March 27, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Hafsa Khalil, Joe Ruiz, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury and Eric Levenson, CNN

Updated 12:49 a.m. ET, March 28, 2022
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2:22 p.m. ET, March 27, 2022

Russian media watchdog forbids distribution of Zelensky interview

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Lviv

Moscow's media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, issued a statement Sunday warning Russian news outlets against rebroadcasting or distributing an interview between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and a group of independent Russian journalists.

The lengthy video interview, posted in full on Zelensky's Telegram channel, featured questions from some of Russia's most prominent independent journalists, including author Mikhail Zygar and Tikhon Dzyadko, the editor-in-chief of the recently shuttered channel TV Rain. 

"Russia must know the truth," Zelensky said. "Russian journalists from the Zygar YouTube channel, TV Rain, the Meduza portal, and the Kommersant and Novaya Gazeta publications received answers to all questions."

Roskomnadzor followed with a statement on Telegram noting that some of the outlets have formally been branded as "foreign agents" by the Russian government. 

"Roskomnadzor warns the Russian media not to publish this interview," the statement said. "The media outlets conducting the interviews will be subject to scrutiny to determine the extent of responsibility and the appropriate response to be taken."

12:39 p.m. ET, March 27, 2022

Kyiv mayor: Online schooling to resume in Ukrainian capital Monday

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Lviv

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Sunday that schools in the Ukrainian capital would reopen online on Monday. 

"On March 28, the educational process will resume in the capital — in online format," Klitschko said in a statement on Telegram. "It will be more adapted to current conditions. And using different educational platforms for students."

Klitschko added: "An important task today is for the city to live and work even under such strict martial law. They [the Russians] are trying to intimidate us. That will not work! We will not give up!"

12:49 a.m. ET, March 28, 2022

Qatar not planning on new investments in Russia until there is more “clarity on stability,” foreign minister says

From CNN’s Zeena Saifi in Doha

Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani speaks during the Doha Forum in Qatar's capital on March 26.
Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani speaks during the Doha Forum in Qatar's capital on March 26. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, told CNN’s Becky Anderson in an interview that investment in Russia is currently “under a lot of review” and Qatar is not thinking about increasing its investments there until there is a “better environment and more political stability.”

“Right now with the current situation we are not thinking about any new investments there. Even in Europe, until we have some clarity on the stability of the situation … Well, not entire Europe, but the areas where we are feeling that there are some tensions or we might have any political risk, because we have to look at it from all the dimensions,” Al-Thani told CNN on the sidelines of the Doha Forum.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has sizable investments in the Russian oil giant Rosneft, which Al-Thani said was a decision made based on “commercial assessment and is still ongoing,” however, will not increase for the time being.

While Qatar’s stance is against any act of aggression or the use of power against a sovereign country, the foreign minister says he has been keeping his communication channels open with all parties. He said he speaks to his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts frequently to “offer our help or contribution to de-escalate the situation and put an end to this war," and was in Moscow recently meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“What I believe and from my conversation with my counterpart there in Russia is that they are willing to engage on the demands that they have put forward. Now, how far the Ukrainian government is willing to give on those demands, this is really the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian people’s decision … We should focus on having a ceasefire, humanitarian corridors, bringing the humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and instead of having this conflict and disagreement in a battlefield, to be around the table,”

Qatar has often played a mediation role in de-escalating conflicts and bringing adversaries to the table, especially between the Taliban and the United States and between the West and Iran over the JCPOA. The Foreign Minister told CNN he believes this policy is the best way forward. 

12:54 p.m. ET, March 27, 2022

French foreign minister says there will be “collective guilt” if nothing is done to help Mariupol

From CNN’s Adam Pourahmadi in Doha

French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian takes part in a panel at the Doha Forum in Qatar's capital on March 27.
French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian takes part in a panel at the Doha Forum in Qatar's capital on March 27. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

The French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian said during the Doha Forum that there will be "collective guilt" if we do nothing to help Mariupol.

"Mariupol is the new Aleppo," Le Drian said. 

Speaking at the Doha Forum to CNN's Becky Anderson, Le Drian said "there is an invading power, which to reach its own ends, it is taking a population hostage in Mariupol. This is truly unacceptable."

"I think we're at a tipping point where beyond the Ukrainian crisis, the parameters of stability and security in Europe are challenged," he added. 

