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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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Ukrainian forces have attacked the Russian-held eastern town of Balakliia in the Kharkiv region, a senior pro-Moscow separatist official said, as Ukrainian officials remained guarded about how their counter-offensive was faring.

ENERGY

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* U.N. chief Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to agree to a demilitarized perimeter around the Russian-held Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant.

* Russia’s Gazprom says it has signed an agreement to start switching payments for gas supplies to China to yuan and roubles instead of dollars.

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* Myanmar has started buying Russian oil products and is ready to pay for deliveries in roubles, the RIA news agency cited junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as saying.

BATTLEFIELD REPORTS

* The Russian-installed commandant of a southern Ukrainian city was seriously wounded in a blast, an official said, the latest in a series of apparent assassination attempts in occupied areas.

* Though Ukrainian officials did not give specific details, military bloggers and witnesses reported fighting around Balakliia, an eastern town between Kharkiv and Russian-held Izyum.

DIPLOMACY/POLITICS

* Russia could be about to buy “literally millions” of artillery shells and rockets from old Cold War ally North Korea, the White House said.

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* Russia questioned a U.N.-brokered deal with Ukraine to boost grain and fertilizer exports by both countries, accusing Western states of failing to honor pledges to help facilitate Russia’s shipments.

* Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, spoke with President Zelenskiy in her first call with a foreign leader and accepted an invitation for her to visit Ukraine.

ECONOMY/MARKETS

* The head of Russia’s VTB said that the banking sector had largely overcome the most serious effects of Western sanctions and that systemic capitalisation of Russian banks was likely not needed.

* The U.S. Treasury is seeking to design a simple compliance regime for enforcing a price cap on Russian oil exports and hopes that China and India join the coalition or at least take advantage of it, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.

QUOTE

* “It’s an indication of how much his defense industrial establishment is suffering as a result of this war and the degree of desperation.” White House national security spokesperson Kirby said of Putin’s arms purchases from North Korea.

(Compiled by Stephen Coates)



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