- Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelenskyy calls for no-fly zone to stop Russian bombardment, but White House says US is not considering such a move.
- ICC prosecutor says he plans to launch investigation into alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
- High-level talks between Kyiv and Moscow end with no agreement except to keep talking.
- US, UK, EU, Canada impose sanctions on Russia’s central bank.
- Civilian death toll now stands at 352 people, including 14 children, Ukraine’s health ministry says.
- More than 520,000 people have fled Ukraine since Russian invasion began, UN says.
- FIFA and UEFA suspend Russia from international football.
Here are the latest updates:
World Rugby suspends Russia, Belarus
Rugby’s world governing body is suspending Russia and Belarus from all international rugby “until further notice”.
It also suspended Russia’s membership indefinitely.
“World Rugby reiterates its condemnation of Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and the facilitation of this action by Belarus,” the body said.
Blinken ‘assures Ukraine of more sanctions and weapons’
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has offered Kyiv more support in the form of sanctions and weapons.
“In our call, Secretary Blinken affirmed that the U.S. support for Ukraine remains unfaltering,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
“I underscored that Ukraine craves for peace, but as long as we are under Russia’s assault we need more sanctions and weapons. Secretary assured me of both. We coordinated further steps.”
In our call, @SecBlinken affirmed that the U.S. support for Ukraine remains unfaltering. I underscored that Ukraine craves for peace, but as long as we are under Russia’s assault we need more sanctions and weapons. Secretary assured me of both. We coordinated further steps.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 28, 2022
Satellite images show 40-mile long Russian convoy descending on Kyiv
The Russian military convoy descending on Ukraine’s capital stretches for about 40 miles (64 km), according to Maxar Technologies.
The US satellite-imaging company said pictures taken on Monday shows the convoy “contains hundreds of armoured vehicles, tanks, towed artillery and logistics support vehicles”.
Ukraine says Russia used a vacuum bomb
Oksana Markarova, Kyiv’s ambassador to the US, says Russia had used a vacuum bomb in Ukraine on Monday.
Also known as a thermobaric bomb, the weapon uses oxygen from the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion, typically producing a blast wave of a significantly longer duration than that of a conventional explosive.
“They used the vacuum bomb today, which is actually prohibited by the Geneva convention,” Markarova said after a meeting with US legislators. “The devastation that Russia is trying to inflict on Ukraine is large.”
Russia ‘continued shelling Ukraine during talks’
Ukraine’s president says Russian troops intensified shelling of Ukraine in an effort to force his government into making concessions during talks held earlier on Monday.
In a video address, Zelenskyy said that “the talks were taking place against the backdrop of bombing and shelling of our territory, our cities. Synchronizing of the shelling with the negotiating process was obvious. I believe Russia is trying to put pressure (on Ukraine) with this simple method”.
The president said Ukraine is not prepared to make concessions “when one side is hitting each other with rocket artillery.”
Zelenskyy says that Kyiv, the capital, remains “a key goal” for the Russians and that Russian forces have also shelled the city of Kharkiv with rocket artillery.
Zelensky seeks ban on Russia in all global airports and ports
Ukraine’s president is seeking a global ban on Russian planes and ships as punishment for attacking his country.
“We must close entry for this state in all ports, all canals and all the world’s airports,” Zelenskyy said on Facebook. He also urged the international community to “consider a total closure of the skies to Russian missiles, planes and helicopters”.
Ukraine says Starlink equipment has arrived
Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation says equipment to use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has arrived in his country.
Mykhailo Fedorov thanked SpaceX founder Elon Musk for the equipment in a Twitter post Monday that was accompanied by a photo of boxes on the back of a truck.
Starlink is a satellite-based internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world. It markets itself as “ideally suited” for areas where internet service is unreliable or unavailable.
You are most welcome
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 28, 2022
Canada to ban Russian oil imports, supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his country will ban imports of Russian crude oil and supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons and upgraded ammunition.
“We are announcing our intention to ban all imports of crude oil from Russia, an industry that has benefited President Putin and his oligarchs greatly,” he told reporters in Ottawa.
Canada will also step up “lethal aid” to Ukraine and will send 100 Carl Gustaf anti-tank weapon systems and 2,000 rockets “as quickly as possible,” said Defence Minister Anita Anand.
Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes
Kyiv’s Ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, says Russian troops are “attacking hospitals, mobile brigades and ambulances” in Ukraine.
“This is not the action of a state with a legitimate security concern,” Kyslytsya said at a UN Security Council’s emergency meeting. “This is the action of a state determined to kill civilians. There is no debate. These are war crimes.”
Ukraine opens entry to foreign war volunteers
Ukraine’s president has signed a decree temporarily lifting the requirement for entry visas for any foreigner willing to join Ukraine’s International Defense Legion and fight on Ukraine’s side against invading Russian troops.
Zelenskyy’s decree takes effect Tuesday and will remain in effect as long as martial law is in place.
White House rules out no-fly zone
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be a step toward sending US troops to fight Russia.
“A no-fly zone would require implementation,” she said, adding it would require “deploying US military to enforce, which would be … potentially a direct conflict, and potentially a war with Russia, which is something we are not planning to be a part of”.
US Congress ‘would never’ authorise no-fly zone, says legislator
Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy ruled out approving a no-fly zone for Ukraine in Congress, saying the move would amount to war between the US and Russia.
“It’s a bad idea and Congress would never authorize it,” Murphy wrote on Twitter.
“Military equipment for Ukraine, humanitarian support for Ukraine, crippling sanction on Russia, movement of US troops to the eastern flank of NATO – these are all the right moves. But direct war between the world’s two nuclear powers should be a non-starter.”
There’s been a lot of loose talk from smart people about “close air support” and “no fly zones” for Ukraine.
Let’s just be clear what that is – the U.S. and Russia at war. It’s a bad idea and Congress would never authorize it.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 28, 2022
Facebook to restrict access to Russian state media outlets in EU
Facebook’s parent company Meta has announced plans to restrict access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union.
Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, tweeted on Monday afternoon that the social media company had received requests “from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media”.
US not considering no-fly zone in Ukraine
Hours before Ukrainian President Zelenskyy urged a no-fly zone for Russian aircraft on Monday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Washington is not considering such a move.
Zelenskyy urges West to consider no-fly zone for Russian aircraft
Ukraine’s president says it is time for the West to consider imposing a no-fly zone for Russian missiles, planes and helicopters in response to Russian shelling of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
In a video address, Zelenskyy did not specify how and by whom a no-fly zone would be enforced. He said Russia had launched 56 rocket strikes and fired 113 cruise missiles against Ukraine in the past five days.
“I believe that Russia is trying to apply pressure in this unsubtle way. Do not waste time. We do not accept such tactics. Fair negotiations can occur when one side does not hit the other side with rocket artillery at the very moment of negotiations,” he said.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Monday, February 28, here.