What you need to know now

STRUGGLE

* Russia has exacted its grimmer toll yet on its invasion of Ukraine, describing the “tragedy” of mounting troop losses and the economic shock of sanctions as Ukrainians were evacuated from eastern cities ahead of a planned major offensive.

* British military intelligence said Russian forces shelled eastern and southern towns and advanced further south to the town of Izium, which is under their control. Reuters could not immediately verify this report.

* The capture of Mariupol is still the main objective of Russian troops, and Russian battalions are blockading and shelling the northeastern city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian army said.

* The United States will send new weapons systems to Ukraine after NATO foreign ministers decide to speed up arms shipments. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned of a war that could last months or even years.

VICTIMS OF CONFLICT

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the situation in Borodyanka, a town northwest of Kyiv, was “significantly more likely” than in Bucha, where Ukraine and the West say Russian forces have been killing civilians in war crimes. He did not give any evidence. Moscow denies attacks on civilians.

* Borodyanka video showed search and rescue teams using heavy equipment to dig through the rubble of a collapsed building. Hundreds of people are feared to be buried.

* A Reuters-verified and geotagged social media video in an area west of Kyiv appears to show Ukrainian forces shooting and killing a captured and seriously injured Russian soldier.

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

* Ukraine said it intends to set up as many as 10 humanitarian corridors on Friday to evacuate trapped civilians, but civilians trying to flee besieged Mariupol will have to use private vehicles.

* At least 160,000 civilians remain trapped in Mariupol with no electricity and little food or running water, the city’s mayor said, bringing the city’s civilian casualties to about 5,000. Reuters could not verify these figures.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* The UN General Assembly voted to exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council and expressed deep concern at the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis in Ukraine. Russia called this decision illegal.

* Ukraine and Russia are “constantly” holding online peace talks, but sentiment has been dampened by events such as the deaths of Buca civilians, Ukraine’s chief negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said on Friday.

* The European Union on Friday officially passed its fifth round of sanctions against Russia, including import bans on coal, wood, chemicals and other products. It will also prevent many Russian ships and trucks from entering the EU and ban all transactions with four Russian banks, including VTB.

* Britain on Friday added Vladimir Putin’s daughters to its sanctions list, mirroring moves by the United States allegedly seeking to target the lifestyle of those in the Russian president’s inner circle.

QUOTES

* “I think the agreement offered by Ukraine is fair. They give us weapons, we sacrifice our lives, and the war in Ukraine is contained,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

* “The whole world is not comfortable. Do you think anyone should be comfortable with this crisis?” Zhang Jun, the ambassador to the United Nations of China, Russia’s strategic partner, in response to his American counterpart’s remarks.

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