Russian forces have continued to bombard cities and other sites across Ukraine, launching missiles and artillery attacks. A vast Russian convoy, which is thought to be 40 miles long, remains stalled outside Kyiv, according to Associated Press.
The mayor of Mariupol, a strategic port city that has been subject to heavy Russian attacks, said the city has been “blockaded” by Russian forces.
Mayor Vadym Boychenko has previously warned the city has no water, heat or electricity and that supplies of food are running out. He has appealed for military assistance and for a humanitarian corridor.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy strongly criticised Nato for refusing to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying the decision has given “the green light for further bombing of Ukrainian towns and villages”. Zelenskiy will address the US Senate on Saturday during a Zoom call that is scheduled for 9.30am Eastern Time.
The US Embassy in Ukraine described Russia’s attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, as a war crime, stating: “Putin’s shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further.” Russia blamed a “Ukrainian sabotage group” for the fire at the plant.
Major news organisations including the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS News and the Canadian Broadcasting Company have suspended reporting inside Russia, after it imposed a law that threatens jail terms of up to 15 years for spreading “fake news” about the war in Ukraine.
Russia has also blocked Facebook, Twitter and the websites of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America, in an attempt to control the flow of information and stamp out independent media coverage.
Several leading luxury brands said they will temporarily close stores and halt business operations in Russia. This includes Hermes, the Cartier owner Richemont, LVMH, Kering and Chanel. Samsung has also suspended shipments, after Microsoft and Apple announced similar measures.