The Russian invasion into Ukraine entered its 14th day Wednesday as an air alert was declared in and near Kyiv. The alert was later lifted.
Meanwhile, Russian troops continued to surround the coastal city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, where civilians are facing a humanitarian crisis after being encircled for days, according to The Associated Press.
Here are the latest updates:
House passes bill to ban Russian oil imports to US
Update 11:34 p.m. EST March 9: The House passed a bill banning Russian oil imports to the U.S., The Associated Press reported.
The legislation was approved Wednesday by a 414-17 vote and now goes to the Senate.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who helped draft the bill, said it may cost more to fill up gas tanks at home to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tanks in Ukraine.
“It is one way to demonstrate our solidarity,” Doggett said during the debate.
House votes to send $13.6B to Ukraine
Update 10:29 p.m. EST March 9: The House voted late Wednesday night to pass a massive government funding bill that includes $13.6 billion in desperately needed aid for Ukraine, The Associated Press and CNN reported.
The money is almost evenly split between military and humanitarian aid, The New York Times reported. It is more than twice what was originally proposed, according to the newspaper.
Zelenskyy to Europeans: ‘You saw. You know’
Update 10:05 p.m. EST March 9: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked European citizens to do more to pressure their governments to intervene in Ukraine.
“Europeans! You won’t be able to say that you didn’t see what happened to Ukrainians, what happened to Mariupol residents,” Zelenskyy said. “You saw. You know.”
Zelenskyy called on the West to step up its pressure on Russia to negotiate and end the war, and also to increase sanctions.
“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,”Zelenskyy said. “”Either close the Ukrainian sky from Russian missiles and bombs, or give us fighter jets so that we can do everything ourselves. A pause without a decision has become simply deadly.
Carlsberg cuts ties with Russia
Update 9:56 p.m. EST March 9: Carlsberg, the world’s third-largest brewer, said it will stop selling its flagship beer brand, cease all advertising in Russia and will donate profits from its Russia business, according to The Guardian.
The brewery said the Carlsberg Group’s Baltika Breweries, located in St Petersburg, Russia, will be run as a separate business and continue operating its eight breweries in Russia, the website reported.
Major internet provider in Ukraine suspends service
Update 9:36 p.m. EST March 9: Triolan, a major internet provider in Ukraine, said it was under attack and was suspending service, The New York Times reported.
Twitter unveils service aimed at bypassing Russia’s block
Update 8:56 p.m. EST March 9: Twitter announced a privacy-protected version of its site to bypass surveillance and censorship after Russia restricted access to its service, The Associated Press reported.
Russia has blocked access to Facebook and has limited Twitter in an effort to restrict information about its war in Ukraine.
Known as an “onion” service, users can access Twitter by downloading the Tor browser, which allows people to access sites on what is also referred to as the “dark web,” the AP reported. Instead of .com, onion sites have a .onion suffix.
Canada to give Ukraine $50M in military aid
Update 8:23 p.m. EST March 9: Canada will give Ukraine an additional $50 million in lethal and non-lethal military aid, according to defense minister Anita Anard.
The aid will include Canadian-made cameras used in military drones and other specialized equipment, The Guardian reported.
Russia considers nationalizing foreign businesses
Update 7:09 p.m. EST March 9: Russia moved toward nationalizing businesses owned by the growing number of foreign firms that are leaving the country, The New York Times reported.
A Russian government panel approved a bill that would allow firms that are more than 25% owned by businesses from “unfriendly states” to be put into external administration, according to a statement posted by President Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia, on its website.
According to the statement, the move proposed to the lower house of the Russian Parliament was aimed at preventing bankruptcies and preventing massive job losses.
State Department condemns Russia’s ‘lies’ about chemical warfare
Update 6:22 p.m. EST March 9: The U.S. State Department condemned what it called Russia’s “outright lies that the United States and Ukraine are conducting chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine.”
“As we have said all along, Russia is inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement Wednesday. “It is Russia that has active chemical and biological weapons programs and is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention.
“Russia has a track record of accusing the West of the very crimes that Russia itself is perpetrating.”
