UN head decries ‘horrific’ attack of Mariupol hospital: Live News – aljazeera.com

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Antonio Guterres says ‘senseless violence must stop’ as bombing of children’s hospital in Mariupol draws condemnation.

  • Pentagon reaffirms US opposition to Poland’s offer to send fighter jets to Ukraine, saying transfer risks escalating crisis.
  • UN officials condemn bombing of children’s hospital in besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
  • Ukraine has accused Russia of bombing the children’s hospital and maternity ward, injuring at least 17 people.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in Turkey for talks with Ukrainian counterpart.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterates call for Kyiv’s allies to impose a no-fly zone over the country.
  • US and UK again rule out no-fly zone, saying it could lead to direct confrontation with Russia.
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Here are all the latest updates:

US ban on Russian oil imports heads to passage in House of Representatives

A majority of the US House of Representatives have voted to impose a ban on imports of Russian oil and other energy products.

With the vote still underway, the Democratic-controlled House was poised to pass the bill after President Joe Biden used his executives powers to impose such a ban.

US House passes Ukraine aid, gov’t funding measure

A majority of the US House of Representatives have voted to approve a $1.5 trillion bill that would provide $13.6bn in aid for Ukraine and fund the federal government through September 30.

The vote was still under way. If approved by the House, the sweeping legislation would move on to the Senate.

UNICEF says at least 37 children killed in Ukraine

At least 37 children have been killed and 50 injured “in less than two weeks”, UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell has said, adding that more than 1 million children were forced flee.

“Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – including hospitals, water and sanitation systems and schools – are unconscionable and must stop immediately,” Russell said in a statement.

“The children of Ukraine desperately need peace.”

US speeds licensing for gun, ammunition shipments to Ukraine

The United States is rapidly processing requests from Americans to export firearms and ammunition to Ukraine, the US Commerce Department has said.

The Commerce Department said it had imposed export controls on Russia to “degrade its ability to sustain military aggression” and Americans should check agency regulations to see if a license was needed to ship specific firearms to Ukraine.

“The department has been processing requests rapidly for the export of firearms and ammunition to Ukraine under its existing processes and authorities,” a department spokesperson said.

Americans are donating thousands of sets of body armor and millions of rounds of ammunition in response to Ukraine’s pleas for military support.

Zelenskyy says 35,000 civilians evacuated from Ukrainian cities

At least 35,000 civilians were evacuated from besieged Ukrainian cities on Wednesday, Zelenskyy has said.

In a video address, the Ukrainian leader said three humanitarian corridors had allowed residents to leave the cities of Sumy, Enerhodar and areas around Kyiv.

INTERACTIVE- Where are Ukrainians fleeing to DAY 14 _ 2 million

War-related inflation may drive protests and riots, World Bank warns

Soaring energy and food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could exacerbate existing food security concerns in the Middle East and Africa, and may fuel growing social unrest, World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart has said.

“There will be important ramifications for the Middle East, for Africa, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, in particular,” which had already been experiencing food insecurity, Reinhart told Reuters news agency.

“I don’t want to be melodramatic, but it’s not a far stretch that food insecurity and riots were part of the story behind the Arab Spring,” she said, adding that successful and unsuccessful coups had increased over the past two years.

Zelenskyy believes Russia’s Putin will soon ‘negotiate’

Zelenskyy has said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will eventually enter negotiations and end the invasion, after seeing Russian forces encounter fierce resistance from Ukrainians.

“I think he will. I think he sees that we are strong,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with Vice from Kyiv, adding “we need some time”.

“How to stop this war? Only dialogue,” he said.

When asked what his message to Putin would be, Zelenskyy said: “Stop the war. Begin to speak. That’s it.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/DlYu4iwwXSA?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Biden to discuss developments with Turkey’s Erdogan

US President Joe Biden will hold a phone call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the latest developments involving Russia and Ukraine, the White House has said.

Top US, Ukraine diplomats discuss additional aid for Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in a phone call, discussed additional security and humanitarian support for Ukraine, the State Department has said.

Blinken and Kuleba also discussed Russia’s “unconscionable attacks harming population centers,” the statement said.

For his part, Kuleba said his call with Blinken was “on further steps to strengthen Ukraine’s defence capabilities”.

Zelenskyy calls hospital bombing ‘war crime’

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy has described the attack on a children’s hospital in the southeastern city of Mariupol as a “war crime” after it prompted international condemnation.

“We have not done and would never do anything like this war crime in any of the cities of the Donetsk or Luhansk regions, or of any region… because we are people. But are you?” Zelenskyy said, switching to Russian to make his point.

