welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm mariko oi. the headlines... the bombardment of ukraine continues, as russia hits a theatre where civilians were sheltering in the city of mariupol. civilians hit in the capital, kyiv, too. russian forces bomb a residential building as people shelter in their homes because of a strict curfew. president biden brands vladimir putin a war criminal, as the us pledges a further $800 million of military support for ukraine. the american people are answering president zelensky�*s call for more help, more weapons for ukraine, more tools to fight russian aggression — and that's what we're doing. russia counts its dead in the war, but vladimir putin
insists the invasion is going to plan. also in the programme... heading back to the uk — nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe, the british iranian woman detained in iran since 2016, has finally been freed. live from our studio in singapore... this is bbc news. it's newsday. it's seven in the morning in singapore and 1am in the ukrainian city of mariupol, where officials say a theatre used as a shelter for up to twelve hundred people has been destroyed by russian bombing. there's no news yet of casualties, and russia denies it's responsible. in the capital, kyiv — currently under a 35—hour curfew —
emergency services say russia shelled a residential building. advancing russian troops have faced serious logistical problems, with many vehicles reportedly running out of fuel, as well as strong ukrainian resistance. our first report is from jeremy bowen in kyiv. a warning — it contains some flashing images. just after dawn, another attack at a residential area in kyiv. ukrainian forces say they're keeping russian artillery out of range, but missiles can be fired from russia, and they are harder to stop. it was another harsh day. in the besieged city of mariupol, a theatre was hit, where the deputy mayor says civilians were sheltering. it isn't yet clear how many were in there when it was destroyed. siren blares. and by mid—morning in kyiv, sirens and smoke on the horizon from the ukrainian counter—attack,
trying to push back the stalled russian offensive to the north—west. that was why there was a curfew — making it impossible to check out the sounds of battle. ukraine's president zelensky dropped more hints about a ceasefire. but decisions, he said, had to be in ukraine's interest. perhaps the missile attacks on kyiv are to pressure ukraine to offer concessions for a ceasefire. so far, the attacks are isolated, threatening how bad it could get. for residents cleaning up before the curfew, even a single missile is terrifying. "i'm so stressed," she says. "i can't even tell you anything, i'm still shaking." but really big tests of ukrainian resolve in the capital have not yet happened. more missiles could be that test.
ukraine's will to resist, though, is still strong. workshops have switched to war production, strengthening fortifications. the ukrainians say they're part of the reason why russian troops are not able to break into kyiv. this was filmed before the curfew. what they're working on here is a tyre ripper. the idea is that anyone driving over this will get their tyres destroyed, and they've even got little extra bits that go into the tyre to make it even worse. after three weeks, is a ceasefire possible? if not, will russia punish this city? would that break ukraine's will to fight? jeremy bowen, bbc news, kyiv. the us president, joe biden, has announced a further
$800 million of military aid to ukraine. it comes after its president, volodymyr zelensky, used a rare live address to the us congress to make an emotional appealfor more help from america to fight off the russian invasion. 0ur north america editor, sarah smith, has more. straight to the heart of american democracy, a plea for the us to defend democratic freedom. a hero's welcome, but these lawmakers will not answer his pleas for a no—fly zone over ukraine. translation: is this a lot to ask for, to create - a no—fly zone over ukraine, to save people? is this too much to ask? showing a video of brutal russian bombardment, zelensky drew a direct comparison with pearl harbor and 9/11 — times when the us was attacked from the skies —
then speaking in english to appeal directly to the us president. you are the leader of the nation. i wish you to be the leader of the world. being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. with this impassioned plea, president zelensky is challenging president biden to defend the very idea of democracy against autocracy, increasing the pressure on the us to do more to support ukraine. but biden is adamant — to impose a no—fly zone would risk escalating this conflict into a world war. what's at stake here are the principles that the united states and the united nations and across the world stand for. it's about freedom, it's about the right of people to determine their own future, it's about making sure ukraine will never be a victory for putin. later, and for the first time,
he called putin a war criminal. oh, i think he is a war criminal. signing over an additional $800 million of military assistance for ukraine. hundreds of portable surface—to—air stinger missiles have already been sent there, with many more on the way, along with anti—tank weapons, guns and ammunition to help defend against russian attacks. the us is promising a total of $13 billion for ukraine, in weaponry and humanitarian aid. there is a deep cross—party commitment to help as much as possible, but also a firm resolve that us forces or aircraft will not, cannot get involved in this conflict. sarah smith, bbc news, washington. i'm joined now by our north american correspondent, peter bowes, in los angeles.
