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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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By Reuters
Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

– Ukraine said its top objective at the first face-to-face talks with Russia in over two weeks, due to take place in Turkey on Tuesday, is to secure a ceasefire, although both it and the United States were skeptical of a major breakthrough.

FIGHTING

* The mayor of Irpin, near Kyiv, said Ukrainian forces had seized back control of the town. A senior U.S. official said the eastern town of Trostyanets, south of Sumy, was back in Ukrainian hands. Reuters could not confirm the reports.

* Russia said its troops had destroyed large ammunition depots in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region and hit 41 Ukrainian military sites in the last 24 hours.

* There are no signs on the ground that Russia has given up a plan to surround Kyiv, Ukraine’s defence ministry said.

* Russian soldiers who seized the Chernobyl site drove armoured vehicles without radiation protection through a highly toxic zone called the “Red Forest”, workers there said.

TALKSANDDIPLOMACY

* Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning after a meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported. But a U.S. official said intelligence suggests the symptoms were due to an environmental factor, not poisoning.

* The Kremlin said Joe Biden’s remark that Putin “cannot remain in power” was a cause for alarm. Biden said the comment reflected his own moral outrage, not a U.S. policy shift.* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy urged Western nations to toughen sanctions including an oil embargo.

CIVILIANS

* The U.N. human rights office said 1,119 civilians had been killed and 1,790 wounded since Russia began its attack.

* Nearly 5,000 people, including about 210 children, have been killed in besieged Mariupol, a spokesman for its mayor said.

ECONOMY

* Russia said it would not supply gas to Europe for free as it worked out methods for accepting payments for its gas exports in roubles. G7 nations refused the demand.

* U.S. and German officials are due to meet in Berlin this week with energy industry executives to discuss ways to boost alternative supplies for Germany.

* Russia’s invasion has so far cost Ukraine $564.9 billion in terms of damage to infrastructure, lost economic growth and other factors, Economy Minister Svyrydenko said.

QUOTES

* “We are not trading people, land or sovereignty,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said of the talks in Turkey.

* “We have destroyed the myth of the invincible Russian army,” Kyiv Mayor Klitschko said.