The State Department’s comments echoed those of the White House earlier Wednesday evening.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Western allies should “be on the lookout” for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials: 17 injured in airstrike at maternity hospital
Update 5:28 p.m. EST March 9: According to Ukrainian officials, Wednesday’s airstrike by Russian troops on a maternity hospital in Mariupol earlier Wednesday injured at least 17 people, The Associated Press reported.
“Today Russia committed a huge crime,” Volodymir Nikulin, a top regional police official said while standing in the ruins of the building. “It is a war crime without any justification.”
In a video message posted to the app Telegram, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked why a maternity hospital was a “threat” to Russia.”
“Russian bombs fell on a hospital and maternity center in Mariupol. A children’s hospital, a working maternity hospital, those buildings are ruined,” Zelenskyy president wrote. “Children`s hospital? Maternity ward? Why were they a threat to Russian Federation? What kind of country is the Russian Federation that is afraid of hospitals, afraid of maternity wards and destroys them?”
Psaki: Be on lookout for Russians to use chemical weapons
Update 5:20 p.m. EST March 9: In a tweet, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Western allies should “be on the lookout” for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine. Psaki added that Russia also could create a “false flag” operation.
“It’s a clear pattern,” she said.
VP Harris arrives in Poland for talks
Update 4:26 p.m. EST March 9: Vice President Kamala Harris landed in Poland for a series of meetings Thursday, The New York Times reported. The vice president will meet with Poland President Andrzej Duda and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about providing aid to Ukraine and supporting refugees, the newspaper reported.
Pentagon: US does not support transfer of aircraft to Ukraine
Update 4:13 p.m. EST March 9: A Pentagon spokesperson said the U.S. does not support the idea of transferring combat aircraft to Ukraine.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the Polish Minister of Defense that the U.S. does not support the transfer of MiG-29s to the Ukrainian air force “at this time,” CNN reported. That includes Poland transferring them to Ukraine with the U.S. and the Americans backfilling Poland’s fleet.
“(Austin) stressed that we do not support the transfer of additional fighter aircraft to the Ukrainian air force at this time, and therefore have no desire to see them in our custody either,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said.
UAE to ask OPEC to increase oil output
Update 3:28 p.m. EST March 9: The Associated Press reported that the United Arab Emirates is urging the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries (OPEC) to potentially increase its oil output.
The U.S. has banned imports of Russian oil, and oil prices have risen drastically since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
“We favor production increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels,” UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, said in a statement, according to the AP.
The UAE was the seventh-largest oil producer in the world in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the AP reported.
Sketchers, Deere stops shipments to Russia
Update 2:40 p.m. EST March 9: At least two more companies are no longer sending their products to Russia.
Sketchers USA Inc. said it had temporarily stopped sending items to Russia last week, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company is also donating $250,000 in aid to Ukraine and will donate up to another $250,000 to match employees’ donations.
Deere & Co. has stopped shipping farm and construction equipment to not only Russia but also Belarus. The shipments stopped two weeks ago for Russia, and days later for Belarus since that country has been the staging for Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
Deere has two plants in Russia, one in Orenburg and another in Domodedovo, the newspaper reported.
Strangers leave strollers, coats, toys at border for refugees
Update 2:19 p.m. EST March 9: As refugees stream in from Ukraine strangers are leaving items those with small children would find helpful or even a necessity.
Two million people have left Ukraine and among them are hundreds of thousands of children, CNN reported.
Strollers, carriers, jackets, toys, diapers, and in some cases walkers for elderly refugees are being left for them as they enter.
Volunteers who speak various languages are helping as they can. Some are giving items, others are offering rides or helping those in need find shelter after days-long trips escaping the invasion, CNN reported.
Bucharest’s convention center is being prepared to house some refugees. Cots have been set up; blankets and clothing have been collected. Organizers are also setting up separate areas for mothers and babies, CNN reported.
Amazon stops deliveries, Prime Video in Russia
Update 1:00 p.m. EST March 9: Amazon is the latest company to cut ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Deadline reported that Amazon is stopping shipments and is blocking Prime Video to Russia.
It is also not selling “New World,” an online multiplayer game released by Amazon, CNN reported.
