Ukraine-Russia War: Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday agreed to a day-long ceasefire around a series of evacuation corridors to allow civilians to escape the fighting.
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story
- Russia says it’s not trying to “overthrow” the Ukraine government, reports news agency AFP.
- Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday agreed to a day-long ceasefire around a series of evacuation corridors to allow civilians to escape the fighting. Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Moscow vowed to respect the truce from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm around six areas that have been heavily hit by the fighting, including regions near Kyiv, in Zaporizhzhia in the south, and some parts of Ukraine’s northeast.
- Russia warned the West on Wednesday that it was working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the West’s most sensitive areas. “Russia’s reaction will be swift, thoughtful and sensitive for those it addresses,” Dmitry Birichevsky, the director of the foreign ministry’s department for economic cooperation, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
- The number of people fleeing Ukraine since the Russian invasion began has probably now reached 2.1-2.2 million, the head of the United Nation’s refugee agency UNHCR said on Wednesday. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told a news conference that “the time is now to try to help at the border”, rather than discussions on the division of refugees between countries.
- The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is no longer transmitting data to the UN’s atomic watchdog, the agency said, as it voiced concern for staff working under Russian guard at the Ukrainian facility. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi “indicated that remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl NPP had been lost”, the agency said in a statement
- The European Union has agreed to add more Russian oligarchs and officials to its sanctions blacklist, tighten controls on cryptocurrency transfers and target the maritime sector over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, diplomats said Wednesday.
- President Zelenskyy has urged British MPs to designate Russia as a “terrorist state” after President Vladimir Putin ordered a special military operation against his nation and called for tougher sanctions on Moscow to “make sure our skies are safe”.
- The United States rejected a Polish offer to send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine via a US airbase, saying the proposal raised “serious concerns” for the entire NATO alliance. Under the proposed scheme, those jets could then be deployed to Ukraine, while the Polish air force would receive F-16 fighters as replacements.
- McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have suspended their operations in Russia over Moscow’s internationally condemned invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden announced a ban on US imports of Russian oil, gas and coal, saying Ukraine will “never be a victory for Putin”. Britain said it will also phase out Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
- Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said he is no longer pressing for NATO membership for Ukraine, a delicate issue that was one of Russia’s stated reasons for invading its pro-Western neighbour. Referring to NATO membership, Zelensky said through an interpreter that he does not want to be president of a “country which is begging something on its knees.”