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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

– Fearing a new offensive in the six-week-old war, Ukraine rushed to evacuate civilians as Russian forces pounded cities and towns in the east and south, and Kyiv called on the West to place “ruinous” sanctions on Moscow.

FIGHTING

* The eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk are seeing the worst of the fighting after Russian forces withdrew from around Kyiv.

* NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned of a war that could last months or even years.

*Russia is likely to renew its attack on Kyiv if its takes full control of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine’s military said.

* At least 160,000 civilians are trapped in Mariupol without power and with little food or running water, the city mayor said, putting the civilian death toll in the city at about 5,000. Reuters was not able to verify the numbers.

* The mayor said 40,000 residents had been forcibly deported to Russia, which has called the arrivals refugees.

* A total of 4,892 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors, Ukraine said. It hopes to open 10 such corridors.

* Ukrainian authorities cannot help people evacuate from the eastern front-line town of Izyum because it is under Russian control, the Kharkiv regional governor said.

* NATO members have agreed to strengthen support to Ukraine and are providing a wide range of weapon systems, NATO‘s Stoltenberg said following a meeting of foreign ministers

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said Kyiv presented Moscow with a draft peace deal that contained “unacceptable” elements that deviated from a previous proposal.

* European Union envoys are set to approve on Thursday a ban on Russian coal that wouldn’t take full effect until mid-August.

* The U.N. General Assembly votes on suspending Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council and the United States wants Russia expelled from the G20.

* Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said his country must be involved in negotiations to resolve the conflict and “there can be no separate agreements behind Belarus’s back.”

QUOTES

* “Ukraine proposes a fair deal: the world provides us with all the support we require; we fight and defeat Putin in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.