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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Explosions rocked the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Saturday, the mayor said, at the end of a week in which Russian missiles have slammed into an apartment block and a shopping mall in other cities, killing dozens of people.

FIGHTING

* Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets.”

* Russian strikes hit five Ukrainian army command posts in the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions, three storage sites in Zaporizhzhia region and a Ukrainian weapons and equipment base at a tractor factory in Kharkiv, the defense ministry was quoted as saying.

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* Russians have been shelling the eastern city of Lysychansk from different directions, the regional governor said. Russian forces have captured an oil refinery, one report said, citing Russia’s defense ministry. * Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.

* Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov inspected divisions of Russian troops involved in Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, Russia’s defense ministry said.

DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY

* In the event of an acute gas shortage, the city of Hamburg will ration hot water for private households and limit the maximum heating temperature, its environment senator said, as Germany braces for possible outages of Russian gas imports.

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* The United States is sending Ukraine two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition as part of its latest weapons packages for Ukraine.

*President Vladimir Putin issued a decree that seizes full control of the Sakhalin-2 gas and oil project in Russia’s far east, a move that could force out Shell and Japanese investors.

* A Reuters examination of companies, executives and investors underpinning Russia’s defense sector shows a sizable number have yet to be affected by Western sanctions.

* Ukraine’s nuclear power operator said it had re-established its connection to surveillance systems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, which is occupied by Russian forces.

QUOTES

* “There are powerful explosions in the city! Stay in shelters!” Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevich wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

* “Almost all the city infrastructure is destroyed. We are living without gas, electricity, and water since May,” Sergei Oleinik, 65, resident of Russian-occupied Sievierodonetsk, told Reuters. “We are glad that this ended, and soon maybe reconstruction will start, and we will be back to more or less normal life.” (Compiled by Lincoln Feast and Catherine Evans)



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