KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says that talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations will continue Tuesday.

Speaking in a video address, Zelensky said that the Ukrainian delegation did good work during Monday’s talks. He didn’t provide further details.

He said he spoke Monday to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as part of efforts to “quickly end the war” and achieve “honest peace.” Bennett, who has sought to mediate a peaceful settlement, also spoke Monday to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky hailed a Russian state TV employee who interrupted the main evening news program on Russian Channel 1 by running into a studio with a poster against the war in Ukraine. The employee was later arrested by police.

The Ukrainian president again addressed the Russian soldiers, urging them to stop fighting and saying: “I’m offering you a chance to survive.”

In a bid to shore up the economy badly battered by the war, Zelensky announced a plan to sharply reduce taxes for business.

UN chief warns war in Ukraine is hurting poor countries

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief warned Monday that Russia’s war on Ukraine is holding “a sword of Damocles” over the global economy, especially poor developing countries that face skyrocketing food, fuel and fertilizer prices and are now seeing their breadbasket “being bombed.”

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters that “Russia and Ukraine represent more than half of the world’s supply of sunflower oil and about 30 percent of the world’s wheat” and that “grain prices have already exceeded those at the start of the Arab Spring and the food riots of 2007-2008.”

He told reporters that 45 African and least developed countries import at least one-third of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia, and 18 of them import at least 50%. These countries include Egypt, Congo, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, he said.

“All of this is hitting the poorest the hardest and planting the seeds for political instability and unrest around the globe,” Guterres warned.

Ukrainian military defends strategic port

LVIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian military says it has repelled a Russian attempt to take control of the strategic port of Mariupol.

The Ukrainian military’s General Staff said in a statement that Russian forces retreated after suffering losses.

The Russian military has besieged the Azov Sea port city of 430,000 for a week and a half, leaving its residents desperate for power, water and food. More than 2,500 residents of Mariupol have been killed by the Russian shelling.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in televised remarks that Russian shelling on Monday thwarted another attempt to deliver food and medicines to the city.

A humanitarian convoy of 160 civilian cars left Mariupol after repeated failures to evacuate civilians because of Russian shelling.

EU approves additional sanctions

BRUSSELS — The European Union announced late Monday that the 27-nation bloc has approved a fourth set of sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

France, which holds the EU presidency, said in a statement that the bloc approved a package targeting “individuals and entities involved in the aggression against Ukraine,” along with sectors of the Russian economy.

The exact details of the latest package will be revealed in the EU’s official journal.

Since the war started last month, the EU has adopted tough measures targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s financial system and the country’s oligarchs. Last week, the bloc agreed to slap further sanctions on 160 individuals and added new restrictions on the export of maritime navigation and radio communication technology.

Fox News correspondent is injured while reporting in Ukraine

Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall was injured while reporting outside of Kyiv on Monday and was hospitalized, the network said.

Hall is a Washington-based correspondent who covers the U.S. State Department for Fox News, where he has worked since 2015.

“We have a minimal level of details right now, but Ben is hospitalized and our teams on the ground are working to gather additional information as the situation quickly unfolds,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a message to Fox employees.

Fox’s John Roberts read Scott’s statement about Hall on the air at Fox.

Israel to set up field hospital to treat Ukrainian refugees

JERUSALEM — Israel plans to set up a field hospital to provide medical treatment for refugees in western Ukraine, officials said Monday.

The project is spearheaded by the country’s foreign and health ministries, according to a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office. The hospital should be operational by next week, the foreign ministry said.

“It’s an initiative that not many countries can take upon themselves, and Israel has this ability and we are going forward,” Bennett said.

The Foreign Ministry said the hospital will operate for month, providing refugees with an emergency room, a delivery room, and other services.

It has dubbed the operation Kochav Meir — Hebrew for “Shining Star” — after the country’s first female prime minister, Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and founded the Foreign Ministry’s international development unit.

Israel has good relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has worked as an intermediary between the two countries since Russia invaded on Feb. 24. In recent days, however, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has become increasingly outspoken in his condemnations of Russia’s invasion of its western neighbor.

Russia Ukraine War Maternity Hospital

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. The woman and her baby died after Russia bombed the maternity hospital where she was meant to give birth. AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File

Pregnant mother photographed in maternity hospital bombing in Ukraine dies with her baby

A pregnant woman, her face pale, lies on a stretcher. Her left hip is covered in blood as she is rushed out of a hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which had just been hit by an airstrike.

The gripping picture, captured by photographer Evgeniy Maloletka for the Associated Press, encapsulated the toll on civilians of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was shared, and the strike condemned, around the world – but little was known about the woman herself.

Now, the AP reports that the woman and her baby died in horrific conditions in the aftermath of the attack on the hospital – arriving for surgery with her pelvis crushed and hip detached.

