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Live Ukraine Updates: Fox News Photographer Killed in Ukraine

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Firefighters work in an apartment building damaged by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)
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Fox News photographer Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in Ukraine when the vehicle he was traveling in with reporter Benjamin Hall was struck by incoming fire, Fox News said on Tuesday.

Hall has been hospitalized since the incident on Monday, which happened when they were newsgathering in Horenka, outside of Kyiv, the network said.

As a war photographer, Zakrzewski had covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria for Fox, according to a memo sent to Fox employees by Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media.

“His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched,” Scott said.

He was the second journalist killed in Ukraine in two days. Brent Renaud, a documentary filmmaker and another veteran of covering war zones, died Sunday after Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle.

Russia Steps up Shelling

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia stepped up its bombardment of Kyiv on Tuesday, devastating an apartment house and other buildings, while civilians in 2,000 cars fled Mariupol along a humanitarian corridor in what was believed to be the biggest evacuation yet from the desperately besieged seaport.

On the diplomatic front, another round of talks began between Russia and Ukraine via video, and the leaders of three European Union countries — including Poland, a NATO member on Ukraine’s doorstep — planned a visit to the embattled capital in a bold show of support.

With the number of people driven from the country by war eclipsing 3 million, large explosions thundered across Kyiv before dawn from what Ukrainian authorities said were artillery strikes, as Russia’s assault on the capital appeared to become more systematic and edged closer to the city center.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said barrages hit four multi-story buildings in the city and killed dozens of people. The shelling ignited a huge fire in a 15-story apartment building and spurred a frantic rescue effort.

The strikes, carried out on the 20th day of Russia’s invasion, targeted a western district of Kyiv, disrupting a relative calm that returned after an initial advance by Moscow’s forces was stopped in the early days of the war.

UN Concerned About Russia Using Chemical Weapons

BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is concerned that Russia might be trying to create a pretext to use chemical weapons in Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said Tuesday that Russia’s “absurd claims” about biological labs and chemical weapons in Ukraine are “an absolute lie.”

“This is just another lie. And we are concerned that Moscow could stage a false flag operation, possibly including chemical weapons,” he told reporters in Brussels.

Stoltenberg says that any use of chemical weapons by Russia would be a violation of international law but he refused to say whether it would be a red line that might draw a military response from NATO.

Relatives and friends attend a funeral ceremony for four of the Ukrainian military servicemen, who were killed during an airstrike in a military base in Yarokiv, in a church in Lviv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. At least 35 people were killed and many wounded in Sunday’s Russian missile strike on a military training base near Ukraine’s western border with NATO member Poland. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

Russia Sanctions Biden, Other Top US Officials

MOSCOW — The Russian Foreign Ministry says that U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and other top Biden administration officials have been put on the Russian sanctions list.

The ministry said in Tuesday’s statement that the measure is a response to the U.S. sanctions against the Russian leadership.

At the same time, it noted that Russia may not renounce official contacts with the U.S. officials targeted by the sanctions if such contacts are in the country’s national interests.

Greece Tries to Rescue Its Consul General

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s foreign minister says an operation to evacuate the country’s consul general from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol is underway.

The consul general, Manolis Androulakis, was being evacuated along with staff from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and their families, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said. Androulakis had been sheltering in the OSCE building in the city.

Greece had been trying for days to evacuate its consul general from the city, where the siege has left residents desperately short of food, water, medicine and heat. Earlier this month, Greek diplomats arranged an evacuation convoy from the city of more than 20 vehicles and more than 80 people, mostly members of the local Greek community in Mariupol. That convoy reached Moldova after three days.

Ukraine Extends Martial Law

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s parliament has voted to extend martial law for another month.

Acting on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request, Ukrainian lawmakers voted Tuesday to extend the martial law for another 30 days starting March 26.

Under the measure, men between 18 and 60 are barred from leaving the country so they can be called up to fight in the war against Russia. Lawmakers approved a draft bill Zelenskyy sent to parliament prolonging the measure, which was set to expire March 26.

Is a Cease-Fire in the Works?

KYIV, Ukraine — An adviser to the Ukrainian president says that the Ukrainian and Russian negotiators are discussing a cease-fire and Russian troops’ withdrawal during their talks.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is taking part in Tuesday’s talks via video link, said on Twitter that “the talks are continuing,” adding that “general issues related to a settlement, a cease-fire and troops withdrawal from the country’s territory” are on the table.

