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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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Ukrainian officials said on Friday they had found hundreds of bodies, some with their hands tied behind their backs, buried in territory recaptured from Russian forces, in what President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called proof of war crimes by the invaders.

There was no immediate public comment from Russia, which denies deliberately attacking civilians.

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FIGHTING

* Zelenskiy told Reuters in an interview on Friday it was too early to say the tide of the war was turning and that the outcome hinged on the swift delivery of foreign weapons to his country.

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* Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his first comments on Ukraine’s counteroffensive, on Friday brushed off the advances with a smile but warned that Russia would respond more forcefully if its troops were put under further pressure.

* United Nations human rights monitors will go to Izium “to try to establish a bit more about what may have happened,” a spokesperson said on Friday.

* Ukraine continues its offensive in the northeast while Russia has established a defensive line between the Oskil River and the town of Svatove, protecting one of its few main resupply routes from Russia’s Belgorod region, British military intelligence said on Saturday.

* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

SANCTIONS AND DIPLOMACY

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* Western sanctions are starting to hurt Russia’s ability to make advanced weaponry for the war in Ukraine, a top NATO military adviser told Reuters on Friday, though he said Russia could still manufacture “a lot of ammunition.”

* Despite Putin’s assertion that Russia is not isolated because it can look to Asian powers like China and India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assailed the Kremlin chief on Friday, telling Putin this was not the time for war.

* A day earlier, Putin acknowledged what he said were Chinese President Xi Jinping’s concerns about the conflict.

* Zelenskiy said on Friday he would back the idea of reopening Russian ammonia exports through Ukraine only if Moscow handed back prisoners of war, an idea the Kremlin quickly rejected. (Compiled by William Mallard and Frances Kerry)



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