Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Oct 15 (Reuters) – Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian cities away from the front lines will complicate the dire economic situation facing the country, which has already seen a tenfold increase in poverty this year, a top World Bank official said.

FIGHTING

A view of a damaged school in Vuzlovyi, Kharkiv region, Ukraine 14 October 2022, that was bombed during the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The city has recently been recaptured after six months of occupation by Russian troops.
EPA-EFE/MARIA SENOVILLA

* Belarus said the first convoys of Russian servicemen, part of a “regional grouping” of troops, had arrived in the country. President Alexander Lukashenko said this week that his troops would deploy with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border.

* A fuel depot in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, caught fire after shelling, its governor said, without specifying the origin of the shelling.

* The United States will send munitions and military vehicles to Ukraine as part of a new $725 million assistance package aimed at bolstering the country’s defence against the Russian invasion, the Defense Department said on Friday.

* Russia should finish calling up reservists in two weeks, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, promising an end to a divisive mobilisation that has seen hundreds of thousands of men summoned to fight in Ukraine and huge numbers flee the country.

* Ukrainian engineers have restored “much needed” back-up power to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after shelling robbed it of access to external electricity twice in the past week, said Rafael Grossi, head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Friday.

* Ukrainian investigators have finished exhuming soldiers in one of two mass graves discovered after Russian troops retreated from the town of Lyman in the Donetsk, police said.

* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

ECONOMY, DIPLOMACY

EPA-EFE/MIKHAIL METZEL / KREMLIN / SPUTNIK / POOL

* Putin authorised the central bank to permit the export of foreign currency cash worth more than $10,000 in some cases, a decree from him published on Saturday showed.

* Norway police arrested a Russian man at the airport in the arctic town of Tromsoe and charged him with flying a drone, they said on Saturday, marking the second such arrest in one week.

* Saudi Arabia will provide $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday the kingdom would continue to back mediation and de-escalation, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

* International Monetary Fund member countries issued a near-unanimous call for Russia to end its war in Ukraine on Friday, after Moscow again blocked consensus, officials said.

* Some of oilfield service firm Schlumberger’s more than 9,000 Russian employees have begun receiving military draft notices through work, and the company is not authorising remote employment to escape mobilisation, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents.

EPA-EFE/Danish Defence Command / HANDOUT

* Sweden has rejected plans to set up a formal joint investigation team with Denmark and Germany to look into last month’s ruptures of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, said a Swedish prosecutor investigating the leaks.

(Compiled by Grant McCool, William Mallard, David Clarke, Philippa Fletcher)

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