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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Western officials accused their Russian counterparts of war crimes on Friday after Russian missiles struck a Ukrainian city far behind the frontlines in an attack Kyiv officials said killed at least 23 people.

ECONOMY/DIPLOMACY

* The European Commission is set to adopt its seventh package of sanctions against Russia, which will add a ban to the import of Russian gold and tweak existing restrictive measures to avoid hampering food exports, two officials said on Friday.

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday urged Group of 20 major economies to take urgent action to address a short-term food insecurity crisis exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and avoid market-distorting export restrictions and stockpiling.

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* Yellen condemned Russia’s “brutal and unjust war” in Ukraine and said Russian finance officials taking part in a G20 meeting in Indonesia shared responsibility for the “horrific consequences” of the war.

* The European Union has “shot itself in the lungs” with ill-considered economic sanctions on Russia, which, unless rolled back, risk destroying the European economy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

FIGHTING

* Russian forces have been slowly advancing west following shelling and probing assaults towards the town of Siversk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region from Lysychansk, Britain’s defense ministry said on Friday. “Bakhmut is likely to be the next objective, once Siversk is secured,” the ministry tweeted in a regular bulletin.

* Ukraine is using Western-supplied long-range weapons and 155mm “smart” shells to hit Russian ammo dumps and supply lines, forcing Moscow to rethink how it supplies fuel and ammunition to the front line, a Ukrainian general said.

* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts. (Compiled by Nick Macfie)



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