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March 12, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

Ukrainians resort to desperate measures for food and water
03:15

What we covered here

  • Russia has issued a warning it could fire on weapon shipments to Ukraine, raising the risk of direct confrontation between Moscow and a NATO country.
  • Explosions were heard in Kyiv on Saturday as Russian forces encroach on the Ukrainian capital, with intensified fighting to the northeast and east of the city. Photos geolocated and verified by CNN also showed widespread destruction in Makariv, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Kyiv.
  • The humanitarian situation remains bleak as Ukrainian authorities report limited success in securing the evacuation of civilians from the worst-affected areas.
  • Want to help? Learn how to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine here. 
  • Having connection issues? Bookmark CNN’s lite site for fast connectivity.
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Our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has moved here.

Russia sends warning to the US about transferring weapons to Ukraine. Here’s what we know

Russia has threatened to target supplies of western weapons being shipped to Ukraine, suggesting convoys with foreign weapons could be considered “legitimate targets.”

“We warned the United States that pumping Ukraine with weapons from a number of countries orchestrated by them is not just a dangerous move, but these are actions that turn the corresponding convoys into legitimate targets,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on the state-run Channel One, according to Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. 

The warning could escalate the situation in Ukraine further.

Some context: Ryabkov’s comments came as the US directed $200 million in defense aid and services, including military education and training, for Ukraine. 

Aid includes small arms: A US administration official said the $200 million will provide “immediate military assistance to Ukraine” and will include “anti-armor, anti-aircraft systems, and small arms in support of Ukraine’s front-line defenders facing down Russia’s unprovoked attack.”

President Joe Biden directed the drawdown using a memorandum that allows him to authorize assistance without legislative authority or budgetary appropriations.

A White House official said the total amount of security assistance provided to Ukraine by the US is $1.2 billion in the past year.

More military equipment needed in Ukraine: On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with allies for more aid, saying “The evil which purposefully targets peaceful cities and ambulance vans and explodes hospitals will not stop with just one country.”

He has repeatedly called for a no-fly zone to be imposed to stop Russian aircraft and for military planes to be sent to Ukraine.

US reluctant to escalate further: The US is concerned that more direct measures could escalate tensions with nuclear powered Russia even further and risk dragging NATO directly into the war.

The US and other NATO members have so far provided Ukraine with about 17,000 anti-tank missiles and 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, according to a senior US official.

Multiple explosions heard near Lviv

Multiple explosions were heard shortly before 6 a.m. local time Sunday on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Lviv, near Ukraine’s border with Poland.

The explosions were heard by a CNN team on the ground. 

New mayor installed in Russia-controlled Melitopol after kidnapping. Here’s what we know

Galina Danilchenko

A new mayor has been installed in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, which is under Russian military control, after the elected mayor was kidnapped on Friday, according to the Zaporozhye regional administration.

Here’s what we know about the situation in the city:

  • Melitopol is a city in southern Ukraine that lies between the besieged city of Mariupol and the now Russian-occupied city of Kherson. Russian forces occupied Melitopol within days of the invasion beginning, but the city has seen sporadic protests since.
  • On Friday, Melitopol mayor, Ivan Fedorov, was seen on video being led away from a government building in the city by armed men. 
  • A short time later, the Russian-backed Luhansk regional prosecutor claimed that Fedorov had committed terrorism offenses and was under investigation. According to a message on the Luhansk prosecutor’s website, Fedorov is being accused of assisting and financing terrorist activities and being part of a criminal community.
  • Fedorov’s detention by the armed men is the first known instance of a Ukrainian political official being detained by Russian, or Russian-backed forces, since the invasion began.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded his immediate release, saying it was “crime against democracy” and Russia has “switched to a new stage of terror” in its invasion by “trying to physically eliminate representatives of the legitimate local Ukrainian authorities.”
  • The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called Fedorov’s detention an “abduction” and a “war crime.”
  • Hundreds of people protested the kidnapping outside Melitopol’s city hall, with the crowd chanting “Freedom for the Mayor.”
  • On Saturday, the Zaporozhye regional administration installed a new mayor, Galina Danilchenko, a former member of the city council.
  • In her televised statement, which was posted by the regional administration on Telegram, Danilchenko said that her “main task is to take all necessary steps to get the city back to normal.” 

Tato and Mama gave me a home in Ukraine. Now they're under attack

They’re not my parents, but after two years of living in Ukraine, they grew to become my Tato and Mama — Ukrainian for “mom” and “dad.” 

