→ US Senator Graham in Kyiv: If you want aid to Ukraine, you had better start talking to American taxpayers

“I want the Russians not only to see the aid coming this spring, but we have come up with a model to make it more sustainable for the Ukrainian people,” the senator said.

“You are going through hell. I want to help you. We have problems at home, too. I am trying to make this a win-win. I am going to the Mideast to say the same thing,” he added.

Graham expressed full support for Ukraine on its path in attempts to join NATO and said that he wanted to provide Ukraine with as much weaponry as possible to achieve “a qualitative advantage on the battlefield.”

In related news: Zelensky says it is ‘Critically Important’ for US to approve aid soon.

→ Drone strike hits another oil refinery in Russia, several wounded

Drone strikes targeted Russia’s oil refineries for the second day in a row on Wednesday, with one sparking a fire and injuring several people after it struck a facility in the Ryazan region, officials said.

→ Lavrov in Turkey: No to Peace Talks, sets sights on Moldova

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent offer to host a negotiation platform for Russia and Ukraine. Lavrov attended the Antalya Diplomatic Forum in Turkey on March 1 and responded to a question about Erdogan’s offer by stating that there are no current dialogue initiatives that consider Russian interests.

→ Turkey hopes Ukraine ceasefire talks can start soon

Turkey hopes talks for a ceasefire in Ukraine will start soon, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Sunday (3 March), at the end of a diplomatic forum in the southern city of Antalya.

Fidan met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Friday on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. He told reporters he had discussed a number of issues with Lavrov, including Ukraine.

“On the issue of Ukraine, our view is that both sides have reached the limits of what they can get by war. We think that it is time to start a dialogue for a ceasefire,” Fidan said.

“That doesn’t mean recognising the occupation (by Russia), but issues of sovereignty and ceasefire should be discussed separately.”

In other news, it looks like the USA will vote on Ukraine aid by the end of this month.

UPDATE ON THE RUSSIAN ATTACK ON ODESA:

→ Zelensky: Kharkiv not safe enough for residents to return

Kharkiv is not yet safe enough for residents to return to the city, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on March 1.

“As for the return of Kharkiv residents: you see, I don’t think Kharkiv is so protected at the moment that I can advise people to return,” Zelensky stated. “This is the choice of Kharkiv residents.”

In other news, the death toll of last night’s strike on Odesa has risen to 7. UPDATE: The death toll is now at nine.

BLOOMBERG: UKRAINE SEES RISK OF RUSSIAN BREAKTHROUGH BY SUMMER.

RUSSIAN ARMY SHELLS CENTER OF KUPIANSK WITH AERIAL BOMBS, DEATHS REPORTED.

UPDATE: A forced evacuation may be announced for the Kupiansk area.

→ Weapons Above All Else: Ground forces comment on situation in the Kupiansk Direction

Kupiansk and Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi are the priority targets for the Russian troops in the Kupiansk direction, Illia Yevlash, spokesman for the Khortytsia operational-strategic group, said during a telethon.

According to him, the Russians probably consider it necessary to attack now with all available forces. The Ukrainian military is working on defense.

Yevlash emphasized that despite the advantages of the Russians, Ukrainian troops can fight back. In his opinion, only by joining Ukrainian efforts, it is possible to repel the Russian offensive in this direction.

→ Russian military shelled Pisochyn in Kharkiv region, no casualties reported

On February 25, at about 11:00 p.m., the Russian military launched two S-300 missile strikes on the village of Pisochyn in the suburbs of Kharkiv, said the head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration, Oleh Syniehubov.

According to him, the Russian missile attack damaged two hangars with grain. Russians also damaged tractors and trucks. No casualties were reported.