Russia-Ukraine live updates: Russia lays siege to another Ukrainian city, raising fears of a new humanitarian disaster

Russia’s relentless bombing is contributing to a mounting humanitarian catastrophe. The mayor of Mariupol said his southern port city is going through “Armageddon,” while the Pentagon expressed concern Thursday that the northern city of Chernihiv also appears to have been blockaded. According to the United Nations human rights office , it received “credible” reports that Russia used cluster bombs in Kharkiv and other cities. This could be considered war crimes. Almost 2.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, according to the United Nations.

Here’s what to know

  • Russia’s prosecutor general is seeking to have the company Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, declared an extremist organization and banned in Russia following reports that Facebook would allow posts calling for violence against Russian forces in Ukraine.
  • President Biden formally called on Congress on Friday to end normal trade relations with Russia and announced a new slate of bans on Russian imports and exports. Biden will be joined by leaders of the Group of Seven countries to announce economic sanctions against Russia in an effort to make President Vladimir Putin responsible for his ongoing invasion.
  • Congressional Democrats and Republicans took the final step Thursday night to approve roughly $14 billion in humanitarian, military and economic assistance to Ukraine. More than 40 GOP senators have also called for Biden to “work with Poland and our NATO allies to expedite the transfer of aircraft and air defense systems” to Ukraine.
  • The U.N. Security Council met Friday at Russia’s request to discuss its allegation that Washington is carrying out “military biological activities” in Ukrainian territory. The White House has denied the Russian allegations and accused Moscow of planning a possible a false-flag attack.

UNDERSTANDING THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE CONFLICT

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