Ukraine and Russia: what you need to know now

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Powerful explosions rocked the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early Saturday, the mayor said, a day after authorities announced that at least 21 people had been killed when Russian missiles hit a building near the port of Odessa on the black Sea.


* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: « I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian armed forces do not work with civilian targets. »

* The Russians are shelling the eastern city of Lysychansk from different directions, the regional governor said. Russian forces have captured an oil refinery, according to a report, citing the Russian Defense Ministry. * Reuters could not independently verify the Battlefield accounts.

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* The United States is sending Ukraine two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery as part of its latest weapons packages for Ukraine.

* President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree that takes full control of the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East, a move that could kick Shell and Japanese investors out.

* A Reuters review of the companies, executives and investors that underpin Russia’s defense sector shows that a significant number of them have yet to be affected by Western sanctions.

* US basketball star Brittney Griner was put on trial in Moscow to face drug charges that could see her face up to 10 years in prison.

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* Two Britons have been charged with « mercenary activities » in the Russian-backed separatist region of Donetsk, Russian news agency TASS reported. Last month, two other Britons charged with the same charge were sentenced to death.

* Russia’s ambassador to Bulgaria said she would ask Moscow to close its embassy in Sofia after the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomatic staff.

* Ukraine’s nuclear operator said it had restored its connection to monitoring systems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which is occupied by Russian forces.


* « There are powerful explosions in the city! » Stay in the shelters! Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

* “Almost all the infrastructure of the city is destroyed. We have been living without gas, electricity and water since May,” Sergei Oleinik, 65, a resident of Russian-occupied Sievierodonetsk, told Reuters. « We’re glad it’s over, and soon maybe the rebuilding will start, and we’ll be back to more or less normal life. » (Compiled by Lincoln Feast)


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