Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Huge Russian convoy approaches Kyiv, amid fears of bloody assault on capital

Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Huge Russian convoy approaches Kyiv, amid fears of bloody assault on capital
Live Story
01 March, 2022

A huge convoy of Russian military vehicles is making its way toward the outskirts of Kyiv, ahead of a feared assault on the Ukrainian capital.

Reports suggest a 40-mile queue as Russian armour and troops approach the frontlines, with reports that Moscow is planning a wholescale offensive on the city.

Others believe Russia is attempting to encircle Kyiv, besiege the city and starve it into submission.

Earlier, more than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an artillery barrage on a military base situated between Kharkiv and Kyiv, a local official has reported.

Footage of the aftermath of the devastating strike on the Okhtyrka military base shows rescue workers attempting to retrieve survivors from the rubble of a smoldering four-story building where dozens are feared dead.

The massacre marks an intensification of Russian efforts to take Ukraine's two major cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, where Ukrainian forces are putting up stiff resistance.

Cluster bombs, GRAD missiles, and possibly thermobaric devices have been used in attacks on the cities, killing well over a hundred civilians.

Human rights groups have sounded the alarm of more punitive Russian strikes on civilian areas in the coming days, as has been witnessed in Syria since Moscow's intervention in 2015.

The New Arab is providing live updates of what's been happening on the ground and additional analysis on the conflict's significance. 

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5:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog has concluded. 

We will bring you the latest updates on Russia and Ukraine on our main site, which you can view here.

5:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

5:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

NATO to hold emergency meeting over Ukraine Friday

NATO foreign ministers will hold emergency talks in Brussels on Friday over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the alliance said in a statement. 

NATO allies have rushed to bolster their eastern flank after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the attack, but remain adamant that they will not get involved militarily in the war in non-NATO member Ukraine.

NATO has for the first time activated its rapid response force to add to thousands of troops already sent by allies to eastern members. 

The alliance has faced calls to help impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine as Russia has launched air strikes against civilian targets. 

NATO has rejected that idea, arguing it could drag the alliance what could turn into a nuclear conflict with with Moscow. 

"We have to accept the reality that that involves shooting down Russian planes," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday on a trip to Estonia with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

"That's a very, very big step that is simply not on the agenda of any NATO country."   

4:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

More on the strike on the Kyiv TV mast.

Ukraine's Interfax media service has reported that five people were killed when a Russian missile hit the tower, putting some TV stations out of action.

A new video of the strike shows the devastation on the ground.

Russia has been accused of repeatedly targeting civilian infrastructure, both in Ukraine and Syria.

Its latest strike on the mast, which towers over Kyiv, appears to be an attempt to sow panic, fear and uncertainty in Ukraine, ahead of its planned offensive on the capital.

Transmissions going off-air will no doubt add to the crippling fear Ukrainians trapped in Kyiv are experiencing right now. 

Read the full story here

4:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

3:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

If you have just joined us, we are providing up-to-date coverage of events in Ukraine, which is entering its sixth day of Russia's bloody invasion. 

Here are some updates from the day so far:

  • Russian forces have launched a ferocious bombardment of Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv, including the use of shelling, rocket strikes, and cluster bombing.
  • A Ukrainian military base between Kharkiv and Kyiv was also targeted by Russian artillery, killing at least 70 soldiers.
  • The United Nations Human Rights Office has said that at least 136 civilians have been killed since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. Ukrainian government officials say the civilian death toll is in the hundreds.
  • A vast Russian convoy, stretching 40 miles, has been seen snaking its way toward the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a major offensive on the city - home to around 3 million people - is expected.
  • India has told citizens to leave Ukraine "urgently". The Modi government has been criticised by Indians both inside Ukraine and elsewhere for its tardy response to the crisis. Read the full story here


More details on these developments will be on The New Arab website throughout the day

3:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Russian forces have targeted a TV tower in Kyiv, ahead of what appears to be a major offensive on the capital.

More to follow...

1:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

Russia has stepped up its brutal assault of Ukraine's cities. Read the full story here

12:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Russian shelling kills 10 in Kharkiv: Ukrainians

Russian shelling on Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv killed at least 10 people and left many more injured on Tuesday, emergency services said, in an attack that targeted the central square and the main administration building.

"At least 10 people were killed and more than 20 were injured," the regional emergency services said in a statement, adding that 10 people had been discovered alive under rubble as rescue workers cleared debris.

This is a breaking story. Follow on The New Arab website, Twitter, and Instagram

12:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Zelensky tells EU to 'prove you are with' Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday called in a live video address to the European Parliament for the EU to "prove" it is with Ukraine as it resists Russia's invasion.

