Ukraine War Day 20: Carnage Continues Into Third Week of Battle With Russia

Live Updates
  • Some 3 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began, according to the United Nations.
  • Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko has announced a 36-hour extension to the curfew in the capital as Russian shelling continues overnight.
  • Another round of ceasefire talks were continued until Wednesday, according to a Ukrainian Presidential advisor who said "there is certainly room for compromise."
  • President Joe Biden signed a bill to provide $13.6 billion in funding to Ukraine on Tuesday. The White House announced Biden will travel to Brussels for a NATO summit later this month.
  • Russia announced new sanctions on top U.S. officials, including President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • A woman was detained in an unknown location after holding up an anti-war sign on primetime news show in Russia.
Ukraine-Russia War
Ukrainian servicemen carry a coffin during the funeral service for Oleh Yaschyshyn, Sergiy Melnyk, Rostyslav Romanchuk and Kyrylo Vyshyvany in Lychakivske cemetery on March 15, 2022 in Lviv, Ukraine. The men died in Sunday's airstrike on the nearby International Center for Peacekeeping and Security at the Yavoriv military complex. The barrage of Russian missiles killed 35 and wounded scores. The site, west of Lviv in the town of Starychi, is mere miles from Ukraine's border with Poland. Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images

Live updates for this blog have ended.

$565 billion Needed To Rebuild Ukraine, Prime Minister Says

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal estimates that $565 billion will be needed to rebuild Ukraine after the war with Russia.

"Preliminary estimates say that the current direct one-time loss for Ukraine is 565 billion US dollars," Shmyhal said. "In fact, these are the funds that will be needed to restore our state - and at the expense of repatriation of Russia, and at the expense of our partners."

Shmyhal said the preliminary figures would be at the expense of reparations from Russia. He stressed that the Ukrainian government will work to ensure that Russia's funds and property are seized.

According to estimates by the Ministry of Economy, Russia has damaged Ukraine's infrastructure alone by more than $ 119 billion. An official group has been set up in Ukraine's government to assess losses from the conflict.

Air Raids Wake Up Residents in Major Ukraine Cities Again

Air Raid Alerts were issued in several major cities in Ukraine after reports of explosions Tuesday night.

Sirens were activated in Cherkasy, Dnipro, Lviv, Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts.

Alerts were also issued in Kremenchuk, Bila Tserkva, Nikopol, Mykolaiv, Izmail, Odesa, Poltava, and the Kryve Ozero area.

Israel Deploys Field Hospital In Ukraine To Help Refugees

Israeli leaders announced plans to set up a field hospital in western Ukraine, which is expected to operate for at least a month.

The hospital will be part of the Israeli humanitarian efforts amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The hospital will contain an emergency ward, a delivery ward, and several departments for the treatment of male, female, and child refugees fleeing the war zones, according to the Jerusalem Post.

A group of Israeli doctors has already landed in Ukraine to build the $6.4 million hospital, the head of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky's office Andriy Yermak said on Twitter.

"Establishing a field hospital there, in Ukraine, is an initiative that not many countries are capable of taking on themselves," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. "The State of Israel has this capability and we are getting underway. This is important and I am pleased that we — the Health Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, with the assistance of the Finance Ministry — are leading it."

Although Israel has been turning down requests to send military, the nation has continued to send other aid.

Israel already sent a 100-ton humanitarian aid package last week. The aid included 17 tons of medical equipment and medicine, water purification systems, emergency water supply kits, blankets, coats, and sleeping bags.

Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Softens Criticism Against Russia,

World Chess Federation chairman and former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has changed his tone in criticizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Yesterday, Dvorkovich risked scrutiny from Russian President Vladamir Putin, after openly condemning the war.

"My thoughts are with Ukrainian civilians," Dvorkovich told Mother Jones magazine Monday. "Wars do not just kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and connections."

On Tuesday, Dvorkovich backtracked his words and shamed companies that have pulled out from Russia. Dvorkovich said Russia is undergoing "harsh" and "senseless" sanctions as a result of the war.

"I cannot respect foreign companies that have left the Russian market," Dvorkovich said. "Some of them lost him for a very long time, perhaps forever. Our main task is to get rid of technological dependence."

Ukraine War Creates One Child Refugee Every Second, UNICEF Says

Almost every single second since the start of the war a Ukrainian child has become a refugee, according to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder reports more than 1.5 million children have already fled Ukraine.

"Putting this last statistic another way, on average, every day in Ukraine from the start of the war, more than 75,000 children have become refugees. Every day," Elder said. "This last number is particularly shocking. Every single minute, 55 children have fled their country."

Elder warned that the children are targets of human traffickers as they arrive in unfamiliar surroundings. He noted that nine in 10 of those fleeing the violence in Ukraine are women and children.

