March 19, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Luke McGee, Jeevan Ravindran, Joe Ruiz, Adrienne Vogt and Emma Tucker, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, March 20, 2022
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8:55 p.m. ET, March 18, 2022

Satellite images show Russia building defenses to protect military positions northwest of Kyiv

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Protective berms are seen around Russian military equipment near Ozera on March 17.
Protective berms are seen around Russian military equipment near Ozera on March 17. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

The Russian military is quite literally digging in, constructing earthen berms around its military equipment northwest of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, according to Maxar Technologies' analysis and satellite images.

The new satellite images show the protective berms around Russian military equipment near Ozera and the Antonov Air Base. 

Additional Russian military equipment, and some berm construction, are also seen in the villages of Zdvyzhivka and Berestyanka, further northwest.

12:15 a.m. ET, March 19, 2022

New satellite images show significant destruction and long line of cars leaving Mariupol

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

(Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
(Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

New satellite images from Maxar Technologies are showing more areas in the city of Mariupol have been destroyed from intense firefights between Rthe ussian and Ukrainian militaries.

In one of the images, taken in western Mariupol, apartment complexes are seen burnt and debris scattered around them. Outside one of them, a number of buses are seen, and some are burnt.

In northern Mariupol, the apartment buildings surrounding two schools have been damaged. 

Just southwest of Mariupol, a line of cars is seen traveling along the highway toward Berdyansk.

12:14 a.m. ET, March 19, 2022

Biden lays out consequences to China's Xi for any Russia aid

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

In this photo released by the White House, US President Biden speaks with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China on Friday, March 18.
In this photo released by the White House, US President Biden speaks with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China on Friday, March 18. (White House Photo)

President Joe Biden sought to use a 110-minute video call on Friday to dissuade his Chinese counterpart from assisting Russia in its war on Ukraine, a pivotal moment that could determine the trajectory of the bloody conflict.

President Xi Jinping told Biden that both the US and China have a responsibility for ensuring peace, according to state media, an oblique suggestion he is uninterested in escalating the conflict. Afterward, however, the White House said its concerns over Beijing's possible intervention haven't been assuaged.

"We have that concern," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. "The President detailed what the implications and consequences would be if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians. And that is something we'll be watching and the world will be watching."

Senior administration officials described the call as "direct," "substantive" and "detailed," but would not offer many details about the lengthy conversation. The bulk of the leaders' discussion centered on the war in Ukraine and the implications the crisis would have for US-China relations and the "international order," an official said. But the administration refused to publicly detail what those consequences would be.

Biden's goal in speaking with Xi directly was partly to ascertain where exactly the Chinese President stood, and it remained unclear afterward whether he'd gained much clarity. He did not make any specific requests of Xi, the White House said, choosing instead to offer a broader view of the international situation.

"China has to make a decision for themselves on where they want to stand and how they want the history books to look at them and view their actions," Psaki said. "That is a decision for President Xi to make."

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8:52 p.m. ET, March 18, 2022

Russia has attacked Lviv. Here's why the western city is so important to Ukraine's defense

From CNN's Petro Zadorozhnyy, Yulia Kesaieva, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tamara Qiblawi

Russia launched missile strikes near an airport in Lviv on Friday, a strategic Ukrainian city not far from the Polish border that had until now largely been spared from the relentless bombardment witnessed across much of the country during the war.

Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi said several missiles hit an aircraft repair plant, but that work at the facility had stopped before the strikes and there were no reports of casualties.

Ukraine's armed forces say initial information suggests Russia launched six missiles towards Lviv on Friday morning. It says the missiles were most likely air-launched cruise missiles fired from warplanes over the Black Sea.

Two of the six were intercepted by air defense systems, the armed forces' statement on Facebook said.

The attack will add to concerns that Russia's war could spread further west. Here's what you need to know about the importance of Lviv.

Here's why Lviv is so important:

  • Location: At about 43 miles (70 kilometers) from the Polish border, Lviv is at NATO's doorstep — any attack here could have international repercussions.
  • Refugees: Lviv has become ground zero for displaced Ukrainians. It hosts more than 200,000 internally displaced people in a city of just over 700,000, according to the mayor. They've flooded into the city in search of relative safety, with many using it as a stopping point before making their way to the border.
  • Logistics: The larger region serves as a crucial weapons supply route to the Ukrainian military and a wider resistance effort that has foiled Moscow's plans for a blitz-like invasion.
  • Culture: Lviv's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the National Museum houses the country's most complete collection of sacred medieval art and rare religious manuscripts.
  • Temporary base: The city has become the makeshift home for many media organizations and embassies, which were forced to relocate from Ukraine's capital, Kyiv.

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