“Given the ongoing situation in Russia and Ukraine, we’ve taken additional actions in the region,” Amazon said in a blog post, CNN reported. “We’ve suspended shipment of retail products to customers based in Russia and Belarus, and we will no longer be accepting new Russia and Belarus-based AWS customers and Amazon third-party sellers. We are also suspending access to Prime Video for customers based in Russia, and we will no longer be taking orders for New World, which is the only video game we sell directly in Russia.”
Tuesday, the company said it would no longer allow new customers in Russia on its Amazon Web Services, The Wall Street Journal reported.
At least 18 attacks against Ukraine health services
Update 12:32 p.m. EST March 9: The World Health Organization has determined that more than a dozen Russian attacks have hit some sort of health service.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said that the organization has verified 18 attacks against health facilities, healthcare workers and ambulances, The New York Times reported.
The attacks accounted for 10 deaths and 16 injuries, Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO said that more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine, most are women and children. Some of them need medical help to treat various conditions such as hypothermia, frostbite, respiratory diseases, and lack of treatment for cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health issues, CNN reported.
US defense official says Russia has about 90% of combat power available
Update 12:28 p.m. EST March 9: Senior U.S. defense officials estimate that Russia still has “90% of their available combat still ready for their use,” CNN reported.
But there have been several hundred military vehicles that are no longer available for Russia but it is not determined if the vehicles have been captured, destroyed or abandoned.
Up to 10% of Russian military assets, including tanks, aircraft and artillery, have either been destroyed or made inoperable, U.S. officials said.
Russia has launched 710 missiles against Ukraine since Feb. 24, according to U.S. military officials, CNN reported.
Congress plans to send $13.6 billion in emergency aid
Update 11:43 a.m. EST March 9: The House of Representatives has finalized a bill that will send $13.6 billion to Ukraine for emergency aid, twice the amount requested by Pres. Joe Biden, whose administration asked for $6.4 billion, The New York Times reported.
The bill is part of the $1.5 trillion spending bill that will keep the government running through September. it is expected to be approved as early as this afternoon.
A short stopgap bill is also being introduced to keep the government operating through March 15 to allow passage of the omnibus bill, Roll Call reported. The current stopgap bill expires in about three days.
Mariupol authorities say Russians bombed maternity hospital
Update 11:23 a.m. EST March 9: Officials in Mariupol said a maternity hospital was hit by Russian bombs that fell from the air.
“The destruction is enormous. The building of the medical facility where the children were treated recently is completely destroyed. Information on casualties is being clarified,” the city council said, according to CNN.
Casualties have not been independently confirmed, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that there are children among the wreckage of the hospital, CNN reported.
The government is still trying to confirm the number of people who have been hurt or killed at the hospital, The Associated Press reported.
But Russian forces have cut all communication from the city, making it difficult to confirm what is happening on the ground, The New York Times reported.
Residents who have not been able to evacuate said there is no drinking water and people are looking for springs trying to find something safe to drink, the newspaper reported. They’re also collecting snow melting from the roofs.
In its latest update Wednesday morning, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human rights said that at least 516 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the invasion began on Feb. 24, CNN reported.
An additional 908 civilians have been hurt.
China to send $790,000 aid to Ukraine, France prepares to help 10,000 refugees
Update 9:21 a.m. EST March 9: China’s Red Cross will be sending about $791,000 in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, CNN reported. The aid includes food and daily necessities and the first shipment has already left China.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his country is sending an additional $50 million in equipment to Ukraine, The Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, France is getting ready to help 10,000 refugees from Ukraine, a government spokesperson said.
French Citizenship Minister Marlene Schiappa said that 5,000 refugees have already arrived in her country, CNN reported. But efforts to evacuate the city of Bucha, north of Kyiv, have been stalled as a convoy has been blocked by Russian forces, city government officials said. The citizens were supposed to escape their homes through an agreed-upon evacuation corridor.
“The occupants are disrupting the evacuation. Currently, 50 buses are blocked by Russian military in the parking lot: do not give passage to the column,” the city council said in a brief Facebook post. “Negotiations are ongoing to unlock traffic.”
