NewsWorldUkraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Russian forces in Ukraine were potentially on the verge of one of their worst defeats of the war after Ukrainian troops captured two villages close to the eastern Russian-occupied stronghold of Lyman.

ANNEXATION

* A defiant Russian President Putin proclaimed the annexation of territory seized in his invasion in four regions amounting to 15% of Ukraine’s territory while Kyiv said it would continue its fight to retake occupied land.

* Before signing documents to annex four regions – an act denounced as illegal by Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and the head of the United Nations – Putin delivered a 37-minute anti-Western diatribe.

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine said it was formally applying for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance and that Kyiv was ready for talks with Moscow, but not while Putin was president.

* Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution introduced by the United States and Albania condemning Moscow’s proclaimed annexations, with Russia’s strategic partner China abstaining from the vote.

* The United States responded to the annexations by imposing more sanctions on Russia, targeting hundreds of people and companies, including those in Russia’s military-industrial complex and lawmakers.

CASUALTIES

* At least 30 civilians were killed and almost 100 wounded in what Kyiv said was a cynical Russian missile strike on a convoy of civilian cars in southern Ukraine.

GAS LEAK

* Putin, without providing evidence, blamed the United States and its allies for blowing up pipelines under the Baltic Sea, raising the temperature in a crisis that has left Europe racing to secure its energy infrastructure and supplies.

* U.S. President Biden said it “was a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies,” adding that Washington and its allies would send divers to find out what happened.

* The ruptures on the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline system have led to what is likely the biggest single release of climate-damaging methane recorded, the United Nations Environment Programme said.

AID

* The World Bank said it will provide an additional $530 million in support to Ukraine, bringing the total aid by the bank to $13 billion, as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.

(REUTERS)

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