and leadership in ensuring defensive aid reached Ukraine and said it had been vital in holding back Russian forces,” Downing Street added.
“Both leaders agreed on the need for sanctions to go further to exert maximum pressure on President Putin in the coming days.
“The Prime Minister said his thoughts and prayers, and those of the UK, were with the Ukrainian people.”
Watch: Zelensky condemns Russia strike on Babi Yar
10:56 , Daniel Keane
China will not sanction Russia
10:44 , Daniel Keane
China will not join the US and European governments in imposing financial sanctions on Russia, the country's bank regulator said.
Guo Shuqing, the chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said Beijing would “keep normal economic, trade and financial exchanges with all the relevant parties” at a news conference on Wednesday.
"We disapprove of the financial sanctions, particularly those launched unilaterally, because they don't have much legal basis and will not have good effects,” he said.
Truss speaks with Ukrainian foreign minister
10:32 , Daniel Keane
Foreign secretary Liz Truss has spoken with her Ukrainian counterpart to discuss the UK’s response to the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “Call with my UK counterpart and friend @trussliz
“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.”
Call with my UK counterpart and friend @trussliz. 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.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 2, 2022
Four killed in Kharkiv shelling
10:23 , Daniel Keane
Four people have been killed during intense shelling by the Russian army on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
Emergency services confirmed news of the fatalities on Wednesday afternoon as the city continued to come under heavy bombardment.
Russia ‘turning into something similar to North Korea’
10:13 , Daniel Keane
The Latvian deputy Prime Minister has said that Russia is "turning into something similar to Northern Korea", as a Russian convoy nears Kyiv.
Speaking to Sky News, Dr Artis Pabriks, who is also the defence minister for Latvia, said: "We have no chance to retreat. We have to endure.
"We have to be on the one hand calm, but we have to give maximum support, military support, to Ukraine, and at the same time it would be sinister to allow representatives of Russian elites and their families still to enjoy the pleasantness of Western society ... while Ukrainian people are dying.
"Sanctions must be so hard that actually (the) Russian elite feels, but also (the) Russian population knows, that Russia is becoming isolated, Belarusians are becoming isolated, and turning into something similar to Northern Korea.
"This is the only chance to stop him (Mr Putin)."
Russia gathering troops close to Kyiv, says Klitschko
10:03 , Daniel Keane
Russia is gathering troops closer and closer to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital's mayor Vitali Klitschko has claimed.
"We are preparing and will defend Kyiv!," he added.
"Kyiv stands and will stand."
Lavrov: Russia will not let Ukraine obtain nuclear weapons
09:50 , Daniel Keane
Russia will not allow Ukraine to obtain nuclear weapons, TASS news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Wednesday.
Pictured: Destroyed buildings in a residential area in Zhytomyr
09:42 , Daniel Keane
Navalny calls for daily protests
09:34 , Daniel Keane
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has called for daily anti-war protests in Russia.
In a long thread, Mr Navalny branded the Kremlin’s excuses for the invasion “pseudo-historical nonsense”.
He wrote: “Putin is not Russia. And if there is anything in Russia right now that you can be most proud of, it is those 6824 people who were detained because - without any call - they took to the streets with placards saying “No War”.
“They say that someone who cannot attend a rally and does not risk being arrested for it cannot call for it. I’m already in prison, so I think I can.
“We cannot wait any longer. Wherever you are, in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet, go to the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays.”
1/12 We - Russia - want to be a nation of peace. Alas, few people would call us that now.
— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) March 2, 2022
Ben Wallace: Russia will be prosecuted if it has committed war crimes
09:23 , Daniel Keane
Mariupol still under Ukrainian control
09:16 , Daniel Keane
Mariupol city council has confirmed that the southern city is 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.
Ukrainians stop advance of Russian convoy
09:08 , Daniel Keane
Footage posted to social media shows a group of Ukrainian civilians preventing the advance of a Russian convoy on the streets of Melitopol.
They are heard chanting “Occupants!” and “Murderers!” as the soldiers fire into the air.
Amazing footage from Melitopol of Ukrainians stopping the onward advance of a Russian convoy and chanting “Occupants!” and “Murderers!” The jittery Russians are firing into the air pic.twitter.com/j3jypGJdgz
— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) March 1, 2022
Ryanair to be first airline to fly to Ukraine ‘when it is safe'
09:02 , Daniel Keane
Ryanair has announced it will be the first airline to return to Ukraine "when it's safe to do so".
Chief executive Michael O'Leary said that may not happen until the winter.
He added: "We do want to see the Ukrainians succeed."
Russian troops ‘surrendering quickly’
08:57 , Daniel Keane
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has told Radio 4’s Today Programme that Russian troops are surrendering quickly in the face of strong Ukrainian resistance, writes David Bond.
Asked about reports from the US, based on a Pentagon source, that some Russian troops were deliberately sabotaging their own vehicles to avoid fighting, Mr Wallace said: “That is definitely the case.
“I took the view when I lobbied very hard for more lethal aid to go into Ukraine, every day you delay the Russian advance stretches those types of armies.
“They grind to a halt...We have definitely seen cases of very quick surrenders by Russian forces.
“We’ve seen lots of abandonment of incredible pieces of equipment… and that is what happens when your military leaders don’t prepare you, lie to you or deceive you and also you base a military plan on an arrogant assumption that you are the liberator.”
‘Substantial agenda’ needed for second round of peace talks
08:51 , Daniel Keane
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has told the Reuters news agency that further peace talks with Russia are under discussion.
He said a “substantial agenda” was needed to move forward in the negotiations.
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."
Airlines face ‘tough 12 months’ as oil prices rise due to invasion
08:46 , Daniel Keane
Airlines face a “very difficult” year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up oil prices above $100 a barrel, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said.
