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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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Ukrainian authorities found a mass grave of more than 440 bodies in the northeastern town of Izium that was recaptured from Russian forces days ago, officials said. Some of those people had been killed by shelling and air strikes, police said.

* Reuters could not immediately verify the Ukrainian claim and there was no immediate public comment from Russia on the allegation. Russia denies targeting civilians.

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FIGHTING

* Reuters video from the eastern town of Kupiansk, which Ukrainian forces recaptured last week, showed many buildings had been damaged or burned out.

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* Authorities in Kryvyi Rih are working to repair the damage to a reservoir dam from Russian missile strikes and as a result water levels are receding, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential administration.

* Ukrainian forces repelled three Russian attacks north of the city of Donetsk, the armed forces’ general staff said in a Facebook post.

* Russian forces had launched attacks on several settlements on the Kharkiv frontline, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said.

* Reuters was not able to verify battlefield reports.

* The United States will soon announce a new $600 million arms package for Ukraine to help the Ukrainian military defend itself against Russia, U.S. officials said.

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ECONOMY

* The United States imposed new sanctions to punish those supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, targeting people and entities it accused of helping Moscow skirt financial sanctions, steal Ukrainian grain and violate human rights.

DIPLOMACY

* Russian President Putin said he understood that China’s leader Xi Jinping had questions and concerns about the situation in Ukraine but praised Xi for what he said was a “balanced” position on the conflict.

* European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, visiting Kyiv, said Ukraine was making good progress towards joining the EU.

QUOTES

* Asked during a news conference if it was morally right for countries to send weapons to Ukraine, Pope Francis said: “This is a political decision which it can be moral, morally acceptable, if it is done under conditions of morality.”

“It can be immoral if the intention is provoking more war, or to sell arms or dump arms that (a country) no longer needs. The motivation is what in large part qualifies the morality of this action,” the pope said. (Compiled by Grant McCool)



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