The Ukrainian crisis roundup

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

HEADLINES

A second attempt to establish a humanitarian corridor out of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol failed. The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine passed 1.5 million as Russia’s attack continued for an 11th day.

*The city mayor trying to get people out

The mayor of Mariupol used to dream of revitalising the city. Now he says his main priority is to help many of the 400,000 people stuck in the southeastern city to escape.

*Shoring up the capital

Ukrainian soldiers bolstered defences around Kyiv, digging trenches, blocking roads and liaising with civil defence units as Russian forces bombarded the surrounding areas and attacked towns and villages nearby.

*Diplomatic efforts

Israeli Prime Minister Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said his country will continue trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine even if success seems unlikely, returning from surprise talks with President Vladimir Putin. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urged Putin to declare a ceasefire in Ukraine, open humanitarian corridors and sign a peace agreement, his office said.

*Talk of fighter jets for Ukraine

The United States is considering sending planes to Poland if Warsaw decided to send fighter jets to Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

*Russia’s credit rating slips

Moody’s cut Russia’s credit rating to Ca, the second-lowest rung of its ratings ladder, citing central bank capital controls that are likely to restrict payments on the country’s foreign debt and lead to default.

*QUOTES

“In Ukraine rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not only a military operation but a war which is leading to death, destruction and misery,” Pope Francis, rejecting the term “military operation” that Russia has used to describe its actions.

*COMING UP

Ukraine said a third round of ceasefire talks with Russia would go ahead on Monday; Moscow was less definitive

Photo – Hundreds of Ukrainians hide  under the ruins of the bridge during a Russian bombardment – Photo courtesy Ukrainian Emergency Services

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