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
18 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:02 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

China begins evacuating its citizens from Ukraine

From CNN's Simone McCarthy in Hong Kong

China has started evacuating its citizens from Ukraine, state media said.

Some 400 students based in the Black Sea Port city of Odessa, and another 200 from the capital, Kyiv, left the country on Monday, according to state-run tabloid Global Times, which cited the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine. Another 1,000 citizens are expected to be evacuated into neighboring countries on Tuesday, it added.

Plans for charter flights to get Chinese citizens out were put hold over the weekend as fighting intensified, with the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine citing security risks.

Unlike nationals from many other countries, Chinese nationals in Ukraine did not receive instructions to leave the country before Russia's invasion began. Prior to Russia's attack, Chinese officials pushed back on warnings from the United States and its allies that an aggressive move from Moscow was imminent.

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Monday defended Beijing's approach, saying the ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine “issued relevant safety warnings in a timely manner.”

There are about 6,000 Chinese nationals in Ukraine, according to state media.

1:30 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Analysis: Biden addresses an anxious world as Putin makes nuclear threats

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston

As Russian President Vladimir Putin rattles the West with nuclear threatsPresident Joe Biden faces an even tougher-than-expected task in Tuesday's State of the Union address.

He must recognize the fatigue, suffering and pessimism in a nation exhausted by the Covid-19 pandemic, rocked by rising inflation and high gas prices and now suddenly thrown by Russia's invasion of Ukraine into the worst geopolitical crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Then he must somehow conjure optimism about better times to come ahead of this year's midterms as he faces ebbing confidence among Americans that he has the plans, skills and endurance to end the crises.

At the same time, the President needs to send a message of US resolve amid fears the Ukraine crisis could spin out of control and trigger a direct clash with Russia, which has the world's most nuclear warheads. But any further escalation with Putin, who on Sunday ordered his nuclear deterrent to higher alert, carries significant risks.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine shattered 30 years of relative peace in Europe after the end of the Cold War. The battle for Ukraine is the first real fight in the new war for dominance between autocracy and democracy, which the President has long predicted.

Biden faces a rhetorical balancing act. He needs to avoid the impression that his role as the leader of the free world is distracting him from economic pain, rising crime, and the cascade of domestic crises that he inherited and promised to fix but has not yet done so.

The unpromising political environment for Democrats — partly bequeathed by a President whose approval rating has dipped to 40% in CNN's average of the most recent national polls — is already playing out in nascent 2022 election campaigns around the country, where Democrats are finding out that strong job growth and an economic bounce-back despite the Omicron wave are being disguised by rising prices of basic goods. The Ukraine crisis is only driving gas prices higher.

Read the full analysis:

2:24 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Taiwan to block Russian banks from SWIFT

From CNN's Wayne Chang and Eric Cheung

Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang speaks during a session on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, at the parliament in Taipei, Taiwan, on March 1.
Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang speaks during a session on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, at the parliament in Taipei, Taiwan, on March 1. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)

Taiwan will join moves to block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system “in lockstep” with Western countries, Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters Tuesday.

“Taiwan has condemned Russia for its invasion in conjunction with our global democratic partners … we will cooperate on decisions made against the [Russian] banks simultaneously,” Su said, ahead of a parliamentary session.  

In addition, Taiwan will “scrutinize” products exported to Russia in accordance with the Wassenaar Arrangement — which regulates export controls for weapons and dual-use goods and technologies, economic affairs minister Wang Mei-hua told lawmakers.

Such exports won't be permitted “unless there are legitimate reasons," he said.

Wang acknowledged that Taiwan’s trade with Russia is minimal, but said major Taiwanese chipmakers have all pledged to comply with government policies and relevant regulations. “We will announce specific measures in due course,” she said.  

Taiwan accounts for more than half of the world's output of semiconductor chips.

Separately, Taiwan sent 27 tons of medical supplies to Ukraine on Monday.  

Read more about the SWIFT sanctions here.

5:07 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Newlyweds spend honeymoon fighting for Ukraine

Newlyweds Yaryna Arieva (right) and Sviatoslav Fursin have taken up arms to defend Ukraine.
Newlyweds Yaryna Arieva (right) and Sviatoslav Fursin have taken up arms to defend Ukraine. (CNN)

Just hours after their wedding on the first day of Russia's invasion, Yaryna Arieva and Sviatoslav Fursin joined the fight to protect their country.

The couple were due to get married in May but rushed to tie the knot in Kyiv last week when Russia invaded, before joining the Ukrainian resistance.

Wearing camouflage jackets and holding a rifle, the couple told CNN's Don Lemon about spending their honeymoon living in a city under siege and taking up arms to fight against Russian troops invading their homeland.

"It's hard to understand, this new reality that we have," said Arieva, who is from Kyiv.

She said it's the first day of spring and usually people would be sowing sunflowers — Ukraine’s national flower — instead, they will be resisting Russia's attack. 

“No one here is saying that we will lose, or is crying. Everyone here believes we will win. It's all just a question of time. So, I am very happy to see this great amount of people, really being ready to fight. Being ready to kill for their land. Having no doubt about our win in this war," she said.

Her husband, Fursin, was born in the western city of Lviv and said his "people always want to be free. These people are ready to fight for their freedom."

Going on combat missions, he is worried for the safety of his family — his wife, parents and sister — but said he "will do everything to protect them."

Arieva said she is working every day and though it's "hard waiting for my husband to come back from combat missions," everyone is helping each other.

