Russian forces were concentrating their efforts on the separatist areas of Donbass on the 45th day of the war, but military events took a back seat after a strike on a train station in the region sparked international outrage.
Here are the latest developments, minute by minute
10:14 a.m. | Boris Johnson meets Zelensky in Kyiv
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson began a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday with a one-on-one meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, announced Andriï Sybyga, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidency.
10:03 am | NGOs closed in Russia: a “ruthless repression” of freedom of opinion, denounces Berlin
Moscow’s decision to close the local offices of several reputable human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, accentuates “ruthless repression” of freedom of opinion in Russia, Germany denounced on Saturday.
10:00 a.m. | The European Union will discuss its support for investigations into possible war crimes in Ukraine during meetings on Sunday and Monday with International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan, the European Commission announced on Saturday.
9:00 a.m. | Zelensky: Ukraine ‘always ready’ for talks with Russia
“Ukraine has always said that it is ready for negotiations and will seek any possibility to stop the war. At the same time, we are unfortunately seeing preparations for major, some say decisive, battles in the east,” Zelensky said during a press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
He was visiting Kyiv and Boutcha, near the Ukrainian capital, which has become a symbol of the atrocities of the Russian invasion.
6:55 am | More than 4.4 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country since the invasion ordered by the Russian president Vladimir Putin on February 24, according to figures from the High Commissioner for Refugees.
The UNHCR registered exactly 4,441,663 Ukrainian refugees on Saturday. These are 59,347 more than during the previous tally on Friday.
6:29 | Berlin says it is limited in its possibilities of arms deliveries to Ukraine
Germany has almost exhausted its possibilities of supplying Ukraine with equipment drawn from the reserves of its army, the Bundeswehr, but is working on deliveries made directly by the armaments industry, the German Minister of Defense said on Saturday. Defense, Christine Lambrecht.
6:09 | Eastern Ukraine: continued evacuations in Kramatorsk
According to a latest official report from the regional authorities, 52 people were killed and 109 injured in the bombardment which targeted the crowded Kramatorsk station on Friday morning, the main center of the evacuations in progress in the Donbass under Ukrainian control, under the threat of a major and imminent Russian offensive.
5:55 am | Moscow accuses YouTube of blocking the account of the Russian parliamentary channel
Russian officials on Saturday accused YouTube, owned by US giant Google, of suspending the account of the Russian parliamentary channel, promising retaliation that raised fears of a blockage of the service in Russia.
Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin claimed that the Russian parliament’s lower house YouTube channel, “Douma-TV”, had been blocked, denouncing a Washington measure violating “the rights” of Russians.
3h50 | Financial ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on Saturday lowered Russia’s rating for foreign currency payments to “selective default” level, after Moscow settled a dollar debt in rubles earlier this week.
The rating of the agency, for payments in foreign currencies such as the dollar, is lowered to “SD”, while the rating remains at “CC” for payments in rubles, according to a press release from the agency, which also announces immediately halt its ratings on Russia, in accordance with European Union requirements.
It’s only one notch lower than SD on the agency scale: a “D” rating, for default.