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E.U. leaders visit Kyiv as Ukraine officials see room for compromise with Russia

The latest round of talks comes as 29,000 people fled from Ukrainian cities, making use of nine humanitarian corridors.

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Despite Russia's relentless assault, top Ukrainian advisers to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy indicated Tuesday that there might be room for comprise even as Russian forces stepped up their bombardment of Kyiv.

One aide said the negotiations had become “more constructive” while another described the talks as “very difficult and viscous” with “fundamental contradictions” between the two sides. Still, “there is certainly room for compromise," presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.

The latest round of talks comes as 29,000 people fled from Ukrainian cities, making use of nine humanitarian corridors that had been previously established. The majority of the people evacuated from the embattled city of Mariupol and made their way by private car to Zaporizhzhia and surrounding regions.

In Kyiv, a new 35-hour curfew went into effect as its mayor warned that the city faced a "difficult and dangerous moment." Even as the fighting raged, the leaders of three European countries traveled to Ukraine's capital to meet with Zelenskyy in a bold show of support.

See full coverage here.

156d ago / 12:42 PM UTC

Nearly 3 million refugees have now fled Ukraine since Russia invaded

Nearly 3 million people have now fled Ukraine since Russia invaded.

The number of refugees who have left the country since the war began on Feb. 24 reached 2.969 million Tuesday, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

The majority of the refugees have fled to neighboring Poland, while Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia have also taken in people fleeing across the border. 

156d ago / 12:17 PM UTC

Izyum deputy mayor warns city facing desperate situation

The eastern Ukrainian city of Izyum is rapidly running out of supplies and urgently needs humanitarian corridors to help civilians trapped in dire conditions, its deputy mayor warned.

The city has been under siege for two weeks and is “without water, without light, heat, food, medicine, communication,” Deputy Mayor Volodymyr Matsokin said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

He said that in addition to Russian shelling, people were dying of disease and due to a lack of medicine. "There is no one to bury the dead," he added.

Matsokin said the situation in his city was no better than in Mariupol, the besieged southeastern port city that has faced perhaps the worst of the Russian assault.

“Izyum residents URGENTLY need humanitarian corridors on both sides (Kharkiv and Slovyansk) to deliver humanitarian goods,” he added.

156d ago / 12:04 PM UTC

Kremlin dismisses anti-war TV protest as 'hooliganism'

The Kremlin has dismissed an anti-war protest on Russian TV as "hooliganism."

A woman interrupted Russia’s main evening news broadcast Monday, holding a sign saying “No War” and telling viewers not to believe the station’s “propaganda.”

The independent OVD-Info human rights group said the woman, an employee of the state-owned, widely watched Channel One, was named Marina Ovsyannikova and that she had been detained and taken into custody.

Her whereabouts and condition were unclear as of Tuesday morning.

Amid concerns over her fate, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the protest "is hooliganism" and would be dealt with by the channel and relevant organizations. 

Read the full story here.

156d ago / 11:36 AM UTC

Ukraine says 9 humanitarian corridors open Tuesday

Ukraine is hoping to evacuate civilians through nine humanitarian corridors across the country Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that around 150,000 people had been able to escape hard-hit areas along the safe routes established with Russia so far.

Those efforts have been hampered by Russian attacks, though there was a glimmer of hope for residents of the besieged southern city of Mariupol on Monday with the first convoy of private cars making it out of the city.

The Mariupol city council said on Tuesday that around 300 people had arrived in Zaporizhzhia since Monday, though a convoy of aid heading into the city has yet to be allowed through. 

The situation in Mariupol is “extreme” and people are facing impossible choices around how to feed their families and themselves, a spokesperson of the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday. 

As well as Mariupol, today's evacuation efforts will see corridors established from areas around the capital, Kyiv, and from the cities of Sumy, Trostyanets, Shostka, Lebedyn, and Konotop in the hard-hit Sumy region.

