March 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Jessie Yeung, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 6:05 PM ET, Tue March 8, 2022
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8:23 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Kyiv mayor says the "enemy is on the outskirts" of the Ukrainian capital

From Olya Voitoych in Kyiv  

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, warned Tuesday in a video message that “the enemy is on the outskirts of the capital,” adding that the Ukrainian military is “preparing to defend Kyiv.”

“Our armed forces, Territorial Defense Forces, are fighting heroically for our land,” Klitschko said. 

“Fortifications and checkpoints have been built at the entrances to the city. I ask everyone to keep calm. Do not go outside unnecessarily and stay in shelters in case of alarm,” he added. 

A massive 40-mile-long Russian military convoy — made up of armored vehicles, tanks, towed artillery and other logistical vehicles — has reached the outskirts of Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, according to satellite images from Maxar Technologies. 

In an earlier video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said defending Kyiv is the government’s “key priority.” 

“Kyiv is special. If we protect Kyiv, we will protect the state. This is the heart of our country, and it must keep beating,” Zelensky said. 

Echoing the president’s remarks, Klitschko said that Russian Forces want to “take the heart of our country.” 

“We will fight and we will not give Kyiv up,” he asserted.

8:06 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

"Prove that you will not let us go": Zelensky asks EU leaders for solidarity after Ukraine applies to join bloc

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Members of the European Parliament applaud Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who appears on a screen as he speaks in a video conference during a special plenary session of the European Parliament focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on March 1.
Members of the European Parliament applaud Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who appears on a screen as he speaks in a video conference during a special plenary session of the European Parliament focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on March 1. (John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on European leaders to “prove” their solidarity with his country, just a day after signing an official request to join the European Union. 

“We have proven our strength. We have proven that, at a minimum, we are exactly the same as you. So prove that you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go. Prove that you are, indeed, Europeans,” Zelensky said in a video address to the European Parliament on Tuesday. 

Zelensky said his country is "fighting for survival" amid the Russian invasion.

“Then, life will win over death and light will win over darkness,” he continued. “We are fighting for survival — this is the highest of our motivations — but we are also fighting to be equal members of Europe.” 

Tweeting on Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the “best decision the EU can make now is to accept Ukraine as a new full-fledged member” of the organization.

“Historic times require big and historic decisions which can change the flow of events,” he added, urging EU leaders to admit Ukraine to the bloc “without delay.” 

Addressing the European Parliament via video link, Zelensky stressed that the Ukrainian people are fighting for their lives, urging EU leaders to stand by Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion. 

“We are dealing with real people, real lives. We are giving our lives for our values, our rights, our freedom, for the desire to be equals — as much as you are,” Zelensky said. 

“Nobody is going to break us. We are strong. We are Ukrainians,” he added.

 

7:55 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

"Economic wars quite often turn into real ones," former Russian President Medvedev says

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in Moscow and Xiaofei Xu in Paris

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has lashed out against remarks by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who earlier said that France was waging an economic war against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. 

“Watch your tongue, gentlemen,” Medvedev, who is the current deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council tweeted on Tuesday. “Don’t forget that in human history, economic wars quite often turned into real ones.”

Earlier on Monday, Le Maire said in an interview with French broadcaster FranceInfo that his country and the EU would “launch total economic and financial war against Russia.”

7:48 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Russian Change.org petition against Ukraine war has more than 1 million signatures

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Moscow

A Russian-language Change.org petition against the war in Ukraine has gathered more than a million signatures, and members of Russian professional organizations have signed similar petitions, according to a CNN review.

Veteran human-rights activist Lev Ponomarev launched a "No to war" petition that has over 1 million signatures as of early afternoon Moscow time Tuesday.

A Russian website — https://we-are-not-alone.ru/ — has aggregated petitions of over three dozen Russian professional organizations representing academics, artists, journalists, musicians, economists and other professions. By their count, nearly 100,000 individuals have signed these petitions.

Prominent Russian media figures, including author and journalist Mikhail Zygar and documentary filmmaker Yury Dud — who has over 5 million Instagram followers — have posted on social media against the war. 

7:41 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Russian PM announces capital controls to keep foreign business tied to Russian assets, state media reports

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in Moscow

Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during a video conference meeting on Russia's economic resilience in Moscow on March 1.
Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during a video conference meeting on Russia's economic resilience in Moscow on March 1. (Alexander Astafyev/TASS/Getty Images)

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced capital control measures to stop an exodus of foreign businesses from the country, Russian state news agencies TASS and RIA reported on Tuesday.

Mishustin said the sanctions imposed on Russia were making foreign investors decide not for economic reasons but because of “political pressure.”

“To enable businesses to make informed decisions, a draft presidential decree has been prepared to introduce temporary restrictions on exiting Russian assets,” he said. “We expect that those who have invested in our country will be able to continue working here.” 

“I am sure that the sanctions pressure will eventually subside, and those who will not curtail their projects in our country, succumbing to the slogans of foreign politicians, will win,” the Russian prime minister said.

