Russia-Ukraine live news– Ukraine is evacuating civilians through six “humanitarian corridors”, including from Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says after Russia declares a temporary ceasefire.
- The European Commission announces a plan to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year.
- United States President Joe Biden bans imports of Russian oil and gas, while the United Kingdom says it will phase out Russian energy products by year’s end.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for more Western action against Moscow as Russian advance continues.
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Here are all the latest updates:
Saudi, UAE leaders decline call with Biden: Report
The de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) declined requests from Washington for talks by phone with Biden in recent weeks amid efforts by the White House to build international support for Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing unnamed Middle Eastern and US officials.
The alleged refusals from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan come as the two Gulf states, which for decades have been closely aligned with the US, continue to pursue deeper relations with Washington’s rivals – Moscow and Beijing.
Kyiv’s residents ‘holding their breath for what’s coming next’: AJE correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, reporting from Kyiv, says people in the capital are “very well aware … [it] is the main prize in this war”.
“There’s been a very eerie silence, people who are still in the city are holding their breath for what’s coming next,” Vaessen said.
“But this silence has been interrupted in the last hour by artillery fire coming from the northeast of the city. We know there’s also heavy fighting in the northwest – if a bridge in the town of Irpin falls in to the hands of Russian troops then the next stop will be Kyiv,” she added.
Vaessen described a palpable feeling of “tension, fear and stress” in the city among those who had opted not to flee and are now readying to defend it from an anticipated Russian attack.
“They have put up barricades with whatever they could find and there are checkpoints everywhere,” she said.
“The Russian advance to the capital has been stalled in the last week, but there [are fears] the advance – and even heavy bombardment – on Kyiv could happen in the next few days.”
Ukraine makes new attempt to get civilians out of Mariupol, other cities
Ukraine will try to evacuate civilians through six “humanitarian corridors”, including from the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.
She said in a video statement that Ukrainian armed forces had agreed to stop firing in those areas from 9am until 9pm (07:00-19:00 GMT) and urged Russian forces to fulfil their commitment to local ceasefires.
China to provide $791,540 worth of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine
The Chinese Red Cross will provide a batch of humanitarian assistance worth 5 million yuan ($791,540) to Ukraine, consisting of daily necessities, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has said.
China has refused to describe Russia’s activities in Ukraine as invasion. Russia calls its actions a “special operation”.
Enerhodar says civilians can be evacuated
The mayor of the southeastern Ukrainian city of Enerhodar has said a temporary ceasefire was in force, allowing the evacuation of civilians to start through a “humanitarian corridor”.
Mayor Dmytro Orlov said humanitarian supplies would be allowed into the city, which has been under fire from Russian forces, and added: “On the way back, buses will pick up civilians who want to leave.”
He said civilians would be able to go to the nearby city of Zaporizhzhia.
Russia’s Gazprom continues gas shipments via Ukraine at same level
Russian natural gas company Gazprom has continued gas shipments via Ukraine at the same volume of 109.5 million cubic metres a day, the company has said.
Russia warns the West: Our sanctions will hurt you
Russia has warned the West that it is working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the West’s most sensitive areas.
“Russia’s reaction will be swift, thoughtful and sensitive for those it addresses,” Dmitry Birichevsky, the director of the foreign ministry’s department for economic cooperation, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
EU’s von der Leyen says have enough gas for this winter
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the bloc has bought enough liquefied natural gas that it should be independent of Russian imports up until the end of the winter.
Von der Leyen also told Germany’s ARD television that sanctions against Russia were designed to cause maximum impact on Moscow, while causing the least damage possible to Western economies.
UK’s Mothercare suspends all business in Russia
UK baby products retailer Mothercare has said all its business in Russia, including shipment of all products, has been suspended.
The company said its local partner in Russia will be pausing operations in about 120 stores and online.
Russia represents around 20 to 25 percent of Mothercare’s worldwide retail sales and was previously expected to contribute around 0.5 million pounds ($0.7m) per month to group profit.
Top lawmakers reach deal on Ukraine aid
Congressional leaders have reached a bipartisan deal providing $13.6bn to help Ukraine and European allies plus billions more to battle the pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the rest of this year.
Though a tiny portion of the massive bill, the money responding to the Russian blitzkrieg ensured robust bipartisan support for the legislation.
President Joe Biden had requested $10bn for military, humanitarian and economic aid last week, and Democratic and Republican backing was so staunch that the figure grew to $12bn Monday and $13.6bn just a day later.
Ukraine bans exports of several grains, sugar, salt, meat
Ukraine’s government has banned exports of rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, sugar, salt, and meat until the end of this year, according to a cabinet resolution.
