- The Pentagon has said it will help gather evidence of “war crimes” in Ukraine, accusing Russian forces of indiscriminate attacks.
- All Chernobyl staff who wanted to leave the site have been rotated out, the UN’s nuclear watchdog says.
- More than 8,000 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities and towns through humanitarian corridors on Monday, an official has said.
- A new curfew is in effect in Kyiv, lasting until Wednesday morning, after the mayor had warned that more Russian shelling of the Ukrainian capital was likely.
- Russia says it has summoned the US ambassador over President Joe Biden’s recent comments labelling Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”.
- US Ambassador John Sullivan has urged Moscow to follow international law and to allow consular access to American citizens detained in Russia.
Here are the latest updates:
US, European leaders underscore support for Ukraine
The leaders of the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany and Italy have discussed via phone their “coordinated response to the escalating crisis in Ukraine”, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office has said.
“The Prime Minister underlined his horror at President Putin’s use of increasingly brutal tactics in Ukraine, such as siege warfare and the targeting of civilians,” the UK government said in a statement.
“The leaders affirmed their ongoing commitment to support Ukraine militarily, diplomatically and economically, equipping the democratically-elected government in Kyiv with the tools it needs to defend itself,” it added.
I spoke with President Macron, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Draghi, and Prime Minister Johnson today to discuss our coordinated responses to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine, and our ongoing support for the Ukrainian people. pic.twitter.com/e7TksIH56H
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 21, 2022
Biden meets with private sector CEOs to discuss mitigating price increases
Biden and other top officials from his administration have met with 16 CEOs of major companies to discuss dealing with the economic effects of the war in Ukraine, the White House has said.
“They conveyed the Administration’s commitment to continue imposing heavy costs on Putin to degrade Russia’s war machine and support the people of Ukraine, while taking concrete actions to mitigate the price increases on American consumers caused by Putin’s action,” the White House said in a statement.
“Participants also discussed the need to work together to address Putin’s disruptions to global markets and supply chains, especially for energy and agricultural commodities, and identify alternative sources of supply for key goods.”
More than 8,000 people evacuated on Monday: Ukrainian deputy PM
A total of 8,057 people were safely evacuated on Monday through seven humanitarian corridors from Ukrainian towns and cities under fire, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.
Among those brought to safety were 3,007 residents of the city of Mariupol, which has been under siege from Russian troops for over two weeks.
Biden not planning to visit Ukraine: White House
The United States has not explored options for President Joe Biden to visit Ukraine during his upcoming trip to Europe, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Psaki told reporters the decision was about increasing the “efficiency” of the US president’s trip amid the security risks that would come with visiting Ukraine.
Pentagon says it will help gather evidence of war crimes in Ukraine
The Pentagon has accused the Kremlin of carrying out indiscriminate attacks as part of an intentional strategy in Ukraine.
“We certainly see clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes and we are helping with the collecting of evidence of that,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
“But there’s investigative processes that are going to go on, and we’re going to let that happen. We’re going to contribute to that investigative process.”
All Chernobyl staff who wanted to leave have been rotated out: IAEA
The remaining technical staff who had been on duty at Chernobyl’s radioactive waste facilities since Russian forces seized the site last month have now been relieved, the UN nuclear watchdog has said.
“Ukraine’s regulatory authority said about half of the outgoing shift of technical staff left (Chernobyl) yesterday and the rest followed today, with the exception of thirteen staff members who declined to rotate,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on Monday.
Any compromises with Russia will need to go to referendum: Zelenskyy
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that any compromises agreed to with Russia to end the war would need to be voted on by Ukrainians in a referendum.
“The people will have to speak up and respond to this or that form of compromise. And what they [the compromises] will be is the subject of our talks and understanding between Ukraine and Russia,” Zelenskyy said in an interview published by public broadcasting company Suspilne.
He said issues that could be raised in any referendum could concern territories occupied by Russian forces, including Crimea, or security guarantees offered to Ukraine by countries in lieu of NATO membership.
US ambassador to Russia calls on Moscow to abide by international law
The US ambassador to Russia has called on the Russian government to follow international law, the State Department said, after Moscow summoned John Sullivan over strained relations with Washington.
The department confirmed that a meeting took place between Sullivan and the Russian government, during which the ambassador also called for consular access to US citizens detained in Russia.
Russia’s foreign ministry earlier said it summoned Sullivan over President Joe Biden’s recent comments labelling his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” amid the invasion of Ukraine. It said the remarks “put Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture”.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Read all the updates from Monday, March 21 here.