Five years ago, they welcomed me into their home like a daughter — now they’re living under Russian bombardment, the sound of shelling punctuating every precious call.

Tato, a white-haired man in his early 60s, tells me on the phone he can see explosions from the front yard of their home in a small village outside the northern city of Chernihiv. Mama, who’s a few years younger, sobs as she tells me they have no water, no power, and no safe way to leave. 

Their only form of transportation is a rundown Soviet-era car that’s so rusted you can see the ground rush by through a hole in the floor. And Mama’s 91-year-old mother, Babusya, is so frail she rarely leaves her bed.

Ukrainians in some other cities have been been able to flee their homes, escaping the Russian attacks via temporary evacuation corridors, but no clear route exists out of Chernihiv or their village. 

Just over a week ago, Tato sent me a photo of black smoke billowing into the air from explosions near his village.

Read the full story:

The village where Tato and Mama live is usually very quiet. People grow a lot of their own food to feed their families.

Tato and Mama gave me a home in Ukraine. Now they're under attack

Zelensky pleads for more aid, says 12,729 Ukrainians successfully evacuated Saturday

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was grateful for international support and pleaded with allies for more aid in an address Saturday.

“I keep reiterating to our allies and friends abroad; they have to keep doing more for our country, for Ukrainians and Ukraine. Because it is not only for Ukraine, but it is for all of Europe,” he said. “The evil which purposefully targets peaceful cities and ambulance vans and explodes hospitals will not stop with just one country if they have the strength to keep going.”

Zelensky also said humanitarian corridors in Ukraine have been “working,” announcing 12,729 people were evacuated Saturday.

“All of the humanitarian corridors, by the way, which were agreed to – they have worked,” he said, adding “and then there will be humanitarian aid to Mariupol [but] because of difficulties, they had to stop in Gdansk.”

Zelensky also vowed to bring Russian occupiers and their sympathizers to justice, saying “all the occupiers and all the collaborators will know that Ukraine will not forget. Never, nothing. Ukraine will not forget. Ukraine will find them and will call them to responsibility, each one of them.”

Seven civilians killed while trying to evacuate Kyiv region, Ukrainian Defense Ministry says

Seven civilians, including women and a child, were killed while trying to flee Ukraine’s Kyiv region, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirmed Saturday.

“Russians shot at a column of women and children in Kyiv region, who were trying to evacuate along a previously agreed ‘green’ corridor. The result of this brutal act - seven dead. One of them is a child,” a tweet from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said.

However, an update from the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine said the civilians were fleeing on a route that was not an agreed-upon “green corridor.” 

The group of women and children were attempting to evacuate near the village of Peremoga in Kyiv on Friday when they were shot at by Russians, according to Ukraine’s intelligence agency.

Russia did not immediately comment on this incident, but has denied targeting civilians since invading Ukraine last month.

Chernobyl nuclear plant running on generators with staff "living" there since Russian attack

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a close view of Chernobyl nuclear facilities, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 10.

Repairs to Chernobyl’s electrical system, damaged during a Russian attack on March 9, are ongoing, as the nuclear power plant is now dependent on external diesel generators to keep its reactors operating, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Saturday. 

Alexey Likhachev, the director general of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, told the IAEA additional fuel arrived on March 11. 

Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom told the IAEA that Chernobyl’s 211 personnel and guards “have still not been able to rotate, in effect living there since the day before Russian forces took control.”

“[IAEA] Director General Grossi has repeatedly stressed the urgent need to ensure they can properly rest and rotate, saying this is also a vital element for safe and secure nuclear power operation,” IAEA said in a statement. 

Regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Ukraine said the site remains under Russian control and that Moscow is planning to take “full and permanent control.” It also said 400 Russian soldiers are “present full time” at the site. 

Russia said experts are present at the Zaporizhzhya plant but denied it “had taken operational control” or it has plans to take on permanent management of the site, according to the IAEA.

Power supplies to this plant remain unchanged, despite damage to two of its four power lines, the IAEA said.

The IAEA added eight of Ukraine’s 15 reactors remain in operation, “including two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at Rivne, one at Khmelnytskyy, and two at South Ukraine” and that “radiation levels remain normal.”

