The Ukrainian crisis roundup

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

HEADLINES

No damage has been done to the reactors at the Zaporozhzhia plant after a projectile hit a nearby building on the site overnight, U.N. nuclear chief Rafael Grossi said, adding he believed the projectile was Russian. Russia’s defence ministry blamed the attack on Ukrainian saboteurs. 

* Russian forces enter Black Sea port city

The mayor of Mykolayiv said Russian troops had entered his city of around 500,000 people and there was now fighting inside it. An adviser to Ukraine’s president later said defenders had repulsed the Russian advance. 

* Russia curbs access to foreign news websites

Russia’s communications watchdog has restricted access to several foreign news organisations’ websites including the BBC and Deutsche Welle for spreading what it cast as false information. 

*Russia approves jail terms for spreading “fake” news

Russia’s parliament has passed a law imposing a jail term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” information about the armed forces. 

* NATO wary of Ukraine call for no-fly zones

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said NATO would defend “every inch” of members’ territory but emphasized the alliance was defensive, resisting Ukrainian calls for a no-fly zone to counter Russia’s invasion. 

*Port city of Mariupol encircled, UK says

The southeastern port city of Mariupol remains under Ukrainian control but has been encircled by Russian forces and is subjected to intense strikes, Britain said on Friday. 

*One million refugees

More than 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine in just seven days, the United Nations said.

* QUOTES

Zelenskiy’s appeal

“Europeans, please wake up. Tell your politicians – Russian troops are shooting at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message. 

*‘According to plan,’ Putin says “I want to say that the special military operation is proceeding strictly in line with the timetable. According to plan. All the tasks that have been set are being successfully resolved,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on television.

*MARKETS: Rouble, stocks slide, oil jumps

Global stocks tumbled and the rouble slipped back towards record lows while oil, gold, metal and grain prices jumped as investors responded to developments in Ukraine. 

Photo – Locals carry a coffin as the city was hit by shelling in the small city of Borodyanka near Kiev, Ukraine. Russian troops entered Ukraine on 24 February prompting the country’s president to declare martial law. EPA-EFE/ALISA YAKUBOVYCH

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