peter, thanks for joining peter, thanks forjoining us on the programme. if you can talk us through how president biden has changed his tone and described president putin as a war criminal. i think this shows that president biden has been wrestling to some extent with his use of language and how to describe mr putin under the current circumstances. it did appear to be additionally saying no to a question, and then shortly afterwards, saying he thought mr putin was a war criminal, which of course is a legal term and could potentially have repercussions for many years in the future. his comments were to some extent clarified by the press secretary of the white house, saying mr biden was speaking from the heart based on what he had seen on tv. the barbaric actions, as she put it, of a brutal dictator invading another country. she also clarified that the state
department of the united nations is now looking at that legal process to see whether at some point in the future mr putin will indeed be charged with being a war criminal. also, the us committing almost $1 billion in assistance to ukraine. is this usualfor america? it billion in assistance to ukraine. is this usual for america? it is a colossal amount _ this usual for america? it is a colossal amount of _ this usual for america? it is a colossal amount of money, . this usual for america? it is a l colossal amount of money, and already described by the president himself as unprecedented. altogether, the months of money that have been presented to help ukraine over this 800 million, but previously as well, adding up to several billion. this is a huge amount of money, described by the administration as unprecedented, so this is very unusual. again, it reflects a very unusual situation. again, the president has been talking about this, saying that this is a response to the appalling devastation and horror that the
world has been seeing unfold over these past few weeks in ukraine. peter bowes. thanks so much for joining us on usa. —— on newsday. still to come a bit later in the programme — how safe are the ukrainian nuclear reactors that are under russia's control? but first, vladimir putin has insisted that the invasion of ukraine is going to plan, but he's admitted that sanctions are inflicting economic pain on russia. there's a human toll being paid there, too, with thousands of soldiers being sent to ukraine to fight in president putin's war. 0ur russia editor, steve rosenberg, has been to one military funeral in the west of the country. in russia, they are grieving, too. mikhail was killed in action in ukraine. angelika is his widow.
how many russian soldiers have been killed in what the kremlin still refuses to call a war? 0ne family's pain is being repeated across the country. it's a criminal offence in russia to quote anything but official figures. and those are 498 russian servicemen dead. that was on march 2nd. there has been no update for two weeks. many russians rally around their leader in times of crisis. it's as if they don't want to believe their president may have taken a fatal decision. "we're doing the right thing," nikolai says. "nato wanted to set up shop right
next to us in ukraine, and they've got nuclear weapons." "well done, putin, for stopping them." the kremlin wants russians to believe that what their troops it's as if they don't want to believe their president may are doing in ukraine is both necessary and heroic. it's what the state media is telling them from morning till night. because if people stop believing that, in large numbers, they'll start wondering why sons, brothers and husbands have been sent into ukraine for what's been called here "the special military operation". father ivan is wondering why. he recently delivered an anti—war sermon, and he criticised the kremlin�*s offensive on the church website. he was detained and fined under a new law for discrediting the russian armed forces. translation: i believe that
any bloodshed, however - you try to justify it, is a sin. blood is on the hands of the person who spilled it. if an order was given, its on the hands of whoever gave the order, supported it, or stayed silent. on his finaljourney, full military honours for soldier mikhail. his country calls him a defender of the fatherland. and yet it was russia's army that attacked ukraine, on the orders of president putin, to restore russian power, and to force ukraine into russia's orbit. russian national anthem plays. but at what cost? steve rosenberg, bbc news, kostroma.
you can keep across all the developments on the russia—ukraine war by going to our website. there we have a live page which is updated with the latest on the story, as well as reports from our correspondents on the ground. that's all on the bbc news website, or download the bbc news app. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... heading back to the uk — nazanin zaghari ratcliffe, the british iranian woman detained in iran since 2016, has been freed. today, we have closed the book on apartheid and that chapter. cheering. more than 3000 subway
passengers were affected. nausea, bleeding, headaches and the dimming of vision — all of this caused by an apparently organised attack. the trophy itself was on the pedestal in the middle of the cabinet here. now, this was an international trophy, and we understand now that the search for it has become an international search. above all, this was a triumph for the christian democrats. of the west — offering reunification as quickly as possible — _ and that's what the voters wanted. this is newsday on the bbc.
i'm mariko 0i in singapore. 0ur headlines... russia's bombardment of ukraine continues, as a theatre where civilians were sheltering in the southern city of mariupol is destroyed. president biden brands vladimir putin a war criminal, as the white house pledges $800 million of military support for ukraine. ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors — eight are still operating, and two are already in russian hands at zaporizhzhia in south—eastern ukraine. it's one of the largest plants in the world, and it alone provides a quarter of ukraine's electricity. the defunct chernobyl site, which exploded in 1986, is also under russian control. so, how worried should the world be about russia's unprecedented take over of these sites?