New mayor installed in Russia-controlled Melitopol after the Ukrainian city's elected mayor was detained

The Zaporozhye regional administration says a new mayor has been installed in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, which is under Russian military control, after the elected mayor was detained on Friday. 

Ivan Fedorov, the elected mayor of Melitopol, was detained by armed men on Friday and accused of terrorism offenses by the prosecutor’s office for the separatist Russia-backed Luhansk region.

The newly installed mayor is Galina Danilchenko, a former member of the city council, according to a statement on the Zaporozhye regional administration website.

Danilchenko, who was not elected by the people, was introduced as the acting mayor on local TV, the statement said.

In her televised statement, which was posted by the administration on Telegram, Danilchenko said her “main task is to take all necessary steps to get the city back to normal.” 

She claimed there were people still in Melitopol who would try to destabilize “the situation and provoke a reaction of bad behavior.”

“I ask you to keep your wits about you and not to give in to these provocations,” Danilchenko said. “I appeal to the deputies, elected by the people, on all levels. Since you were elected by the people, it is your duty to care about the well-being of your citizens.” 

Danilchenko proposed the creation of a “People’s Choice Committee” to “solve all the critical issues for Melitopol and the Melitopol region.” 

It's 11 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

As a new day nears for Ukraine, these are the latest updates from on the ground:

Russian troops loom near Kyiv: The bulk of Russian ground forces are currently about 15.5 miles from the center of the Ukrainian capital, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said Saturday in its latest intelligence assessment.

Significant destruction seen in cities and towns: In Mariupol, satellite imagery showed damage and fires in apartment buildings and gas stations. An emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders told CNN that the city is in “the disaster phase now.”

In Makariv, a village 30 miles west of Kyiv, apparent Russian airstrikes hit apartment complexes, schools and a medical facility.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “a few small towns just don’t exist anymore. … They are just gone.”

Casualties mount: The United Nations has recorded 1,581 civilian casualties — 579 who were killed and 1,002 injured — since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Among the dead are 42 children, with 54 children among the injured, according to the UN’s latest report on civilian casualties.

French and German leaders speak with Putin:French official told CNN that Putin seemed still to be “determined to achieve his objectives in Ukraine” but the fact that he continues to speak to the French and German leaders suggests that “he does not exclude the possibility of a diplomatic solution altogether.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he was holding out little hope for a negotiated settlement to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Bipartisan delegation of US senators arrives in Poland, meets with US ambassador and troops

A bipartisan US congressional delegation, including Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, arrived Saturday in Warsaw, Poland, where they met with US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski and traveled to Rzeszow to meet with US troops from the 82nd Airborne Division.

The delegation plans “to meet with senior government officials and visit refugee sites to affirm the United States’ commitment to Poland, Ukraine, and other allies in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” according to a Saturday news release from Wicker’s office.

Senate staff familiar with the trip tell CNN the delegation will also visit the Ukrainian border on Sunday.

US sanctions more Russian elite and others in Putin's inner circle

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov looks on during a press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2020.

The US Treasury Department on Friday sanctioned additional Kremlin “elites, leaders, oligarchs” and some of their family members for “enabling Putin’s war against Ukraine,” the department said in a statement.   

Those sanctioned included three family members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg and 10 members of the management board of the sanctioned VTB Bank. Also sanctioned were 12 members of the Russian State Duma, including Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, and the Chairman of Russia’s Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov. 

Zyuganov’s sanctioning in particular garnered coverage in Russian state media in ensuing hours. He has since responded, calling it a “reward” and validation of his efforts to “create peace” and “struggle against Nazism,” echoing Putin’s rhetoric for his justification of the Ukraine invasion.

Peskov was sanctioned on March 3 for being the “lead propagandist” of the Russian Federation. But on Friday, Peskov’s wife, Tatiana Navka, and two of Peskov’s adult children – Nikolay Peskov and Elizaveta Peskova – were also sanctioned. Tatiana Navka, who won a gold medal in ice dancing at the 2006 Olympics, has a ”property empire worth more than $10 million,” according to the Treasury Department statement.

Two of Vekselberg’s luxury assets, an Airbus A319-115 aircraft and a yacht named Tango — each valued at approximately $90 million each — were identified as blocked property, the statement said. 

CNN’s Michael Callahan, Maria Angelova and Mariya Knight contributed to this report.

New satellite images show extensive damage in western Mariupol, Ukraine

A large fire is seen raging in an industrial area in the Primorskyi neighborhood of western Mariupol on March 12.

New satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies shows the extent of damage caused by military strikes in western Mariupol. 

The images were taken on Saturday morning.

In Mariupol’s western neighborhood of Zhovteneyvi, a large, still smoldering, crater is seen near the Okko gas station. Smoke appears to be rising from an apartment complex across the street. The roofs of warehouses down the street also appear to have large holes in them.

Within the apartment complex, several buildings have sustained significant damage. A debris field can be observed surrounding some of the buildings with a large smoke plume.

A field just northwest of the gas station shows the impact of craters dotting a snow-covered field. Vehicle tread marks are also seen.

Just over a mile south, in an industrial area in the Primorskyi neighborhood, a large fire is seen raging. 

With relatively clear skies over Mariupol, some of the damage that was reported earlier in the week is coming into clearer focus. 

The satellite images show extensive damage at the children’s and maternity hospital that was hit by Russian military strikes on Wednesday. 

Mariupol is completely surrounded by Russian and Russian-backed separatist troops. Earlier in the week, CNN published Maxar satellite images that showed significant damage across the city. 

Mariupol is in a "disaster phase now," Doctors Without Borders emergency coordinator says

An emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders told CNN that the humanitarian situation in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol is deteriorating by the day.

“We have staff, MSF [Medecins Sans Frontières] staff, who are currently in Mariupol who we’ve been able to keep contact with, although that contact is getting harder and harder to keep every day. They confirmed to us there’s been no access to clean drinking water for over a week now,” Alex Wade told CNN’s Jim Acosta.

“They’re using snow and rain water, they’re breaking into heating systems to access the water in heating systems, but for many, water has already run out and so has the food for many people. The only people left with food are those who have stocks that they’re rationing,” he said from Vinnytsia, Ukraine.

Staff on the ground in Mariupol have told Wade that people are dying from lack of access to medicine, He said.

“The next phase we will see people who potentially could die from dehydration and hunger or … fleeing from the city trying to find food and water and dying from the violence outside the city,” he said.

Wade said there’s a “sense of panic” in the city right now.

“We had communication with a staff member today who was telling us that they’ve [been] … taking the dead bodies of their neighbors and burying them in their own yards, just so that their own neighbors will have a burial and not remain dead on the streets,” he said.

While evacuation corridors were slated to take place for the city Saturday, the lack of available communication hampers safety efforts, he said.

“When there are discussions around humanitarian corridors or safe passage out of the city, many people are uninformed and they don’t know about it because there’s no communication inside the city. There’s no phone network. There’s no internet,” he said.

Significant destruction seen in Makariv, a Ukrainian village 30 miles west of Kyiv

Makariv, Ukraine

A large swath of Makariv, a village 30 miles west of Kyiv, has sustained significant damage from apparent Russian airstrikes.

CNN geolocated and verified the authenticity of photos posted to social media on Saturday, which show major damage to apartment complexes, schools and a medical facility.

A stark image from Makariv shows a large hole in the northern wall of an apartment building. Many of the buildings in the photos have sustained damage on their northern facades, evidence that points to military strikes that hit them being Russian.

Several hundred feet east of that apartment building, a kindergarten also sustained significant damage.

Smoke can be observed still billowing up from the building, the roof has completely caved in and the windows have all been blown out. 

The Russian Ministry of Defence has repeatedly claimed they are not targeting civilians.

At another apartment building just west of the school, another photo shows the roof and a number of upper floor residences destroyed.

Just south of the school, the Adonis-Makariv Medical and Diagnostic Center is seen on fire. The street in front of it is littered with debris and the windows have been blown out of the center.

A photo taken on the street in front of the center showed that the debris in front of it is all that remains of the north-facing front facade of the building.

Immediately west of the school and medical center, near the center of Makariv, a massive crater was observed in the road. The medical center can be seen in the background on fire. Next to that crater, another photo shows a residential building with a grocery store on the ground floor has been hit.

In the center of town, a cultural center that also houses government and police offices has been hit by a strike. A portion of the building was destroyed and a structure on the roof appeared to have been clipped by some sort of munition.

“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes” was written on a large sign in the front of the building.

South of central Makariv, a preschool also sustained significant damage. The windows have been blown out and portions of the roof appear to be damaged.

Moscow Stock Exchange will not resume trading next week, Russian Central Bank says

A man walks past the Moscow's stock market building in downtown Moscow on February 28.