“What kind of a country is Russia, that it is afraid of hospitals and maternity wards and destroys them?” he said. “The air bomb on the maternity hospital is the final proof. Proof that the genocide of Ukrainians is taking place.”

Zelenskyy also reiterated his call for Western powers to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine to prevent more attacks.

“Together we must return courage to some Western leaders. So that they finally do what they had to do on the first day of the invasion. Either close the Ukrainian sky from Russian missiles and bombs, or give us fighter jets so that we can do everything ourselves,” he said.

Timeline: Week two of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine enters its third week, Al Jazeera examines the major events that marked the second week of hostilities, from a US ban on Russian oil and gas imports to attempts to evacuate civilians from Ukrainian cities under siege and the displacement of more than two million refugees.

Read more here.

A maternity hospital hit by shelling in Mariupol.
A woman walks outside the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo]

IMF approves $1.4bn emergency funding for Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has said its executive board approved $1.4b in emergency financing for Ukraine to help meet urgent spending needs and mitigate the economic impact of Russia’s military invasion.

“The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has been responsible for a massive humanitarian and economic crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, predicting a deep recession in Ukraine this year.

“Financing needs are large, urgent, and could rise significantly as the war continues,” she said. Once the war was over, Ukraine was likely to need additional “large support”,.

The global lender said Ukrainian authorities had canceled an existing stand-by lending arrangement with the IMF, but would work with the fund to design an appropriate economic program focused on rehabilitation and growth when conditions permit.

White House dismisses Russia’s claims of US involvement in biowarfare labs

The White House has said Russia’s claims about alleged US involvement in biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine were false.

“We took note of Russia’s false claims about alleged US biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a series of tweets.

She said Russia could possibly be laying the groundwork for use of chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine “or to create a false flag operation using them” but did not offer evidence.

Ukrainian MP says people forced to drink ‘contaminated water’

Ukrainian parliament member Lesia Vasylenko says it is currently impossible for many Ukrainians to access clean water amid the fighting, forcing many to drink contaminated water and causing several cases of dehydration.

“It’s impossible to get food or water,” Vasylenko told Al Jazeera. “People are drinking contaminated water from the sewage system or children are forced to take snow or what remains of the snow just to stay hydrated.”

The situation, she added, demonstrates “how inhumane” the methods Russia is using against the Ukrainian civilian population are.

Caterpillar suspends operations in Russia

Caterpillar Inc has said it was suspending operations in its manufacturing facilities in Russia, joining a growing number of companies that have halted business in the country.

“Operations in Russia have become increasingly challenging, including supply chain disruptions and sanctions, and we are suspending operations in our Russian manufacturing facilities,” a company spokesperson said.

UN humanitarian chief decries strike on hospital as ‘deeply shocking’

The UN’s humanitarian affairs chief has denounced the attack on a Ukrainian children’s hospital in Mariupol as an “appalling breach” of international humanitarian law.

“It’s deeply shocking in all kinds of different ways. It’s shocking because it’s a medical facility, which under international humanitarian law is protected,” Martin Griffiths told Al Jazeera.

“It’s shocking because it kills babies, newborns and it’s shocking because this is the kind of thing that happens appallingly in the war like the one we are seeing in Ukraine.

He added: “I hope we will find out in due course who did this and hold them to account.

UK’s Johnson commits to further tighten sanctions on Russia

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukraine’s Zelenskyy he is committed to further tightening sanctions to impose maximum economic cost on Russia, a Downing Street spokesperson has said.

Over 1,200 civilians have died in siege of Mariupol, mayor says

A total of 1,207 civilians have died during a nine-day siege by Russian forces of Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol, its mayor has said.

The first nine days of the Russian siege saw “1,207 peaceful Mariupol residents dying”, the city authorities posted on Telegram along with a video message by Mayor Vadym Boichenko.

UN chief condemns ‘horrific’ attack in Mariupol

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has decried what Ukrainian officials said was a Russian attack on a hospital in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol.

“Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific,” Guterres said on Twitter.

Russian banks can lend to firms owned by non-residents

Russian banks will be allowed to lend to companies controlled by non-residents, the finance ministry has said amid sanctions that have prompted many western firms to pull out or suspend operations.

“This decision was taken so that companies wishing to continue their business activities in Russia can work normally and receive loans from domestic banks,” the ministry said in a statement, without providing details.

INTERACTIVE - Sanctions on Russia SWIFT payment network

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