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Visa and Mastercard to suspend all operations in Russia - Russia To Resume Offensive Operations in Ukraine - Ukrainian nationalist block evacuation in Donbass region - Russia has announced a temporary cease fire to safely evacuate civilians in the Donbass region.
March 5th - 18:00 EST update:
Visa and Mastercard to suspend all operations in Russia
The decision to exit the Russian market is due to the Russian government's military actions in Ukraine.
According to statements made by Visa, all transactions initiated using Visa cards issued in Russia will cease to work outside the nation, as well as Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the country.
"We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed," Al Kelly, chairman and chief executive officer of Visa Inc, is quoted in the statement as saying. "We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia."
March 5th - 17:00 EST update:
The Russian Defence Ministry has announced that due to the Ukrainian side's unwillingness to influence the nationalists or extend the cease fire, it wil resume offensive operations as of 18:00 P.M. EST.
"Nationalist battalions have used the ceasefire to regroup and strengthen the positions held," Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told reporters, revealing that the advance resumed "in light of the unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to influence the nationalists or extend the ceasefire."
Ukrainian nationalist units block evacuation in Donbass region
The Russian Defence Ministry denounced on Saturday that Ukrainian nationalist units are not allowing the local civilian population and foreign citizens to leave the cities of Mariupol and Volnovaja (Donbass region) through the agreed humanitarian corridors.
The message comes shortly after Russia announced earlier in the day a temporary ceasefire and the opening of the humanitarian corridors agreed with Ukraine to ensure the exit of civilians from these cities.
"Unfortunately, as of today, we have reliable information that none of the 200,000 refugees from Mariupol or the 15,000 from Volnovaja have reached the open humanitarian corridors," said the head of the National Defence Management Centre, Colonel General Mikhail Mikhail Myzintsev.
He said that humanitarian corridors were opened "daily" in the direction of these cities, as well as in the case of Kharkov and Sumy, but that "nationalist battalions categorically prevent" attempts by civilians to leave in the direction of Russia.
March 5th - 15:00 EST update:
Russia annouces temporary cease fire to evacuate Donbass
Russia has announced a temporary cease fire to safely evacuate civilians in the Donbass region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia's operation is going according to plan, as it is about protecting the population in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine.
Moscow and Kiev have had two rounds of negotiations in Belarus in the past week, with a third round reportedly expected on 7 March.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Saturday
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Saturday to discuss future plans for bilateral cooperation and air space protection.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on the Polish border on Saturday to discuss future plans for bilateral cooperation.
The foreign minister noted that during the recent meeting, the sides discussed the sanctions imposed against Russia, as well as other measures that may be forthcoming.
In addition, the US is considering strengthening Ukraine's defence capabilities, especially in terms of protecting its airspace from Russian aviation, Kuleba stressed.
March 5th - 13:00 EST update:
Zelensky seeks to hold talks with Putin in Turkey
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has informed his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his readiness to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Istanbul or Ankara, a Turkish presidential spokesman said.
The third round of negotiations between the delgations of Russia and Ukraine will take place on 7 March, the Ukrainian delegation announced.
However, a spokesman of Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin, has stated that Turkey does not want to lose its good relations with both Russia and Ukraine and therefore does not want to be pushed towards either side of the conflict, as this would harm its economy.
Russia Resumes Special Military Operations in Ukraine
Russian Defence Ministry said that its forces have resumed military operations on Saturday afternoon due to Ukraine's unwillingness to influence the nationalists or prolong the ceasefire.
They also noted that civilians were not able to leave the city of Mariupul and Volnovaja through the humanitarian corridors, and that Ukrainian nationalist battalions took advantage of the ceasefire to strengthen their positions.
March 5th - 12:00 EST update:
Putin meets Israeli prime minister in Moscow to discuss the situation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett began on Saturday, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "The situation around Ukraine is being discussed," the senior official said.
Bennett arrived in Moscow on a brief working visit, Peskov said.
The Kremlin press secretary also stressed that there would be no press statements after the meeting.
The Israeli Prime Minister has been in contact with both Russian and Ukrainian heads of state to promote a cease fire.
UNSC cautions safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine
On Friday, a fire broke out on Friday in a building outside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, one of the largest nuclaer plants in Europe. The blaze was soon extinguised. This event has raised concerns over safety of nuclear facilities in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine military conflict.
The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, called on all parties to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure the safety of Ukraine's nuclear sites. DiCarlo voiced her concern over Friday's conflict near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
March 5th - 00:00 EST update:
Talks with Russia won’t go easily, Ukrainian presidential office advisor says
Both Ukraine and Russia have taken tough positions in talks so the negotiation process will not go easily, Advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential Office Mikhail Podolyak said at a briefing in Lvov.
"Russia’s stance is tough," he noted. "However, the position of the Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief and Ukraine in general is also tough, so talks will not go easily, but there will be talks," he pointed out.
According to Podolyak, Russia’s position is clear to Ukraine but the country’s President Vladimir Zelensky won’t make concessions "diminishing Ukraine’s fight for territorial integrity." The support of Western partners strengthens Kiev’s position in talks, the Ukrainian official added.
Podolyak also said that talks proceeded in a constructive atmosphere. "Strange as it may seem, the atmosphere was very constructive so we held a conversation. The other party made claims, we also made claims, and then we discussed them," he noted.