let's speak to associate professor tilman ruff from the university of melbourne. he is also co—president for the international physicians for the prevention of nuclear war, winning a nobel peace prize 1985. he joins us from melbourne. thank you so much forjoining us on newsday. from what you understand, what is the latest situation at the plant at zaporizhzhia? i4541431111 what is the latest situation at the plant at zaporizhzhia?— plant at zaporizhzhia? well the zaporizhzhia — plant at zaporizhzhia? well the zaporizhzhia plant _ plant at zaporizhzhia? well the zaporizhzhia plant is _ plant at zaporizhzhia? well the zaporizhzhia plant is under - plant at zaporizhzhia? well the - zaporizhzhia plant is under russian control. there are apparently 500 russian troops now controlling that plant. there is still unexploited ammunition from the attack on the 4th ammunition from the attack on the 11th of march that is making the site very hazardous, and it's clearly very hazardous, and it's clearly very congested. the russian nuclear organisation apparently attempted to take over the facilities a couple of days ago, but it's still apparently
being run by the normal staff. but it has really been unprecedented being subject to direct military attack, which has clearly caused damage to notjust the training building where the fire occurred on the 4th building where the fire occurred on the 11th of march, but also the administration building and some of the rest of the infrastructure. crucially, the power lines, the high—voltage power lines that supply the critical electricity nuclear actors need at all time. two of the four of those were knocked out and a third has been malfunctioning since. so, it's a really dangerous and quite unprecedented situation. if russia was to take over more nuclear sites, how vulnerable would that leave ukraine to be cut off of all electricity? it leave ukraine to be cut off of all electricity?— electricity? it seems clear that art of electricity? it seems clear that
part of the _ electricity? it seems clear that part of the russian _ electricity? it seems clear that part of the russian strategy i electricity? it seems clear that part of the russian strategy is| electricity? it seems clear that l part of the russian strategy is to really attack civilian facilities and infrastructure quite indiscriminately. if that you specific conventions on nuclear safety prohibit attack on nuclear facilities, the 15 operating nuclear reactors spread across four plants in different parts of ukraine provide about half of ukraine's electricity. so, electricity is really critical part of modern life, especially in winter for especially in winterfor communications, heating, transport, distribution of goods and services. if russia were to strangle the power supply, it would aggravate the already terrible humanitarian crisis. ﬁst already terrible humanitarian crisis. �* , . ., , ., , crisis. at these nuclear plants, what areas _ crisis. at these nuclear plants, what areas are _ crisis. at these nuclear plants, what areas are most _ crisis. at these nuclear plants, what areas are most at - crisis. at these nuclear plants, what areas are most at risk? i crisis. at these nuclear plants, - what areas are most at risk? people ma think what areas are most at risk? people may think the _ what areas are most at risk? people may think the reactor _ what areas are most at risk? people may think the reactor is _ what areas are most at risk? people may think the reactor is of - what areas are most at risk? people
may think the reactor is of greatest | may think the reactor is of greatest concern, but there's a lot of radioactivity in there, and if the power or the water supply would destructed for more than a minute, a core meltdown could occur. but it's actually probably the non—hardened infrastructure, the power and water supply, infrastructure, the power and water supply, and this large swimming pool that contains the fuel that needs constant active cooling. those contains much of the activity on site and are very vulnerable to disruptions of the cooling, and that could happen via a direct military attack, but it could also have been through the power and the water supply being cut off. so, these facilities are really extremely vulnerable. they're not designed to be operated in combat design. professor tilman ruff, thank you so much forjoining us on newsday. thank you. in other news, injapan,
an earthquake has struck off the north—east coast, knocking out power to over 2 million homes and killing one person. the magnitude was 7.3, and the epicentre was near that of the earthquake 11 years ago, which left more than 18,000 dead and damaged the fukishima nuclear power plant. the earthquake shook japan for two minutes, causing a blackout in the capital, tokyo and derailing a bullet train. none of its passengers were hurt. the british—iranian aid worker nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe, who was detained in iran for nearly six years, is reuniting with her husband and daughter in the uk after being freed from iran. she was originally accused of spying, then charged with plotting to overthrow the iranian government. she's always strenuously denied the allegations. another british—iranian national has also been released after serving a ten—year sentence. 0ur diplomatic correspondent, caroline hawley, has the very latest.