Russia reducing use of US dollar: Foreign ministry
Russia is reducing the use of US dollars in its reserves and external settlements after the West slapped sanctions on Russia, the RIA news agency has quoted the foreign ministry’s director of economic cooperation as saying.
Russia says Ukraine planned attack on rebel region in March
Russia’s defence ministry has said it has obtained secret documents which prove that Ukraine planned a March attack on Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The ministry published six pages of documents it said showed Kyiv planned a military assault on the Russian-backed rebel regions in Donbass.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the documents – written in Ukrainian – which appear to outline combat preparations for tactical military units.
Zelenskyy party proposes new security agreement for Ukraine
The Ukrainian Parliament majority Sluha Narodu Party has proposed to sign a new security guarantee agreement for Ukraine with the US, Turkey, and Russia instead of NATO membership, Ukrayinska Pravda news website has reported.
“The alliance is not ready to admit Ukraine over the course of at least the next 15 years and has made this clear,” the Sluha Narodu (Servant of the People) party announced. Therefore, it said, it was time to discuss concrete security guarantees with Russia.
By signing the agreement, Sluha Narodu suggested “Russia will be under a legal obligation to recognise Ukrainian statehood and refrain from threatening the Ukrainian people and its government,” Ukrayinska Pravda reported.
UAE minister, US’ Blinken discuss two-way ties, Ukraine: Report
The foreign minister of the UAE has discussed developments in Ukraine and ways to strengthen two-way ties during a telephone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the state news agency has said.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Blinken discussed the importance of reaching a political settlement to the Ukrainian crisis, it said.
UK says Ukraine’s air defences having considerable success against Russian jets
The UK has said Ukraine’s air defences were having success against Russian jets, likely preventing Russia from controlling the airspace.
“Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air,” the Ministry of Defence intelligence update posted on Twitter said.
The UK’s assessment also said Russian forces had failed to make any significant breakthroughs in fighting northwest of Kyiv.
French company Dassault Systemes suspends new business in Russia and Belarus
French technology company Dassault Systemes has said it has decided to suspend its new business in Russia and Belarus, joining a raft of companies.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” it said in a statement. “Dassault Systèmes has decided to suspend all new business in Russia and Belarus, and set the framework for it to take effect this week.
“We may maintain some minimal support activities for our existing customers who are not subject to sanctions, and will continue complying with all applicable export control restrictions and sanctions laws relevant to our operations as well as with the rules of ethics and international standards,” it said.
UK announces new aviation sanctions against Russia
The UK has unveiled new aviation sanctions giving it the power to detain any Russian aircraft and banning exports of aviation or space-related goods to Russia.
The UK will also strengthen its ban on Russian aircraft, making it a criminal offence for any to fly or land in the UK.
“The ban includes any aircraft owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individuals or entities, and will include the power to detain any aircraft owned by persons connected with Russia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Russia’s Lavrov to hold talks with Ukrainian counterpart in Turkey
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has traveled to Turkey where he will have talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, the TASS news agency has cited the Russian foreign ministry as saying.
Evacuation from Sumy to continue on Wednesday: Regional governor
A humanitarian corridor out of the besieged city of Sumy will continue to function on Wednesday, regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy has said.
About 5,000 people rode buses out of the northeastern city on Tuesday after Moscow and Kyiv agreed on the corridor, he said, and about 1,000 cars were also able to leave, moving towards the city of Poltava.
Air alert declared in Kyiv as fighting continues
An air alert has been declared in and around Kyiv, with residents urged to get to bomb shelters as quickly as possible.
“Kyiv region – air alert. Threat of a missile attack. Everyone immediately to shelters,” regional administration head Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram.
IAEA loses contact with Chernobyl nuclear data systems
The UN’s atomic watchdog says the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is no longer sending it data and voiced concern for staff working under Russian guard there.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi “indicated that remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl NPP had been lost”, the agency said in a statement.
The situation for the staff was also “worsening” at the site, the IAEA said, citing the Ukrainian nuclear regulator.
In Thailand, businesses feel economic shock of Ukraine war
Purithai Produce, a Bangkok-based produce exporter, says getting Thai fresh fruit and vegetables onto Russian supermarket shelves has become an almost impossible task amid Western sanctions on Moscow.
“We’ve basically lost market access to Russia,” said Peyton Enloe, managing director of Purithai Produce, which ships fresh and frozen produce to Europe, the US and Russia.
“My Russian customers told me people don’t have money to even buy the basics, let alone ‘exotic’ produce like mangos, durians, rambutans.”
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