Earlier Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was pressing its demands for Ukraine to drop its bid to join NATO, take a neutral status and “demilitarize.”

Greenpeace Blocks Access to Russian-Owned Refinery

BERLIN — Activists from the environmental group Greenpeace have blocked access to a Russian-owned oil refinery in Germany in protest at the war in Ukraine.

Dozens of activists attached themselves to railroad tracks at the PCK refinery Schwedt, northeast of Berlin, early Tuesday to stop the transport of oil they said originates from western Siberia.

The activists carried banners reading “Peace Not Oil” — a reference to Germany’s continued import of fossil fuels from Russia despite the Russian attack on Ukraine.

The refinery is estimated to account for 90% of the gasoline consumed in Berlin and the surrounding region of Brandenburg.

PCK is majority-owned by Russian oil giant Rosneft.

The German government has pledged to wean itself off Russian coal and oil by the end of the year.

Sweden Wants to Bring Back ID Checks

STOCKHOLM — The Swedish government wants to reintroduce identity checks at borders because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to Europe’s “biggest and fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.”

“The situation may become so serious that immediate measures need to be taken to maintain law and order and protect national security,” Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth said Tuesday.

Officials have therefore supported a proposal for a new temporary law that would enable authorities to check identities when traveling by bus, train and passenger ship to Sweden.

Sweden is haunted by a 2015 migration crisis and wants to avoid another large-scale influx of migrants. The Scandinavian nation then took in a record 163,000 people — the highest per capita of any European country.

Macron Offers Safety to Russian Anti-War Journalist

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron said France is offering protection from the French embassy and asylum to the anti-war activist who interrupted a news program on Russia’s state television, holding a poster protesting the war in Ukraine.

An independent human rights group that monitors political arrests identified the woman as Marina Ovsyannikova. The group, OVD-Info, posted on its website that Ovsyannikova, who identified herself as an employee of the station, was taken into police custody.

Macron said he will “propose this solution in a direct and very concrete manner” to Russian President Vladimir Putin in their next phone call.

He condemned any detention of journalists and hoped that Ovsyannikova’s situation will be clarified “as soon as possible.”

Macron spoke Tuesday after visiting a facility housing Ukrainians fleeing war in western France. The country is getting ready to welcome “at least” 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war, he said.

Government officials said about 15,000 Ukrainians have arrived in France so far.

Residents in 2,000 Cars Flee From Mariupol

MARIUPOL, Ukraine — The city council of Mariupol says 2,000 civilian cars have managed to leave the besieged Ukrainian port city via a humanitarian corridor leading west.

The council said another 2,000 cars are in the city but waiting to leave along the route, which runs for more than 260 kilometers (160 miles) to the Ukraine-held city of Zaporizhzhia.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on social media the corridor would be open from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Thursday.

The council advised drivers to spend the night somewhere along the route rather than drive straight through, unless they are already close to Zaporizhzhia by evening.

It was not immediately clear if the total number of cars which had left was for Tuesday only, or if it included 160 cars which left the day before. The city council said nearly 300 people had arrived in Zaporizhzhia as of Tuesday morning, fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A boy plays with a toy horn as he and his family who fled the war in Ukraine wait at the train station in Przemysl, southeastern Poland, on Monday, March 14, 2022. Russia’s military forces kept up their punishing campaign to capture Ukraine’s capital with fighting and artillery fire in Kyiv’s suburbs Monday after an airstrike on a military base near the Polish border brought the war dangerously close to NATO’s doorstep. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

Britain Unveils New Sanctions Against Russia

LONDON — Britain has announced new sanctions against 350 Russian individuals and entities, hours after Parliament approved legislation allowing the government to take action against people already sanctioned by the U.S., European Union and Canada.

Those sanctioned include a number of Russian oligarchs, including Alfa Group co-founders Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, as well as former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, and some of the top governmental spokespeople who have been instrumental in spreading President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda.

Parliament met into the early hours of Tuesday morning to pass a new economic crime bill that made it easier for the government to impose sanctions on those linked to the invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy Appeals for More Weapons

LONDON — Ukraine’s president has told northern European leaders that they could “help yourself by helping us,” as he appealed for more weapons to counter Russia’s invasion of his country.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force via videolink Tuesday, said the Ukrainian military is rapidly using up weapons and other hardware that western nations have shipped to his country.

He also appealed for a full trade embargo on Russia, saying sanctions have not been enough to counter the Russian military advance.