the sheer relief, the joy are written all over her face. this is the moment nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe and her relatives have dreamt of for almost six desperate years. gratitude for those that made it happen, as she arrived from tehran in oman, then she boarded another plane, carrying her back to the uk and her excited family. it's the beginning of a new life, a normal life. and there will be bumps, no doubt, and all the normal squabbles we had before, but, yeah, we're really looking forward to seeing her. gabriella was not yet two when her mother was arrested. now, she's nearly eight. there have been so many false dawns for the family that richard says she won't believe it's real until she's back in her mother's arms. there's a recovery process. you can't get back the time that's gone, that's a fact, but we live in the future, not in the past, so we'll take it one day at a time. day after day, week after week, richard ratcliffe waged a tireless
campaignfor nazanin, working around the clock, and last year went on hunger strike for nearly three weeks, an act of desperation to pressure the government to do more to get her home. he's always said she was being held as a bargaining chip, to get the uk to pay its long—standing military debt. i think it's wonderful news, and i think we must always realise that, sadly, the regime in tehran is capable of holding people in this way. i think people do need to recognise that. and i'm glad that, after a great deal of uk diplomacy, we've been able to get her out, get her back to her family. it was back in april 2016 when nazanin was arrested as she prepared to leave for london after visiting her parents. months of solitary confinement followed, along with blindfolded interrogations and psychological torture. in september that year,
an islamic revolutionary courtjudge sentenced her to five years in jail at a secret trial. she's accused of working against the iranian government. and last spring, when she's completed that sentence, she's immediately sent is again to another year in jail on charges of propaganda against the regime. but finally today she's heading home, along with anoosheh ashoori, a retired engineer arrested in 2017 while visiting his elderly mother. he was serving a ten—year sentence for alleged spying, also after an unfair trial. we brought him his favourite beer... his daughter elika told me the family had also got in champagne and cake and could hardly believe the news. it's been nearly five years i of being inside a prison cell, so to suddenly, in a matter of 24 hours, have that turnaround - completely and to come backi to normal life is very daunting as well as it is amazing. so, you know, we still havel
challenges ahead, but we're going to face it together as a familx _ there will be adjustments, too, for nazanin and herfamily, who haven't been all together for six long years. homecoming's a journey, not an arrival. i don't think it will be just today, there will be a whole process, and hopefully we'll look back in years to come and be a normal family and this will be a chapter in our lives, but there are many more chapters to come. this is how it's been for the past few months, precious moments of parenting from thousands of miles away. but very soon now, she'll be back with them. richard says she'll want him to make her a nice cup of tea and perhaps to tidy the flat. caroline hawley, bbc news. and before we go tonight, one of russia's most prominent ballerinas has left the country in protest against the war in ukraine. 0lga smirnova has left moscow to join the dutch national ballet in another public display of
opposition to the war inside russia. thanks for watching. hello there. there's going to be a different look to the weather on thurday and a change of fortune for much of the country as well. with the rain having cleared away we had the sunnier skies across more western parts of scotland. there was almost an inch of rain in wiltshire for a while, we had some quite heavy rain here in lincolnshire as well. with that wetter weather clearing out into the north sea and these showers yet to arrive from the northwest, we're going to have some clear skies developing. by the time we get to early thursday morning, it could be quite cold and frosty in a few places. temperatures will be close to freezing, maybe down to “4 in the northeast of scotland. we'll find those showers coming in from the northwest across scotland and northern ireland — notjust one band of showers, but two.
they could be quite heavy as well. some sunshine in between. temperatures here making 1a perhaps even 15 degrees. we do have some weakening weather fronts moving down from the northwest, bringing in the bands of showers, but high pressure is going to be building by the end of the week and it looks that will tend to lift and we'll see a good deal of sunshine on friday, the breeze start to pick up in some areas later in the day, but those temperatures climbing as well. 13 degrees in the central belt of scotland, 15 or 16 perhaps in the east midlands and towards the fens. the weekend remains quiet and dry. the a lot of sunshine around this weekend, but we're likely to have
stronger winds, too. after a chilly—ish start on saturday, it looks like a fine spring day, lots of sunshine around, dry day, but noticeably stronger the centre of the high is drifting to the east of the uk, allowing the stronger winds to arrive and maybe threatening one or two showers in the evening on sunday in the far southeast of england. 0therwise, sunday is a dry day. temperatures a little bit lower. we may see a bit more cloud on monday and perhaps one or two showers.
this is bbc news, the headlines. the bombardment of ukraine continues — as russia bombs a theatre where civilians were sheltering in the city of mariupol — it's thought that over 1,000 people were inside — the number of casualties is unknown. civilians hit in the capital kyiv too — as russian forces hit a residential building. and at least 10 people waiting in a queue for bread in the northern city of chernihiv were reportedly killed by russian shelling. president biden has promised ukraine a further £600 million in military aid to help it to repel the russian invasion. mr biden also branded the russian leader, vladimir putin, a war criminal. nearly six years after she was first detained in iran, the british—iranian woman — nazanin zaghari ratcliffe — is on her way back