 

11:46 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

Ukrainian negotiator: Next round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine start Monday in Turkey

From CNN staff

The next round of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be held live from March 28-30 in Turkey, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on Facebook. 

He did not specify where in Turkey the two delegations would meet as of Monday.

Previous negotiations have yielded little result.

12:06 p.m. ET, March 27, 2022

US senator: "There is one individual that's trying to make regime change in Europe, and that's Vladimir Putin"

From CNN's Sarah Fortinsky

US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC in April 2021.
US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC in April 2021. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner avoided directly criticizing President Biden's remark Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power," instead shifting focus onto Putin, saying, "There is one individual that's trying to make regime change in Europe, and that's Vladimir Putin trying to change the regime in Ukraine."

Asked by CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" if he thinks the United States' policy should be for a regime change, Warner said, "The stated policy is the White House's point and that has not changed. It is up to the Russian people to determine who's going to be in power in the Kremlin."

Rep. Michael McCaul, lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was more forceful in his interview a short time later on the show, saying "I know it was off the cuff, but whatever the President says, it carries a lot of weight ... In this case, it sends a very provocative message to Mr. Putin.”

Warner said he was surprised Russia has not launched "their A-team cyberattacks against Ukraine," which Warner called, "top-notch." Asked why he thinks they haven't, Warner said, "We don't honestly have a good answer yet," adding, "I don't think it's the lack of capability but this is a question that we are constantly posing."

Asked whether cyberattacks would invoke NATO’s Article 5, Warner said, "There are cyberattacks from Russia and China going on on a daily basis for years," but added that if a cyberattack results in the loss of life, that would be "uncharted territory"

"In terms of literally causing loss of life, there's always been what we call strategic ambiguity about what is defined as an Article Five violation. I think that it is still an appropriate grayness at this point."

 

11:42 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

It's Sunday evening in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN Staff

Reactions continue to come in on Sunday after US President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "butcher" and said Putin "cannot remain in power." French President Emmanuel Macron responded saying: "I wouldn't use terms like that because I'm still in talks with President Putin."  

US ambassador to the NATO Julianne Smith called Biden's surprising comments a "principled human reaction," made after he spent the day seeing the firsthand tragedies of war, when he visited with hundreds of Ukrainian refugees, in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" with Dana Bash. Still, Smith added that the "US does not have a policy of regime change in Russia, full stop." 

Here are more of the latest headlines from the Ukraine-Russia conflict:

  • Ukrainian ambassador to US says "Russia is a terrorist state led by a war criminal": Oksana Markarova on Sunday tore into Russia over its invasion of her country, saying it’s “a terrorist state led by a war criminal.” Markarova told CNN’s Dana Bash: “Well, you know, it's clear to us that Russia is a terrorist state led by a war criminal and we are working day and night and fighting fiercely to defend our land and to defend our democracy." She added “everyone should be brought to justice. So, I think it will be difficult to run a state from The Hague,” referring to the International Criminal Court located in the Netherlands.
  • US ambassador to NATO: No evidence yet that the Kremlin will limit their sights on the Donbas region: Julianne Smith, the US's ambassador to NATO, discussed Russia's supposed changing focus, on Sunday with CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." Smith said she didn't think "we have evidence of that quite yet," that the Kremlin will limit their sights on the Donbas region, but that the US and allies will be looking for it. "But what we do have evidence of is the fact that the Russians have not succeeded in their original aims. And that was, as you well know, to take Kyiv in just a couple of days," she said. Smith also defended the new actions NATO and the US introduced to continue to punish Russia in the wake of the US President's trip, even as Ukrainian officials have voiced disappointment in the lack of support.
  • Police in Lviv detain two individuals on suspicion of sharing information with Russia: Maksym Kozytskyi, head of the Lviv regional military administration, said late Saturday that police had detained two individuals in the Lviv region on suspicion of sharing information with Russia. "Today, March 26, on Chornovil Avenue in Lviv, patrols stopped a suspicious car," Kozytskyi said in a statement on Telegram."While checking the driver's documents and phone, police found videos and photos of our military movements. He also had photos of passports of men with Luhansk registration and a lot of contacts with Russian numbers." Lviv was hit Saturday by two sets of missile strikes, including one that caused a blaze at a fuel depot that burned overnight before being extinguished by emergency responders.
  • Ukrainian counterattacks retake villages in Kharkiv: Kharkiv's regional administrator said a number of villages around Malaya Rogan were retaken by Ukrainian forces. Video verified by CNN shows Ukrainian troops in control of Vilkhivka, one of the settlements roughly 20 miles from the Russian border. The success of Ukrainian forces around Kharkiv has been mirrored further north, near the city of Sumy, where Ukrainian troops have liberated a number of settlements, according to videos geolocated and verified by CNN. A separate counterattack in the south also led to the liberation of two villages from Russian forces northwest of Mariupol, according to the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration.
  • Russians strike Lviv: The Russian military on Sunday confirmed strikes on fuel depots in Lviv and outside of Kyiv Saturday, saying it had targeted fuel supplies for Ukrainian troops. At least five people were reportedly injured after at least two missiles struck Lviv, a city in western Ukraine that had been previously spared the worst of Russia's brutal onslaught.
  • President Zelensky calls for more aid: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeated his plea to international partners for stronger military assistance, saying his country is only asking for 1% of NATO's tanks and planes. In a video message posted to social media Saturday, Zelensky said the need to strengthen common security in Europe was raised during his two conversations with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
  • Chef José Andrés salutes “food fighters” helping fellow Ukrainians: Chef José Andrés praised Ukrainians who are helping supply and distribute food to fellow citizens, calling them "food fighters" and "heroes" who are battling the war in their country in a different way. "I think everybody is obviously talking about the men and women defending Ukraine, but there are other people fighting the war in other ways. That’s why they’re called the food fighters. " Andrés told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" from Lviv, Ukraine. Andrés' non-profit, World Center Kitchen, has provided more than 4 million meals in Ukraine and surrounding countries to where refugees have fled, he told CNN. Andrés met with US President Joe Biden on Saturday as he toured the food distribution site in Warsaw, Poland.

