Ukraine and Russia: what you need to know now


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Here’s what you need to know about the Ukraine crisis right now:


* Russian military vehicles entered Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Sunday in a fourth day of fighting in the biggest assault on a European state since World War II.

* Russia attacked Ukrainian oil and gas facilities, causing huge explosions. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian forces were holding back Russian troops advancing towards the capital Kiev.

* Zelenskiy said the night was brutal, with civilian infrastructure shelled and everything attacked, including ambulances.


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* The Kremlin sent a diplomatic delegation to Belarus, which it said was waiting for talks with Ukrainian officials. Ukraine quickly rejected the offer, saying Belarus had been complicit in the invasion.

* Western allies have announced sweeping sanctions against Russia, including the exclusion of some key banks from the SWIFT payment system. The move will deal a crippling economic blow to Moscow, but will also hurt Western businesses and banks.

* Turkey called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a ‘war’ on Sunday in a rhetorical shift that could pave the way for the NATO member country to enact an international pact limiting Russian naval passage to the Black Sea .

* Zelenskiy said his country had filed a complaint against Russia with the International Court of Justice.


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* At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, were killed during the Russian invasion, the head of Ukraine’s Health Ministry said. A United Nations relief agency said its estimates showed at least 64 civilians had been killed out of 240 civilian casualties, but the actual figures were likely “considerably higher”.

* Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, while Russian-backed separatists said Ukraine blew up an oil terminal in the breakaway province of Luhansk.

* Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom said on Sunday that exports of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe were continuing as normal, in line with customer demands.

* Refugees continued to pour in across Ukraine’s western borders, with around 100,000 people reaching Poland in two days. Pope Francis has called for humanitarian corridors to help refugees leave Ukraine and said those who wage war should not be deceived into thinking God is on their side.


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* In a sea of ​​blue and yellow flags and banners, protesters around the world voiced their support for the Ukrainian people and called on governments to do more to help Kiev, punish Russia and avert wider conflict.

* Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Denmark have said they are preparing to close their airspace to Russian planes. Australian Qantas opts to use an alternative flight path between Darwin and London that avoids Russian airspace, while Wizz Air has temporarily suspended all flights to and from Russia.

* Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has said he is handing over management of Chelsea to the London Football Club’s foundation.


– “It is terror. They will bomb our Ukrainian cities even more, they will kill our children even more subtly. It is the evil that has come to our land and must be destroyed,” Zelenskiy said in a short video message.

– “We will hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin,” wrote the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Canada and the United States.

(Editing by William Mallard, Mark Potter, Christina Fincher and Jan Harvey)



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