The latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine war:
WASHINGTON — 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.
War Threatens Global Food Supply
Russia’s war against Ukraine is threatening the global food supply and putting developing countries, especially the world’s poorest, at risk, the United Nations chief and the head of the U.N. food agency warned on Monday.
More than 40 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%, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters. These countries include Egypt, Congo, Burkina Faso, Leban, 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,” the secretary-general warned.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, told The Associated Press during a visit to the Ukrainian city of Lviv that 50% of the grain the program buys to feed “the 125 million people we reach on any given day, week or month” comes from Ukraine, as does 20% of the world’s supply of corn.
“So (the war) is going to have a dynamic global catastrophic impact,” Beasley said.
Guterres announced an additional $40 million from the U.N.’s emergency fund to get critical supplies of food, water and medicine into Ukraine, where at least 1.9 million people are displaced.
Zelenskyy Will Address Congress
WASHINGTON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will deliver a virtual address to the U.S. Congress as the Russian war on his country intensifies.
Zelenskyy 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 Zelenskyy 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, Zelenskyy said his country would need help rebuilding from the war.
Anti-War Protester Interrupts Russian News
NEW YORK — The live main evening news program on Russia’s state television was briefly interrupted Monday by a person who walked into the studio holding a poster against the war in Ukraine.
The OVD-Info website that monitors political arrests identified the woman who interrupted the broadcast on Channel 1 as Marina Ovsyannikova. The website said Ovsyannikova was detained and taken into police custody.
OVD-Info posted a video in which Ovsyannikova identified herself as an employee of Channel 1 and spoke against the war.
“What is going on now is a crime,” she said. “Russia is an aggressor country and Vladimir Putin is solely responsible for that aggression.”
Ukraine Stalls Russian Advance
WASHINGTON — The Russian military was largely stalled in its attempted advance in Ukraine on Monday and made little progress over the weekend, a senior U.S. defense official said.
The official also said the Russians have not taken total control of the airspace. The official said all of the Russian military forces that had been arrayed around the country are now inside, and that the Russians still retain about 90% of their combat capabilities. The official said there are no indications the Russians are trying to bring in reinforcements.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military assessments.
The official also said the U.S. has not done any training of the Ukrainian military in the country since the Florida National Guard forces left as the war was beginning. In that vein, the official said a military training base the Russians hit in western Ukraine on Sunday close to the Polish border hasn’t been used to send security assistance to the Ukrainian military and therefore the attack had no impact on that assistance.
Russia and Israel Talk About Ukraine Again
MOSCOW — The Kremlin says that President Vladimir Putin has had another call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to talk about Ukraine.
Bennett told Putin about his contacts with other heads of states, and Putin shared his assessments of talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives via video calls, the Kremlin said in a statement.
A senior Israeli official said Bennett’s conversation with Putin lasted 90 minutes, with discussions focusing on cease-fire talks and humanitarian issues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic matters.
Bennett has visited Moscow for talks and has had numerous phone calls with Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Western leaders as he seeks to mediate an end to the war in Ukraine.
Israel is one of the few countries to have good working relations with both Russia and Ukraine, though in recent days Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has become increasingly outspoken in his condemnations of Russia’s invasion of its western neighbor.
Biden May Visit Europe
WASHINGTON — The White House is weighing the possibility of President Joe Biden traveling to Europe in the coming weeks for face-to-face talks with European leaders about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the deliberations.
The prospective trip is yet to be finalized. One possible destination for the meetings would be Brussels, which is the headquarters for NATO, one of the officials said Monday. Another official said the White House was looking at Biden visiting NATO headquarters on March 24, with other potential stops in Europe.
All of the officials spoke on the condition of anonymity as none was allowed to comment publicly.
Biden’s potential trip would follow Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the eastern flank NATO countries of Poland and Romania last week to discuss with leaders there the growing refugee crisis in eastern Europe sparked by the Russian invasion. The trip would underscore the Biden administration’s support for NATO allies. NBC News first reported that the discussions for a potential Biden trip are underway.
Polish Activists Block Russian 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.
EU Finalizing More Sanctions on 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.”
Russian Missile Strikes Near Poland’s Border
WARSAW, Poland — A Russian missile attack that killed at least 35 people in western Ukraine, some 15 miles from NATO member Poland, has stirred anxiety and spurred Poles to rush to passport offices and stockpile essentials amid fears the war could cut off supplies, or even spill over into Poland.
A long line of applicants, unseen for decades, formed Monday outside Warsaw’s main passport office on Krucza Street. Canned food, bottled water, flashlights, and batteries filled shoppers’ baskets. People in the street talked of the latest news and their worries for the future.
In the street, outside the passport office, Justyna Winnicka, 44, was filling out the passport form for her 16-year-old daughter, Michalina.
“We want to have a passport because the last one expired and we want to be able to go on vacation, but also want to be able to travel abroad in case something happens here in Poland,” Winnicka told The Associated Press.
Asked if she was afraid because of the fighting just across Poland’s border, she said “Everybody is a little bit afraid today.”
Russia’s strike Sunday was on a Ukrainian military training center in Yavoriv. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the attack, close to a refugee route to Poland, was also intended to “provoke panic among civilians” fleeing the “horrors of the war.”
Poland has taken in more than 1.8 million refugees from Ukraine — nearly all women and children — since Feb. 24, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine and then unleashed attacks on hospitals, schools and residential areas.
Morawiecki said that the Yavoriv attack and those on civilians are aimed at “destroying this humanitarian effort … of help being offered to innocent people, women, children.”
Ukraine, Russia Have New Round of Talks
LVIV, Ukraine — Russia and Ukraine kept a fragile diplomatic path open with a new round of talks Monday even as Moscow’s forces pounded away at Kyiv and other cities across the country in a punishing bombardment that the Red Cross said has created “nothing short of a nightmare” for civilians.
Meanwhile, a convoy of 160 civilian cars left the encircled port city of Mariupol along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported, in a rare glimmer of hope a week and a half into the lethal siege that has pulverized homes and other buildings and left people desperate for food, water, heat, and medicine.
The latest negotiations, which were held via video conference, were the fourth round involving higher-level officials from the two countries and the first in a week. The talks ended without a breakthrough after several hours, with an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying the negotiators took “a technical pause” and planned to meet again Tuesday.