Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
(Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv, the latest show of support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia by a senior Western politician.
* Russia’s defence ministry said it had carried out a missile strike on a military airfield near the port city of Odesa, destroying a runway and a hangar containing weapons and ammunition. On Saturday, Ukraine said Russian missiles had knocked out a newly constructed runway at Odesa’s main airport. It was unclear if they were referring to the same incident.
* Ukraine said Russian planes had continued to launch strikes on the southeastern city of Mariupol, focussing on the Azovstal steelworks where troops and civilians are sheltering.
* A Ukrainian fighter inside the steelworks said on Saturday that 20 women and children had managed to leave the plant. The Russian defence ministry said on Sunday that 46 civilians had left the residential area around the plant on Saturday.
Reuters could not immediately verify reports of battlefield developments.
* Pelosi said she had met Zelenskiy to send the message that the United States stands firmly with Ukraine as it battles “Putin’s diabolic invasion”.
* Britain’s Foreign Office said Russia is using a troll factory to spread disinformation about the war on social media and target politicians across a number of countries including Britain and South Africa.
* Chancellor Olaf Scholz rejected criticism that Germany was not showing leadership in Western efforts to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons, saying that he’d rather be cautious than make hasty decisions.
BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY
* The European Union is leaning towards a ban on imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, two EU diplomats said, after talks between the European Commission and EU member states this weekend.
* Russia should confiscate property owned by Westerners in response to a proposal by U.S. President Joe Biden to transfer the frozen assets of Russia’s elite to Ukraine, Russia’s most senior lawmaker said.
* “I suffer and cry thinking of the suffering of the Ukrainian population, in particular the weakest, the elderly, the children,” Pope Francis, speaking to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.
* “They must be in shock … I know how trauma affects children, I know just having somebody show how much they matter, how much their voices matter, I know how healing that is for them,” Angelina Jolie, actress and a special envoy for the U.N. refugee agency, speaking about children displaced by war during a visit on Saturday to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
(Compiled by Frances Kerry)