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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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Heavy Russian strikes hit the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv, killing the owner of one of the country’s largest grain producing and exporting companies, the local governor said.

FIGHTING

* Oleksiy Vadatursky, founder and owner of agriculture company Nibulon and his wife, were killed in their home, Mykolaiv Governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described Vadatursky’s death as “a great loss for all of Ukraine.”

* Three people were also wounded in the attacks on Mikolaiv, the city’s Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych told Ukrainian television, adding 12 missiles had hit homes and educational facilities. He earlier described the strikes as “probably the most powerful” on the city of the entire five-month-old war.

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* Up to 50 Grad rockets hit residential areas in another southern city, Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Governor Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram. One person was wounded.

* Ukrainian forces struck the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Russian-held Sevastopol, the Crimean port city governor, Mikhail Razvozhayev told Russian media. Five members of staff were wounded in the attack when what was presumed to be a drone flew into the courtyard at the headquarters, he said. The Sevastopol attack coincided with Russia’s Navy Day,

* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

* Ukraine’s government has decided on a mandatory evacuation of people in the eastern Donetsk region, scene of fierce fighting with Russia, Zelenskiy said on Saturday. He also said the hundreds of thousands of people still in combat zones in the larger Donbas region needed to leave.

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ECONOMY

* Zelenskiy said the country’s harvest could be half its usual amount this year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

* The possibility of the first grain-exporting ship leaving Ukraine’s ports on Monday is high, a spokesperson for President Tayyip Erdogan said.

PRISONER DEATHS

* The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not yet received permission to visit the site of Friday’s attack that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, it said, condemning the incident at the Olenivka facility in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over who was responsible for the missile strike or explosion that appeared to have killed dozens of prisoners in the front-line town of Olenivka.

DIPLOMACY/WEAPONS

* President Vladimir Putin signed a new naval doctrine which cast the United States as Russia’s main rival and set out Russia’s global maritime ambitions for crucial areas such as the Arctic and in the Black Sea.

* Putin, speaking on Russia’s Navy Day, said the country’s navy would receive hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles within the next few months and that the area of their deployment would depend on Russian interests. (Compiled by Frances Kerry)

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