Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
At least three people were killed and dozens of residential buildings damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the local governor said, after reports of several blasts in the city.
* Lysychansk, Ukraine’s last big bastion in the strategic eastern province of Luhansk, could fall, Zelenskiy adviser Oleksiy Arestovych acknowledged as fighting intensified.
* Rodion Miroshnik, ambassador to Russia of the pro-Moscow self-styled Luhansk People’s Republic, said, “Lysychansk has been brought under control” but “not yet liberated.”
* Far from the eastern fighting, Russia said it had hit army command posts in Mykolaiv near the Black Sea port of Odesa, where the mayor had reported powerful explosions.
* Belarusian President Lukashenko said Ukraine tried to strike military facilities on Belarusian territory last week but all its missiles had been intercepted. * Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.
DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY
* Russia may continue to suspend gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline beyond a planned maintenance shutdown this month, said German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.
* 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 ammunition as part of its latest weapons packages for Ukraine.
* A sizable number of companies, executives and investors underpinning Russia’s defense sector have yet to be affected by Western sanctions, a Reuters examination show.
* “The Russian tactic right now is to just shell any building we could locate ourselves at. When they’ve destroyed it, they move on to the next one,” a Russian soldier told Reuters as he and comrades took a break in Konstyantynivka, west of Lysychansk.
(Compiled by William Mallard)