March 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Angela Dewan, Adrienne Vogt, Joe Ruiz and Alaa Elassar, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, March 6, 2022
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8:23 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Spanish clothing retailer Inditex suspends activity at more than 500 stores in Russia 

From CNN’s Al Goodman in Madrid

Spain’s Inditex, the global fashion giant whose brands include Zara, announced Saturday it is “temporarily suspending” activity in its 502 stores in the Russian Federation, Inditex said in a statement. 

“Inditex reports that in the current circumstances it cannot guarantee the continuity of its operations and the commercial conditions in the Russian Federation,” the statement said, adding that the suspension also applies to the firm’s online sales there. 

Of the 502 stores, 86 are of the Zara brand, the company said, adding that Russia accounts for about 8.5% of the company’s pre-tax profits, as measured by EBIT. Inditex has more than 9,000 employees in the Russian Federation and is developing a “special support plan” for them, the statement said.  

Inditex sent its statement to Spain’s stock market regulator, known by its Spanish initials, CNMV, on Saturday.  

Inditex has eight brands that sell online globally, and also in some 7,000 stores in 96 countries, according to the firm’s website. 

2:34 p.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Germany registers more than 27,000 refugees from Ukraine

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

People fleeing Ukraine arrive at Hauptbahnhof main railway station on March 5, in Berlin, Germany.
People fleeing Ukraine arrive at Hauptbahnhof main railway station on March 5, in Berlin, Germany. (Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

More than 27,000 refugees have arrived in Germany from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, according to Germany’s interior ministry. 

Germany’s Federal Police has registered 27,491 refugees from Ukraine in Germany to date, an interior ministry spokesperson confirmed to CNN Saturday.

But the actual number of incoming refugees could be significantly higher, the ministry said.

"Since there are no border controls, the number of war refugees entering Germany may in fact already be much higher," according to the interior ministry statement sent to CNN.

Here's a look at the the number of people who've fled to countries bordering Ukraine:

8:20 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Russian plane shot down on outskirts of northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv

Ukraine's State Emergency Service (SES) says that a Russian plane was shot down at the edge of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, which has seen intense fighting for almost a week.

The plane crashed into a residential area, the SES said, adding that it was unknown if there were casualties. The crash caused fires in four private homes.

Local people were being evacuated after three 500-kilogram bombs were found, the SES said.

Authorities said 17 people were killed in the Chernihiv region over the 24 hours to 8 a.m. Saturday as a result of shelling. Another person died due to fire.

CNN cannot independently confirm the number of deaths.

According to the Chernihiv Regional State Administration, "during the day on March 4 and on the night of March 5, Russian aircraft systematically bombed Chernihiv, mostly residential areas."

8:13 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Germany's military says more reservists are reaching out following Russia's invasion of Ukraine

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Germany's armed forces (Bundeswehr) say ''an increasing number of reservists'' are coming forward to offer support for the country's military services following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

''Following the start of the war of aggression on Ukraine, an increasing number of reservists are contacting various departments of the Bundeswehr to offer their support,'' the Bundeswehr website said Friday.

''Currently, a concrete requirement for the Bundeswehr is not yet foreseeable; on the other hand, the development of the situation is characterized by high dynamics,'' the statement on the Bundeswehr website added. 

The Bundeswehr also said that communications channels have now been set up on its website for inquiries.

According to the Bundeswehr website, Germany introduced conscription in 1956 with men over the age of 18 expected to serve in the military for a year -- although they could claim exemption due to moral obligations.

Germany scrapped compulsory military service in 2011 in a step that marked a historic change for the country's post-World War II forces. Since 2011, Germany's armed forces has relied on volunteers to fill its ranks. In the event of a national defense emergency, an automated reactivation of conscription takes place.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has reignited a debate in Germany, however, about whether young men and women should be required to fight for their country.

9:17 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

See where the Ukrainian government alleges Russian shelling violates agreement on two evacuation corridors 

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

A Ukrainian minister has accused Russian forces of shelling the city of Volnovakha in the eastern Donetsk region, where an evacuation corridor was due to allow civilians to escape fighting on Saturday.

