The Ukrainian crisis roundup

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Here’s what you need to know about the Ukraine crisis so far:

HEADLINES

* A Ukrainian delegation is on its way to talks with Russia by helicopter and negotiations will kick off in a couple of hours, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in an online post. 

* Ukraine’s defence lines were holding against the Russian attack, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his latest video, adding there had been no respite in Moscow’s shelling of Ukraine since midnight. 

* Tens of millions of people in Ukraine are in “potentially mortal danger” as military operations escalate with bombings of major cities and reports of cluster weapons striking civilian targets, the top U.N. human rights official said. 

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday he believed some foreign leaders were preparing for war against Russia and that Moscow would press on with its military operation in Ukraine until “the end”. 

* Mariupol city council said Russia was constantly and deliberately shelling critical civilian infrastructure in the Ukrainian southern port, leaving it without water, heating or power and preventing bringing supplies or evacuating people. 

* An advance team left the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for the Ukraine region on Thursday to start investigating possible war crimes, its top prosecutor told Reuters in an interview. 

* French bank Societe Generale said it was working to cut its risks in Russia, fearing Moscow’s tit-for-tat response to Western sanctions, while Brazilian planemaker Embraer joined Airbus and Boeing in halting parts supplies to Russian airlines. 

* French customs have seized a yacht belonging to Rosneft ROSN.MM boss Igor Sechin as it tried to leave the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat in a breach of EU sanctions on Russian oligarchs, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. 

* Formula One will no longer race in Russia, it said in a statement, while Russian and Belarusian athletes were barred from the Winter Paralympics in Beijing on the eve of the Games.

QUOTES

* “We have nothing to lose but our own freedom,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his latest video.

* “The thought of nuclear is constantly spinning in the heads of Western politicians but not in the heads of Russians,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

* “In just seven days, one million people have fled Ukraine, uprooted by this senseless war. I have worked in refugee emergencies for almost 40 years, and rarely have I seen an exodus as rapid as this one,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.

* “Russia is increasingly an economic island….Nothing is off the table in terms of future sanctions,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said

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