Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russia issued a last ultimatum to Ukrainian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol on Wednesday to surrender. The city’s defenders, pleading for international assistance, declared that they were “probably facing our last days, if not hours,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Meanwhile, Kyiv has reached a preliminary agreement with Russia on Wednesday to create a humanitarian corridor to evacuate women, children and the elderly from Mariupol, Radio Free Europe noted.
  • The ultimatum comes amid reports by British intelligence that Ukrainian forces are repelling “numerous attempted advances” by Russia in the eastern Donbas region, CNBC added. Even so, Ukrainian officials said the city of Kreminna had fallen to Russian forces, the first to be captured in this phase of the war.
  • European Council chief Charles Michel met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday, the latest EU leader to do so since the invasion began in late February, Politico noted. Meanwhile, Finnish lawmakers began debating in parliament whether it should seek NATO membership, according to Al Jazeera. At the same time, a poll found that a growing number of Swedes are in favor of joining the military alliance, Reuters wrote.
  • According to UN figures, more than five million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s February invasion, making it Europe’s greatest refugee crisis since World War II, the Hill reported.
  • Russian and Belarussian tennis players have been barred from playing at Wimbledon this year because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Sky News.

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