"Like all children driven from their homes by war and conflict, Ukrainian children arriving in neighboring countries are at significant risk of family separation, violence, sexual exploitation, and trafficking," Elder said.

"They are in desperate need of safety, stability and child protection services, especially those who are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families," he continued.

Elder says the safest and fastest way to keep the children safe from predators is to end the war now.

The UN estimates that 3 million people have fled Ukraine seeking asylum. Nearly 157,000 of those are reported to be foreigners.

Footage Appears To Show Russian Helicopters Destroyed

Aerial footage of Kherson Airport has captured numerous Russian helicopters destroyed by a reported Ukraine airstrike.

Black smoke can be seen coming from numerous aircrafts, rising through the area.

This is the third time in a week that the Ukrainians have knocked out Russian equipment at this airport.

It is unclear at this time exactly how many helicopters were damaged.

Kyiv Mayor Imposes 36-hour Curfew

Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, will impose a 36-hour curfew beginning Tuesday night amid a "difficult and dangerous moment," Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced in a video posted to Telegram.

"Movement through the city is prohibited without special passes," Klitschko said. "You can only go out to reach a shelter."

The curfew, which Klitschko says was a decision of the military command, will start Tuesday at 8 p.m. local time and will last until 7 a.m. Thursday.

"Therefore, I ask all Kyiv residents to prepare for the fact that they will have to be at home for two days or, in case of an alarm, in a shelter.," he added.

The announcement comes as Russia continues to attack Ukraine's capital, which has nearly been surrounded by the Russian military in the now third week of the invasion.

Kyiv imposed a similar curfew on February 26 just after Moscow launched its invasion.

PACE Votes for Russia's Expulsion From Council of Europe

Reacting to the Russian government's decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) unanimously voted to expel Moscow from the Council.

Earlier Tuesday, Russia announced it would pull out of the Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights organization, as pressure mounted for the country to be ousted.

"We are really sad that today we have to call for Russia's exclusion from the organization after 25 years as a member," PACE President Tiny Kox said. "But if you cross the red line, you have no place in this organization. I am very glad that during these two days our Assembly was not an arena of contradictions, but the Agora, and the unanimous vote showed it."

Ukraine minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba reports 216 out of 219 delegates voted for Russia's exclusion, while three abstained.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the organization, as well as its intention to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Outside the Council of Europe and given the further degradation of Russia's rule of law, some of the last safeguards against human rights abuses will be off limits to those who need them most in today's Russia," said Marie Struthers, regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Amnesty International.

Last month, the Council of Europe committee suspended Russia from its representation effective immediately, following the Russian Federation's military invasion of Ukraine. The committee said Russia's actions were "a breach of peace of unprecedented magnitude on the European continent since the creation of the Council of Europe."

Hungary will stay out of Ukraine war, Prime Minister says

Hungary will not be sending any weapons or military assistance to Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced Tuesday.

Speaking in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building before tens of thousands of supporters in advance of elections next month, Orban said Hungary will stay out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"Russia looks at Russian interests, while Ukraine looks at Ukrainian interests," Orban said. "Neither the United States, nor Brussels would think with Hungarians' mind and feel with Hungarians' hearts. We must stand up for our own interests."

Oban used the moment to address the election. He said voters will have to choose between his party, which wants peace, and the leftist opposition "which would stagger into a ruthless, protracted and bloody war."

"We only have one choice: we must choose Europe instead of the east ... and freedom instead of authoritarianism," he said, while supporters chanted "Europa, Europa."

Orban said Central Europe was only a "chess board" for big powers and warned that if Hungary doesn't stand up for its interests, it could easily fall victim to the crisis.

"It's in our interest not to be pawns in someone else's war. In this war we have nothing to gain and everything to lose," the prime minister said before reiterating his position that Hungary will not send any military assistance to Ukraine.

Ukraine Says Peace Talks Have Become 'More Constructive'

Another round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine will continue Wednesday, a Ukrainian Presidential advisor said, adding there is "room for compromise."

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators spoke again via video conference Tuesday, as the war stretched into Day 20.

"We'll continue tomorrow [Wednesday]," Ukrainian Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said. "A very difficult and viscous negotiation process. There are fundamental contradictions. But there is certainly room for compromise. During the break, work in subgroups will be continued."

Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Chief of Staff to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, said talks have become "more constructive," the Associated Press reports. He said Russia's tone has changed and Ukrainian negotiators feel "moderately optimistic," but a meeting between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin would be needed to make "major" progress.

In an interview with Fox News early Tuesday, Zhovkva said the mood surrounding peace talks is now more "positive than negative." Zhovkva said any negotiations should be accompanied by a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees for Ukraine.

