Russian troops in streets of Kherson, mayor says: Live News | Russia-Ukraine was News

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  • UN General Assembly demands Russia stop its offensive in Ukraine. The vote was 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions.
  • Russia says its troops have taken Kherson, as it continues to bombard Kyiv and Kharkiv.
  • Pentagon says Russian convoy north of Kyiv remains stalled due to regrouping and logistical challenges.
  • UN says 227 civilians have been killed and 525 wounded in Ukraine. More than 870,000 people have fled, it adds.
  • Russia says second round of talks with Ukraine will take place in Belarus on Thursday.

Here are all the latest updates:

Japan’s Toyota suspends operations at Russia plant

Toyota has said it would suspend operations at its only factory in Russia and stop shipping vehicles to the country, citing “supply chain disruptions” linked to Moscow’s assault on Ukraine.

The world’s top-selling carmaker said its plant in Saint Petersburg produced around 80,000 vehicles last year, mainly for the Russian market and representing just a fraction of the 10.5 million vehicles made worldwide by the Japanese group.

“Toyota Motor Russia will stop production at its Saint Petersburg plant from March 4 and has stopped imports of vehicles, until further notice, due to supply chain disruptions,” the company said in a statement.

Biden says UNGA vote highlights ‘global unity’

US President Joe Biden has said that the United Nations General Assembly’s vote to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine “demonstrates the extent of global outrage at Russia’s horrific assault on a sovereign neighbor and showcases unprecedented global unity”.

Russia billionaires move superyachts to Maldives, data shows

At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising in Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, ship tracking data have shown.

Forbes reported that Germany had seized Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s mega yacht in a Hamburg shipyard.

Usmanov was on a list of billionaires to face sanctions from the European Union. A Forbes report based on three sources in the yacht industry said his 512-foot yacht Dilbar, valued at $ 600m, was seized by German authorities.

Three further yachts owned by Russian billionaires were seen cruising in Maldives waters, the data showed. They include the 88-meter (288 ft) Nirvana owned by Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin.

Ukraine has thwarted Russia’s ‘sneaky’ plan, Zelenskyy says

Zelensky has said that his country thwarted Russia’s “sneaky” plans, saying he was proud of the “heroic” resistance to Moscow’s invasion.

“We are a nation that broke the enemy’s plans in a week. Plans written for years: sneaky, full of hatred for our country, our people, ”Zelensky said in a video posted on the messaging app, Telegram.

He added that around 9,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the invasion began a week ago, a claim not immediately verifiable as Moscow does not report its losses.

People of color struggle to escape Russian invasion

Non-white international students say they have been exposed to racism while trying to leave Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

Ukraine rejects claims of discrimination by border guards and says it operates on a “first come, first served” approach.

Read more here.

Member of OSCE monitoring mission killed in Kharkiv

A member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s special Ukraine monitoring mission was killed on Tuesday during the shelling of Kharkiv, the OSCE has said.

In a statement, the OSCE named the victim as Maryna Fenina, and said she had died “while getting supplies for her family in a city that has become a war zone”.

EU bars 7 Russian banks from SWIFT, but spares those in energy

The European Union has said it was excluding seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, but stopped short of including those handling energy payments.

Russia’s second-largest bank VTB, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank and VEB will each be given 10 days to wind-down their SWIFT operations, the EU said in its official journal.

SWIFT said in a statement that it would disconnect the seven Russian banks from their network on March 12, as required by EU regulations.

INTERACTIVE - Sanctions on Russia SWIFT payment network

ICC prosecutor opens Ukraine investigation

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has confirmed he would immediately open an investigation into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine, following a request to do so by 39 of the court’s member states.

“These referrals enable my office to proceed with opening an investigation into the situation in Ukraine from 21 November 2013 onwards, encompassing any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed on any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person ”, Prosecutor Karim Khan said.

World Bank holds all programs in Russia, Belarus

The World Bank has said it had stopped all programs in Russia and Belarus with immediate effect, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “hostilities against the people of Ukraine”.

