Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Read Time:2 Minute, 18 Second

More than 250 Ukrainian fighters surrendered to Russian forces at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol and Kyiv said it had ordered its entire garrison to evacuate, heralding the end of Europe’s bloodiest battle in decades.

FIGHTING, CIVILIANS

* At least seven buses carrying Ukrainian fighters left the Azovstal steel works escorted by pro-Russian armed forces, a Reuters witness said.

* The defenders of Mariupol changed the course of the war with Russia by holding out for 82 days, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said, adding that they had interrupted Russia’s operation to seize swathes of territory in eastern and southern Ukraine.

* The fighters surrendered after weeks holed up in the labyrinth of bunkers and tunnels below the steel works as the most devastating siege of Russia’s war in Ukraine draws to a close.

* A Russian lawmaker taking part in peace talks said Russia should consider the death penalty for what he called nationalist fighters from Ukraine’s Azov regiment

* Eight people were killed and 12 wounded in a Russian air strike on the village of Desna in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv, the regional emergency service said.

* A village in Russia’s western province of Kursk bordering Ukraine came under Ukrainian fire, regional Governor Roman Starovoit said, but there were no injuries.

* Russia and Ukraine are not holding talks “in any form”, Interfax news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko as saying. “Ukraine has practically withdrawn from the negotiation process,” Interfax quoted Rudenko as saying.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would probably make “not much difference” as the two countries had long participated in the alliance’s military drills.

* The U.S. Senate voted to advance $40 billion more aid for Ukraine, setting the stage for a vote on the bill possibly later this week.

ECONOMY

* Russians lined up in a Moscow train station for what may be their last Big Mac from one of the few McDonald’s restaurants still open in the country.

* German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said he was open to the idea of seizing Russian state assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.

* G7 finance ministers want to put together a 15 billion euro ($15.80 billion) aid package for Ukraine at their meeting in Bonn this week.

* The European Commission said opening accounts in roubles at a Russian bank to pay for gas would breach the bloc’s sanctions against Moscow.

* U.S. Treasury officials plan to propose at this week’s G7 finance meeting that European countries impose tariffs on Russian oil.

QUOTES

“We hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys,” Zelenskiy said in an early morning address. “There are severely wounded ones among them. They’re receiving care. Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive.”

SOURCE: REUTERS

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