Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian forces in Ukraine were blasting cities and killing civilians but no longer making progress on the ground Thursday, according to Western intelligence, while talks on ending the fighting resumed as the war entered its fourth week.

Civilian toll

  • Local officials said rescuers in the besieged southern port of Mariupol were combing the rubble of a theater where women and children had been sheltering, bombed the previous day. Russia has denied striking the theater.
  • Governor of the northern Chernihiv region said 53 civilians had been killed there in bombardment over the past 24 hours.
  • Reuters was not immediately able to independently verify the reports. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Stalled invasion

  • Russia's invasion has largely stalled on all fronts in recent days amid heavy losses, British military intelligence said in a regular update.

Diplomacy

  • Talks between Russia and Ukraine continue via video link for the fourth day running.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's adviser said he has not changed his position that Ukraine's borders from 1991 must be respected. Those include Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, and two eastern breakaway regions Moscow recognized last month.
  • The U.N. Security Council is due to vote on Friday on a Russian-drafted call for aid access and civilian protection, which diplomats say is set to fail because it does not call for an end to the fighting or withdrawal of Russian troops.

War of words

  • Russia accused the United States of stoking "Russophobia" and said it had the power to put its "brash enemies into place."
  • Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov told European lawmakers the EU should recognize Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal a day after U.S. President Joe Biden used the term in comments Kremlin called "unforgivable."

Economy and markets

  • The OECD estimated the Ukraine crisis could knock more than 1 percentage point off global growth this year and lift inflation, and said central banks should be ready to intervene if needed to keep financial markets functioning.
  • Russia said it had made debt payments due this week, but a number of bondholders said they had yet to get paid.

Quotes

There is a new wall "in the middle of Europe between freedom and unfreedom," which Germany helped build with its business ties to Russia, Ukraine's Zelenskyy told German lawmakers.

"And this wall is getting bigger with every bomb that falls on Ukraine, with every decision that is not taken."

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Reuters

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