8.40 pm: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, in a phone call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, blames Ukraine for the failure of efforts to evacuate civilians from the port city of Mariupol, AFP reports.

Earlier, while Ukraine claimed that evacuation efforts failed because Russia bombarded residential areas, Moscow claimed that Ukrainian forces had broken a ceasefire.

7.40 pm: The Indian Embassy in Hungary says it has begun its last leg of the evacuation of Indians stranded in Ukraine. It has urged students staying in their own accommodation to reach the Hungaria City Centre Hotel in Budapest.

7.20 pm: Russian forces have fired eight missiles on the city of Vinnytsya in the course of the ongoing conflict, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says, according to the Kyiv Post.

The airport at Vinnytsya has been destroyed due to Russian strikes, he says.

7.10 pm: Harjot Singh, the Indian citizen who was injured after being shot in Kyiv, will return to India tomorrow, Union Minister VK Singh says on Twitter.

Harjot Singh had lost his passport in the chaos in the Ukrainian capital, the minister says.

“We hope that, with home-cooked food and care, his health will improve soon,” VK Singh says.

7.05: pm: Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says his country will continue attempts at mediation between Russia and Ukraine even if the efforts are unlikely to meet with success, Reuters reports.

6.50 pm: Ukraine tells the International Atomic Energy Agency that two of the six reactors at the Zaporizhhzhya Nuclear Power Plant are now operating.

The country’s nuclear regulator tells the agency that the plant’s technical safety systems are intact and radiation levels remain normal.

On March 4, a fire broke out at the plant after it was hit by a Russian missile. Later in the day, Russian forces took control of the plant.

6.40 pm: More than 150 Indian citizens have made their way to the border between Ukraine and Romania, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine says.

Another group of 44 Indians who left from Pisochyn in northeastern Ukraine are now on their way to the border with Poland from the western Ukrainian city of Kviv, the embassy said.

6.35 pm: Russian forces have destroyed the Vinnytsia airport in central Ukraine, AFP quotes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as saying.

6.16 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin tells his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that Moscow would halt military operations if Ukraine stops fighting, reports Al Jazeera, citing a statement from the Kremlin.

5.04 pm: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claims Russian forces are preparing to bombard the city of Odessa located on the Black Sea coast, reports Al Jazeera.

3.30 pm: Authorities in the city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine say that they will restart efforts to evacuate civilians soon, Al-Jazeera reports. The evacuation efforts are slated to begin at 12.00 local time, or 3.30 pm according to Indian Standard Time.

Earlier in the day, efforts to evacuate citizens were stalled after Russian forces bombarded residential areas in Mariupol, according to the BBC.

Moscow, however, claimed that Ukrainian forces had broken a ceasefire that had been agreed upon.

3.11 pm: India sends humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through Poland in a special Indian Air Force flight, reports ANI.

2.17 pm: Indian embassy in Ukraine asks citizens still stranded in the country to fill up a form on urgent basis.

1.10 pm: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to Russian President Vladimir Putin with an appeal to stop the war. Read more here.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. | Oliver Douliery/AFP

1.00 pm: The Ukrainian military says that more than 11,000 Russian military personnel have died since the invasion began, The Guardian reports, citing a report published on the website of the Ukrainian ministry of defence.

“Just yesterday, more than 650 wounded members of the Russian occupation forces were taken to the central city hospital in the village of Bryanka, Luhansk region,” the report says.

11.30 am: Visuals from Ukraine:

A Ukrainian woman cries as she boards a train taking evacuees to Poland, at the Lviv train station, western Ukraine, on March 5, 2022. Daniel Leal/ AFP
A journalist takes cover during shelling in the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, on March 5, 2022. Aris Messinis /AFP
People cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, during heavy shelling and bombing on March 5, 2022. Aris Messinis / AFP

11.10 am: Crowds of men are lining up in Kyiv to join the Ukrainian army, The Associated Press reports.

