Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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At least 11 people were killed and 15 more wounded at a training ground in southwestern Russia on Saturday when two attackers opened fire on a group of volunteers who wished to fight in Ukraine, Russia’s RIA news agency said.

FIGHTING

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* RIA, citing the defense ministry, said the two assailants had been shot dead after the attack in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine. It said they were nationals from a former Soviet republic but did not give any details.

* Ukrainian troops are still holding the strategic eastern town of Bakhmut despite repeated Russian attacks while the situation in the Donbas region remains very difficult, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

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* Belarus said the first convoys of Russian servicemen, part of a “regional grouping” of troops, had arrived in the country. President Alexander Lukashenko said this week that his troops would deploy with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border.

* A fuel depot in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, caught fire after shelling, its governor said, without specifying the origin of the shelling.

* 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 on Friday.

* Russia should finish calling up reservists in two weeks, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, 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.

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* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

ECONOMY, DIPLOMACY

* Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian cities away from the front lines will complicate the dire economic situation facing the country, which has already seen a tenfold increase in poverty this year, a top World Bank official said on Saturday.

* Putin authorized the central bank to permit the export of foreign currency cash worth more than $10,000 in some cases, a decree from him published on Saturday showed.

* Elon Musk said on Saturday that his rocket company SpaceX would continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, a day after he said it could no longer afford to do so.

* Norway police arrested a Russian man at the airport in the arctic town of Tromsoe and charged him with flying a drone, they said on Saturday, marking the second such arrest in one week.

* 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, David Clarke, Philippa Fletcher)

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