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- Ukraine cut the flow of Russian natural gas headed to the rest of Europe, posing a fresh danger to the continent’s energy security as it works to wean itself off of Russian fossil resources, according to the Wall Street Journal. The corporation in charge of Ukraine’s pipeline network blocked gas flow via a major entrance point in the country’s east on Wednesday, blaming Russian soldiers for interfering with crucial gas infrastructure. Meanwhile, the European Union failed to agree on how to phase out Russian oil, the Washington Post added.
- Russian-appointed officials in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson declared preparations for annexation by Russia on Wednesday, prompting Ukraine to respond that those authorities may as well want to join “Mars or Jupiter,” USA Today noted. Officials also said that a bank for converting money to Russian rubles will open in the region by the end of May and will eventually become part of the Bank of Russia.
- Ukraine will prosecute a Russian soldier in connection with the murder of a 62-year-old man in the country’s northeast, the first member of the Russian armed forces to stand trial, CNN reported. Ukrainian officials said Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian soldier, killed an unarmed local who was riding a bicycle along the road in the hamlet of Chupakhivka on Feb. 28.
- Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated Thursday that the nation should seek NATO membership “as soon as possible,” a declaration that underscores the clearest indication that Finland will make a formal application to join the defense alliance, CNBC wrote. Membership would be unprecedented for the Nordic country, which has maintained a policy of armed neutrality for decades.