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Ukraine and Russia: what you need to know


* Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides on Thursday after Moscow mounted an assault by land, sea and air.

* After nightfall, a picture was emerging of fierce fighting across multiple fronts. Russian forces had captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant on the route between Belarus and Kyiv, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said, while a senior US defence official said Russian forces were advancing closer to the capital.

* Ukraine authorities said at least 70 people had been killed and many more wounded.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said his aim was to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. He said any hindrance would be met by “such consequences that you have never encountered in your history.”

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a new Iron Curtain was falling and closing Russia off from the civilised world.

* US President Joe Biden said Putin’s action was about naked aggression. He unveiled new sanctions on its banks and wealthy elite and sweeping export restrictions.

* Biden also said Washington was working with allies on a release of oil from strategic reserves after the oil price shot up.

* Britain, Canada, the EU and other countries also unveiled sanctions against Russia, targeting banks and members of Putin’s closest circle.

* Thousands of Ukrainians sought to escape to neighbouring countries, including Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN refugee agency estimated that 100,000 had fled their homes.

* In Russia, police detained more than 1,600 people at anti-war protests in 53 cities, according to a rights monitor. Protesters rallied in support of Ukraine in cities across the world.

* Stock markets tumbled, with shares in financial firms particularly hard-hit, and Russia’s rouble hit an all-time low. But US stocks turned positive as the West detailed its sanctions against Russia.

* Major buyers of Russian oil were struggling with bank guarantees, according to sources.


– “I have decided to conduct a special military operation… to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide,” Putin said. “We will strive for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.”

– “Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself & won’t give up its freedom,” Zelenskiy said.

– “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said.


* The UN Security Council is likely to vote on Friday on a draft resolution condemning Russia for invading Ukraine and requiring it to unconditionally withdraw, a senior US administration official said.

* NATO will hold an emergency summit on Friday.

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