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Ukraine: Latest developments you need to know

Russian forces have doubled their tactics in a concentrated assault on the eastern part of Ukraine, having retreated from the north Kyiv.

As the Ukrainian army recaptured territories of Kyiv and Chernihiv, the onslaught persists in other areas particularly in Donbas east of the country.

Here are some updates on the war in Ukraine.

– ‘Act immediately’ –

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky challenges the United Nations to “act immediately” or “dissolve yourself altogether” during an address in which he shows harrowing footage of dead bodies – including children – he says were victims of Russian atrocities.

Likening Russia’s actions in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities to violence carried out by “terrorists” such as the Islamic State group, Zelensky calls on the Security Council to expel Russia “so it cannot block decisions about its own aggression, its own war”.

– Moscow denies atrocities –

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the discovery of bodies in Bucha was a “provocation” aimed at scuppering talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

“A question arises: What purpose does this blatantly untruthful provocation serve? We are led to believe it is to find a pretext to torpedo the ongoing negotiations,” Lavrov says in a video message broadcast on Russian television.

– US announces military aid –

Washington announces it will send $100 million in additional anti-armour weapons to Ukraine, bringing the US military aid to Ukraine to over $1.7 billion, according to the Pentagon.

– 600,000 evacuated to Russia –

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia says over 600,000 people have been evacuated into Russia during the conflict in Ukraine, denying Kyiv’s claim of mass deportations.

“And we’re not talking about any kind of coercion or abduction, as our Western partners like to present this, but rather the voluntary decision by these people…,” he tells the Security Council.

– Donbas onslaught feared –

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says that, after withdrawing most of its troops from northern Ukraine, Moscow aims to capture the “entire” Donbas region in the east, with the aim of creating a land corridor from Russia to annexed Crimea.

– Cluster munitions –

UN Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, tells the Security Council of “credible” claims Russia has used indiscriminate cluster munitions two dozen times in populated parts of Ukraine.

– War chest frozen –

Britain has frozen some $350 billion (321 billion euros) in assets from the “war chest” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says during a visit to Warsaw.

She says this action meant that “over 60 per cent of the regime’s $604 billion foreign currency reserves” were now “unavailable” to the Russian government.

– US squeezes Russia payments –

The United States bars Moscow from making debt payments using funds held at American banks – a move that takes Russia a step closer to default.

“Russia must choose between draining remaining valuable dollar reserves or new revenue coming in, or default,” a Treasury spokesperson tells AFP.

On Wednesday, the US, G7 and EU are expected to ban all new investments in Russia in a new round of sanctions.

– EU to target Russian coal –

The EU proposes a ban on Russian coal imports and on Russian ships entering European ports.

“Russia is waging a cruel, ruthless war, also against Ukraine’s civilian population. We need to sustain utmost pressure at this critical point,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says.

– Putin warning on food –

Putin retaliates by saying Moscow will “carefully monitor” food exports to “hostile” nations.

He cites “global food shortages” for the need in caution in exporting “to countries that are clearly hostile towards us”.

– Russian government Twitter limits –

Twitter says it will introduce new measures against Russian government accounts to reduce the impacts of official propaganda.

Moscow restricts access to Twitter and has blocked Facebook and Instagram.

– Mariupol helicopters hit –

Russia says it shot down two Ukrainian helicopters that were trying to evacuate leaders of the controversial nationalist Azov battalion from besieged Mariupol.

It also says it proposed that Ukrainian fighters lay down their arms and leave the city “via an agreed route” to territory under Kyiv’s control, adding that Ukraine had “ignored” the suggestion.

AFP

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