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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Russia invited U.N. and Red Cross experts to probe the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners held by Moscow-backed separatists, an incident for which Russia and Ukraine each blame the other.

FIGHTING

* Zelenskiy announced a mandatory evacuation in the eastern province of Donetsk, scene of fierce fighting with Russia. Ukraine’s president said hundreds of thousands of people in combat zones in the Donbas, which also includes Luhansk province, needed to leave.

* Ukraine’s military said it had killed scores of Russian soldiers in the south, including the Kherson region that is the focus of a Ukrainian counteroffensive a key link in Moscow’s supply lines.

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* Rail traffic to Kherson over the Dnipro River has been cut, the Ukrainian military said, potentially further isolating Russian forces west of the river from supplies in occupied Crimea and the east.

* South of Bakhmut, the town cited by Russia as a prime target in Donetsk, Ukraine’s military said Russian forces had been “partially successful” in establishing control over the settlement of Semyhirya by storming it from three directions.

* Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed condolences over the deaths of the Ukrainian POWs in a phone call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

* Latvia does not expect Gazprom’s decision to halt gas exports to the Baltic country to have any major impact, said an official of Latvia’s economy ministry.

(Compiled by Jonathan Oatis and William Mallard)



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