Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know now

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the Ukraine crisis right now:


* The British Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that the bulk of the Russian forces participating in the advance on the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, are now 30 km from the city center. Read more

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* The Russian Interfax news agency said that Russian forces had captured the southeastern city of Melitopol, while Moscow launched coordinated missile and artillery attacks on several cities, including Kiev. Read more

Britain’s Armed Forces Minister James Hebby said Britain does not believe that Russian forces have captured Melitopol. Read more

* Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack in the Lviv region near Brody in western Ukraine, the Mayor of Lviv was quoted by the Telegram messaging service. Read more

– About 100,000 people have crossed the border into Poland from Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Severnaker said at a press conference, including 9,000 who entered since seven in the morning on Saturday. Read more

* A central bank governor within the euro zone told Reuters that a decision to cut Russia off from the global SWIFT payment system would be taken within days. Read more

* The Russian Information Agency quoted Deputy Chief of Security Dmitry Medvedev as saying that Russia will respond to the confiscation of funds of Russian citizens and companies abroad by confiscating the funds of foreigners and foreign companies in Russia. Read more

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* At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, were killed as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. Read more

* A spokesman for the French army said that France has decided to send defensive military equipment to Ukraine to support the country in the face of the Russian invasion, adding that the issue of sending offensive weapons is still being studied. Read more

– Russian energy giant Gazprom said it was supplying gas via Ukraine in line with European consumers’ demand despite the military conflict. Read more

* A government official told Reuters that French naval police seized a ship that French authorities said may be owned by a Russian company suspected of violating trade sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine early on Saturday. Read more

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the Ukrainian military to overthrow the country’s leadership and negotiate peace. Read more

* Spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on social media that Ukraine and Russia are discussing where and when to hold talks.

Russia vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution on Friday that would regret Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, while China abstained from the vote. Read more

China is in a diplomatic struggle to limit backlash while siding with a partner with whom it has become increasingly close vis-à-vis the West. Read more

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* President Joe Biden instructed the US State Department to release $350 million in military aid to Ukraine, and asked Congress to approve $6.4 billion in aid to address the humanitarian and security crisis. Read more

– The White House said that the United States, in a rare move, will impose sanctions on Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The European Union and Canada are doing the same. Read more

* Ukraine says more than 1,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. Russia has not released casualty figures. The United Nations said 25 civilians were killed and 102 wounded. Read more


– Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message posted on social media: “We have withstood and successfully repelled enemy attacks. The fighting continues.”

“We will not drop our weapons, we will defend our state,” said Zelensky.

– The messaging service Telegram quoted Lviv Mayor Andrei Sadovyi as saying, “The (Ukrainian) armed forces are repelling the occupier! We are keeping the situation under control.”

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Editing by William Mallard and Mark Potter

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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