Meetings between Russian and Ukrainian representatives have recently taken place by video, following in-person talks in Belarus in early March.

Chernobyl Was Re-Connected to the National Power Grid

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been re-connected to the nation electricity grid and no longer relies on emergency diesel generators for power, Ukraine told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Tuesday.

"The continuing situation in Ukraine underscores the urgency of agreeing and implementing an IAEA initiative aimed at ensuring the safety and security of Ukraine's nuclear facilities," Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Ukraine's regulatory agency also told the IAEA that the staff at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant confirmed reports that the Russian military detonated unexploded munitions left on the site after the events on March 4. The staff had not been informed beforehand.

Russian Journalist Fined After Anti-War Protest on Air

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova was fined after interrupting a Russian state media television broadcast Monday to protest against the war in Ukraine.

Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One television, walked behind the news anchor during Monday night's live broadcast with a poster reading: "Stop the war. Don't believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here," in Russian. The bottom of the sign read "Russians against the war," in English.

She was detained after running off the set, BBC reported. Ovsyannikova made a court appearance Tuesday, where she was charged with organizing an unauthorized public event. She was fined 30,000 rubles, the equivlent of $280 U.S. dollars, Russian news outlet RIA reports.

Ovsyannikova was previously reported missing by several outlets and a lawyer who claimed he represented her, Newsweek reported.

Russia recently passed new legislation to prohibit the spread of "fake news" and banned using the words "invasion" or "war" or describe the current conflict in Ukraine. Violations could result in a 15-year prison sentence. French President Emmanuel Macron offered Ovsyannikova asylum on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the journalist.

"I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to tell the truth and specifically to the lady who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war," Zelensky said.

Foreign Leaders Arrive in Kyiv to Show Support for Ukraine

The Prime Ministers of Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia have arrived in Kyiv to show their support for Ukraine.

They are the first foreign leaders to visit the capital since the Russian invasion began.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the leaders brought the message to Kyiv that the European Union supports Ukraine.

"It is here, in war-torn Kyiv, that history is being made. It is here, that freedom fights against the world of tyranny. It is here that the future of us all hangs in the balance," Morawiecki said in a tweet.

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis also arrived in Ukraine Tuesday. He is the first foreign minister to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, according to Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

"Lithuania's support is ironclad — bilaterally and within the EU & NATO," Kulube said. "We work on speeding up Ukraine's accession to the EU. Russia must be brought to justice for its crimes."

Landsbergis said the pair discussed "deputinization," more assistance to Ukraine and called for Ukraine's request to join the European Union "be taken seriously."

U.S. to Issue Sanctions on Russian, Belarusian Officials

The U.S. will enact new actions to hold Russian and Belarusian officials accountable for "human rights abuses and violations within and outside their borders."

"We condemn Russia's unprovoked war and will continue to promote accountability," Blinken said in a tweet.

The U.S. will target 11 Russian military leaders, including Viktor Zolotov, the Head of the National Guard of Russia.

Under Zolotov's leadership, the National Guard has cracked down on Russian citizens who have protested against the Russian government's war in Ukraine, the State Department said. His troops are also responsible for suppressing dissent in occupied areas of Ukraine.

This actions will continue to impose "severe costs" on Russia's Ministry of Defense as it "pursues its brutal military invasion of Ukraine, which has led to unnecessary casualties and suffering, including the deaths of children," the State Department said in a statement.

The new sanctions will also:

  • Restrict the ability for Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his family to enter the U.S.
  • Restrict the visas of 38 current and former Russian government officials allegedly involved in suppressing dissent in Russia and abroad
  • Restrict the visas of six individuals involved in attacks on Chechen dissidents living in Europe and 25 individuals responsible for undermining democracy in Belarus
  • Implement new sanctions on two of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) officers

"Under President Putin, Russian authorities have repeatedly targeted human rights advocates, peaceful dissenters, and whistleblowers, and they continue to do so amidst their ruthless war on Ukraine," the State Department said. "Likewise, the Lukashenka regime continues its brutal crackdown on peaceful activists while it intensifies its support to the invasion of Ukraine. We are taking action against this autocratic attack on democracy."

"The United States will continue to promote accountability for those who support, enable, and perpetrate human rights abuses in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and elsewhere."

Fox News Cameraman, Ukrainian Journalist Killed

Fox News photographer Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in an attack while covering the war in Ukraine, the network confirmed Tuesday.

Zakrzewski's vehicle came under fire outside of Kyiv on Monday, according to Fox News. The veteran photographer covered countless international stories during his tenure at Fox News, including conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

"His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched," Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said. "Based in London, Pierre had been working in Ukraine since February."

