March 23 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden flies to Europe for an emergency NATO summit on Ukraine, where invading Russian troops are stalled, cities are under bombardment and the besieged port of Mariupol is in flames. Read full story
ON THE GROUND
* Satellite photographs showed massive destruction of what was once a city of 400,000 people, with columns of smoke rising from burning residential apartment buildings.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian forces were using the exclusion zone around the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant to prepare new attacks.
* Russia’s Defence Ministry said Russian forces had used long-range weapons fired from the sea to hit a Ukrainian arms depot outside the northwestern city of Rivne on Tuesday. Read full story
* Ukrainian officials said two civilians were killed in overnight shelling in the Mykolaiv region, a bridge was destroyed over the River Desna in Chernihiv and residential buildings and a shopping mall were struck in two districts of Kyiv, wounding at least four people.
* Russia’s combat power in Ukraine has declined below 90 percent of its pre-invasion levels, a senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday. Russia says its “special military operation” in Ukraine is going to plan. Read full story
* Reuters was unable to verify the above reports
* The head of the International Committee of Red Cross is in Moscow for two-day talks with senior Russian officials including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and will raise “pressing humanitarian issues” in Ukraine, the agency said. L5N2VQ1YU
* The EU on Wednesday is due to set out plans on how it will provide jobs, education and housing for refugees. Read full story
* Germany, which has recorded nearly 239,000 Ukrainian refugee arrivals, said it plans to take more measures to help refugees from Ukraine. Read full story
* The Biden administration aims to make it easier for some Ukrainian refugees to come to the United States after only a handful were admitted in the first two weeks of March, according to three people familiar with the matter. Read full story
* Biden and his team are developing plans to impose sanctions on members of the Russian parliament, the Duma, two sources familiar with the situation said. The sanctions are expected to be announced on Thursday. Read full story
* “The world is on the verge of many new crises,” Zelenskiy told the Japanese parliament. “The environmental and food challenges are unprecedented.” Read full story
* “I’m really scared of what’s going to happen next, how it’s going to end,” new mother Tamara Kravchuk said in a maternity ward in Mykolaiv, a southern city that has been subjected to Russian shelling. Read full story
(Compiled by Philippa Fletcher)