Ukraine calls for more NATO support to fight Russia

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister has told his US counterpart in a meeting that his country needs fighter jets and air-defence systems and has called NATO’s refusal to implement no-fly zone over Ukraine a “sign of weakness”.
  • Russia resumes its offensive on the strategic port city of Mariupol, after a temporary ceasefire failed with allegations of violations by both sides.
  • The IMF warned that the already “serious” global economic impacts of the war in Ukraine would be “all the more devastating” should the conflict escalate.
  • More than 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries, according to the United Nations.

Here are all the latest updates:


‘Relentless’ Russian shelling in Mariupol, city’s mayor says

Russian forces have intensified shelling in the port city of Mariupol, including with the use of airplanes, the mayor has said.

“The city is in a very, very difficult state of siege,” Vadym Boychenko told Ukrainian TV. “Relentless shelling of residential blocks is ongoing, airplanes have been dropping bombs on residential areas.”

Boychenko said that thousands of children, women and the elderly came under fire as they arrived in the morning for a possible evacuation through a safe passage corridor. Russia promised to stop the shelling of Mariupol, a port city of 430,000, and Volnovakha, a city in the east, but violated the ceasefire.

Russia has made significant advances in the south, clearly seeking to cut off Ukraine’s access to the sea. Capturing Mariupol, which has been fending off the attack for six days, could allow Russia to build a land corridor to Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.


Israeli PM meets Putin in Moscow

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin to discuss the war in Ukraine and later spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Bennett’s spokesperson said.

After his meeting with Putin, Bennett headed to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, his spokesperson said.

French President Emmanuel Macron had spoken to Bennett before he flew to Moscow to brief him on his own conversations with Putin, the Elysée Palace said.

“They will stay in touch with the aim of obtaining a ceasefire, and this in coordination with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz,” an Elysée official said.

Israel, at the behest of Zelenskyy, has offered to mediate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, though officials have previously played down expectations of any breakthrough.


‘We are demoralised’: Hundreds of foreign students trapped in Sumy

At least 1,500 foreign students are trapped in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy, as shelling from the Russian army continues for a tenth day after humanitarian corridors failed to materialise.

The situation is growing increasingly desperate as the water has been cut to the city for three days and food supplies are dwindling.

“We are really demoralised, everybody wants to go home,” Precious Ogunbayo, a 21-year-old medical student from Nigeria, told Al Jazeera. “We keep asking for help, but it’s not coming at all.”

Read more here.


Russia-Ukraine conflict escalation would cause ‘devastating’ economic damage: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the already “serious” global economic impacts of the war in Ukraine would be “all the more devastating” should the conflict escalate.

A surge in energy and commodity prices, with a barrel of oil now close to $120, have piled on the inflationary hike that the world was already experiencing as economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Price shocks will have an impact worldwide, especially on poor households for whom food and fuel are a higher proportion of expenses,” the IMF said in a statement.


Ukraine FM asks Blinken for jets, air defence systems

Ukraine’s foreign minister has told his US counterpart in a face-to-face meeting that his country needs fighter jets and air-defence systems and called NATO’s refusal to implement no-fly zone over Ukraine a ‘sign of weakness’.

“It’s no secret that the highest demand that we have is in fighter jets, attack aircraft, and air-defence systems,” Dmytro Kuleba said he told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in talks at the Ukraine-Poland border.

The demands came after Moscow resumed its offensive on the key city of Mariupol, after a temporary ceasefire failed amid allegations of violations by Russia and Ukraine.

Read more here.


Blinken meets Ukraine FM Kuleba in show of support

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the Poland-Ukraine border in a show of solidarity on day 10 of Russia’s invasion of its pro-Western neighbour.

The two spoke for 45 minutes under high security at a border crossing full of refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, discussing more arms for Kyiv’s military and how to keep up global pressure on Moscow.

“I hope the people of Ukraine will be able to see this as a clear manifestation that we have friends who literally stand by us,” Kuleba said after they met at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing under high security.

Ukraine is “going to prevail”, Blinken said.


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

Read all the updates from Saturday, March 5, here.

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