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As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 30th day, we take a look at the main developments.

Fighting

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his people “need to achieve peace” and halt the Russian bombardment that has forced millions to flee.
  • Russian forces have fired two missiles at a Ukrainian military unit on the outskirts of Dnipro, the fourth-largest city in the country, according to regional emergency services.
  • The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence says Ukrainian forces have launched raids against “high-value targets in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, including a landing ship and ammunition storage depots at Berdyansk”.
  • Since the war began on February 24, Russia has conducted 1,804 air raids on Ukraine, including 467 missiles, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry.

Diplomacy

  • NATO leaders meeting in Brussels announced they would deploy more troops to four Eastern European countries.
  • United States President Joe Biden says his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has failed to divide the West with his war on Ukraine. He also backs excluding Russia from the Group of 20 major economies over the invasion, a decision he says will be up to the group. If Russia is not expelled, then Biden recommended giving Ukraine observer status.
  • Biden will travel on Friday to Poland, home to the biggest Ukrainian refugee population in the region. He is expected to visit a town near the border between the two countries and meet US-NATO soldiers.
  • Also, French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will work with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to bring about a ceasefire agreement for “lasting peace” in Ukraine.

Sanctions

  • The G7 and the European Union have pledged to block transactions involving the Russian central bank’s gold reserves to hamper any bid by Moscow to circumvent Western sanctions.
  • Washington also unveiled fresh sanctions on Russian politicians and defence contractors, while the UK slapped sanctions on 59 more Russian individuals and entities, including the mercenary group Wagner.
  • Australia announces new sanctions on Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and his family, as well as on members of the Russian media.
  • Separately, Japan has also decided to freeze the assets of 25 more Russians and ban exports to 81 Russian organisations in response to the war.

Refugees

  • More than half of Ukraine’s children have been driven from their homes, the United Nations’ children agency, UNICEF, has said.
  • The US says it plans to accept up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion.
  • The UN says more than 3.6 million people, mostly women and children, have already fled Ukraine.
  • Poland has taken in more than 2.1 million people. The government says public services are struggling to cope.

Energy

  • German utilities say their country need an early warning system to tackle gas shortages, a day after Russia ordered the switch of contract payments to roubles, raising the risk of a supply squeeze.
  • Canada says it plans to increase oil and gas exports this year by up to 300,000 barrels per day, as nations seek to wean themselves off Russian energy supplies.
  • Energy and metals firms led a jump in Russian stocks as trading resumed after almost a month’s suspension, reflecting soaring global prices for oil, gas and other commodities on fears the war in Ukraine will threaten supply.

Source: with agencies

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