Mishustin said there would be daily meetings to try and tackle the economic impact of the sanctions.

“It is important to monitor the current situation in real time and promptly work out all the necessary measures,” he said. 

Some background: On Monday, the ruble crashed to a record low against the US dollar, the Russian central bank more than doubled interest rates to 20% and the Moscow stock exchange was shuttered for the day. It will stay closed Tuesday, the central bank announced.

The European subsidiary of Russia's biggest bank was on the brink of collapse as savers rushed to withdraw their deposits. Economists warned that the Russian economy could shrink by 5%

7:37 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

At least 10 dead and 35 injured in Kharkiv strike as search continues, says Ukrainian official

From CNN's Hannah Ritchie, Olya Voitovych and Esha Mitra

Rescuers carry the body of a victim on a stretcher outside the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022.
Rescuers carry the body of a victim on a stretcher outside the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022. (Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters)

At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured in rocket strikes by Russian forces on the center of Kharkiv Tuesday, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko. 

“Freedom Square was hit by a cruise missile. There was a second hit by a similar rocket that hit the building after the rescuers arrived (in 5-7 minutes). One third of the administration building fell," Herashchenko said in a post on Telegram. 

The rubble is being cleared and there will be even more victims and injured,” he added.

Ukrainian State Emergency Services also confirmed the death toll in a social media post Tuesday. 

"Rescuers are working on the scene. The stairs and partial corridors on all floors are completely destroyed,” the post read. 

Indian student killed: An Indian student was among the dead after Russia's shelling of the city, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday. 

“With profound sorrow we confirm that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning. The Ministry is in touch with his family. We convey our deepest condolences to the family,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted Tuesday.

Bagchi also said India's Foreign Secretary would be calling Russia and Ukraine's ambassadors to "reiterate our demand for urgent safe passage for Indian nationals."

A senior official in India’s Ministry of External Affairs told CNN the "deteriorating situation in Kharkiv is a matter of grave concern" and that the safety and security of Indian nationals there "is of utmost priority."  

So far more than 9,000 Indian nationals have been evacuated while a "considerable number" are now in safer areas, the official said.

7:20 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

China regrets deaths in Ukraine but still refuses to acknowledge Russia’s invasion

From CNN's Beijing Bureau 

China said it “regrets" the casualties in Ukraine and called the current situation "undesirable" while continuing to refuse to acknowledge Russia’s military action as “an invasion.”

“The safety of civilians' lives and property should be effectively guaranteed, and in particular, large-scale humanitarian crises should be prevented,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a briefing Tuesday. 

“The present situation is undesirable to us,” Wang said, adding that it is “imperative” for all parties to exercise the “necessary restraint” to prevent an exacerbation of the situation in Ukraine.

However, China continued to dodge questions about calling Russia’s activity in Ukraine an "invasion," instead reiterating that the conflict has a "complicated history and reality" and that it supports "all diplomatic efforts" to resolve the conflict. 

China "always advocates a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security," Wang said, repeating that Russia's "legitimate demands for security" should be "taken seriously and properly addressed."

When asked whether China would provide supplies to Ukraine, Wang said China is willing to “play a constructive role” in easing the situation in Ukraine and would release relevant information "in due course."

7:18 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Translator chokes up with emotion as Zelensky addresses European Parliament

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is met with a standing ovation from diplomats as he addressed the European Parliament via video link on March 1.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is met with a standing ovation from diplomats as he addressed the European Parliament via video link on March 1. (EBS+)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was met with a standing ovation from diplomats as he addressed the European Parliament, telling those in attendance that his country is "fighting for survival."

"We are fighting just for our land and our freedom," Zelensky said, causing the EU translator on the English language feed to choke up with emotion. "We desire to see our children alive. I think it's a fair one."

"We are fighting for our life ... We are fighting for survival. This is the highest of our motivation," Zelensky said.

"But we are fighting also to be equal members of Europe," he added. "I believe that today we are showing everybody that's exactly what we are."

Zelensky requested for Ukraine to be added to the EU on an expedited process on Monday.

He received a standing ovation across the chamber both before and after his speech.

7:07 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Diplomats walk out as Russian Foreign Minister addresses UN

Ambassadors and diplomats leave while Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (on screen) addresses with a pre-recorded video message at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 1.
Ambassadors and diplomats leave while Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (on screen) addresses with a pre-recorded video message at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 1. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/AFP/Getty Images)

Representatives from Europe and other allies walked out during a video link address by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Tuesday.

A video posted by the French delegation showed dozens of officials leaving the chamber while Lavrov started his address via video link.

“Walk out from the EU and its partners during the statement from Minister Lavrov at the Conference on Disarmament this morning to show our support to Ukraine,” the tweet said. 

During his speech to the UN Human Rights Council, Lavrov said he did not attend in person because of what he called "outrageous" measures by European Union in applying sanctions on Russia following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.