Chernobyl nuclear plant disconnected from power, needs urgent repairs to avert nuclear disaster, Ukrainian foreign minister says
Update 8:17 a.m. EST March 9: Ukraine’s state-owned power grid operator Ukrenergo says Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been cut off from its power supply which could prevent the cooling of nuclear fuel at the site, The Washington Post reported.
Electricity is required for the cooling, ventilation and fire extinguishing systems.
There are emergency diesel generators that are running but they’re only expected to last for 48 hours with the current fuel supply, the Post reported.
Ukrenergo said that without power the “parameters of nuclear and radiation safety” cannot be controlled, The Associated Press reported.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba demanded a cease-fire to be able to allow repairs to start to prevent a nuclear disaster.
He said once the generators run out of fuel, “cooling systems of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will stop, making radiation leaks imminent. Putin’s barbaric war puts entire Europe in danger,” the Post reported.
The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency said “that remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl NPP had been lost,” the IAEA said, according to the Post.
But the body tweeted that there is “no critical impact on safety.”
Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that the government does not know the current radiation levels at the Chernobyl plant and have no control over what is happening at Europe’s largest nuclear plant, Zaporizhzhia, which is under the control of Russian troops since last week, Reuters reported.
Some evacuate through corridors, but progress limited; More sanctions issued for oligarchs, politicians
Update 7:26 a.m. EST March 9: Some people have been able to leave Ukraine through agreed-upon corridors but it has been limited as heavy weapons fire has blocked some routes. Evacuations are planned in Vorzel, Borodyanka, Hostomel, Irpin and Bucha, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, the European Union has issued a fourth round of sanctions against Russian politicians and 160 oligarchs, CNN reported. It extends SWIFT restrictions against banks in Belarus, The New York Times reported.
UK: Russian troops fail to make progress in Kyiv; heavy shelling continues in other cities
Update 5 a.m. EST March 9: The U.K. Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update Wednesday that Russian forces have failed to make progress in Kyiv; however, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol continue to suffer heavy shelling, according to the AP.
“Ukrainian air defenses appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air,” read the update, which was posted on Twitter.
China sending aid to Ukraine, still opposes sanctions on Russia
Update 4 a.m. EST March 9: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday that China plans to send about $791,000 in humanitarian aid, including food and other necessities, to Ukraine, according to the AP.
Zhao, who said the first batch of supplies was sent to the Ukrainian Red Cross on Wednesday, added that China still opposes economic sanctions against Russia, the AP reported.
“Wielding the stick of sanctions at every turn will never bring peace and security but cause serious difficulties to the economies and livelihoods of the countries concerned,” he said, adding that China and Russia will “continue to carry out normal trade cooperation.”
Civilian evacuations planned in Sumy; air alert lifted in Kyiv
Update 3 a.m. EST March 9: Dmytro Zhyvytskyy, the regional administration chief in Sumy, said a safe evacuation corridor will be open again from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ukraine time Wednesday, according to the AP.
On Tuesday, about 5,000 civilians, including 1,700 foreign students, were safely evacuated on 22 buses that traveled from Sumy to Poltava, the news agency reported.
Meanwhile, an air alert declared early Wednesday in and around Kyiv has been lifted, according to the AP.
Top US lawmakers reach deal on Ukraine aid, government funding
Update 2 a.m. EST March 9: U.S. Congressional leaders from both political parties reached a deal early Wednesday on providing nearly $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and European allies as part of a $1.5 trillion measure to finance the government through the rest of the year, according to the AP.
The bipartisan deal also includes $15.6 billion in coronavirus-related spending domestically and around the world, the news agency reported.
Party leaders hope the bill will clear the House on Wednesday and the Senate by the end of the week, according to the AP.
Air alert declared in Kyiv
Update 1 a.m. EST March 9: Officials urged residents in and near Kyiv to head to bomb shelters as soon as possible Wednesday morning as an air alert was declared in the area, according to the AP.
“Kyiv region – air alert,” Oleksiy Kuleba, the regional administration head, said in a Telegram post. “Threat of a missile attack. Everyone immediately to shelters.”
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.