NATO rejects Ukraine no-fly zone; Russia curbs Facebook, Twitter

  • NATO rejects Ukrainian calls to establish a “no-fly zone” amid Russian attacks.
  • Multiple news outlets said they would pause their work inside Russia citing a new law that could mean jail for those found to be intentionally spreading “fake” news.
  • US envoy to UN condemns Russia’s seizure of the largest nuclear power station in Europe, calling attack “reckless” and “dangerous”.
  • Ukrainian officials say attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant killed “several” people.
  • Moscow denies attacking the site, blaming a fire that broke out there early Friday on Ukrainian “saboteurs”.
  • More than 1.2 million people flee Ukraine to neighbouring countries, according to UN.
  • Russia says it is blocking Facebook and restricting access to Twitter, citing restrictions on Russian media.

Here are all the latest updates:

Northern city of Chernihiv comes under renewed bombardment

A large explosion has lit up the night sky in Chernihiv, as Russia pressed on with its assault on the strategic Ukrainian city that lies 143km (88 miles) away from the capital Kyiv.

Homes have been heavily damaged by airstrikes earlier in the day, when Russian bombardment killed 47 people, according to local officials.


Strategic Ukrainian port Mariupol ‘blockaded’: mayor

Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol is under a “blockade” by the Russian army after days of “ruthless” attacks, its mayor has said, calling for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor.

“For now, we are looking for solutions to humanitarian problems and all possible ways to get Mariupol out of the blockade,” said Vadim Boychenko in a message posted on Telegram.


Brazil to issue humanitarian visas, permits, for individuals fleeing Ukraine

Brazil’s government has said it will issue temporary humanitarian visas and residency permits for Ukrainian nationals and other individuals who have been affected or displaced by the conflict.

The visas will be valid for 180 days and arriving Ukrainians can apply for residency permits lasting two years, according to the text published in the nation’s official gazette. Brazil will require, among other documents, a certificate attesting to the person’s clean criminal record.

Brazilian media have reported that the country has Latin America’s biggest population of Ukrainians and their descendants, ranging between 500,000 and 600,000, according to an estimate from Ukraine’s embassy.

_INTERACTIVE- Where are Ukrainians fleeing to


Ukraine security council urges escapeways

The head of Ukraine’s security council has called on Russia to create humanitarian corridors to allow children, women and the elderly to escape the fighting.

Oleksiy Danilov said more than 840 children have been wounded in the war. A day earlier, the Ukrainian government put the death toll among children at 28.

“The question of humanitarian corridors is question No. 1.,” Danilov said on Ukrainian television. “Children, women, elderly people – what are they doing here?”INTERACTIVE- Russia and Ukraine at a quick glance


UN Security Council to meet Monday on humanitarian crisis: diplomats

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the humanitarian crisis triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, diplomats have said.

After this public session, the 15 members of the council will confer behind closed doors to discuss a possible draft resolution, a diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP news agency.


US Embassy in Ukraine calls power plant attack ‘war crime’

The US Embassy in Ukraine has said that attacking a nuclear power plant is a war crime after Russia seized a Ukrainian nuclear facility that is the biggest in Europe.

The statement on the embassy’s Twitter account went further than any US characterization of Russia’s actions in Ukraine since it launched its invasion on February 24.

“It is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. Putin’s shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further,” US Embassy Kyiv said in its post.


US Senate to have call with Zelenskyy

The Ukrainian embassy in Washington has arranged a Zoom call between the US Senate and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, two Senate aides have said.

The call is scheduled for 09:30 ET (14:30 GMT) on Saturday, they said.


Bloomberg News temporarily suspending work in Russia

Bloomberg News has said it was temporarily suspending the work of its journalists inside Russia, citing a new law that could mean jail for those found to be intentionally spreading “fake” news.

“The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country,” Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said in a statement.


Zelenskyy condemns NATO for ruling out Ukraine no-fly zone

Zelenskyy has criticized NATO for ruling out a no-fly zone over his country saying the Western military alliance knew further Russian aggression was likely.

“Knowing that new strikes and casualties are inevitable, NATO deliberately decided not to close the sky over Ukraine,” he said in a video published by the presidency.

“Today the leadership of the alliance gave the green light for further bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages, refusing to make a no-fly zone.”


CNN to stop broadcasting in Russia after new law

CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia, the news channel has said.

“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” a spokesperson said.

The decision comes after the Russian parliament approved a proposed law that would allow authorities to imprison people for up to 15 years if they are convicted of spreading intentionally “fake” information about the country’s armed forces.

Read more about the Russian law here.


Ukraine’s Zelenskyy calls for action against ‘nuclear terrorism’

Zelenskyy has reiterated remarks made earlier by the country’s United Nations envoy, who accused Moscow of “nuclear terrorism” after a fire broke out at a training facility near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

“Nuclear terrorism requires decisive action in response,” Zelenskyy said in a Twitter post.

He added: “At the #UN Security Council meeting, we called for closing the sky over 🇺🇦 and launching an operation to maintain peace and security. The goal is to save hazardous facilities. The world must not watch, but help!”


Canada’s public broadcasters CBC/Radio-Canada temporarily suspend reporting from the ground in Russia

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Radio-Canada have said they had temporarily suspended their reporting from the ground in Russia, citing a new law that could mean jail for those found to be intentionally spreading “fake” news.

“CBC/Radio-Canada is very concerned about new legislation passed in Russia, which appears to criminalize independent reporting on the current situation in Ukraine and Russia,” they said in a statement posted online.


Russia blocking access to Facebook

Russia’s communications regulator says it is blocking Facebook in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media on its platform.

The regulator, Roskomnadzor, said on Friday there had been 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020, with access restricted to state-backed channels like RT and the RIA news agency.

The company this week said it had restricted access to RT and Sputnik across the European Union and was globally demoting content from Russian state-controlled outlets’ Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, as well as posts containing links to those outlets on Facebook.

Read more here.


US ‘committed to helping Ukraine defend itself’, Biden says

United States President Joe Biden called the Russian invasion of Ukraine an attack on “global peace and stability”.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, Biden added: “We’re committed to helping Ukraine defend itself and support the humanitarian needs of the Ukrainian people.”

Biden with Sauli Niinisto
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the Oval Office of the White House, March 4 [Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

 


Russia, Ukraine trade barbs at UN over Zaporizhzhia incident

Western and Ukrainian diplomats have accused Russia of recklessly endangering global safety after a fire broke out at a training facility near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – charges that Moscow dismissed as “lies”.

At a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, Kyiv’s envoy Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Moscow of “nuclear terrorism” over the incident, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an attack on “humanity”.

Moscow’s envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, however, dismissed reports that Russian troops attacked the Zaporizhzhia plant as “lies” and “disinformation”.

Read more here.


G7 ministers call on Russia to stop attacks near nuclear plants

The foreign ministers of the G7 released a joint statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calling on Moscow to end its “aggression” and immediately withdraw its forces.

“We urge Russia to stop its attacks especially in the direct vicinity of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants,” the statement said.

“Any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of international law. We support the initiative of IAEA Director General Grossi announced today for an agreement between Ukraine and Russia to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.”


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

Read all the updates from Friday, March 4, here.

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