An order from Ukraine’s government has prohibited men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country to keep them available for military enrollment.

9.49 pm: Russian Ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, says the crisis in Ukraine will have consequences for the whole world, including Moscow relations with India, reports PTI. “To what extent, it will be reflected, probably no one can say now,” he adds.

9.35 am: Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) emergency coordinator in Ukraine, Laurent Ligozat, says the situation in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol is “catastrophic”.

She adds, “We know from our staff that they are desperately trying to keep safe as heavy attacks continue and food supplies run dangerously low. There is no water, electricity and heating. Internet and phone services have been cut off. Hospitals, supermarkets, and residential buildings have suffered heavy damages.”

A ceasefire to evacuate civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha fell apart on Saturday. Ukrainian officials claimed Russian troops blocked residents from leaving with shelling.

9.22 am: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the escalating tensions with Ukraine, reports Reuters.

9.20 am: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he spoke to his United States counterpart Joe Biden to discuss financial support and sanctions against Russia as the war entered its 11th day.

Hours before this, Zelenskyy also addressed US leaders via video call. He sought more military assistance and blacklisting of Russian oil imports, reports CNN.

8.20 am: A third round of talks with Russia is scheduled for Monday, says a member of Ukrainian delegation, reports AP.

7.45 am: Canada urges its citizens to leave Russia, noting that security conditions were unpredictable and could deteriorate without notice. “The ability of our embassy to provide consular services in Russia may become severely limited,” says the foreign ministry said in a travel advisory. “Avoid all travel to Russia. If you are in Russia, you should leave while commercial means are still available.”

7.30 am: US-based credit card giants Visa and Mastercard say they will suspend operations in Russia, reports AFP.

Visa Inc, based in California, in a statement says that the cards issued in Russia would no longer work outside the country. “We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” the company’s chief executive officer Al Kelly says.

Mastercard Inc, based in New York, says the decision was taken because of the “unprecedented nature of the current conflict”.

7.22 am: Over 1.3 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, according to figures released by the United Nation’s Refugee Agency on Saturday, The Guardian reports.

“This is the fastest-moving refugee crisis we have seen in Europe since the end of the second world war,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says.

7.18 am: The International Monetary Fund warns that the already “serious” global economic impacts of the war between Russia and Ukraine would be “all the more devastating” should the conflict escalate.

In a statement after a board meeting chaired by Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, the global lender says:

“While the situation remains highly fluid and the outlook is subject to extraordinary uncertainty, the economic consequences are already very serious. Energy and commodity prices – including wheat and other grains – have surged, adding to inflationary pressures from supply chain disruptions and the rebound from the Covid‑19 pandemic. Price shocks will have an impact worldwide, especially on poor households for whom food and fuel are a higher proportion of expenses.”

7.10 am: Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Ukraine’s border with Poland. In the meeting, Kuleba said the leaders discussed the provision of weapons to Ukraine and the campaign to isolate Russia internationally for its invasion of the country.

“The highest demand that we have is in fighter jets, attack aircraft, and air-defense systems,” Kuleba told journalists, AFP reported. “If we lose the skies, there will be much more blood on the ground.”

The foreign minister also criticised the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s rejection of implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. “It’s the people of Ukraine who will pay the price for the reluctance of NATO to act,” he said.

A look at the top developments from Saturday:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said that international sanctions against Moscow put “the future of Ukrainian statehood” at risk and likened the measures to a “declaration of war”. He added that countries that tried to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be considered enemy combatants.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, has urged Western countries to declare such a no-fly zone.
  • Ukraine halted the evacuation of its citizens from the besieged cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha due to shelling hours after Russia announced the deal.
  • Several media organisations, including BBC, CNN News, ABC News, Bloomberg and CNN, have suspended their operations in Russia after Moscow passed a law that imposes prison terms of up to 15 years on people charged with spreading “fake news” about the war in Ukraine.