Surgeon Timur Marin told the AP that medics delivered the baby via Caesarean section but that the infant showed “no signs of life.”

The woman, whose name has not been revealed publicly, is part of a civilian death toll from the war in Ukraine that the United Nations puts at 596, although it said it “believes that the actual figures are considerably higher.”

The woman’s story illustrates the perilous situation facing those who are pregnant in Ukraine, where at least 31 attacks on health-care facilities or equipment have been documented by the World Health Organization since the start of Russia’s assault 212 weeks ago.

According to the United Nations, “80,000 Ukrainian women are expected to give birth in the next three months while oxygen and medical supplies, including for the management of pregnancy complications, are running dangerously low.”

Read the full story here.

Attack on Ukrainian military base was launched from inside Russia

Russia’s missile attack on a Ukrainian military base near the Poland border was launched from long-range bombers flying inside Russian airspace, the Pentagon said Monday, detailing its latest assessment of the strike that killed at least 35 people and marked a significant escalation in the three-week war.

The attack Sunday in Yavoriv in western Ukraine, about 15 miles from NATO territory, did not disrupt shipments of Western military aid despite Russia’s claims to the contrary, said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon.

But it has amplified fears in the region, and in the United States, that a miscalculation could drastically widen the war. Thousands of U.S. troops have been sent to Poland and other country’s along the alliance’s eastern edge, and President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have maintained that a Russian attack on one would invite a ferocious response.

The senior U.S. defense official said Russia’s fusillade targeting the International Peacekeeping and Security Center has not altered the U.S. force posture in Poland. The official said that “more than a couple dozen” missiles were launched.

Read the full story here.

APTOPIX Russia Ukraine War

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky, center, shakes hands with a wounded soldier during his visit to a hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukraine President Zelensky to address Congress on Wednesday

WASHINGTON  — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a virtual address to the U.S. Congress as the Russian war on his country intensifies.

Zelensky will speak Wednesday to members of the House and Senate, the Democratic leaders announced. The event will be livestreamed for the public.

“It’s such a privilege to have this leader of this country, where these people are fighting for their democracy and our democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday during an event at the Brooklyn Bridge with New York lawmakers.

Pelosi said that Zelensky asked for the meeting when they spoke at the end of last week, and lawmakers are “thrilled” to have him address Congress.

The talk comes as the Ukrainians are fighting for their country’s survival in the escalating war as Russian President Vladimir Putin intensifies his assault, including airstrikes on the capital Kyiv. Civilians in Ukraine are taking up arms to hold back Putin’s regime, but the war has launched a mass exodus of more then 2 million people from Ukraine.

“The Congress, our country and the world are in awe of the people of Ukraine,” said Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement Monday announcing the address.

They said all lawmakers are invited to the talk that will be delivered via video at the U.S. Capitol. It comes as Congress recently approved $13.6 billion in emergency military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

Biden is expected to sign a big spending bill containing Ukraine aid into law on Tuesday. During Pelosi’s call last week, Zelensky said his country would need help rebuilding from the war.

“We have to do more in terms of meeting the needs of some of the 2.7 million refugees,” she said.

She said of the Ukrainians: “They’re fighting for democracy writ large.”

In their statement Monday, the congressional leaders said Congress “remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting Ukraine as they face Putin’s cruel and diabolical aggression.”

Pelosi and Schumer said they intend “to convey our support to the people of Ukraine as they bravely defend democracy.”

Zelensky spoke by video with House and Senate lawmakers earlier this month, delivering a desperate plea for more military aid.

EU finalizes another round of sanctions against Russia

SKOPJE, North Macedonia — The European Union’s foreign policy chief says the 27-country bloc is finalizing its new round of sanctions against Russia for its “barbaric” invasion of Ukraine.

Josep Borrell said Monday that the fourth package of coercive measures would target Russia’s market access, membership in international financial institutions, and steel and energy sectors.

“We are listing more companies and individuals playing an active role in supporting the people who undermine Ukrainian sovereignty,” Borrell said, after talks in Skopje on Monday with North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski. “This would be another major blow (to the) economic and logistic base upon which the Kremlin is building the invasion.”

Russia Ukraine War

A Ukrainian serviceman guards his position in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 12, 2022. AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov

Ukraine-Russia talks conclude, will resume Tuesday

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said talks with Russia concluded for the day Monday but will resume on Tuesday.

The two countries held negotiations by video link for the first time on March 10 in what is considered the fourth round of talks after three largely fruitless meetings held in person on the Belarusian border.

“A technical pause has been taken in the negotiations until tomorrow,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter. “Negotiations continue.”

He said earlier that “communication is being held, yet it’s hard.”

