More than one million people have fled Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country last week, the head of the United Nations refugee agency has said.
Pro-Russian forces may launch targeted strikes on the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol unless Ukrainian forces there surrender, the Interfax news agency quoted Donetsk separatist commander Eduard Basurin as saying on Thursday.
Russia and separatists say they have encircled the city of 430,000 located on the Azov Sea coast.
However, an operational update published by the Ukrainian military this morning said the city remains in Ukrainian hands.
12m ago 06:29
The International Criminal Court earlier confirmed that it is opening an investigation into the situation in Ukraine.
In a statement published to the ICC website, prosecutor, Karim AA Khan QC writes:
On 28 February, I announced my decision to seek authorisation to open an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine, on the basis of my Office’s earlier conclusions arising from its preliminary examination, and encompassing any new alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”).
In the same statement, I indicated that active investigations by my Office would be significantly expedited if a State Party to the Rome Statute (the “Statute”) were to refer the situation to my Office, as provided in article 14 of the Statute…
I have notified the ICC Presidency a few moments ago of my decision to immediately proceed with active investigations in the Situation. Our work in the collection of evidence has now commenced.
In total, 39 ICC states have referred atrocities for investigation.
21m ago 06:20
German authorities reportedly seized the $600m superyacht belonging to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov in a Hamburg shipyard on Wednesday.
Usmanov was on a list of billionaires to face sanctions from the European Union in response to Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine.
A Forbes report based on three sources in the yacht industry said his 156-metre (512-foot) yacht Dilbar, valued at $600m and regarded as the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage, was seized by German authorities on Wednesday.
If you missed our earlier report you can read the full story below.
Super yacht Dilbar, owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov was reported seized by German authorities.
Super yacht Dilbar, owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov was reported seized by German authorities. Photograph: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: SPUTNIK/Reuters
30m ago 06:11
The United States has accused Russia of launching a “full war on media freedom and the truth” by blocking independent news outlets and preventing Russians from hearing news of the invasion