Ukraine Russia war LIVE Updates: China-Russia relationship tested by war.
Visa, Mastercard suspend operations in Russia. Card payment giants Visa and Mastercard are the latest major US firms to suspend operations in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Saturday that Ukrainian statehood is in jeopardy, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a "desperate plea" for more planes as Russian forces continued to batter strategic locations with missiles and artillery and a temporary cease-fire failed.
Sanctions from the West continued, something Putin likened to "declaring war."
Putin continued to pin the blame for Russia's war against Ukraine on the Ukrainian leadership, saying if they "continue to do what they are doing, they are calling into question the future of Ukrainian statehood."
But Zelenskyy urged resistance. He said Ukrainians managed to keep control of key cities in central and southeastern Ukraine. In a video address to the nation, he urged Ukrainians in cities taken over by the Russian forces to fight back.
"It is a special kind of heroism -- to protest when your city is occupied," Zelenskyy said. "Ukrainians in all of our cities that the enemy has entered -- go on the offensive! You should take to the streets! You should fight!"
Thousands of Ukrainians in cities held by Russian forces took to the streets. Some climbed Russia's military vehicles and waved Ukraine's yellow and blue flag.
In a private call with US lawmakers, Zelenskyy asked the United States to help get more warplanes to his military.
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement that Zelenskyy made a "desperate plea" and wants the US to facilitate the transfer of planes from Eastern European allies. Schumer said he will do all he can.
The US is considering sending American-made F-16s to former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe that are now members of NATO. In turn, they would send their own Soviet-era MiGs to Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba at the Poland-Ukraine border outside the town of Korczowa.Blinken, indicated fighter jets are under consideration.
"We are talking about and working on everything," Blinken said.
A temporary cease-fire in two key Ukrainian cities failed — and both sides blamed each other.
Ukrainian officials said Russian artillery fire and airstrikes prevented residents from evacuating the eastern city of Volnovakha, and Mariupol, a southeast port city of about 430,000. Putin accused Ukraine of sabotaging the effort.
Russian forces intensified shelling in Mariupol, including dropping bombs from airplanes in residential areas, the mayor said.
"The city is in a very, very difficult state of siege," Vadym Boychenko told Ukrainian TV. "Relentless shelling of residential blocks is ongoing, airplanes have been dropping bombs on residential areas."
Boychenko said thousands of children, women and the elderly came under fire as they prepared for a possible evacuation through a safe passage corridor.
Directly witnessed or confirmed by The Associated Press
Russia's days-long assault has caused growing misery in Mariupol, where AP journalists witnessed doctors make unsuccessful attempts to save the lives of wounded children, pharmacies ran bare and hundreds of thousands of people faced food and water shortages in freezing weather.
In Irpin, near Kyiv, a sea of people on foot and even in wheelbarrows trudged over the remains of a destroyed bridge to cross a river and leave the city. Assisted by Ukrainian soldiers, they lugged pets, infants, purses and flimsy bags stuffed with minimal possessions. Some of the weak and elderly were carried along the path in blankets and carts.
Kyiv's central train station remained crowded with people desperate to join the more than 1.4 million who have fled Ukraine.
Frequent shelling could be heard from the center Kyiv, the nation's capital.
In stories and videos posted online, Russian state outlets are falsely claiming that Zelenskyy fled Kyiv. Photos and videos show the Ukrainian president leading his country's defense.