Welsh morning headlines: News, Ukraine, Covid, sport, weather and road updates as concerns mount over China's involvement in conflict

We have put together a round-up of all the latest news, weather, and travel information for Monday, March 14, that will get you caught up and ready for the day.

Russia has requested economic and military help from China it has been reported, with talks between officials from the US and China to be held.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that US officials have said Moscow has asked Beijing for help in evading economic sanctions and for military assistance, including the use of drones.

Read more:The major problems facing Wales' schools in wake of Covid

The nature of China's response to Russia is currently unknown and China's embassy in Washington has told reporters that it has not heard about such a request.

The United States will try to persuade China not to supply arms to Russia at a high-level meeting in Rome which the White House sees as critically important not just for the war in Ukraine but also for the future of the global balance of power.

Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, will meet his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in the Italian capital amid reports that Russia has asked China for weapons to bolster its faltering invasion of Ukraine.

“We also are watching closely to see the extent to which China actually does provide any form of support – material support or economic support – to Russia,” Sullivan told CNN.

“It is a concern of ours. And we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions.”

Sullivan said the US had made clear to Beijing that there would “absolutely be consequences” for “large-scale” efforts to help Russia sidestep sanctions.

Russia has also asked China for economic help as it faces severe western sanctions, but Sullivan told CNN the US was “communicating directly, privately to Beijing that there will absolutely be consequences” if China helps Russia evade sanctions.

The spokesperson for the US embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, told CNN he had “never heard” of the Russian arms requests.

A fourth round of talks between Russia and Ukraine are due to start at 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT) this morning according to Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine's interior minister.

Hopes of diplomatic progress have been raised after Ukranian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak had earlier said weekend negotiations were "constructive" - the most upbeat assessment yet.

“Russia is already beginning to talk constructively,” Mr Podolyak said in a video online. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.”

Seperate talks between the US and China will also be held on Monday, as concerns grow over the possibility of Beijing sending aid to Russia.

Wales news headlines

Manhunt launched for suspect after man left with serious injuries

Police are searching for a 37-year-old man after a serious assault in the Clydach area of Swansea.

South Wales Police say an "extensive search" for a suspect is ongoing and have warned members of public not to approach the man.

A 68-year-old man suffered what have been described as serious facial injuries in an assault at around 5.30pm on Saturday. He remains in hospital where his condition has stabilised.

A spokesman for the said: "The 37-year-old man who police are looking for is known to the victim – he is described as being 5ft 10in with a slim build and gaunt appearance. He has mousy-colour hair that has been dreadlocked and an ‘unkempt’ ginger beard.

"He also has a colourful sleeve tattoo on his left forearm. He is believed to be wearing a white checked shirt, beige or green trousers, and boots."

There was a significant police presence in and around Clydach over the weekend as the search for the suspect continued. Residents are being told to lock their doors and windows and have been urged to contact police immediately if they see the suspect.

The force have yet to confirm whether the male has been located.

Chief Inspector Stuart Johnson said: “If this individual sees this appeal I urge him to do the right thing and hand himself in.

“Whilst we understand people are worried within the community we don’t want people to be alarmed – there is no specific threat to the general public. However we have concerns about the suspect’s state of mind so people should not make any direct approaches.

“We have specialist search teams out looking for him and have increased patrols throughout the area.”

Wales could be set to welcome 1,000 refugees from Ukraine

It has been announced that Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon have said both Wales and Scotland are willing to become “super-sponsors” for Ukrainian refugees.

The UK Government is set to launch a scheme where individuals and organisations can sponsor refugees to come into the country but the Welsh and Scottish first ministers told Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, they wanted to “maximise” their contribution and act as “super-sponsors”.

In the first wave, the first ministers said Scotland would expect to take in 3,000 and Wales 1,000. Under the plans more would be welcomed in later waves. Read the letter they sent to Michael Gove here. And go here to read about plans to offer people £350 a month to house Ukrainian refugees.

Welsh morning headlines: News, Ukraine, Covid, sport, weather and road updates as concerns mount over China's involvement in conflict

In Ukraine, efforts to get residents out is stepping out as Russian bombing increases. Read about reports of mass graves here.

Today's forecast

There will be sunny spells and isolated showers across Wales today, according to the Met Office forecast.