"At 11:45 the Russian Federation began shelling the city of Volnovakha with heavy weapons," said Iryna Vereshchuk, Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, in a video posted on Facebook. "As you know, we had a preliminary agreement that from 9:00 we will create two humanitarian corridors -- Volnovakha and Mariupol."

Russia violated agreements even with the mediation of the Red Cross, [and] failed to fulfill its commitments and shelled the city of Volnovakha."

Vereshchuk said that fighting was also preventing the second corridor from the besieged city of Mariupol from operating.

"There is fighting taking place in the direction of Mariupol-Zaporizhzhia, near Pology-Orikhove, which prevents the movement of the column from Mariupol to Zaporozhzhia," she said.

"We call on the Russian side to end the shelling, return the ceasefire and allow columns of the humanitarian corridor to form so that children, women and the elderly can leave the settlements.

"We also appeal to the Russian Federation to provide the opportunity to send humanitarian aid from the city of Dnipro and the city of Zaporizhzhia, especially those ones consisting of medicines and food.”

Read the story in full here.

8:34 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Hundreds of Nigerian evacuees from Ukraine arrive home

From CNN’s Nimi Princewill and Stephanie Busari

More than 400 Nigerian citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine have returned home after being evacuated by the government, according to the West African country’s Diaspora Commission.

The first batch of returnees arrived in the capital Abuja early Friday from Romania, according to the government agency Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).

The second batch of evacuees arrived from Poland later Friday while the third batch landed in Abuja close to midnight Friday in a chartered flight from Hungary, NIDCOM said in a series of tweets.

NIDCOM stated Saturday that another flight provided by the Nigerian government had arrived in the Hungarian capital Budapest to evacuate more Nigerians.

Hundreds of international students, many of them Nigerians, remain trapped in their hostels in Sumy, in northeast Ukraine, surrounded by Russian troops and amid explosions and gunfire.

Nigeria's foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama told CNN on Thursday that his office was aware of the plight of the stranded students, and that arrangements were being made for their evacuation.

Read more here:

7:31 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Haas F1 team terminates contracts with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin during F1 Testing on February 23, in Barcelona, Spain.
Russian driver Nikita Mazepin during F1 Testing on February 23, in Barcelona, Spain. (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Haas Formula One team has terminated the contract of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and its title sponsor, Russian chemical giant Uralkali, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the team announced on Saturday.

"Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin," the team said in a statement. "As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict."

A replacement driver is expected to be named next week.

On Tuesday, the FIA said that Russian and Belarusian drivers could continue to race, but only under a neutral “FIA flag” and without displaying any Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colors or flags on their uniform, equipment and car "until further notice." This ruling also extends to individual competitors and officials.

Mazepin tweeted that he was "very disappointed" that his contract had been terminated.

While I understand the difficulties, the ruling from FIA plus my ongoing willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step," he said.

"To those who have tried to understand, my eternal thanks. I have treasured my time in F1 and genuinely hope we can all be together again in better times. I will have more to say in the coming days."

CNN has reached out to the Haas team for comment.

Formula One terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter on Thursday, meaning Russia will no longer have a future race.

The 2022 Formula One season starts on March 20 in Bahrain.

Read more here:

7:04 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

Mariupol officials tell residents to return to shelters, as negotiations with Russia on evacuation corridor continue

From Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

Mariupol City Council has asked residents seeking to flee the fighting to return to shelters, as negotiations with Russia to ensure an evacuation corridor continue, a statement said.

“We ask all Mariupol residents to leave and to go the shelters. More information about the evacuation to come soon. At the moment, negotiations with the Russian Federation to establish a ceasefire regime and ensure a safe humanitarian corridor are underway.”

“The police will also inform the city residents with the help of loudspeakers,” the statement added.

Earlier on Saturday, Russia's military announced it would pause its bombardment of the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha to allow civilians to flee.

7:05 a.m. ET, March 5, 2022

UK urges its nationals to consider leaving Russia

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

The United Kingdom has urged its nationals to consider leaving Russia if it is not essential they remain in the country.

"If your presence in Russia is not essential, we strongly advise that you consider leaving by remaining commercial routes," the UK Foreign Office said Saturday in its updated travel advice.

On Monday, the UK Foreign Office advised its citizens against all travel to Russia due to a lack of available flight options and increased economic volatility.