- Russia-Ukraine talks will resume on Wednesday; Ukrainian negotiator says there is “room for compromise”.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian demands in peace talks are becoming “more realistic”.
- Prime Ministers of Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia visit Zelenskyy in Kyiv for talks, express solidarity and support
- US President Joe Biden will attend NATO, EU summits in Brussels next week: White House.
- About 29,000 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Tuesday, most from the besieged city of Mariupol, a senior Ukrainian official says.
Here are the latest updates:
Air raid sirens in major Ukraine cities: Report
Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian news outlet, says air raid sirens have gone off in several major cities, including Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipro and Lviv.
As well as in the cities of Kyiv, Izyum, Kremenchuk, Bila Tserkva, Nikopol, Mykolaiv, Kyiv, Izmail, Odesa, Poltava, and the Kryve Ozero area.
CNN reports that according to their team on the ground, loud explosions were heard in Kyiv’s suburbs.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 16, 2022
China says Taiwan ‘taking advantage’ of Ukraine
China’s government has lambasted Taiwan’s humanitarian aid for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia as “taking advantage of other’s difficulties” after the self-ruled territory announced it was sending more funds donated by the public for refugees.
The war in Ukraine has garnered broad sympathy in Taiwan, with many seeing parallels between Russia’s invasion and the military threat posed by China, which views the democratically governed island as its own territory.
Asked about Taiwan’s aid and sanctions at a news conference in Beijing, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said: “The Democratic Progressive Party authorities are using the Ukraine issue to validate their existence and piggyback on a hot issue,” referring to Taiwan’s ruling party.
Russian warships ‘fire missiles at Ukraine coast’
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, says Russian warships fired missiles and artillery at the Ukrainian coast near Tuzla, to the south of Odesa, at about midnight.
“They fired a huge amount of ammunition from a great distance,” he said on Facebook, adding that Russia wanted to test Ukraine’s coastal defence system.
He said there was no attempt to land troops but did not say if any of the shelling hit anything.
Zelenskyy says Ukraine ‘must recognise’ it may not join NATO
Ukraine’s president has said his country should accept that it may not become a member of the US-led NATO military alliance, a key Russian concern that it used to justify its invasion.
“Ukraine is not a member of NATO… We have heard for years that the doors were open, but we also heard that we could not join. It’s a truth and it must be recognised,” Zelenskyy told the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force on Tuesday.
“I am glad that our people are beginning to understand this and rely on themselves and the partners who are helping us,” Zelenskyy said, while renewing his appeal for a no-fly zone to protect Ukraine from Russian air raids.
Ukraine war may ‘fundamentally alter’ global economic, political order: IMF
The International Monetary Fund says Russia’s invasion will affect the entire global economy by slowing growth and jacking up inflation, and could fundamentally reshape the global economic order in the longer term.
Beyond the human suffering and historic refugee flows, the war is boosting prices for food and energy, fuelling inflation and eroding spending power, while disrupting trade, supply chains and remittances in countries neighbouring Ukraine, the IMF said.
It is also eroding business confidence and triggering uncertainty among investors that will depress asset prices, tighten financial conditions and could trigger capital outflows from emerging markets, it said.
Ukraine says 4th Russian general killed
Ukraine says Russia’s Major General Oleg Mityaev, 46, has been killed during the storming of Mariupol.
Gerashchenko, of the Ukrainian interior ministry, said Mityaev died on Tuesday and that Mityaev had commanded the 150th motorised rifle division and had fought in Syria.
There was no confirmation of the death from Russia.
Russia ‘likely struggling’ due to troop losses: UK
The British Ministry of Defence says Russia is “increasingly seeking to generate additional troops to bolster and replace its personnel losses in Ukraine”.
In its latest intelligence update, the ministry said that as a result of the personnel losses, “it is likely Russia is struggling to conduct offensive operations”, especially given sustained resistance from Ukrainian forces.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 15 March 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/sdQNbNojkk
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 15, 2022
Zelenskyy says Russian demands ‘more realistic’
Ukraine’s president says Russia’s demands during negotiations are becoming “more realistic” after nearly three weeks of war and that more time is needed for the talks, which are being held by video conference.
“The meetings continue, and, I am informed, the positions during the negotiations already sound more realistic,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. He appealed for more weapons and more sanctions on Russia, and repeated his call to “close the skies over Ukraine to Russian missiles and planes”.
He said Russian forces on Tuesday were unable to move deeper into Ukrainian territory and continued their heavy shelling of cities.
Ex-US diplomat says NATO can do more to help Ukraine
Kurt Volker, the former US ambassador to NATO, says the Western security alliance can do much more to help Ukraine even if it does not want to impose a no-fly zone.
“There are additional air defence systems that Ukrainians need, more stingers but also higher-altitude systems. They need shore-to-ship missiles to go after some of the Russian ships that are in the Black Sea firing cruise missiles at Ukrainian cities,” he told Al Jazeera.
“They need more Javelin anti-tank systems. The Poles have offered to provide MiG-29 aircraft, which the Ukrainians know how to fly. That should happen soon. We should be accelerating our deliveries of humanitarian relief to the Ukrainian people and if that needs protection in order to do so safely, we should provide that protection. There are so many things on the ladder here that we can do that we are not doing.”
Zelenskyy thanks EU leaders for Kyiv visit
Zelenskyy has thanked the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia who travelled to Kyiv for talks.
“These respected men, leaders of their beautiful independent European states, are not afraid of anything and are more worried about our destiny,” Zelenskyy said. The three leaders had gone ahead with the train trip despite worries about the security risks of travelling in a war zone.
“With such friends, with such countries and neighbours and partners, we will be able truly to defeat, I don’t want to say who, we all know it,” he added.
Poland’s Morawiecki: ‘We will never leave you alone’
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has expressed solidarity and support for Ukraine during a meeting with Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
“We will never leave you alone. We will be with you because we know that you are fighting not only for your homes, for your freedom, for your security, but also for others,” he said.
Poland urges EU to give Ukraine candidate status
Poland’s prime minister says the war in Ukraine is a European issue that needs a collective response.
“The European Union has to give very quickly candidate status and more,” he said after meeting with Zelenskyy. “It has to invite Ukraine to the European Union. And [provide] all the defensive weapons to defend your homes. We will try to organise, orchestrate all over the world.”
Ukraine says its forces repelled Russian attack on Kharkiv
Ukrainian forces have repelled an attack on Kharkiv by Russian troops who tried to storm the city from their positions in Piatykhatky, a suburb 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the north, according to the head of the Kharkiv region.
The Ukrainian army was able “to push the enemy back beyond its previous position”, Oleh Synehubov said on the messaging app Telegram.
He called it a “shameful defeat”.
US Senate backs Russia war crimes probes
The US Senate has unanimously approved a resolution seeking investigations of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government for war crimes over the invasion of Ukraine.
The resolution said the Senate strongly condemns the “violence, war crimes. crimes against humanity” being carried out by Russian military forces.
The measure does not carry the force of law but encourages international investigations of Putin, his security council and military leaders.
UK’s Johnson to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday as part of his efforts to secure additional oil and reduce dependence on Russian energy.
In a statement released by his office, Johnson called Saudi Arabia and the UAE “key international partners” in his bid to wean the West off Russian oil and gas, improve energy security and coordinate action against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Germany’s Scholz says sanctions ‘having a stronger impact than Russia ever imagined’
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has again ruled out NATO intervention in the Ukraine war but said the West continues to trust in the effect of sanctions imposed on Russia.
“Together with our allies in Europe and the US, we have prepared very precise sanctions,” Scholz said at an economic summit organised by the Die Welt newspaper in Berlin.
“[Russian] President Vladimir Putin may have planned this war for a year and prepared for economic reactions from the international community, but he underestimated our determination: The sanctions are having a stronger impact than Russia ever imagined.”
Russia to quit Council of Europe
Russia says it is pulling out of the Council of Europe (COE), a pan-European rights body, as pressure mounts for Moscow’s expulsion over its invasion of Ukraine.
The decision ends Russia’s quarter-century membership and opens the way for Moscow to reimpose the death penalty if authorities decide to do so.
The so-called “Ruxit” means that Russia will no longer be a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and its citizens will no longer be able to file applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Russia’s foreign ministry, announcing the launching of exit procedures, said it has “no regret” about leaving.
Japan to revoke Russia’s ‘most favoured nation’ trade status: Public broadcaster
Japan will revoke Russia’s “most favoured nation” trade status as part of further sanctions against Moscow, public broadcaster NHK has said.