157d ago / 10:57 AM UTC

Zelenskyy urges Russian soldiers to surrender, says Kyiv is listening in

157d ago / 10:50 AM UTC

Russia trying to 'subvert Ukrainian democracy' in occupied areas, U.K. warns

Russia will likely continue its efforts to "subvert Ukrainian democracy" in order to consolidate its control over the country, Britain's ministry of defense has warned.

In its latest intelligence update, the ministry cited reports that Russia has already attempted to install its own mayor in Melitopol after Ukraine said the southern city's original mayor was abducted last Friday. Russian forces have also been accused of abducting the mayor of Dniprorudne. 

The U.K. defense ministry also cited reports Russia may seek to stage a “referendum” in Kherson in an attempt to legitimize the area as a “breakaway republic," similar to strategies used in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea since 2014.

Demonstrations against Russian occupation have taken place in multiple areas under Russian control, including Kherson, Melitopol and Berdyansk, according to the ministry. 

157d ago / 10:15 AM UTC

Kyiv to impose new curfew amid Russian assault

A new 35-hour curfew is set to be imposed in Kyiv as the Ukrainian capital comes under intensifying Russian attacks.

The curfew will be in force from 8 p.m. local time Tuesday (2 p.m. ET) until 7 a.m. on Thursday (1 a.m. ET), Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on his Telegram channel. 

The mayor told residents to prepare to remain at home or at a bomb shelter for the next two days. 

All residents will be banned from moving through the city's streets unless they are traveling to shelters or carrying a special pass.  

"Today is a difficult and dangerous moment," Klitschko said. 

157d ago / 9:36 AM UTC

British train driver spends vacation handing out food to newly arrived refugees

MEDYKA, Poland ⁠— Fara Shojaian, a train driver from the beach town of Brighton in southern England, is using his vacation days to hand out chicken noodle soup to hungry Ukrainian refugees. 

Shojaian, 51, is volunteering with World Central Kitchen at the Medyka border crossing in the east of Poland. He arrived on Sunday and will be staffing the soup station for a week.

“Hot food is very important,” Shojaian said. “As soon as the refugees come across the border, we meet and greet them and try to give them fresh, hearty food so they can get at least some of their energy back.”

Soup is the kind of food that will do that, he added.

“I have friends in Ukraine, I have been there a few times, in Kyiv and Dnipro,” Shojaian said. “I needed to be here.” 

Image: Fara Shojaian, left, serves soup to Ukrainians crossing the border.
Fara Shojaian, left, serves soup to Ukrainians crossing the border. Jacobia Dahm for NBC News
157d ago / 9:18 AM UTC

Russian strikes hit residential buildings in Kyiv

Several residential buildings and a metro station in Kyiv have been hit by Russian shelling, according to the city's mayor and emergency services. 

Two high-rise buildings in the Sviatoshyno area and one in the Podil neighborhood of Ukraine's capital were directly hit by shelling while a nearby metro station was damaged by shock waves, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on his official Telegram channel Tuesday morning. 

The shelling ignited a fire at one 16-story residential building, killing four people according to the city's mayor and forcing 46 people to be evacuated from their homes, according to the SES.  

NBC News has verified video showing damage to the building, but has not confirmed the number of deaths. 

Russia has consistently denied targeting civilians.

Rescuers work next to a residential building damaged by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine on Tuesday.
Rescuers work next to a residential building damaged by shelling in Kyiv on Tuesday.Ukrainian State Emergency Service / Reuters
157d ago / 9:16 AM UTC

Japan sanctions 17 influential, wealthy Russians

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Japan on Tuesday said it would freeze the assets of 17 Russians, bringing the total of those targeted by the country in response to the invasion of Ukraine to 61.

According to a statement on the Finance Ministry's website, among those on the updated list are billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, 11 members of Russia's Parliament the Duma, and five family members of banker Yuri Kovalchuk, widely reported to be close to President Vladimir Putin.

