Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for direct talks with Putin, arguing "it is the only way to stop this war."
"We are not attacking Russia and we do not plan to attack it. What do you want from us. Leave our land," he said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Russian negotiators agreed to create humanitarian corridors in a second round of talks held Thursday at the Belarusian border.
It comes after French President Emmanuel Macron said he believes "the worst is yet to come" from Russia's bloody campaign in Ukraine after a long phone call with Vladimir Putin on Thursday, according to the Elysée.
The Russian leader made clear his "great determination" to continue the military onslaught with the objective of "taking control" of the whole country, the French president's office said. See more in our blog post below.
Russian forces have continued to bombard Ukrainian cities, seizing the southern port of Kherson and encircling Mariupol on the Azov Sea. More video evidence has emerged of massive destruction in residential areas.
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Thursday's key points:
- The second round of Ukrainian-Russian talks took place at Belarusian border. Both counties agreed to create "humanitarian corridors".
- In new videos, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised Ukrainian resistance for "destroying the enemy's plans", claiming it is taking a toll on the morale of Russian soldiers.
- Zelenskyy also called for direct talks with Putin, arguing "it is the only way to stop this war".
- Putin meanwhile talked with the French leader. Macron said he believes "the worst is yet to come" and that Putin said that the invasion is going "according to the plan" .
- Russian forces are reported to have taken control of their first major city, Kherson in the south. The mayor said late on Wednesday there were "no Ukrainian armed forces in the city".
- Mariupol on the Azov Sea has also witnessed intense shelling, with hundreds feared dead. Electricity and phone connections are largely down, and homes and shops are facing food and water shortages..
- The Russian army has been bombing Kyiv but its long military convoy remains outside the capital. Authorities in Kharkiv said the city was bombarded all night.
- Russia's foreign minister has said Moscow will continue with its military operation "to the end".
- Latest UN figures say one million refugees have crossed into neighbouring countries since the invasion began. The UN's refugee agency describes it as an "exodus".
- The International Criminal Court has said it will "immediately proceed" with an investigation into potential war crimes and crimes against humanity, after receiving referrals from 39 countries.
- Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from the Winter Paralympic Games for their countries’ roles in the war in Ukraine -- a reversal of the earlier decision made on Wednesday.
Did Eastern Europe's Russia warnings fall on deaf ears?
For years, political leaders across central and eastern Europe have warned about the immediate dangers posed by Russia and now -- amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine -- some blame western Europeans for not heeding those warnings.
A day after Russia attacked, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lashed out at the apparent lack of western support provided to his government, despite Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s borders for months.
Several central and eastern European leaders, who for years have been warning about the dangers posed by Russia, were equally scathing.
Russian tanks near 'biggest nuclear power plant in Europe'
Sweden summons Russian officials after fighter jets fly near Gotland island
Sweden's government says it will summon Russian officials to protest after four fighter jets violated its air space.
Stockholm says that four Russian aircraft briefly flew over Swedish airspace on Wednesday, east of the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
US sanctions Usmanov, Shuvalov and 6 others
Estonian-owned cargo ship sinks after explosion in Black Sea
Ukraine and Russia agree to create humanitarian corridors
EU countries agree to host Ukrainian refugees under exceptional protection scheme
The Temporary Protection Directive circumvents the traditionally overburdened asylum procedure and offers a quick and simplified path to access protection across the EU.
Ukrainian refugees will be given residence permits to stay inside the bloc for at least one year, a period that will be automatically extended for a further year. Member states can then decide to prolong the exceptional measure by one more year if the war continues to ravage the country.
Although Ukraine is not part of the passport-free Schengen Area, its nationals are entitled to visa-free travel for up to 90 days. The EU's scheme intends to offer a lasting solution once the 90-day limit is exhausted.