Thu, 07 July 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Update : 19 Mar 2022, 10:18

Russia said its forces were "tightening the noose" around the besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol and concern grew over mass civilian casualties as the United States again warned China against aiding Moscow in its invasion.

Civilian Toll
* Ukraine's food supply chains are breaking down and the conflict is leading to "collateral hunger" across the world, U.N. food aid agency warned.
* Kyiv officials said 222 people were killed in the capital since the start of the war, including 60 civilians and four children.
* Border crossings from Ukraine have slowed in recent days but could rise again if conditions in the west of the country worsened, U.N refugee agency said. U.N. says 3.27 million have fled since Feb 24, with further two million displaced inside the country.
* U.N. rights office reported 816 confirmed civilian deaths.

Fighting
* In Mariupol, daily life is a series of harrowing escapes from bomb blasts and basic survival rituals, amid the rubble that lies everywhere. Uncollected corpses are wrapped in blankets and the dead are often buried in common graves.
* "Russian forces have made minimal progress this week," Britain said in a daily intelligence update. It said Russian attempts to surround Kyiv and Mykolaiv have been pushed back while heavy Russian shelling of encircled cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol continued.

Diplomacy
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow, saying Russia would otherwise need generations to recover from losses suffered during the war.
* Ukraine expects progress on its EU membership bid within months, Zelenskiy said after a call with the head of EU executive Ursula von der Leyen.
* Poland will formally ask for an U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ukraine at the next NATO summit, its prime minister said.

Economy and markets
* Russia's central bank kept its key rate at 20% and announced purchases of government bonds in the face of a spike in inflation and a looming economic contraction.
* The International Energy Agency announced a 10-point plan to cut oil use as Russia's invasion of Ukraine adds to supply concerns.
* Moscow averted a debt default with interest payments on two dollar bonds this week, but faces a busy payment schedule in weeks ahead.

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