"He was profoundly committed to telling the story and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned among journalists at every media outlet. He was wildly popular – everyone in the media industry who has covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre."

Zakrzewski was 55-years-old.

Fox News photographer killed in Ukraine
Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, left, is photographed with correspondent Steve Harrigan, second from left, and senior field producers Yonat Frilling, second from right, and Ibrahim Hazboun, right, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Fox News

The same attack also claimed the life of Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshinova, who was just 24-years-old. She was also working for Fox News, as a consultant.

"Sasha was just 24 years old and was serving as a consultant for us in Ukraine," Scott said. "She was helping our crews navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources. She was incredibly talented and spent weeks working directly with our entire team there, operating around the clock to make sure the world knew what was happening in her country."

Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall was with Zakrzewski at the time of the attack and sustained injuries. As of Tuesday, the network said Hall remains hospitalized.

Over the weekend, American journalist Brent Renaud, 50, was shot and killed in Ukraine while on assignment for Time magazine. Journalist Juan Arredondo was injured in the same attack.

"I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Brent Renaud who lost his life while documenting the ruthlessness and evil inflicted upon Ukrainian people by Russia," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. "May Brent's life and sacrifice inspire the world to stand up in fight for the forces of light against forces of darkness."

Russian Forces Take Hospital Hostage in Mariupol

Ukrainian officials claim Russian forces have taken hostages inside a Mariupol hospital.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Head of the Donetsk Regional Administration, said doctors and patients inside Mariupol's Regional Intensive Care Hospital were taken hostage by "Russian invaders."

"The other day, Russian occupiers practically destroyed [the hospital]," he said in a Facebook post. "But the staff and patients continued to stay in the fitted basement - working and treated."

Kyrylenko also shared a quote from a hospital employee inside the building.

"It is impossible to get out of the hospital," the employee said. "Shooting hard, sitting in the basement. Cars can't get to the hospital for two days. Burning around the multi-story floors."

The employee said Russian forces "chased 400 people from neighboring houses."

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Mariupol's Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov also confirmed this report to CNN Tuesday. He said there is an active hostage situation at the hospital that is occupied by Russian forces.

Biden Signs Bill Providing $13.6 Billion to Ukraine

President Biden just signed a bill that will provide $13.6 billion in funding to Ukraine.

This funding is part of a $1.5 trillion bipartisan government spending bill.

"Putin's aggression against Ukraine has united people across America and the world to act with urgency and resolve," Biden said in a tweet. "I want to thank Congressional leadership for working so quickly to make sure we have the resources we need to continue our forceful response to this crisis."

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said half of that funding will be made available in the form of additional security assistance.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky calls for an end to all trade with Russia so that "it can't sponsor the killing of our children."

Zelensky wants people to pressure politicians, journalists and businesses "to leave the Russian market" so that "their dollars and euros aren't paid for our blood."

"Everyone in the world must take a moral stand," he said in a tweet. "Not only the state but also companies."

Psaki Jokes Russia May Have Sanctioned Biden's Father

The White House seemingly dismissed any meaningful impact of Russian sanctions announced against President Joe Biden and other top Biden administration officials Tuesday.

"President Biden is a junior, so they may have sanctioned his dad, may he rest in peace," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki joked during Tuesday's briefing.

Russia's Foreign Ministry listed sanctions against more than a dozen U.S. current and former officials, including Psaki. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Biden's son Hunter and Hillary Clinton were also named.

"None of us are planning tourist trips to Russia and none of us have bank accounts that we won't be able to access, so we will forge ahead," Psaki said.

Psaki reiterated that the U.S. position on a no-fly zone over Ukraine has not changed amid growing bipartisan calls from Congress. She called a no-fly zone "escalatory" and said it "could prompt a war with Russia."

Psaki also reiterated the U.S. military assessments that weighed the risk and benefits of delivering Polish MiG-29 jets to Ukraine.

"They assessed it would not [have a huge benefit to Ukraine] because they have their own squadron of planes and because the type of military assistance that is working to fight this war effectively is the type of assistance we're already providing," she said.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to virtually address Congress on Wednesday.

Russia Withdraws from Council of Europe

Russia has withdrawn from the Council of Europe "without regret."

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia has officially given a notice of withdrawal to the Council's Secretary General M. Pejcinovic-Buric.

"The states of NATO and the European Union, abusing their majority in the Council of Europe, are consistently turning this organization into an instrument of anti-Russian policy, refusing equal dialogue and all the principles on which this pan-European structure was created," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Russia said the "unifying potential of the Council has been destroyed" by the countries of NATO and the European Union, accusing the Council of being "systematically used to put pressure on Russia and interfere in its internal affairs."