"Without you, Ukraine is going to be alone. We have proven our strength. We have proven that, at a minimum, we are exactly the same as you are. So do prove you are with us, do prove that you will not let us go," Zelensky said. 

While EU chief Charles Michel said, Russia is guilty of "geopolitical terrorism" by violating international law in its invasion of Ukraine.

"The rules-based international order, democracy, human dignity are also under attack. This is geopolitical terrorism, pure and simple," Michel, the president of the European Council, told the European Parliament.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russia must immediately withdraw its troops and end the "bloodshed" in Ukraine, and warned of further sanctions to punish Moscow's aggression.

Russia should "immediately stop all hostilities, withdraw Russian troops to Russia and return to dialogue," Scholz told reporters in Berlin. "The bloodshed must end."

"We will certainly add more to the packages (of sanctions) that we have decided so far," he said, adding that "Ukraine is literally fighting for survival".

This is a breaking story. Follow on The New Arab website, Twitter, and Instagram

12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Brent oil price jumps over 5 percent on Ukraine crisis

Brent oil prices jumped more than five percent Tuesday as traders fretted over fallout from Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

European benchmark Brent North Sea crude leapt 5.3 percent to stand at $103.22 per barrel, approaching more than seven year highs of above $105 hit last week.

This is a breaking story. Follow on The New Arab website, Twitter, and Instagram. 


12:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Russia to limit foreign investment being pulled from country

Russia is preparing a presidential decree aimed at preventing foreign investment exiting the country, its prime minister said Monday, after Moscow was hit by a barrage of sanctions for its brutal invasion of Ukraine.

"In the current sanctions situation, foreign investors will be guided not by economic factors, but by political pressure," Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

"To enable businesses to make informed decisions, a draft presidential decree has been prepared to introduce temporary restrictions on exiting Russian assets." 

This is a breaking story. Follow on The New Arab website, Twitter, and Instagram


11:18 AM
The New Arab Staff

UN Secretary General Anton has urged for peace and dialogue to end the Russian assault and violence in Ukraine. 

10:29 AM
The New Arab Staff

US banishes 12 Russian UN staff for 'espionage activities'

The United States said Monday that it was expelling 12 members of Russia's UN mission from America for being "intelligence operatives," prompting a furious response from Moscow, which denounced what it called a "hostile move."

A spokeswoman for the US mission to the UN said those ordered to leave had "abused their privileges of residency in the United States by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security."

"We are taking this action in accordance with the UN Headquarters Agreement. This action has been in development for several months," said the spokeswoman, Olivia Dalton.

Read full story here

9:48 AM
The New Arab Staff

Vast invading Russian army convoy spotted north of Kyiv

A huge invading Russian military convoy stretching some 40 miles was spotted Monday by a US satellite imaging company just north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, which has already repulsed several assaults. 

Satellite photos provided by Maxar, a US company, showed that the convoy -- which had been massing since Sunday -- had mushroomed to more than 40 miles of military vehicles.

It said the column covered the entire stretch of road from near Antonov airport, some 18 miles from the capital, to the town of Prybirsk - a distance of approximately 40 miles. 

Read the full story here.

9:25 AM
The New Arab Staff

Central square of Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, hit by brutal Russian shelling

The central square of Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, was shelled on Tuesday by attacking Russian forces who hit the building of the local administration, regional governor Oleg Sinegubov said. 

"This morning the central square of our city and the headquarters of the Kharkiv administration was criminally attacked," Sinegubov said in a video on Telegram. 

Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has a population of around 1.4 million.

It has been a target for Russian forces since President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday. 

Read the full story here.

9:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

Ukraine's presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said it is now more apparent than ever that Russia is deliberately targeting civilian areas.

Missile and artillery strikes on Ukrainian cities have intensified over the past days, with scores of civilians killed.

Civilians are either fleeing these areas or living underground, with Podolyak saying Russia is bombing civilian areas to cause panic and fear.

"The veil has come down. Russia is actively shelling city centres, launching direct missile and artillery strikes on residential areas and administration sites," Podolyak said according to The Guardian.

"Russia’s goal is clear - mass panic, civilian casualties and damaged infrastructure. Ukraine is fighting honourably."

8:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Details are still emerging of the death toll from the Russian strike on the Okhtyrka military base, situated between the capital Kyiv and Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv.

The head of the region wrote on Telegram that around 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an artillery barrage on the base, according to reports, despite peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv taking place earlier on Monday.

A massive intensification of missile strikes on civilian areas and a huge increase in Russian troops heading to the fronts means that Moscow's brutal offensive on Kyiv and Kharkiv is set to get more bloody.

Russia is intensifying its efforts to take Kyiv with devastating consequences [Getty]


The New Arab Staff