“We have to acknowledge Russia as a rogue state and there has to be a trade embargo with Russia,” Zelenskyy said. “This is something that we need and you need as well, just like the rest of the world, to make sure there is peace in Europe and Ukraine.”

Zelenskyy also repeated his frustration with NATO over its refusal to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine as he addressed JEF leaders meeting Tuesday in London.

The United Kingdom-led JEF is a grouping of 10 north Atlantic countries designed to react quickly to international crises. It includes NATO members such as Britain and the Baltic states, as well as non-NATO countries such as Sweden and Finland.

Italy Will Help With Refugees

CHISINAU, Moldova — Italy has signed an agreement worth 10 million euros (US $11 million) to help Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, cope with an influx of Ukrainian refugees.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio signed the cooperation agreement with his Moldovan counterpart, Nicu Popescu, during a visit to the capital Chisinau on Tuesday.

Later in the day, Di Maio is to formally deliver a preliminary eight metric tons of humanitarian aid, including generators, water, thermal blankets, stoves and sanitary kits, to support Moldovan centers housing people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Popescu said Moldova, with a population of 2.5 million, has received around 300,000 refugees so far, a third of whom have remained in the country.

English Households Sign up to Host Refugees

LONDON — Britain’s government says almost 89,000 households have signed up to a program to provide a home for Ukrainian refugees, with so much interest that the registration website crashed within the first few minutes of its launch.

Britain launched its “Homes for Ukraine” program Tuesday. It allows Britons to host a named person from Ukraine for a minimum of six months in their own homes or in rent-free separate housing. In exchange, the government will pay each sponsor 350 pounds ($456) a month.

Officials said there will be no limit on how many Ukrainians can enter the U.K. under the program.

Refugee Count Climbs Past 3 Million

GENEVA — The International Organization for Migration says more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded last month.

The new milestone also indicated that 157,000 third-country nationals — people who aren’t Ukrainian — were part of the outflow in what U.N. officials have called the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

IOM spokesman Paul Dillon said at a U.N. news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday that the totals were compiled from figures provided by national authorities.

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, which provides a more detailed count than the IOM though based on similar data, has reported that more than 1.8 million of the refugees were in Poland.

UNHCR spokesman Matthew Saltmarsh said some 300,000 had moved on from there to Western Europe and noted that the vast majority of those fleeing have been women and children.

An elderly woman is helped by policemen after she was rescued by firefighters from inside her apartment after bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Russia’s offensive in Ukraine has edged closer to central Kyiv with a series of strikes hitting a residential neighborhood as the leaders of three European Union member countries planned a visit to Ukraine’s embattled capital. (AP/Felipe Dana)

China Defends ‘Impartial’ Stance on Russia

BEIJING — China insists that its stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “impartial and constructive.”

The Chinese government is also repeating its accusations that the U.S. is spreading misinformation over reports Beijing has responded positively to a Russian request for military supplies.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused the U.S. of “immoral and irresponsible” conduct by spreading misinformation.

“What the U.S. should do is to deeply reflect on the role it has played in the development and evolving of the Ukraine crisis and do something practical to ease the tension in Ukraine,” he said, in a nod to China’s contention that Russia was provoked by NATO’s expansion and threats to its security.

The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that China is using the Ukraine war to advance Beijing’s long-term interests in its global competition for influence with the United States.

China has refused to criticize Russia over its invasion and the ensuing war, or even to refer to the conflict as such.

Rocket Attack on TV Tower Kills 19

LVIV, Ukraine — Local authorities say the number of people killed in a Russian rocket attack on a TV tower in western Ukraine has risen to 19.

The Rivne regional government posted on its Facebook page Tuesday that 19 people were killed and nine were injured in the strike on the TV tower in Antopol, a village outside the city of Rivne.

The village is only 100 miles from the border of NATO member Poland and comes as Russia presses its invasion of Ukraine.

European Leaders Traveling to Kyiv

WARSAW, Poland — The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia are traveling on Tuesday to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital which is currently under fire, on a European Union mission to show support for Ukraine as Russia’s invasion intensifies.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in a tweet: “The aim of the visit is to express the European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine and its freedom and independence.”

He will be joined by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is Polish the deputy prime minister for security but also the conservative ruling party leader.

Russia’s offensive in Ukraine edged closer to central Kyiv on Tuesday, with a series of strikes hitting a residential neighborhood in the capital as the two countries planned a second day of talks.

 

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