"I think it's going to be very difficult for most airlines for the next 12 months," Mr O'Leary told Sky News.
"We have hedged out about 80 per cent of our fuel needs out to March 2023. So for this summer, and for the rest of this year, we'll still be able to pass on low oil prices and low fares to our customers because we have a very strong fuel hedging position."
Pictured: People wait to board an evacuation train at Kyiv central train station
08:40 , Daniel Keane
Zelenskyy concerned Russia will ‘erase our history'
08:34 , Daniel Keane
Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed concern that Russian attacks could threaten holy religious sites and said Russian troops are trying to "erase our history."
In a speech posted on Facebook, the Ukrainian President denounced a Russian strike that hit Holocaust memorial site Babi Yar in Kyiv.
He said: "This is beyond humanity. Such missile strike means that for many Russians our Kyiv is absolute foreign.
“They know nothing about our capital, about our history. They have orders to erase our history, our country and all of us."
"What will be next if even Babi Yar (is hit), what other `military' objects, `NATO bases' are threatening Russia? St. Sophia's Cathedral, Lavra, Andrew's Church?" he asked, referring to sites in Kyiv held sacred by Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox believers around the world.
Thousands of Russian soldiers ‘will die in war that lasts years'
08:21 , Daniel Keane
Vladimir Putin’s “reckless and illogical” invasion of Ukraine will lead to thousands of Russian soldiers dying in an insurgency war which will last years, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has suggested.
He stressed that “invading is the easier bit, the hardest bit is occupying”, and even Putin’s invasion plan was already being hit with delays, writes Nicholas Cecil.
Speaking on LBC Radio, Mr Wallace said: “The Russians would have thought a few weeks ago that this would have lasted a few days and then a longer extended period while they sort out the population....they would have presumed the battle phase would have been a few days.
“The occupying, where they put in a puppet government, would have taken three or four weeks.
“I think this is going to take a very, very long time.”
He added: “The lessons for everyone are in history, Chechnya, the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, invading is the easier bit, the hardest bit is occupying.
“We learned that as a coalition in Iraq. Remember in Iraq, a large part of the population did want us there and it still meant that we lost a few hundred people as a coalition invading Iraq. We lost thousands in the following ten years occupying Iraq.
“Imagine what that is like in a country with Ukrainian fighters, 44 million people, well supplied with defensive equipment...
“That is where Russia will pay the price....You will be looking at years of Ukranian resistance.
“He has definitely acted in a very reckless and illogical manner.”
Putin’s troops making ‘limited progress’, says MoD
08:17 , Daniel Keane
Putin’s troops are still only making “limited progress” in his invasion plan, British defence chiefs has said despite paratroopers entering Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv, writes Nicholas Cecil.
They said the Russian forces are being delayed in making swifter advances due to “strong” Ukrainian resistance and logistical problems.
A 40-mile column of tanks and other military vehicles is still believed to be around 18 miles north of the capital Kyiv.
The Ministry of Defence latest intelligence update states: “While Russian forces have reportedly moved into the centre of Kherson in the south, overall gains across axes have been limited in the last 24 hours.
“This is probably due to a combination of ongoing logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance.
“Heavy Russian artillery and air strikes have continued to target built-up areas over the past 24 hours, primarily focused on the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv.
“The number of civilians displaced and forced to flee Putin’s invasion has reportedly passed 660,000.”
Latest Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/CeKxZDHRDk
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 2, 2022
Russian brutality ‘likely to get worse'
08:10 , Daniel Keane
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that Russia would use indiscriminate carpet bombing tactics against Ukrainian cities and brutality was likely to “get worse”.
"What you are seeing now is those heavy bombardments at night, they won’t come into the cities as much, they will - I’m afraid, as we have seen tragically by the looks of things - carpet-bomb cities, indiscriminately in some cases,” he told Sky News.
"They will fly their air at night rather daytime because what we have seen is they get shot down in the daytime and they will slowly but surely try and surround the cities and then either bypass them or bombard them.
"That is the brutality I’m afraid we are witnessing and it’s going to get worse."
No-fly zone ‘would lead to bigger war'
08:05 , Daniel Keane
Defence secretary Ben Wallace has warned that imposing a no-fly zone in Ukraine would trigger a Europe-wide conflict.
He told Sky News: “If you have a no-fly zone you have to enforce a no-fly zone. That would involve British fighter jets shooting down Russian fighter jets, probably over Ukraine, that would lead to Article Five triggering of Nato and Nato is a self-defence pact, all 30 countries will come to each other’s aid, the triggering of that Article Five would lead to a war against Russia across the whole of Europe.”
A no-fly zone would also have to apply to Ukrainian jets, meaning they could not target Russian forces from the air, he added.
“If you had a no-fly zone in Ukraine, the overwhelming scale of the Russian army would be able to drive around with impunity, which it can’t at the moment.”
Russian missile strikes Kharkiv police building
08:00 , Daniel Keane
A Russian missile has struck a police building in Kharkiv, Ukrainian government officials have confirmed.
Footage shared on social media showed the top storey of a building erupt into flames as Putin’s forces continue their bombardment of the city.
Попадання російської ракети в будівлю Національної поліції в місті Харків.
❌Ось так і виглядає "русскій мір"❌ pic.twitter.com/E5QFw3f384
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) March 2, 2022
07:50 , Daniel Keane
Good morning and welcome to today’s live coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Here is a quick rundown of the latest news:
- Russian forces escalated their attacks on the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city
- Russia cancelled a bid to send four of its warships through Turkish waters into the Black Sea at Turkey's request
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that nearly 6,000 Russians had been killed in the first six days of Moscow's invasion
- A 40-mile convoy of hundreds of Russian tanks and other vehicles advanced slowly on Kyiv, the capital city of nearly three million people