Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Ukraine said it will try on Wednesday to evacuate civilians through six “humanitarian corridors” Russia said it would provide, including from the besieged southern port city of Mariupol.

CORRIDORS

* Both Russia and Ukraine said they would “observe a regime of silence” from 0700 GMT to provide safe passage from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol, though until Wednesday only the corridor from Sumy has been opened.

DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Turkey on Wednesday for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

SANCTIONS

* The European Union has agreed more sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine that will hit Russian lawmakers and oligarchs, the maritime sector and three Belarusian banks.

* Britain had impounded a plane linked to a Russian billionaire as its new aviation sanctions kicked in.* A U.S. ban on imports of Russia’s oil sparked a further increase in oil prices, which have surged more than 30% since Russia invaded its neighbour on Feb. 24.

* Russia is reducing the use of U.S. dollars following Western sanctions, the RIA news agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

* Moscow said on Wednesday it was working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the West’s most sensitive areas.

CORPORATE EXODUS

* Coca-Colaand McDonald’s joined a growing list of companies suspending sales in Russia where a senior member of the ruling party has warned that foreign firms which close down could see their operations nationalised.

*Ukraine must hold off Russia’s attack for the next seven to 10 days to deny Moscow claiming any sort of victory, a senior Ukrainian official said.

* Ukrainian troops held off Russian forces trying to enter the eastern city of Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.

* Russian forces have repeatedly tried to seize the southern regional capital of Mykolayiv but were pushed back by Ukrainian troops, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said. * Britain said Ukraine’s air defences were having success against Russian jets, likely preventing Russia from controlling the airspace.

* The United Nations human rights office said it had verified 474 civilian deaths and 861 injuries, but the true toll was likely to be higher.

* Ukraine says its forces have killed more than 11,000 Russian troops. Russia has confirmed about 500 losses. Neither side has disclosed Ukrainian casualties.

FLEEING THE CONFLICT

About 2.1-2.2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion begun, the head of the U.N.’s refugee agency said on Wednesday. EU officials say up to 5 million could leave if the conflict continues.

AID

* U.S. congressional leaders reached a bipartisan agreement to allocate $13.6 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine alongside a separate package for pandemic relief.

* The International Monetary Fund is poised to approve $1.4 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine on Wednesday, its head Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday. 

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