Romania says ‘unmanned aircraft’ discovered in northern part of country

SUCEAVA, Romania — Romanian prosecutors say they have opened a criminal file after an “unmanned aircraft” was discovered in the northern county of Bistrita-Nasaud.

“So far, the origin of the aircraft has not been established, and its owner has not been identified,” prosecutors in Cluj County said. “An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances in which the aircraft was flown and to identify the pilot of the aircraft.”

Bistrita County police told The Associated Press that the drone-type aircraft was found by a young man in a field near his house.

It comes days after a Russian-made unmanned aircraft crossed Romania and Hungary before entering Croatia and crashing late Thursday into a field near a student dormitory, damaging some 40 cars. No one was injured.

Activists in Poland block Russian, Belarusian trucks

WARSAW, Poland — Activists in Poland have been blocking Russian and Belarusian trucks in an effort to prevent them from crossing the Belarusian border with medicines, food and spare parts for the Russian military.

Belarus is allied with Russia. Activists fear that the goods will help reinforce the Russian military as it intensifies its war against Ukraine.

Tomasz Grodzki, the speaker of the opposition-controlled Senate, criticized Poland’s right-wing government for allowing the trucks to continue to cross Poland into Belarus.

“I am disgusted by the lack of sanctions by our government,” Grodzki said, in comments carried by the Polish news agency PAP on Monday.

However, a ruling party spokesman, Radoslaw Fogiel, said Poland was expecting the European Union to close off the transport to Russia and Belarus.

UN refugee agency says Afghanistan refugees not forgotten

KABUL, Afghanistan __ The U.N. refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi arrived in Afghanistan Monday saying despite the raging war in Ukraine and the more than 2.7 million refugees flooding into Europe, Afghanistan, with its millions of internal refugees, has not been forgotten.

“All of you are following what is happening in Ukraine. It is a very big crisis and also refugee crisis, but I came here also to say that there is not just Ukraine, there are other crisis in the world, other situations that need attention, and Afghanistan is a priority for us.” Grandi said upon his arrival in the Afghan capital.

Since the Taliban’s lightning fast takeover of Kabul last year, Afghanistan has plunged into a humanitarian nightmare with the United Nations saying that 90 percent of the country is now living below the poverty level. Even as spring arrives in Afghanistan, a country devastated by four decades of relentless war, millions are still at risk of severe food shortages with children among the hardest hit among Afghans 38 million people.

Power line supply Chernobyl damaged by Russian forces again

LVIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian state power company says the power line supplying the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster has been damaged by Russian forces again after it was repaired.

The Ukrenergo company said in a statement Monday that its technicians had started to supply power Sunday evening but “before the power supply was fully restored, the occupying forces damaged it again.” Ukrenergo said it will attempt another repair.

The power is used to feed pumps and other equipment which keep spent nuclear fuel at the former power plant cool to prevent radiation leaks.

The Chernobyl site is also equipped with diesel generators, and Belarusian authorities said last week that they had set up an emergency power supply from the nearby border.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has played down concerns over the safety of nuclear waste at Chernobyl, saying that cooling ponds there are large enough to keep the spent fuel in a safe condition even if the power supply is interrupted.

UK activists occupy oligarch’s house

LONDON — Activists have occupied a London townhouse linked to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, saying the property will be used to support Ukrainian refugees.

The U.K. government last week froze Deripaska’s assets as it expanded sanctions against wealthy Russians and companies to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s regime to end its invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions announcement identified Deripaska as a prominent “pro-Kremlin oligarch” who is closely linked to Putin.

Activists on Monday stood on the balcony of 5 Belgrave Square and unfurled Ukrainian flags and a banner proclaiming that the property had been “liberated.” Belgrave Square, a garden square dominated by foreign embassies, is the heart of the affluent Belgravia district, which attracts super-rich buyers from around the world.

“By occupying the mansion, we want to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, but also the people of Russia who never agreed to this madness. As always with wars, empires benefit and common people pay the price.’′

The U.K. has been criticized for being slow to impose sanctions on wealthy Russians who have flooded into London over the last 30 years, boosting the city’s economy. The U.S. government sanctioned Deripaska in 2018, saying he helped support Russia’s “malign activity” around the world.

The U.S. sanctions documents list 5 Belgrave Square in London as one of Deripaska’s addresses

Israel says it won’t be a route to bypass sanctions

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s foreign minister says the country will not serve as a “route to bypass sanctions” imposed on Russia by the West.

Israel, which has emerged as an unlikely mediator between Ukraine and Russia, has not joined the sanctions imposed by the U.S., Britain, European Union and others. But as the war in Ukraine drags on, the pressure is increasing.

In remarks sent by his office, Yair Lapid said Israeli authorities were working on ways to ensure Israel doesn’t run afoul of the biting sanctions while maintaining its unique role.

