War in Ukraine: what we know on day nine of Russia’s invasion

Russia accused of ‘nuclear terror’ after shelling sparked fire in nuclear power plant

Medical students at a university in Sumy, Ukraine, saw their school become a war zone overnight. They have no way to travel home and are stranded near the fighting. Video: NYT
  • Russian military forces have seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, in Ukraine's southeast, the regional state administration said on Friday.
  • It comes after Russian shelling sparked a fire there early on Friday, prompting widespread concern about the safety of Ukraine's atomic infrastructure.
  • The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of "nuclear terror", as British PM Boris Johnson said Putin's forces were "reckless". No one died in the blaze, but it has sparked deep concern over the fate of Ukraine's nuclear plants amid the worsening fighting.
  • US president Joe Biden and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau also condemned Russia for shelling the plant and starting the blaze, which took hold in a training building on the site's perimeter.
  • Russian forces were in control of local and regional government buildings in the strategically important Black Sea port of Kherson, local authorities said. Russian forces appeared to be moving to cut Ukraine off from the sea via its key southern ports, claiming the capture of Kherson and tightening the siege of Mariupol.
  • Concern is mounting over the movements of a huge column of Russian military vehicles outside Kyiv. While a US defence official suggested it appeared to have "stalled", there was also speculation that an estimated 15,000 troops attached to it may be regrouping and waiting for logistical supplies before an assault on the Ukrainian capital.
  • At least 33 civilians were killed in a Russian airstrike on a residential area in the northern city of Chernihiv on Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said. The death toll across Ukraine has continued to rise.
  • Vladimir Putin has told Emmanuel Macron that Kyiv's "refusal to accept Russia's conditions" means he will continue to pursue his war in Ukraine, France's presidential Élysée Palace has said, adding: "We expect the worst is yet to come."
  • In a televised speech shortly after his 90-minute call with Mr Macron, Mr Putin claimed Russian military operations in Ukraine were going according to plan. The president went on to accuse Ukrainian forces of using civilians as "human shields" but provided no evidence.
  • Ukraine and Russia agreed to create humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians in a second round of talks on Thursday afternoon, but the Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said the outcome of the talks had fallen short of Ukraine's hopes. A third round of talks was set to take place at the start of next week, the Belarus state news agency Belta cited Podolyak as saying.
  • Mr Zelenskiy, has called for direct talks with Mr Putin, saying it was "the only way to stop this war". Speaking at a press conference, Mr Zelenskiy called on the west to increase military aid to Ukraine, warning that the rest of Europe would be under threat if Russia was allowed to advance.
  • The UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has imposed sanctions on the Uzbekistan-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose commercial links to Everton football club have been suspended; and on the Russian former deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov, the Foreign Office has said.
  • The BBC has been blocked inside Russia, according to GlobalCheck, which tracks internet censorship. It comes after the EU blocked the Russian state-run media sites Sputnik and RT.
  • The Pentagon has established communication with the Russian defence ministry "for the purpose of preventing miscalculation, military incidents, and escalation", a US defence official told the AP. That such a "deconfliction" line has been established was not yet officially announced, but multiple news organisations confirmed the news. The line was reportedly established on March 1st.
  • An Estonian-owned cargo ship sank off Ukraine's major Black Sea port of Odesa, hours after a Bangladeshi vessel was hit by a missile or bomb east of the port, underlining the growing peril to merchant shipping. - Guardian