Russia-Ukraine crisis

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

TAKING SHELTER. People take shelter in a subway station, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

(22nd UPDATE) Here's what you need to know about the Russia-Ukraine crisis happening now

Efforts to evacuate more civilians from the devastated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol ran into delays and hundreds remained trapped in the Azovstal steel works, the last stronghold of resistance to the Russian siege. (LIVE UPDATES: Russia-Ukraine crisis)

  • A Russian rocket strike hit a strategically important bridge across the Dniester estuary in the Odesa region of southwest Ukraine, authorities said.
  • Russia’s defense ministry said it had carried out a missile strike on a military airfield near the port of Odesa, destroying a runway and a hangar with Western-supplied weapons and ammunition.
  • Ukraine has formally closed its four Black and Azov sea ports, which Russian forces have captured “until the restoration of control,” the Ukrainian agriculture ministry said.
  • A Ukrainian Bayraktar drone destroyed two Russian Raptor-class patrol ships in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s military chief said.
  • The UN human rights office said the civilian death toll in Ukraine since the February 24 start of the Russian invasion had exceeded 3,000 people.

Reuters could not immediately verify reports of battlefield developments.

Diplomacy, civilians
  • Buses seeking to evacuate more civilians from Mariupol have not yet reached the agreed pickup point, the city council said, contradicting an earlier report that they had left.
  • Cowering in the labyrinth of Soviet-era bunkers far beneath the vast Azovstal steel works, Natalia Usmanova felt her heart would stop she was so terrified as Russian bombs rained down on Mariupol. She spoke to Reuters after being evacuated from the plant.
  • Israel lambasted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for claiming that Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins, calling it an “unforgivable” falsehood.
  • 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.
  • Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre canceled, without giving a reason, a series of shows this week by directors who have spoken out against the war in Ukraine.
Business and the economy
  • Poland is ready to help Germany wean itself off Russian oil, its climate minister said, adding that she hoped a European Union embargo could come into force before the end of the year.
  • EU energy ministers were set to hold emergency talks, seeking a united response to Moscow’s demand that European buyers pay for its gas in roubles or face their supply being cut off.
  • Germany would be able to weather an EU embargo on Russian oil imports by the end of this year even though it could lead to shortages, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, appearing to throw his weight behind a ban.
  • ​”I don’t even want to speak about what’s happening with the people living in Popasna, Rubizhne and Novotoshkivske right now,” said Luhansk regional Governor Serhiy Gaidai. “These cities simply don’t exist anymore. They have completely destroyed them.”