The move comes after the United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Vekselberg and 12 Duma members.

157d ago / 9:04 AM UTC

European leaders to visit Kyiv, meet Zelenskyy in show of support

The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia are traveling to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital which is currently under fire, on a European Union mission to show support for the country as Russia’s invasion intensifies.

“The aim of the visit is to express the European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine and its freedom and independence,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in a tweet.

He said they would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the visit on Tuesday.

He will be joined by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is the Polish deputy prime minister for security but also the conservative ruling party leader.

Russia’s offensive in Ukraine edged closer to central Kyiv on Tuesday, with a series of strikes hitting a residential neighborhood in the capital as the two countries planned a second day of talks.

157d ago / 6:29 AM UTC

World Bank announces additional $200 million in funding for Ukraine

The World Bank said Monday it had approved almost $200 million in additional and reprogrammed financing to support Ukraine's essential social services.

The money comes on top of $723 million in emergency funding the bank has mobilized, of which $350 million has been disbursed to Ukraine, the bank said in a statement. It is part of a $3 billion package the bank says it is preparing over the coming months.

“The ongoing war continues to have severe human costs and has created financing gaps that jeopardize the ability of vulnerable people in Ukraine to meet basic needs,” World Bank President David Malpass said.

The total funding mobilized by the World Bank also includes a multi-donor trust fund that has grown to $145 million after an $11 million contribution from Austria, the bank said.

157d ago / 3:26 AM UTC

Satellite images appear to show devastation of invasion on town

Image: Multispectral imagery view of burning homes and buildings near Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 14, 2022
A multispectral imagery view of burning homes and buildings near Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday.Satellite image (C)2022 Maxar Technologies

Satellite images from a town northwest of Kyiv appear to show the devastation of the Russian invasion, with numerous buildings and homes that have been damaged or destroyed and multiple structures in flames.

The images, released late Monday by the U.S. government-linked technology firm Maxar, show the town of Moschun, roughly 45 minutes from central Kyiv.

Wide swaths of the town appear blackened, and smoke can be seen rising from different structures.

The images were released as Russian forces continued to advance on the Ukrainian capital. An attack on a high-rise early Monday left one person dead and seven injured.

As of Monday, the United Nations had recorded more than 1,700 casualties since Russia invaded Ukraine last month, including 636 people who have died. The true death toll is likely to be far higher, especially in areas where fighting has intensified in recent days, the organization said.

157d ago / 2:19 AM UTC

157d ago / 1:19 AM UTC

Ukrainian president claims Russia has lost more military equipment than in both Chechen wars

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed Monday that Russian forces had lost more military equipment in nearly three weeks than during both of their invasions of Chechnya, the small republic in Russia’s southwest that endured years of bloody conflict and destruction beginning in the 1990s. 

Saying Ukrainian soldiers were inflicting “devastating” losses on invading troops, Zelenskyy seemed to taunt his neighbors, saying: “Today, the Russian military is practically one of the providers of the military equipment for our army.”

NBC News has not independently confirmed the remark, and it isn’t clear whether figures provided by Ukraine’s armed forces are accurate.

According to numbers published Monday by the Kyiv Independent, a local news site, Russia has lost nearly 400 tanks, 90 helicopters, 1,249 armored personnel carriers, 77 planes and other equipment. 

The former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, Mark Hertling, has said that if the accounts of Russian losses are “even close” to being accurate, “they are disastrous.”

A study included in the Marine Corps' amphibious warfare school found that In the first Chechen war, which lasted for two years in the mid-1990s — and which military scholars describe as devastating for Russian forces — the invading military lost nearly 90 percent of its 120 tanks in a single battle.

Another account, published in an Indian defense journal, reported that the military lost every 10th helicopter. Every fourth aircraft was damaged.

Reports of the death toll from the conflicts vary widely. Human rights groups and official accounts say tens of thousands of people were killed, many of them civilians.