Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Multiple people were killed and a dozen injured after apartment buildings in Kyiv were damaged by artillery shelling Monday and early Tuesday as Russian soldiers pushed closer to Ukraine’s capital, and continued targeting civilians across Ukraine, especially in Kharkiv to the east. Russia has taken control of southern cities such as Kherson and Melitopol but is still laying siege to Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and others as it attempts to encircle the capital. The attack came as Russian and Ukrainian representatives held a fourth round of talks to achieve a ceasefire, Al Jazeera noted, with plans to continue Tuesday. Meanwhile, Russia accused Ukraine of committing “war crimes” after an attack by Kyiv’s forces on the separatist stronghold of Donetsk in the eastern part of the country left more than 20 people dead, Agence France-Presse reported. Donetsk was one of two provinces whose independence was recognized by Russia last month.
  • On Monday, Russia’s finance ministry said that it had authorized a temporary method for repaying foreign currency debt but cautioned that payments would be made in rubles if sanctions prevented banks from honoring loans in the currency of issue, according to the Guardian. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund warned that Russia’s default was not unthinkable anymore amid global sanctions that have devastated its economy, the Hill added.
  • The United Nations is stepping up its attempts to avert a worldwide food supply catastrophe as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine damages agriculture in one of the world’s biggest grain-producing countries. Compounding the problem is that the agricultural industry has joined the list of global enterprises refusing to do business with Russia, the Washington Post wrote.
  • Major military exercises involving 30,000 NATO troops and partner countries kicked off in Norway Monday as tensions escalated between the West and Russia over the Ukraine war, according to Al Jazeera.
  • Britain said Moscow may seek to stage a “referendum” in Kherson in a bid to create another “breakaway republic” similar to separatist areas in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea. The officials also said Russia was replacing mayors in cities it had captured such as Melitopol, where the mayor was “kidnapped,” the Post reported. Meanwhile, demonstrations have been breaking out in cities held by Russia such as Kherson and Melitopol.
  • The UN said 2.8 million have fled Ukraine, with more than 1.7 million taken by Poland.

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