Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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Russia said on Sunday its forces and their allies had taken control of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, after capturing the final Ukrainian holdout of Lysychansk, although Ukraine had yet to comment after reporting heavy fighting in the city.

FIGHTING

* Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin of the “liberation” of the Luhansk region by Moscow and its allies, the ministry said.

* There was no immediate response from Ukraine on the Russian claim, which, if confirmed, would mark a significant milestone for Moscow on day 130 of the war.

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* At least three people were killed and dozens of residential buildings damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said, after reports of several blasts in the city.

* Ukrainian forces hit a Russian military logistics base with over 30 strikes in the occupied southern city of Melitopol, the city’s exiled mayor said. A Russian-installed official confirmed that strikes had hit the city.

* 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.

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DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY

* Chancellor Olaf Scholz told broadcaster ARD that Germany was discussing security guarantees for Ukraine with its allies, in preparation for a time after the war.

* 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.

* 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.

QUOTES

* “The sound was so strong that I jumped up, I woke up, got very scared and started screaming … All the windows in our house were shattered, the doors came out of alignment,” a resident of Belgorod told Reuters about the 3 a.m. blasts. (Compiled by William Mallard and Catherine Evans; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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