Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Russia should finish calling up reservists in two weeks, President Vladimir Putin said, promising an end to a divisive mobilization that has seen hundreds of thousands of men summoned to fight in Ukraine and huge numbers flee the country.
* The defense ministry in Belarus said on Saturday that the first convoys of Russian servicemen, part of a “regional grouping” of troops, had arrived in Belarus. President Alexander Lukashenko said this week that his troops would deploy with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border.
* The United States will send munitions and military vehicles to Ukraine as part of a new $725 million assistance package aimed at bolstering the country’s defense against the Russian invasion, the Defense Department said.
* Russia does not need to unleash massive new strikes on Ukraine at the moment, Putin said after days of raining missiles on cities including Kyiv, amid speculation that Moscow’s supplies of precision weapons may be depleted.
* Ukrainian engineers have restored “much needed” back-up power to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after shelling robbed it of access to external electricity twice in the past week, said Rafael Grossi, head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Friday.
* Ukrainian investigators have finished exhuming soldiers in one of two mass graves discovered after Russian troops retreated from the town of Lyman in the Donetsk, police said.
* Damage to the bridge between the annexed Crimean peninsula and southern Russia will not be repaired until July, a document published on the Russian government’s website said, after an explosion last week.
* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.
* Saudi Arabia will provide $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told President Volodymyr Zelenskiy the kingdom was ready to continue efforts of mediation and support everything that contributes to de-escalation, said Saudi state news agency SPA.
* International Monetary Fund member countries issued a near-unanimous call for Russia to end its war in Ukraine, but Moscow again blocked consensus on issuing a joint communique on the single biggest factor fueling inflation and slowing the global economy, officials said.
* Some of oilfield service firm Schlumberger’s more than 9,000 Russian employees have begun receiving military draft notices through work, and the company is not authorizing remote employment to escape mobilization, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents.
* Sweden has rejected plans to set up a formal joint investigation team with Denmark and Germany to look into last month’s ruptures of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, said a Swedish prosecutor investigating the leaks. (Compiled by Grant McCool, William Mallard and David Clarke)
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