Russia’s Central Bank said Saturday it will not resume trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange in the equity market during the week of March 14.

The Bank of Russia also said via its website that the foreign currency market will reopen at 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) on Monday and commodity trading will also resume then. 

As for stock market operations during the week of March 21, the central bank indicated that it will make an announcement at a later date.

The exchange has been closed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the United States, European Union and other Western allies imposed sanctions and the Russian ruble plunged to record lows against the US dollar.

US vice president warns that Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatens democracy across Europe

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a news conference in Bucharest, Romania on March 11.

US Vice President Kamala Harris highlighted the unity between the US and its NATO and European allies and warned that Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine poses a threat to all democracies.

“Russia’s invasion threatens not just Ukraine’s democracy; it threatens democracy and security across Europe,” Harris said at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting on Saturday in Washington, DC.

Harris, speaking about her recent trip to Poland and Romania, said she emphasized that the “greatest strength” of the alliance is its unity.

“The United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people in defense of the NATO alliance,” Harris said to applause from the crowd.

Harris also told the attendees about meeting with a Moroccan student who had fled Ukraine and the plight of millions of refugees fleeing the Russian onslaught.

Ukraine's foreign minister doubtful about prospects for negotiated settlement with Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba holds a press conference on March 10 in Antalya, Turkey.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is holding out little hope for a negotiated settlement to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“There is little space for diplomacy in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s mind,” he told a US policy forum. “We have to keep the channel of diplomacy open,” while being aware of “the attempts of Russia to publicly manipulate this track.”

“We are talking, but Russia still puts forward demands which are unacceptable for us. We will not make any compromises on the existential issues for Ukraine,” he said.

Kuleba’s pessimistic outlook coincided with a call among Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier Saturday. 

A French official told CNN that Putin seemed still to be “determined to achieve his objectives in Ukraine” but the fact that he continues to speak to the French and German leaders suggests that “he does not exclude the possibility of a diplomatic solution altogether.”

Kuleba said he believed the removal of Putin as Russian president would be enough to stop the conflict.

He was grim about the consequences of the war, saying it will make Ukrainians hate Russia. “We will not forgive them for generations,” he said.

He also said Belarus’ leader Alexander Lukashenko was under enormous pressure from Moscow to commit forces to the invasion.

It's just after 7 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

Police officers and residents stand next to a shell crater and damaged home in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 12.

Tensions remain high as night falls in the capital of Ukraine more than two weeks after Russia invaded the country.

These are the latest updates you should know now:

Russian forces inch closer to Kyiv: CNN teams in Kyiv reported hearing explosions in the early hours of Saturday, as the capital comes under pressure. The bulk of Russian ground forces are about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Kyiv’s center, according to British defense officials. Russian strikes continue to hit civilian structures: A landmark hotel in the northern city of Chernihiv was reduced to rubble overnight as well as the local electricity network.

Zelensky says “front line” is everywhere: While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country is more united than ever as it faces the Russian invasion, he said “a few small towns just don’t exist anymore. … They are just gone.” He added that negotiations to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “must begin with a ceasefire.”

He also called for the immediate release of Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of the city of Melitopol who was arrested by armed men on Friday.

Ceasefire urged: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to call an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine during a 75-minute call on Saturday. The calls for a ceasefire come as the UN reports at least 1,500 civilians have suffered casualties since the start of the war on Feb. 24.

Ukrainians say Russians demand control of nuclear plant: Russian officials have arrived to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, demanding to take control of the facility, according to a statement from Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-operated nuclear energy company.

Attacks on key cities: CNN journalists in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro felt at least two explosions and saw what looked like the remnants of anti-aircraft fire early Saturday. The cities of Kharkhiv, Mariupol, Mykolaiv and Sumy are also under a sustained Russian onslaught. This comes as Russian forces expanded their offensive to the west of Ukraine for the first time on Friday, with strikes targeting military airfields, including one in Vasylkiv, south of Kyiv, on Saturday. To the east, there’s growing evidence that the town of Volnovakha has fallen to Russian forces and their allies in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic. The southern city of Kherson appears to have been captured, according to US defense intelligence.

Putin still "determined" to achieve his objective in Ukraine, says French presidency source

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state of mind remains “determined,” according to an Elysee source speaking after a Saturday afternoon phone call among French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Putin.