A fine start to Monday with any patchy mist soon clearing to leave largely sunny skies. The odd shower is possible in the far south and far north, but most will remain dry. Feeling pleasant in the sun. Maximum temperature 13 °C.


A dry and mostly clear night across much of Wales, with a few fog patches forming. Becoming chilly where skies remain clear, allowing for a touch of frost by morning. Minimum temperature 0 °C.

Here is how the roads and rail are affected at 8am:

National news headlines

Australia announces sanctions on oligarchs including Roman Abramovich

The Australian government has announced sanctions against 33 Russian oligarchs, including Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. The sanctions target oligarchs, prominent businesspeople and their immediate family members.

A statement from Australia's government said: "The sanctions announced today reinforce Australia's commitment to sanction those people who have amassed vast personal wealth and are of economic and strategic significance to Russia, including as a result of their connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin."

The statement continued: "We will continue to coordinate closely with our partners to impose a high cost on Russia for its actions. The Australian government reiterates our strongest support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the people of Ukraine."

Zelensky's warning to Nato as Russia-Ukraine talks continue

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued a chilling warning to NATO countries. He claimed it was "only a matter of time before Russian missiles fall... on the homes of citizens of NATO countries."

In his daily video address to the people of Ukraine and the wider world, Mr Zelensky urged Nato leaders to establish a no-fly zone over the country. The West has expressed reluctance to do this due to fears it could escalate the war into a nuclear confrontation.

Mr Zelensky said: "Last year, I made a clear warning to NATO leaders that if there were no tough preventive sanctions against Russia, it would start a war. We were right.

"I have been saying for a long time that Nord Stream is a weapon that will hit Europe. Now it's obvious. And now I repeat again - if you do not close our sky, it is only a matter of time before Russian missiles fall on your territory. NATO territory. On the homes of citizens of NATO countries."

Mr Zelensky also vowed to continue negotiating with Russia and said he is trying to arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said there had been daily video calls between representatives of both countries.

Mr Zelensky said the talks are needed to establish a ceasefire and more humanitarian corridors. He said such corridors have saved more than 130,000 people over the course of six days.

Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko said Monday's talks would resume at 10.30am Kyiv time. In a defiant tweet she said: "When asked if Ukraine can compromise, I say 'sure'. We can make a 10% discount on the amount of reparations Russia shall pay for all the damage in Ukraine and all the losses incurred by our partners."

Sport headlines

Italy head to Cardiff with 'warm glow'

Coaching great Sir Ian McGeechan is warning Italy are heading to Cardiff with a 'warm glow' ahead of Wales' Six Nations finale at the Principality Stadium.

Dan Biggar and his team are expected to romp to a comfortable victory as they seek to round off a disappointing tournament by running in the tries in front of their own fans.

But McGeechan insists the Azzurri will be arriving in a confident mood, despite slumping to that 36th straight tournament defeat when Scotland won 33-22 at the weekend.

"I thought that there was much to like in what Italy did, and although they were clearly second best in some aspects of the game – their kick-chase was much inferior to Scotland’s for instance – in many regards they held up well," McGeechan wrote in his Telegraph column.

"In the first half in particular, Italy did a lot of good things but got hit on the counter. A lot of that comes down to a lack of experience, a lack of patience and a desperation to make things happen, even when it maybe was not on. Scotland, on the other hand, showed their experience and were adept at pulling Italy around until the spaces arose.

"But it will be Italy who leave with warm glow after scoring two well-executed tries in the last quarter. It will give them hope of better days to come as they prepare for their trip to Cardiff."

Wales handed Six Nations warning

Wales will never win the Six Nations title again if South Africa are permitted to join, according to former Scotland boss Matt Williams.

The same message applies to Ireland and Scotland, he feels, as talk about the Springboks taking Italy's place resurface.

Williams says of the Azzurri's losing streak: "On the evidence, it’ll be another 36 games before they win a game in the Six Nations.

“Unless there’s fundamental change, the drumbeat for South Africa to be in this is going to get louder.”

However, he warned it would become a straight shootout every year between South Africa, England and France, with Wales, Ireland and Scotland the also-rans.

"If South Africa come into this, the Celtic countries will face not winning the competition again," said Williams.

“That cannot happen. The Welsh, the Irish, and the Scots cannot enter into a competition that is traditionally theirs, where they say, ‘the chances of you winning this in the future are almost nil'."


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