"They see in this organization only a means of ideological support for their military-political and economic expansion to the east, planting a 'rules-based order' that is beneficial to them, and in fact - a 'game without rules,'" the statement said.

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma's Committee on International Affairs, said leaving the Council will force Russia to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights, state media reported.

"All responsibility for the destruction of the common humanitarian and legal space on the continent, for the consequences for the Council of Europe itself, which without Russia will lose its all-European coordinates, will be borne by those who force us to take this step," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

However, Russia said the withdrawal will not affect the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens, as "the Constitution of the Russian Federation establishes no less guarantees for them than the European Convention on Human Rights."

WATCH: State Department Press Briefing

The State Department will hold its daily press briefing soon.

Spokesperson Ned Price will likely discuss a new round of sanctions the State Department will enact against Russian and Belarusian officials.

The briefing will stream live at 2 p.m. ET on the State Department website and YouTube channel.

Biden to Attend NATO Summit in Brussels

President Joe Biden will travel to Brussels for a NATO summit later this week.

The talks on March 24 will address deterrence and defense efforts in response to "Russia's unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Biden will also join a scheduled European summit, where leaders will discuss humanitarian aid and other challenges regarding Russia.

Psaki said Biden's goal for the trip is to "meet in person face to face with his European counterparts" and "talk about and asses where we are at this point in the conflict."

"We've been incredibly aligned to date, that isn't an accident," she said.

There is no word whether Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky, as the White House is still finalizing the trip details.

Ukraine Will Likely Not Join NATO, Zelensky Says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says it appears that NATO doors are closed to his country.

He addressed the issue Tuesday as he joined a Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) meeting by video. The JEF is a U.K.-led coalition of 10 states, focused on security in northern Europe.

"We heard for years about the allegedly open doors [of NATO]," Zelensky said, according to the Associated Press. "We have already heard that we won't be able to join. It's the truth we must recognize and I'm glad that our people are starting to realize that and count on themselves and our partners who are helping us."

Zelensky addresses JEF
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attendees applaud after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed them by video link during a meeting of the the Joint Expeditionary Force on March 15. Justin Tallis/AP Photo

In a video address to Canada's Parliament Tuesday, Zelensky said he has not yet heard a "clear answer" on becoming a NATO member. Ukraine not becoming a NATO member was among the demands Russia made to end the war.

WATCH: White House Press Briefing

The daily White House press briefing will begin soon.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki will give the briefing at 1 p.m. EST.

The briefing will stream live on the White House website and YouTube channel.

Zelensky Calls on Canada's Parliament to 'Close the Sky'

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky addressed Canada's Parliament Tuesday, thanking the country for its "steadfast" support and again asking for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

"Can you imagine when you called your friends, your friendly nation, and you ask... please close the sky, close the airspace, please stop the bombing?" Zelensky asked.

"How many more missiles have to fall on our cities until you make this happen? And they express their deep concerns about the situation. When we talked with our partners, they said... please, hold on, hold on a little longer."

Zelensky said 97 children have died since Russia began its invasion on February 24.

"Can you only imagine what words... how can you explain to your children?" Zelensky said. "That a full-scale aggression just happened in your country."

"Please do not stop in your efforts, please expand your efforts to bring back peace in our peaceful country," he concluded, his speech was met with a standing ovation.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced Zelensky, who joined lawmakers by video Tuesday. Trudeau praised Zelensky's efforts to defend Ukraine.

"Volodymyr, in the years I've known you, I've always thought of you as a champion for democracy. And now democracies around the world are lucky to have you as our champion," Trudeau said.

"You're defending the right of Ukrainians to choose their own future, and in doing so, you're defending the values that form the pillars of all free democratic countries: freedom, human rights, justice, truth, international order," Trudeau said. "These are the values you're risking your life for as you fight for Ukraine and Ukrainians."

Russia to Propose Humanitarian Resolution to U.N. Security Council

Russia will propose its own humanitarian resolution to the U.N. Security Council.

This comes after France and Mexico said they will move their humanitarian resolution in front of the U.N. General Council. Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said this move is due to an inability to adopt the resolution in the Security Council because of Russia.

During a press conference at the United Nations, Nebenzya said Russia is prepared to adopt a humanitarian solution, "provided that it is not a disguise to blame and shame Russia."

"We will put forward our own draft," Nebenzya said. "We will put it into the blue shortly and we'll see whether the Security Council can or cannot fulfill its mission to adopt a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine with clear humanitarian provisions.

He said the Russian proposal includes a ceasefire, a call to respect human rights law and evacuation corridors and a condemnation of attacks on civilians and civilian institutions.

Nebenzya added that a ceasefire will take place when Russia's conditions are met. Those conditions include the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, assurance that there are no threats to Russia, and a promise that Ukraine will not join NATO.