The source said that since the three leaders last spoke on Thursday, Putin seemed to still be “determined to achieve his objectives in Ukraine,” but that the fact that he continues to speak to the French and German leaders suggests that “he does not exclude the possibility of a diplomatic solution altogether.”

A source close to Macron and familiar with the conversation told CNN’s Jim Acosta that Macron was disappointed with Putin’s “insincerity” during the call, but that the French president remains committed to diplomatic solutions to end the conflict, including coordinated sanctions, banning Russia from activity within the international community, and a “continued firm and denuding dialogue.” 

Earlier Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Macron to press Putin for a ceasefire and to raise the issue of the detention of the mayor of Melitopol. The source said Macron and Scholz had done so.

“We pleaded for an immediate ceasefire,” the source said, “and for the start of negotiations on three points: the questions relative to security, those that relate to Ukrainian sovereignty and third, those issues raised by both Ukraine and Russia recently.”

Further sanctions are being planned by both the G7 and the European Union, the source said. The fresh European sanctions will be discussed next week in Brussels and will be aimed at sanctioning recent actions by Russian troops in Ukraine, the siege of Mariupol and the advance of Russian troops along the Dniepr River.

Asked about the possibility of European sanctions on Russian energy exports, the source repeated what Macron had said at the leader’s summit in Versailles on Friday that nothing was “taboo,” with no option off the table.

CNN’s Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

UN says there have been more than 1,500 civilian casualties — including 42 children killed — in Ukraine so far

The United Nations has recorded 1,581 civilian casualties — 579 who were killed and 1,002 injured — since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Among the dead are 42 children, with 54 children among the injured, according to the UN’s latest report on civilian casualties. The largest number of victims was recorded in areas still under Ukrainian government control. 

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” according to the UN report.

The organization’s human rights office believes the actual number of casualties is “considerably higher especially in Government-controlled territory and especially in recent days” after reports of intense hostilities in regions such as Kharkiv, Mariupol and Donetsk, “where there are allegations of hundreds of civilian casualties.”

Russia sends warning to the US about transferring weapons to Ukraine, according to state media

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the United States about the potential consequences of transferring weapons to Ukraine, saying convoys with foreign weapons would be “legitimate targets.” 

Ryabkov made these comments on Saturday on the state-run Channel One, according to Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. 

“We warned the United States that pumping Ukraine with weapons from a number of countries orchestrated by them is not just a dangerous move, but these are actions that turn the corresponding convoys into legitimate targets,” he added. 

Read more about the US and its NATO allies’ efforts to assist Ukraine:

Effects of the bombing in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine on March 9, 2022 as Russian attacks continue.

How the US is trying to help Ukraine without triggering a wider war with Russia

All of Ukraine is "a front line," Zelensky says, adding some "small towns just don’t exist anymore"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 12.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country is more united than ever as it faces the Russian invasion.

“This war, a difficult war, has truly united our nation. You are asking me how’s the situation on the front line … there’s a front line everywhere,” Zelensky said in a briefing on Saturday.

“A few small towns just don’t exist anymore. And this is a tragedy. They are just gone. And people are also gone. They are gone forever. So we are all on the front line. The people who died there, they died among us,” he said.

Zelensky said Ukraine has lost approximately 1,300 troops as of Saturday.

He added that negotiations to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “must begin with a ceasefire.”

“Our diplomats are working on the details of the agenda of the possible meeting of Ukrainian and Russian delegations,” he said. “I would like this to happen. So we can actually, not just on words, start the process of settlement, peace and the end of war.”

“This is how the end to war starts in a civilized world,” he said.

Zelensky said that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have begun to talk rather than “exchange ultimatums” and that he is “pleased” with signals from the Russian Federation.

The Ukrainian president said he was hoping diplomacy could bring peace, saying there was “a signal” coming from the Russian side about being ready to negotiate, although he gave no details on what this signal was.

Zelensky emphasized that Western partners need to be more involved in discussions and even provide their own security guarantees to Ukraine, as Ukraine will “never be able to trust Russia after such a bloody war.”

He hit out at NATO nations for its reluctance to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying that the members “lack the courage to come together for Ukraine” and that there is “no agreed position” on whether Ukraine can join the alliance. Zelensky said his country is grateful for the bilateral support Ukraine has received from certain NATO countries but added that his country is “suffering now.”

An explosion is seen in an apartment building after Russian's army tank fires in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

No diplomatic off-ramp in sight for Russia's war in Ukraine | CNN Politics