Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Russia said it will cut gas supplies to Europe from Wednesday in a blow to countries that have supported Ukraine, just as there were hopes that economic pressures could ease after Russia agreed to let Ukraine export grain from Black Sea ports.
* The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights gave its latest civilian death toll from the Ukraine war to date as 5,237, with the number of wounded exceeding 7,000.
* Russia’s Defence Ministry said its forces had destroyed a depot for U.S.-made HIMARS rocket systems in Ukraine’s western Khmelnytskyi region. Ukraine said its HIMARS rockets had destroyed 50 Russian ammunition depots.
* The Ukrainian military reported Russian cruise missile strikes in the south. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the battlefield reports.
* A major fire broke out at an oil depot in the Budyonnovsky district of Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine after Ukrainian troops shelled the province, Russia’s TASS reported.
* Russia tightened its gas squeeze on Europe as Gazprom said supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany would drop to just 20% of capacity.
* Russian gas giant Gazprom has sharply increased pressure in the pipeline that delivers gas to Europe without informing, the Ukrainian state pipeline operator said, warning that the failure to give prior notice raised risks of an accident.
* European Union countries are set to approve a weakened emergency EU proposal to curb their gas demand on Tuesday, with opt-outs allowing them to follow different national paths to prepare for Russian supply cuts.
* The first ships to export grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports may move within a few days under a deal agreed by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, a U.N. spokesperson said.
* The Kremlin said Saturday’s Russian missile strikes in Odesa had hit military targets and would not affect grain exports.
* Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said there were no barriers to the export of grain from Ukraine’s ports and that Russia would continue to attack military infrastructure in Ukraine.
* The White House said Russia’s attack on Odesa cast doubt on the grain deal and the United States was exploring options to increase Ukrainian exports through overland routes.
“This (strike on Odesa) should not affect – and will not affect – the beginning of (grain) shipments,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. (Compiled by Stephen Coates)