The government is set to announce the move on Wednesday, it reported, following similar moves by Western partners. Japan has already imposed sanctions on chips and high-tech equipment on Russia.
US aid to be split between security and humanitarian assistance: AJE correspondent
The US’s $13.6bn aid package to Ukraine will be split between security and humanitarian assistance, Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett says.
She added that Biden has stressed that the aid would ensure Ukrainians “have the tools they need to defend themselves”.
“In terms of the real details – how much money is going to each allocation – there really were some big question marks. So we’re now looking ahead to Wednesday when the US president has promised that he will be giving more specific detail,” Halkett said.
Poland calls for peacekeeping mission in Ukraine
The leader of Poland’s ruling party says an international peacekeeping mission should be sent to Ukraine.
“I think that it is necessary to have a peace mission – NATO, possibly some wider international structure – but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski said during a press conference in Kyiv alongside Zelenskyy.
War in Ukraine tests shaky US-China relations
In recent days, several top officials in the US have tried to discourage China from backing Russia in its war in Ukraine, amid reports that Moscow has requested military assistance from Beijing.
While Chinese officials have downplayed the reports, experts say the US’s public pressure campaign on China could define an already shaky relationship between the two nations for years to come.
“This has the potential to be a turning point in US-China relations,” Robert Ross, a political science professor at Boston College, told Al Jazeera.
Russia regrouping and pivoting on Ukraine strategy: Analyst
Russia’s initial military strategy of making rapid gains, displacing Ukrainians and taking over the country has failed on many levels, James Sherr, an analyst at the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, has said.
“Ukraine’s cohesion and resilience, flexibility and inventiveness have come as a surprise,” Sherr told Al Jazeera.
Russians are now altering their war strategy in two ways, he said, by regrouping – particularly in the east in the country – and pummelling Ukrainian cities. “They are reducing Ukrainians to destitution,” Sherr said.
Biden pledges to help Ukrainian refugees
Biden has promised humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as the number of people who fled the country surpassed three million, according to the UN.
“This war has turned nearly 3 million Ukrainians into refugees,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “That’s on top of more than 12 million people who require humanitarian assistance inside Ukraine. The United States is helping to lead a global humanitarian response with our partners in Europe and beyond.”
Biden to attend NATO, EU summits in Brussels next week
Biden will travel to Europe next week for face-to-face talks with European leaders on the Russian invasion, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has announced.
Biden will meet NATO and European leaders at a summit in Brussels on March 24. He will also attend a scheduled EU summit the same day for discussions on further sanctions on Russia and humanitarian efforts for Ukraine.
Biden authorises $13.6bn in aid to Ukraine
The US president has signed an annual spending bill that contains $13.6bn in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.
“I just signed the Bipartisan Government Funding Bill into law – keeping the government open and providing a historic $13.6 billion in funding to Ukraine,” Biden wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
I just signed the Bipartisan Government Funding Bill into law — keeping the government open and providing a historic $13.6 billion in funding to Ukraine.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 15, 2022
Russia-Ukraine talks difficult but will continue: Zelenskyy adviser
A senior Ukrainian official says talks with Russia were very difficult but said there was “certainly room for compromise”.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said on Twitter that there were fundamental contradictions between the two sides.
But, Podolyak said, the negotiations would continue on Wednesday.
Russia’s tactics are evolving in Ukraine – Here’s how
The last week has seen a marked change in tactics from the Russian military as the scope of the war in Ukraine has widened.
Advanced weapons, especially man-portable anti-tank and air defence systems, as well as small arms and ammunition, have been pouring into Ukraine.
Read more about Russia’s changing military tactics here.
Turkey foreign minister to hold meetings in Moscow, then Kyiv
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is sending his foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to Moscow and Kyiv this week as part of Turkey’s mediation efforts to secure a ceasefire in Ukraine.
Cavusoglu will hold talks in Moscow on Wednesday, Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting, before travelling to Kyiv on Thursday.
NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good ties with both, and has offered to mediate between the warring countries.
29,000 evacuated from Ukrainian cities on Tuesday: Ukrainian official
About 29,000 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Tuesday, most of them leaving the besieged port city of Mariupol, a senior government official has said.
Senior Ukrainian presidential official Kyrylo Tymoshenko said in an online post that about 20,000 people had left Mariupol in private cars.
Ukraine earlier accused Russia of blocking a convoy trying to take supplies to the city.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Tuesday, March 15 here.