 

11:00 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

Ukrainian ambassador to US says "Russia is a terrorist state led by a war criminal"

From CNN’s Devan Cole

Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova speaks during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23 in Washington, DC.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova speaks during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova on Sunday tore into Russia over its invasion of her country, saying it’s “a terrorist state led by a war criminal.”

“Well, you know, it's clear to us that Russia is a terrorist state led by a war criminal and we are working day and night and fighting fiercely to defend our land and to defend our democracy,” Markarova told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” 

“And everyone should be brought to justice. So, I think it will be difficult to run a state from The Hague,” she added, referring to the International Criminal Court located in the Netherlands.

Markarova told Bash that Russian forces “are killing civilians, killing children, destroying our hospitals, you know, civilian infrastructure, residential homes, everywhere. It's an act of war criminal, that's why we have opened (an) investigation in Ukraine, that's why Ukraine submitted all the application to all international courts.”  

“And, yes, (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, together with everyone, every Russian that is responsible for it, will have to end up in jail for this war crimes,” she said.

The comments come just a month after Russia began its war in Ukraine, and several days after the US also declared that members of the Russian armed forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. In doing so, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited "credible reports" of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, including the destruction of apartment buildings, schools and hospitals. The State Department specifically cited attacks on a maternity hospital and theater in Mariupol. The theater, the State Department said, was marked with the Russian word for "children" in letters visible from the sky.

10:40 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

Chef José Andrés salutes “food fighters” helping fellow Ukrainians

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

A volunteer from the initiative 'Sila Uzhhoroda' (The Power of Uzhhorod) serves meals to fleeing refugees at Uzhhorod train station on March 24 in Uzhhorod, Ukraine.
A volunteer from the initiative 'Sila Uzhhoroda' (The Power of Uzhhorod) serves meals to fleeing refugees at Uzhhorod train station on March 24 in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. (Zuzana Gogova/Getty Images)

Chef José Andrés praised Ukrainians who are helping supply and distribute food to fellow citizens, calling them "food fighters" and "heroes" who are battling the war in their country in a different way.

"I think everybody is obviously talking about the men and women defending Ukraine, but there are other people fighting the war in other ways. That’s why they’re called the food fighters. We see restaurants, we see food people in many of these cities doing what they can to feed women, children, elderly, that very often are in bunkers trying to escape from the bombing that arrived without nobody even telling them. That's the heroes that I see in Ukraine. What you see is everybody doing whatever they can to provide comfort and relief to fellow Ukrainians," Andrés told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" from Lviv, Ukraine.

Andrés' non-profit, World Center Kitchen, has provided more than 4 million meals in Ukraine and surrounding countries to where refugees have fled, he told CNN.

Andrés met with US President Joe Biden on Saturday as he toured the food distribution site in Warsaw, Poland.