Russia-Ukraine live news: Moscow says war going according to plan | Russia-Ukraine war News

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a ceasefire in call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
  • Russia’s siege of Mariupol amounts to “genocide”, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor has said, as at least 100,000 civilians remain trapped in the port city.
  • Kremlin says Russia could only use nuclear weapons in case of “existential threat”.
  • The war is going according to plan, Russia says, amid reports its offensive has stalled.
  • Moscow has “failed” to achieve its objectives in Ukraine, US says.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy to address French lawmakers

French President Macron reiterated France’s support for Ukraine in a call with his Ukrainian counterpart on Tuesday, Macron’s office has said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to virtually address French lawmakers on Wednesday to demand more support amid Russia’s invasion.

In recent weeks, the Ukrainian leader has addressed legislators in the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany and Israel.

Striker returns to Brazil but says heart still in Ukraine

Brazilian-Ukrainian striker Junior Moraes, who returned to Brazil to join Corinthians, has said his mind is far from sport.

The 34-year-old Moraes, who obtained Ukrainian citizenship three years ago, said he fears for his friends and colleagues amid Russia’s invasion.

Moraes played in Ukraine for most of the last decade, scoring dozens of goals for Metalurg Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv and most recently Shakhtar Donetsk. He has played 11 matches for the Ukrainian national team.

“I can’t smile in a way I would like to. I think I will only do that once this war is over,” a tearful Moraes said during a press conference in Sao Paulo.

Macron calls for ceasefire in call with Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron has discussed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and called for a ceasefire in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the French presidency said.

The call, which was the eighth between the two leaders since the invasion began, lasted for an hour, Macron’s office said. It added that the French president, who last spoke with Putin on March 18, also raised concerns about the situation in Mariupol, calling for the siege on the strategic port city to be lifted.

War going according to plan, Russia says

The Kremlin has pushed back against Western assertions that the Russian military campaign is facing setbacks, reiterating that the invasion is going as planned.

“We’re speaking about special military operation that is going on, and it is going on strictly in accordance with the with the plans,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN.

Siege of Mariupol is ‘genocide’, says Ukraine chief prosecutor

Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has said evidence shows that Russia is committing “genocide” in its siege on the strategic port city of Mariupol.

Ukrainian officials have said at 100,000 civilians are currently trapped in Mariupol, encircled and under relentless shelling.

“What now I see in Mariupol it’s not about war, it’s about genocide,” Venediktova told the AFP news agency. “Theatres of war have some rules, some principles. What we see in Mariupol, [are] no rules at all,” she added.

Russia could only use nuclear weapons in case of ‘existential threat’: Kremlin

Russia’s security policy dictates that the country would only use nuclear weapons if its very existence were threatened, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told US broadcaster CNN.

Peskov made the comment in an English-language interview when asked whether he was confident President Vladimir Putin would not use nuclear weapons.

“We have a concept of domestic security and it’s public, you can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it [the nuclear arsenal] can be used in accordance with our concept,” he said.

“There are no other reasons that were mentioned in that text.”

Russia has ‘failed’ to achieve objectives in Ukraine, US says

Russia has failed to achieve its goals in Ukraine, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said, warning that despite the apparent Russian setbacksthe war will not end “easily or rapidly”.

Sullivan said Russia had set three objectives for itself when it started its invasion: subjugating Ukraine, enhancing Moscow’s power and prestige, and dividing the West.

“Russia has thus far manifestly failed to accomplish all three objectives. In fact, it has thus far achieved the opposite,” said Sullivan.

Read more here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Tuesday, March 22 here.

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