Russia Announces Sanctions on Biden, Top U.S. Officials

Russia announced sanctions against U.S. President Joe Biden and other top Biden administration officials Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were among top administration officials placed on Russia's sanctions list, according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, AP adds.

The ministry imposed the sanctions in response to the U.S. sanctions against Russian leadership, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

NATO to 'Reset' Its Military Posture Amid Russia's Invasion

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg raised concerns of Russia staging a false flag operation in Ukraine, possibly using chemical weapons, during a press conference Tuesday.

When asked how NATO would respond to such an attack, Stoltenberg said any use of chemical weapons would violate international law, but would not speculate on any potential military response by NATO. He called on Russia not to use the warfare, citing past Russian attacks using chemical weapons, calling any use "unacceptable."

He also warned against any other country supporting Russia, military or otherwise.

"China should join the rest of the world in condemning, strongly, the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia," he said.

Stoltenberg said NATO needs to "reset its military posture" amid Russia's invasion, which he said creates a new security reality in Europe. The alliance's long-term defense posture will be discussed at Wednesday's NATO Defense Ministers meeting.

Austin En Route to Brussels for Meeting of NATO Defense Ministers

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is on his way to Brussels to meet with his NATO counterparts.

The NATO Ministers of Defense will hold a two-day summit Wednesday and Thursday to further the coordination of the alliance amid the war in Ukraine.

The leader will also be joined by defense officials from Finland, Georgia, Sweden, Ukraine and the European Union.

2,000 Cars Left Mariupol Via Humanitarian Corridor: Officials

Some 2,000 civilian vehicles have left the besieged port city of Mariupol via an evacuation route, city officials said on Tuesday afternoon.

Agence France-Presse reported that the city council said on Telegram: "As of 14:00 (1200 GMT) it is known that 2,000 cars left Mariupol."

The council said 160 cars left Mariupol on Monday. It added that another 2,000 are waiting to leave the city.

Mariupol has come under heavy bombardment in recent days, and around 400,000 residents have no running water, heating and not much food left.

Russian Tanks Blast Mariupol Civilian Apartments
Russian Tanks Blast Mariupol Civilian Apartments Associated Press

Woman Holds 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' Sign In Protest In Front of Russian Church

A photo on Twitter shows a Russian woman standing outside the entrance to Moscow's Christ The Savior Church, holding a sign with the Sixth Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" written on it, protesting Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

She was reportedly arrested, according to Mike Eckel, a senior correspondent at Radio Free Europe.

On Sunday, a Russian orthodox in Amsterdam severed ties with the Moscow patriarchate, in the first known case a western-based Orthodox church cut ties over the Russo-Ukrainian war.

"The clergy unanimously announced that it is no longer possible for them to function within the Moscow patriarchate and provide a spiritually safe environment for our faithful," the clergy said in a statement. "This decision is extremely painful and difficult for all concerned."

Talks Resume Between Russia and Ukraine

Ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine are set to resume virtually on Tuesday afternoon.

But only hours before, several blasts shook residential districts of the capital Kyiv, killing at least two people.

The airport in the eastern city of Dnipro also came under heavy shelling overnight.

Previous discussions, held in person in Belarus, did not result in much progress being made, apart from establishing some humanitarian corridors for citizens to escape the fighting in Ukrainian cities.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday released a new video expressing cautious optimism about the negotiations, saying that Russia was beginning to understand that it would not win the war.

Monday's talks were "pretty good...but let's see," he said.

President Zelensky Via Videolink
As ceasefire talks resumed, president Volodymyr Zelensky continued to rally Western powers to strengthen their sanctions against Russia and provide more help to his country, including during a conversation with U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson via videolink. Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Image

U.K. Announces Sweeping Sanctions Against Hundreds of Russian Officials And Oligarchs

Russia's former president, the Kremlin spokesman, the country's defense minister and dozens of businessmen and oligarchs have been added to the latest round of sanctions by the U.K. against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

The measures, part of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act fast-tracked through parliament, will see the billions of dollars worth of assets in the U.K. frozen and a U.K. travel ban for those who made the list.

Those include former president and prime minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, defense minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Kremlin-friendly businessmen Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman, as well as the Internet Research Agency, known as Russia's "troll farm."

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said her country is going further and faster than ever in hitting those closest to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"From major oligarchs, to his [Putin's] prime minister, and the propagandists who peddle his lies and disinformation," Truss said.

Additionally, the U.K. is cooperating with its EU and G7 partners to introduce trade tariffs, including on Russian vodka imports worth more than $1.1 billion, and a ban on exports of luxury goods to Russia.