"Life here is different, but it is life. People joke and laugh. That is very interesting to see. It is another kind of life that has changed with the beginning of war but it is life," she said.

The couple called on the international community to help Ukraine with money, food, weapons, and medical assistance and to place more sanctions on Russia.

Fursin said he hopes the time will come soon when he can gather his family and friends "all in one place and drink a good glass of wine. And say to everybody, 'Hurray, war is ended, we won.'"

Before that time, though, he said he wants "everybody in this world, including Russia and the Russian people, to remember" that they are fighting "for the freedom of the world."

12:49 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

US Olympic & Paralympic Committee calls for complete ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes

The US Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has called for a "complete ban on international sport participation" for Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

USOPC said the ban should be effective immediately and be inclusive of the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, which begin on March 4.

"As the world watches in horror while Russia brazenly attacks the innocent people and athletes of Ukraine, this is the only acceptable action to be taken until peace has been restored," USOPC said.

12:40 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

South Korea pledges $10 million in Ukraine aid 

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea will provide $10 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as the Russian invasion continues, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said the support will be made through consultations with the governments of Ukraine, neighboring countries and international organizations.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered the government to rapidly come up with humanitarian support for Ukraine.

“We hope our government’s support effectively helps the Ukrainian people and refugees, and we will continue active contribution to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” the ministry said.
12:31 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Indian student in Ukraine pleads for help: "There is a lot of crying, a lot of fear"

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Sheikh Abrar attempts to sleep amid the sounds of sirens and blasts. He dare not switch on his phone, or keep a light on. Every night, he prays for safety.

“We don’t know how many people will die,” the 22-year-old Indian medical student told CNN by phone from the eastern city of Sumy on Monday, about 330 kilometers (200 miles) northeast of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and close to the Russian border.

“Every night, every day we hear sirens. Whenever we hear an alarm or shots fired in the air, we have to rush down to the (underground) bunkers," he said.

Abrar is one of about 13,000 Indians stranded in Ukraine, as Indian authorities ramp up efforts to evacuate their citizens.

“They will evacuate us when there will be no one (left). Everyone will die,” Abrar said.

Abrar has been taking refuge in a hostel. But as Ukraine enters its sixth day of Russia’s unprovoked invasion, supplies — including food and water — are running low, leaving him and about 400 others with him desperate for help.

“Every second, every minute we are tweeting… we are trying to reach the Indian Embassy but what are they doing?” he said.

Indians evacuated: Since Ukraine’s airspace shut last week, India has evacuated about 2,000 nationals — mostly medical students like Abrar— from the country.

According to the medical student, India was late in issuing advisories to leave the country, and when they did on Feb. 15, it wasn’t possible for most to return. Flight costs increased and many middle-class families were unable to afford the journey home, he said.

On Monday, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine reiterated that all students should make the journey west to be evacuated. Several Indian ministers will travel to neighboring countries to coordinate the evacuation mission, a senior government official told CNN Monday.

But for Abrar, the decision to stay or leave comes with serious risks.

“All the ways are blocked … if we travel by bus we will not be able to cross into the west because Russian troops are everywhere,” he said. “We are stuck here. We need help.”
12:24 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

North Korea blames US "hegemony policy" for Ukraine war

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul, South Korea

North Korea blamed the “hegemony policy of the US and the West” for the Ukrainian crisis in a statement issued by a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday.

“The root cause of the Ukraine crisis totally lies in the hegemonic policy of the US and the West which indulge themselves in high-handedness and arbitrariness towards other countries,” the spokesperson said.

The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions against Russia and is applying pressure by blocking some Russian banks from the SWIFT global payment system.

The North Korean spokesperson said the US and the West have “systematically undermined the security environment of Europe by becoming more blatant in their attempts to deploy attack weapon systems while defiantly pursuing NATO’s eastward expansion.”

The spokesperson also denounced the “unilateral and double-dealing policy of the US” for threatening peace and security of sovereign states.

12:15 a.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Foreign students fleeing Ukraine say they face segregation, racism at border

From CNN's Stephanie Busari, Nimi Princewill and Shama Nasinde

Refugees from many countries, mostly students at Ukrainian universities, are seen at the Medyka pedestrian border crossing, in eastern Poland on February 27.
Refugees from many countries, mostly students at Ukrainian universities, are seen at the Medyka pedestrian border crossing, in eastern Poland on February 27. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, foreign students attempting to leave the country say they are experiencing racist treatment by Ukrainian security forces and border officials.

One African medical student told CNN that she and other foreigners were ordered off the public transit bus at a checkpoint between Ukraine and Poland border.

They were told to stand aside as the bus drove off with only Ukrainian nationals on board, she says.

Rachel Onyegbule, a Nigerian first-year medical student in Lviv was left stranded at the border town of Shehyni, some 400 miles from Ukraine's capital, Kyiv.

She told CNN: "More than 10 buses came and we were watching everyone leave. We thought after they took all the Ukrainians they would take us, but they told us we had to walk, that there were no more buses.

"They told us we had to walk. It started to rain and we walked 12 hours to get to Shehyni."

"My body was numb from the cold and we haven't slept in about 4 days now. Ukrainians have been prioritized over Africans — men and women — at every point. There's no need for us to ask why. We know why. I just want to get home," Onyegbule told CNN in a telephone call Sunday as she waited in line at the border to cross into Poland.

Onyegbule says she eventually got her exit document stamped on Monday morning around 4.30 a.m. local time.

Read more: