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Russia-Ukraine live updates: Russian bombardment strikes Freedom Square

ABC News logo ABC News 2022-03-01

Russian forces are continuing their attempted push through Ukraine from multiple directions, while Ukrainians, led by President Volodymr Zelenskyy, are putting up "stiff resistance," according to U.S. officials.

The attack began Feb. 24 as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation."

Russians moving from Belarus towards Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, don't appear to have advanced closer towards the city since coming within about 20 miles, although smaller advanced groups have been fighting gun battles with Ukrainian forces inside the capital since at least Friday.

Russia has been met by sanctions from the U.S., Canada and countries throughout Europe, targeting Russia's economy and Putin himself.

 

Latest Developments

Mar 1, 10:02 AM

EU officials walk out of disarmament conference during Lavrov address

Delegations from European Union countries were seen on video walking out in protest as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council and Conference on Disarmament.

The meeting was held Tuesday in Geneva and Lavrov gave his address via video.

Ambassadors and diplomats leave the room while Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov addresses with a pre-recorded video message the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, March 1, 2022.

Ambassadors and diplomats leave the room while Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov addresses with a pre-recorded video message the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, March 1, 2022.
© Salvatore Di Nolfi/AP

-ABC News' Fergal Gallagher

 
Mar 1, 9:43 AM

'Growing number' of unaccompanied and separated refugee children

Filippo Grandi, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, told the Security Council Monday there's “a growing number of unaccompanied and separated children" in the unending lines of refugees fleeing Ukraine. 

Anna Semyuk,33,hugs her children at the Beregsurany border crossing in Hungary, Feb. 26, 2022.The children were handed to Nataliya Ableyeva, 58,a stranger,with their passports on the Ukrainian side of the border by the father,who was not allowed to cross. © Bernadett Szabo/Reuters Anna Semyuk,33,hugs her children at the Beregsurany border crossing in Hungary, Feb. 26, 2022.The children were handed to Nataliya Ableyeva, 58,a stranger,with their passports on the Ukrainian side of the border by the father,who was not allowed to cross.   A woman fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine hugs a child at a temporary camp in Przemysl, Poland, Feb. 28, 2022. © Yara Nardi/Reuters A woman fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine hugs a child at a temporary camp in Przemysl, Poland, Feb. 28, 2022.  

UNICEF said there are "anecdotal reports of heartbreaking stories of fathers -- or families -- arriving at the border with their children and relinquishing them to the border guards, then remaining in Ukraine.” 

UNICEF said it doesn't have numbers yet on unaccompanied or separated children. 

-ABC News' Zoe Magee

 
Mar 1, 9:23 AM

6 killed in attack on Kharkiv civilian building

A rocket attack on an administrative building in Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine has killed at least six people and injured another seven, Ukrainian officials said.

Rescuers remove debris in the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1. © Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters Rescuers remove debris in the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1. Debris is scattered around the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv, March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling. © Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images Debris is scattered around the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv, March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling.

An Indian student was among those killed, according to the Indian government.

A senior administration official told ABC News the U.S. has learned that Russia continues to plan for a “devastating” attack on Ukraine, warning that "the Russians … will crush Ukraine."

-ABC News' Martha Raddatz

 
Mar 1, 7:40 AM

YouTube blocks RT, Sputnik in Europe

Google on Tuesday said it had blocked RT and Sputnik, Russian state-linked channels, from YouTube in Europe. 

“Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action,” the company said. 

-ABC News’ Zunaira Zaki

 
Mar 1, 6:39 AM

Zelenskyy calls Russian attack 'undisguised terror' 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday said the Russian attack on Kharkiv’s main square was an act of “undisguised terror.”

"After that, Russia is a terrorist state. No one will forgive. Nobody will forget," he said on Facebook

A vehicle sits in Kharkiv, near the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, March 1, 2022. © Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters A vehicle sits in Kharkiv, near the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, March 1, 2022.

-ABC News’ Clark Bentson

 
Mar 1, 6:22 AM

About 660,000 refugees have fled Ukraine: UN

 

At least 660,000 people have fled Ukraine into neighboring countries in the six days since the Russian invasion began, the U.N. Refugees Agency said. 

At the Polish border, UNHCR staff reported queues that were miles long. 

“Those who crossed the border said that they had been waiting up to 60 hours,” the agency said on Tuesday. “Most arrivals are women and children from all parts of Ukraine. Temperatures are freezing and many have reported spending days on the road waiting to cross.” 

Refugees brave the cold in a frozen field at a border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland, after fleeing Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, March 1, 2022. © Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters Refugees brave the cold in a frozen field at a border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland, after fleeing Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, March 1, 2022.  

Agency staff said people were waiting up to 20 hours to enter Romania. In Hungary, arrivals were “steady and waiting times vary.” The 37-mile trip between Odessa, Ukraine, and the border with Moldova was taking some refugees 24 hours, the agency said. And arrivals in Slovakia, where asylum laws were rapidly changed, were lower than elsewhere, agency staff said.  

An unknown number of Ukrainian citizens have also been displaced within the country, Filippo Grandi, the agency’s commissioner, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. 

An Ukranian refugee waits for a train to the Czech capital Prague in Budapest on March 1, 2022. © Ferenc Isza/AFP via Getty Images An Ukranian refugee waits for a train to the Czech capital Prague in Budapest on March 1, 2022.  

“The situation is moving so quickly, and the levels of risk are so high by now, that it is impossible for humanitarians to distribute systematically the aid, the help that Ukrainians desperately need,” he said. 

The International Organisation for Migration said more than 470,000 people of various nationalities, “including a large number of overseas students and labour migrants,” are still in Ukraine.  

-ABC News’ Zoe Magee

 
Mar 1, 4:17 AM

Russian bombardment strikes central square in Kharkiv

Russia on Tuesday launched a major bombardment of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, hitting a central square and its civilian administration building. 

Video from the scene shows a large projective hitting next to the regional state administration building on Kharkiv’s Freedom Square, causing a huge blast. Aftermath shot on phones from the scene and inside the building, show it shattered with debris strewn around. 

The regional administration building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which was hit by a missile, according to city officials, March 1, 2022. © Ukrainian State Emergency Service/via Reuters The regional administration building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which was hit by a missile, according to city officials, March 1, 2022.

Ukraine’s emergency services ministry said at least six people, including one child were injured. It was unclear if anyone was killed.

Kharkiv Mayor Oleg Sinegubov confirmed the strike, calling it a “war crime.” 

Monday’s shelling followed a sustained bombardment of civilian areas yesterday and overnight in Kharkiv by Russian heavy artillery, including multiple rocket launchers and an alleged use of cluster munitions.

The regional administration building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which was hit by a missile, according to city officials, March 1, 2022. © Ukrainian State Emergency Service/via Reuters The regional administration building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which was hit by a missile, according to city officials, March 1, 2022.

“What is happening in Kharkiv is a war crime!” Sinegubov wrote on Facebook. “The Russian enemy is shelling whole residential neighborhoods of Kharkiv, where there is no critical infrastructure, no Ukrainian armed forces positions, which the Russians could be targeting.” 

Sinegubov accused Russia of conducting the attacks during the day, when civilians were on the street. He said the city’s emergency services are unable to keep up with the number of attacks and injured.

So far at least 11 are dead, with dozens injured, he said.

Rescuers work in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where city officials said building was damaged by a missile, March 1, 2022. © Ukrainian State Emergency Service via Reuters Rescuers work in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where city officials said building was damaged by a missile, March 1, 2022.

Russian forces in Kharkiv appear to have shifted tactics to employing heavy artillery indiscriminately against the city, in an apparent effort to bombard and terrorize it into submission.

Sinegubov claimed the Russians were changing tactics because their offensive capabilities on the ground were running out and so they had nothing left but to launch aerial bombardments.

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

 
Mar 1, 4:16 AM

'Leave Kyiv urgently today,' Indian Embassy tells citizens

The Indian Embassy in Kyiv on Tuesday urged Indians still in the capital to “leave Kyiv urgently today.”

People walk along a mostly empty road during curfew, in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022. © Emilio Morenatti/AP People walk along a mostly empty road during curfew, in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022.

“All Indian nationals including students are advised to leave Kyiv urgently today,” the embassy said on Twitter. “Preferably by available trains or through any other means available.”

 
Mar 1, 5:29 AM

’We will fight until the end,’ says Ukrainian parliament member

Solomiia Bobrovska, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, on Monday said Ukrainians would “fight to the end” as they defend Kyiv from a Russian invasion. 

“That's the mood of Ukrainians. We are staying behind altogether, and we do understand that with the total second line staying behind their shoulders. And I think we will fight until the end,” Bobrovska told ABC News’ Linsey Davis.

 
Mar 1, 12:14 AM

Russian troops ‘operational’ near Ukrainian nuclear power plant, agency says

Ukraine said its nuclear power plants are still being operated “safely and securely,” the International Atomic Energy Agency wrote in an update late Monday.

However, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said he “remained gravely concerned about maintaining their safety and security during the current conflict.”

Ukraine’s foreign ministry told the IAEA on Monday that Russian troops are “operational” near a functioning nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia, but the troops haven’t entered it so far. Any fighting near nuclear facilities causes alarm, and Ukraine has four sites in total with 15 reactors.

“It is extremely important that the nuclear power plants are not put at risk in any way,” Grossi said in a statement. “An accident involving the nuclear facilities in Ukraine could have severe consequences for public health and the environment.”

The IAEA Board of Governors will hold a meeting Wednesday to discuss the “safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine.”

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