Russia Ukraine Britain Protest Oligarch Balcony
Protesters occupy a building reported to belong to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on Monday in London, England. Deripaska is one of dozens of wealthy Russians recently sanctioned by the UK government as part of its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Volodymyr Zelensky Tells Russian Troops To Surrender: 'Why Should You Die?'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made a direct appeal to Russian soldiers to surrender, telling them, "I know that you want to survive."

Zelensky used a televised address on Monday from his office to update Ukrainians on the state of their resistance to the Russian invasion and to call on Moscow-backed troops to give up their arms.

In a separate statement, the Ukrainian leader accused NATO, "the strongest alliance in the world," of being "hypnotized" by Russia.

"We hear a lot of conversations about the third world war, that allegedly it could start if NATO will close the Ukrainian sky for Russian missiles and planes and therefore the humanitarian no-fly zone was not yet established," he said in a video call with U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson.

"That allows the Russian army to bombard peaceful cities and blow up housing blocks and hospitals and schools. Four multi-storey buildings in Kyiv in the early morning were bombarded, dozens of dead," he added.

Russian Defense Ministry Claims Control Over Kherson Region Amid Anti-Russian Protests

The Russian defense ministry claimed on Tuesday that Russian forces have taken "full control over the whole Kherson region," including the city of Kherson, which has been under heavy Russian shelling over the past two weeks.

The ministry also published a video, shared by state-owned RIA Novosti agency, purporting to show Russian soldiers taking over a Ukrainian military base near Kherson, which it claims was abandoned by Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian government has not yet commented on the reports. Newsweek is unable to independently corroborate the statements and videos issued by the two sides in the conflict.

Kherson has been a scene of intense stand-offs between the Russian forces and local civilians opposing the occupation. Thousands rallied in Kherson on Sunday to protest the Russian takeover, as Russia attempted to install more compliant local leadership in the city.

Residents Protest Russian Occupation In Kherson
Residents Protest Russian Occupation In Kherson Associated Press

War Could Cost Ukraine '$500B' as Refugee Numbers Reach 3M

Some 3 million people have fled the war in Ukraine, the UN said on Tuesday.

"We have now reached the three-million mark in terms of movement of people out of Ukraine," Paul Dillon, spokesman for the UN's International Organization for Migration, told reporters at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among those 3 million, are 1.4 million children, the UN said.

The economic impact, as well as the humanitarian impact of the war, will be devastating, officials have warned.

Ukrainian finance minister Serhiy Marchenko told Forbes on Tuesday that the minister of economy estimated that losses would amount to a third to half of Ukraine's GDP.

"According to another estimate, it is about $500 billion. It will be possible to calculate exactly only after the war," he said.

Ukrainian refugees
A mother stands with her daughter in a temporary shelter for Ukrainian refugees in a school in Przemysl, near the Ukrainian-Polish border on March 14, 2022.Dr. Michael Griksaitis tells how he led a team to bring 21 children suffering from cancer to the U.K. for treatment. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/GETTY

Pentagon: Russian Military Advancement Stalled As Ukrainians Continue To 'Fight Back'

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby indicated that the Russian military has been stalled on their advance in Ukraine on Monday.

"If you just look at the map and you just look at how little progress the Russians have been able to make in the two plus weeks now that they've been at this," Kirby stated.

Referring to Ukrainian efforts to resist the Russian advances Kirby added: "They are making good use of their own knowledge, their own situational awareness, their skill sets."

Polish, Czech and Slovenian Leaders To Meet Zelensky In Kyiv

The Prime Ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia will travel to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky in the first high-level visits to Ukraine since Russia's invasion began on February 24.

Poland's government announced the visit, which comes as Kyiv is under constant shelling and Russian forces are close to the capital, in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said the purpose of the visit was to confirm "the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," as well as to "present a broad package of support for the Ukraine and Ukrainians."

"Europe must guarantee Ukraine's independence and ensure that it is ready to help in Ukraine's reconstruction," a tweet by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday said.

Vitaliy Klitschko in Kyiv
Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko (L) and his brother, Ukrainian former professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko (C), assess the damage from latest Russian bombings of apartment building in Kyiv on March 14. Three European leaders announced they are traveling to the capital of Ukraine despite the threat of more shelling. ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Kremlin Foe Navalny Faces Up to 13 More Years in Prison on New Charges

Meanwhile in Russia...

As Russian artillery continues to pummel towns and cities in Ukraine, opposition towards the conflict is growing inside Russia, as evident from the recent anti-war outburst on live state television.

Alexei Navalny, the jailed opposition leader, has been one of the most vocal critics of the invasions, which he described as a "distraction" by the Kremlin from Russia's domestic issues. He called on his compatriots to "join daily anti-war protests," even if they are afraid.

