March 7 (Reuters) – Russia announced new “humanitarian corridors” to transport Ukrainians trapped under its bombardment – to Russia itself and its ally Belarus, a move immediately dismissed by Kyiv as an immoral stunt.
* Russian promise on corridors
The Russian military will cease fire and open six humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv from 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700 GMT), Russia’s defence ministry said.
Ukrainian warned that Moscow was trying to manipulate French President Emmanuel Macron and other Western leaders by demanding evacuation routes leading into Russian or Belarusian territory. Read full story
* More talks
A Russian delegation has departed for Belarus where it will meet Ukrainian negotiators for the third round of talks about ending hostilities, the Sputnik Belarus news outlet reported.
* Separatist offensive in Mariupol
Pro-Russian separatists have carried out an offensive in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Sunday and fighting took place mostly in the western part of the city, Russia’s defence ministry said on Monday. Read full story
* Blinken in Baltics, Lithuania issues warning
Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda warned U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that a failure to stop Russia’s aggression in Ukraine would lead to a global conflict.
Vladimir Putin “will not stop in Ukraine,” Nauseda told Blinken in Vilnius. Read full story
* Russia shuns U.N. court hearing
Russia on Monday boycotted hearings at the U.N.’s highest court during which Ukraine will argue that Moscow has falsely applied genocide law in justifying its invasion and will seek an emergency order halting hostilities. Read full story
* China is a “rock solid” friend
China’s Red Cross will provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine “as soon as possible”, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, as he hailed China’s friendship with Russia as “rock solid”. Read full story
* Australia presses China
China must act on its declarations of promoting world peace and join the effort to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Australia’s prime minister said, warning that the world was in danger of being reshaped by an “arc of autocracy”. Read full story
* Japan in talks on oil
Japan, which counts Russia as its fifth-biggest supplier of crude oil, is in discussion with the United States and European countries about possibly banning Russian oil imports, Kyodo News reported. Read full story
As many as five million Ukrainians are expected to flee from their country if Russia’s bombing of Ukraine continues, the EU’s top diplomat said.
*’No war’ protests in Russia
Police detained 5,020 people at Russia-wide protests against President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an independent protest monitoring group.Read full story
* Rouble trouble
Russia’s rouble tumbled to a fresh record low in thin offshore trade with local markets closed for trading until at least Wednesday. Read full story
* Sporting rebuke
Putin and a Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg have been removed from all positions in the International Judo Federation, the sport’s governing body said, in the latest sporting rebuke following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read full story
“In Ukraine rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not only a military operation but a war which is leading to death, destruction and misery,” said Pope Francis, rejecting the term “military operation” that Russia has used to describe its actions.Read full story
“My heart is being torn apart,” said Olha Kucher, director of the Zaporizhzhia Central Christian Orphanage after evacuating more than 200 children from the southwestern city. “I simply lack words. And I feel so sorry for these children. They’re so young.”Read full story
(Compiled by Frances Kerry, Daniel Wallis, Lincoln Feast and Tomasz Janowski)