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
30 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
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.

11:36 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

US ambassador to NATO: No evidence yet that the Kremlin will limit their sights on the Donbas region

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

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. "So, because of that, I think Russia is reassessing and they've indicated that they're going to alter their tactics, but let's give it some time. Next couple days, the United States, working closely with allies and the Ukrainian government will be looking for evidence of this shift," Smith added.

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. Asked if NATO will give Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fighter jets, Smith said, "this is an evolving conversation," but ultimately no.

"We've spoken with President Zelensky many times in recent weeks. We've heard their requests for assistance. In many cases, we've delivered those anti-aircraft, anti-armor capabilities, we are assessing their air defense needs," she said. "But the answer is no if you're asking about the Soviet-era jets, the United States has decided that the particular proposal put forward by Poland is untenable. But honestly, if any NATO ally wanted to provide those types of pieces of equipment, the fighter jets, the MiGs, that is a sovereign decision, they can take that sovereign decision. But right now, the United States is very much focused on their air defense needs. And we're delivering multiple capabilities to try and address those requirements."

On the potential for cyberattacks to be included into the NATO charter, Smith declined to "walk through hypotheticals," but said she did not doubt that if an ally were to "come forward," and invoke Article 5, the alliance "would be ready to respond and take action."

3:24 p.m. ET, March 27, 2022

US Ambassador to NATO says there's no US policy on regime change in Russia

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland on March 26.
US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland on March 26. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden's administration continued on Sunday to clean up his off-the-cuff remark that Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power," made on his final day in Europe.

Julianne Smith, the US's ambassador to NATO, 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 a Sunday interview with CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."

"He went to the National Stadium in Warsaw and literally met with hundreds of Ukrainians. He heard their heroic stories as they were fleeing Ukraine in the wake of Russia's brutal war in Ukraine. In the moment, I think that was a principled human reaction to the stories that he had heard that day."

Still, Smith said, the "US does not have a policy of regime change in Russia, full stop."

Her comments come hours after Secretary of State Antony Blinken also tried to downplay the President's remarks while in Israel, saying, "I think the President, the White House, made the point last night that, quite simply, President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else."

Asked by Bash to clarify if the US believes Putin should remain in power, Smith pivoted to the White House talking point that "the full administration, the President included, believes that we cannot empower Putin right now to wage war in Ukraine or pursue these acts of aggression."

Smith did not agree that the quick walk back from White House officials over the President's comments show his aides undermining him on the world stage, instead she said officials "feel great," about the President's snap trip.

10:07 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

US Sen. Jim Risch wants even stronger sanctions on Russia

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Sen. Jim Risch speaks at a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in April 2021.
Sen. Jim Risch speaks at a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in April 2021. (Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the ranking member on the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN on Sunday that he's hopeful Congress can pass bipartisan legislation that would impose additional sanctions on Russia.

"From my standpoint, I'd like to see secondary sanctions on every bank in Russia. I think that with what's going on there, we really can't be too tough on sanctions. We just really need to bring the hammer down," he told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." 

He added: "I get that every administration wants to be in full control. Obviously, I think Congress plays a role in this. I'd like to see some language passed through Congress. We've struggled with it. We've made a good faith effort but came very close but didn't quite get it done. Look, they're putting their sanctions on. The sanctions really have surprised us as far as how, how effective they've been, and I'd encourage them to keep up and heading down that road."

Risch also criticized US President Joe Biden for saying Saturday that there should be a regime change in Russia, a remark that was quickly walked back by White House officials following their delivery in a speech in Warsaw, Poland.

"There was a horrendous gaffe right at the end of it, I wish he would stay on script. Whoever wrote that speech did a good job for him. But my gosh, I wish they would keep him on script. I think most people who don't deal in the lane of foreign relations don't realize that those nine words that he uttered would cause the kind of eruption that they did, but anytime you say or even as he did suggest, that the policy was regime change, it's going to cause a huge problem," he said. "Please, Mr. President, stay on script."

9:21 a.m. ET, March 27, 2022

Police in Lviv detain two individuals on suspicion of sharing information with Russia

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Lviv

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. 

Kozytskyi said police going to the scene of a missile strike detained a man who was allegedly filming the missile's flight and its impact, and said police also found photos of checkpoints in the region that had been sent to Russian numbers. 

Those individuals were handed over to the Security Service of Ukraine following their arrest, Kozytskyi said.