Lapid also reiterated his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has stopped short of condemning Russia.

Lapid made the remarks Monday after meeting his Slovak counterpart Ivan Korcok in the Slovak capital of Bratislava. Lapid’s office said they discussed how to help Jewish refugees who are fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Pharma company Bayer AG will stop business in Russia, Belarus

BERLIN — German pharmaceuticals company Bayer AG says it is stopping all non-essential business in Russia and Belarus because of the war in Ukraine, but will continue to provide medicines and agricultural products to the countries.

In a statement Monday, the company said that it stands by the people of Ukraine and that it “utterly (condemns) this brutal aggression against a sovereign country.”

Bayer said it was suspending all advertising and other promotional activities, halting capital investment projects indefinitely and not pursuing any new business opportunities.

The company said it has “also heard voices calling for a complete stop of delivery of all our products to Russia and Belarus.”

Bayer said that it feels ethically obliged not to withhold essential health and agriculture products such as cancer drugs or seeds from the civilian population.

The company said supplying farmers with agricultural products could help prevent food supply chains from further disruption due to the war in Ukraine, which is a major producers of grains and oilseed.

Ukraine says 2 dead, 7 injured after Russia hits aircraft factory

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian authorities say two people have died and seven were injured after Russian forces struck an aircraft factory, and another person was killed when a residential building was fired upon.

The Antonov aircraft factory is Ukraine’s largest and is best known for producing many of the world’s largest ever cargo planes.

The Kyiv city government says a large fire broke out after the strike on the factory. One person died and three were injured when the residential building was hit, authorities said.

UK hospitals start treating Ukrainian cancer patients

LONDON — British hospitals have begun treating 21 young Ukrainian cancer patients after Polish authorities asked for help in caring for the growing number of child refugees who need urgent medical care, U.K. authorities said.

The Ukrainian children arrived in Britain late Sunday and will be treated at six hospitals around the country, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

“The vital and in many cases lifesaving cancer treatment will be provided free of charge by the health service across hospitals in England,” the Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement.

The children were accompanied by 28 care-givers and family members, all of whom will be able to remain in the U.K. for at least three years while the children are treated, Javid said

Bridgestone shuts down factory in Russia

NEW YORK — Japanese tire giant Bridgestone says it is shutting down its factory in Russia temporarily and will suspend exports to Russia.

Bridgestone says it has returned 10 foreign staff and their families to Japan and that the factory in Ulyanovsk in central Russia will cease operations from Friday.

The company says it is “deeply saddened and concerned by the situation in Ukraine, and hopes for the restoration of peace and safety as soon as possible” and will donate approximately 500 million yen ($4.24 million) to causes including the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Fujitsu ends orders in Russia

TOKYO — Technology company Fujitsu is the latest among Japanese companies exiting Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

Tokyo-based Fujitsu said Monday all orders and deliveries will stop to Russia. Fujitsu had been offering computer servers and services related to such products in Russia.

Sales numbers for such operations were not disclosed.

Other Japanese companies, such as Toyota Motor Corp., Hitachi and Panasonic Group have suspended businesses in Russia, halting production and exports. Sony Corp. has halted shipments of its PlayStation video game machines to Russia and stopped theatrical releases of its movies.

Russia claims it has advanced 7 miles, reached 5 Ukrainian towns

NEW YORK — The Russian Defense Ministry said Monday its forces had advanced 11 kilometers (7 miles) over the past 24 hours, and reached five towns north of Mariupol.

In a video statement, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov did not elaborate on the advances, or comment on the humanitarian corridors or the crisis in Mariupol.

Russia shells Kyiv suburbs overnight

LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces fired artillery strikes on suburbs northwest of Kyiv overnight and targeted points east of the capital, the head of the Kyiv region said Monday.

A town councilor for Brovary east of Kyiv was killed in fighting there, regional administration chief Oleksiy Kuleba said on Ukrainian television. He also reported strikes overnight on the northwest towns of Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel, which have seen some of the worst fighting in Russia’s stalled attempt to take the capital.

The general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said Monday morning that Russian troops have not made major advances over the past 24 hours despite expanding strikes to the west.

Ukrainian forces are targeting Russian bases, targeting their logistical abilities, the general staff said in a statement on Facebook marking the 19th day of the war.

The general staff accused Russian forces of setting up firing positions and military equipment in churches and other civilian infrastructure so that Ukrainian forces can’t fire back. The accusation could not be immediately verified, though Associated Press reporters have seen Russian armored vehicles in residential areas.

An artillery strike hit a nine-story apartment building in the Obolonsky district of northern Kyiv on Monday morning, destroying apartments on several floors and igniting a fire. Internal Affairs Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko says two people were killed, three hospitalized and nine treated at the scene.

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