In a statement, the multilateral development bank said it had not approved any new loans to or investments in Russia since 2014, the year Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine.

The bank said it had not approved any new lending to Belarus since mid-2020, when the United States imposed sanctions on the country over a disputed presidential election.

Spotify closes its office in Russia

Spotify said it has closed its office in Russia indefinitely in response to what the audio streaming platform described as Moscow’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine”.

“Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever,” Spotify said in a statement.

Kherson mayor says Russian troops in the streets

The mayor of the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson, Igor Kolykhayev, has said Russian troops were in the streets and had forced their way into the city council building, the Reuters news agency reported.

Ukraine’s government had earlier played down reports that Kherson had fallen into Russian hands.

Kolykhayev urged Russian soldiers not to shoot at civilians and publicly called on residents to walk through the streets only in daylight and in ones and twos. “We do not have the Armed Forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here!” he said in a statement.

The city is under Russian soldiers’ “complete control”, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said separately.

He said that the city’s civilian infrastructure, essential facilities and transport are operating as usual and that there are no shortages of food or essential goods.

Yellen says US will address potential sources of leaks in Russia sanctions

The United States will continue to address potential sources of “leakages” in the sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said.

Yellen said the hard sanctions slapped on Russia were having a significant impact, as reflected in the ruble’s sharp fall. Asked whether energy sanctions could follow, she said nothing was off the table with regard to sanctions.

Mercedes-Benz halts Russia exports

Mercedes-Benz has said it was suspending vehicle exports to Russia and local production in the country, becoming the latest carmaker to respond to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Mercedes-Benz will suspend the export of passenger cars and vans to Russia as well as the local manufacturing in Russia until further notice,” it said in a statement.

German rivals BMW and Volkswagen made similar announcements earlier this week as Western companies withdraw from sanctions-hit Russia.

INTERACTIVE - Sanctions on Russia SWIFT payment network
(Al Jazeera)

Russian advance on Kyiv ‘remains stalled’: Pentagon

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has said the Russian military’s push towards Kyiv from the north “remains stalled”.

“From our best estimates, [Russian forces] have not made any appreciable progress geographically speaking, in the last 24 to 36 hours, ”Kirby told reporters.

He said the Pentagon believes the advance has slowed down because Russian forces are deliberately regrouping while also facing unanticipated logistical challenges and resistance from Ukrainians.

US postpones ballistic missile test: Pentagon

The Pentagon says the US has postponed an intercontinental ballistic missile test previously set for this week to avoid escalation with Russia.

“In an effort to demonstrate that we have no intention of engaging in any actions that may be misunderstood or misconstrued, the Secretary of Defense has directed that our Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch scheduled for this week to be postponed,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“We did not take this decision lightly, but instead demonstrated that we are a responsible nuclear power.”

Ukraine’s civilian toll climbs to 227 dead, 525 injured: UN

The United Nations’ human rights office has said that 227 civilians had been killed and 525 others were injured in Ukraine from when the Russian assault began through midnight on March 1.

“Most of these casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and air strikes,” it said in a statement issued in Geneva.

The UN human rights office said it believed the true toll was “considerably higher”, especially in government-controlled territory in recent days, due to reporting delays in some areas where intensive hostilities have taken place.

Meanwhile, more than 870,000 people have now fled Ukraine in search of safety in other countries, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

Wreckage from downed Russian missile caused blast near Kyiv station

An explosion near Kyiv’s central train station was caused by falling wreckage from a Russian missile that was downed by Ukrainian air defense, Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko has said in an online post.

The falling debris hit a heating pipe, causing the blast, but caused far less damage and casualties than if the missile had hit its target in central Kyiv, he said, without saying if anyone had been hurt in the explosion.

The station was being used to evacuate thousands of women and children, Ukraine’s state-run railway company Ukrzaliznytsya said in a statement.

Kyiv train station
People wait to board an evacuation train from Kyiv to Lviv, at Kyiv central train station [File: Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Wednesday, March 2, here.

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