"The war was intended to cover up the robbery of Russian citizens and divert their attention away from the country's internal problems, from the degradation of its economy," Navalny posted to his social media channels, which are updated via his lawyers and allies. "The war was unleashed by the Kremlin gang to make it easier for them to steal."

Now the anti-corruption activist, who is already serving a two-and-a-half year sentence on what his supporters have called trumped-up charges, is once again on trial, which is being held in the penal colony where he is currently located.

On Tuesday Russian state prosecutors demanded that a judge sentence Navalny to an additional 13 years in prison on charges of fraud and contempt of court, according to the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

Alexei Navalny's trial in prison
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia seen on the screen at the prison colony court during a new trial that began on February 15, 2022 in Pokrov, Russia. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

EU Agrees Fourth Round of Russia Sanctions

The European Commission on Tuesday agreed on its fourth package of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, ramping up the economic pressure on the Kremlin and those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The new sanctions include:

A full ban on transactions for certain Russian State-owned enterprises across different sectors.

An EU export ban on luxury goods, designed to impact Russia's elites.An EU import ban on steel products currently under EU safeguard measures, which amounts to around € 3.3 billion in lost Russian export revenue.

A ban on new investment across Russia's energy sector. There are limited exceptions for civil nuclear energy and "the transport of certain energy products back to the EU."

The list of Russian people and organizations that are sanctioned will include more oligarchs and business elites linked to the Kremlin, as well as military and defence companies that are supporting the war and actors spreading disinformation.

A prohibition of rating Russia and Russian companies by EU credit rating agencies, meaning that Russian businesses will lose more access to the bloc's financial markets.

Read more on the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy here.

What Happened To Russian Journalist Flashing "No War" Sign on Live TV?

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor for the Russian state-controlled Channel One, broke into the shot of a primetime news show waving an anti-war banner that said "Don't believe the propaganda" on Monday night.

The gesture sent shockwaves through social media and became the front page picture for many Western newspapers on Tuesday, presenting perhaps the most visible example of dissent against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on state media.

Ovsyannikova also posted a video on social media condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"What is happening in Ukraine is a crime. And Russia is the aggressor here. And responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of a single man: Vladimir Putin," she said in her address to the public.

Ovsyannikova was detained by the network's security immediately after the outburst. Her lawyer reportedly tried to find her in the police stations near the television centre, but could not establish her location.

On Tuesday one state news agency reported that a pre-trial investigation has begun against her. She is reportedly facing criminal charges, including accusations of "discrediting Russia's military."

According to the TASS state news agency, she could also face charges under the new "fake news" laws, which prohibit publishing any information about Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine not sourced from official government agencies and ministries. She could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

The Kremlin, which initially did not comment on the incident, eventually addressed it on Tuesday, in response to a question from a journalist.

"As for this young woman [Ovsyannikova], this was just hooliganism. The Channel and those in charge are dealing with it," said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman.

Russia protest
A man looks at a computer screen watching a dissenting Russian Channel One employee entering Ostankino on-air TV studio. She is holding up a poster which reads as "No War" and condemning Moscow's military action in Ukraine in Moscow on March 14, 2022. Getty Images

Kyiv Mayor Announces New 36-hour Curfew

Vitaliy Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv, on Tuesday announced that the Ukrainian capital will be under a new curfew from 8 p.m. this evening until Thursday morning.

In a statement on his official Telegram channel, Klitschko said: "Today is a difficult and dangerous moment. According to the decision of the military command, from today - March 15, from 20:00 - a curfew will be introduced in Kyiv."

"Prohibition of movement through the city without special passes. You can only go out to reach the shelter. The curfew will run until 7 am on March 17."

"Therefore, I ask all Kyivites to prepare for the fact that they will have to be at home for two days or, in case of an air raid siren, in a shelter."

On Monday night, Russian airstrikes hit two residential apartment blocks on the outskirts of the capital. Another airstrike devastated an airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, which so far has remained relatively safe due to its location, some distance away from the frontlines.

"During the night the enemy attacked the Dnipro airport. Two strikes. The runway was destroyed. The terminal is damaged. Massive destruction," Dnipro region governor Valentin Reznichenko said via Telegram.

Marshall hour in Kyiv following renewed shelling
Firefighters react after working to extinguish a fire at a residential apartment building after it was hit by a Russian attack in the early hours of the morning in the Sviatoshynskyi District on March 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

'We Are at a Fork in the Road'

Good morning. We are now 20 days into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and according to one Ukraine official, "we are at a fork in the road."

Negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian representatives are set to resume, while military experts predict that Putin's army is days away from running out of resources.

On the other hand, U.S. officials have doubled down on claiming that China is open to providing financial and military assistance to Russia. Such a move could drag what has already been a bloody and devastating conflict out for months.