Ukraine: what we know on day five of Russia’s invasion

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his military command to put nuclear deterrence forces on high alert, in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by Nato countries. The US condemned the order and said Putin was “manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression”.

  • The rouble is expect to plummet at least 25% amid panic when markets open on Monday, reflecting the unprecedented sanctions announced by the US and European Union over the weekend. The European Central Bank said on Monday morning that Sberbank Europe, a fully owned subsidiary of Sberbank Russia, which in turn is majority owned by the Russian state, is failing or likely to fail.

  • Belarus reportedly approved in a referendum a new constitution renouncing the country’s non-nuclear status at a time when the country has become a launch pad for Russian troops invading Ukraine, Russian news agencies report. The move could theoretically allow Russia to place nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil for the first time since the country gave them up after the fall of the Soviet Union. The package of constitutional reforms also extended the rule of leader Alexander Lukashenko.

  • A Ukrainian delegation is due to meet the Russians “without precondition” on Monday on the border with Belarus, although Volodymyr Zelenskiy has indicated he sees little prospect of any meaningful dialogue.

  • Ukraine’s interior ministry says 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed during Russia’s invasion, including 14 children. It says an additional 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded. The ministry did not give any information on casualties among Ukraine’s armed forces. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Malyar, claimed Russian forces had lost about 4,300 servicemen, a figure it was not possible to verify independently.

  • Satellite imagery taken on Sunday showed a large deployment of Russian ground forces including tanks moving in the direction of the capital Kyiv from approximately 40 miles (64 km) away. The city remains in Ukrainian hands. The images released by Maxar Technologies showed a deployment comprising hundreds of military vehicles and extending more than 3.25 miles (5km), the company said. The convoy contained fuel, logistics and armoured vehicles including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled artillery, it said.

  • Ukraine has agreed to peace talks with Russia “without preconditions”, the office of Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. The Ukrainian president said he was not confident that any progress would be made, but “let’s try, so that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war when there was even a chance”.

  • The EU will buy weapons for Ukraine. Multiple European countries are offering military aid to Ukraine, including Sweden, which hasn’t sent weapons to a country in armed conflict since the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland in 1939.

  • The EU plans to close its airspace to Russian aircraft, including the private jets of Russian oligarchs. The bloc will also ban Russian-state backed television channels RT and Sputnik.

  • A rare emergency special session of the UN general assembly is due to be held on Monday in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, marking the first time in 40 years the security council has made such a request.

  • The UN refugee agency has said more than 368,000 people have fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries. Up to 4 million people could become refugees if the situation continues to worsen, the UN said.

  • The World Health Organization warned that thousands of lives are at risk from falling Ukrainian oxygen supplies.

  • Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska have spoken out against Putin’s invasion. Fridman said: “I am deeply attached to Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a tragedy for them both.” Deripaska called for peace talks to begin “as fast as possible”.

  • Pope Francis said he was “heartbroken” by the war and appeared to take direct aim at Putin by condemning people who “trust in the diabolic and perverse logic of weapons”.

  • The UK will send an additional £40m in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, while the US said it is sending nearly $54m (£40m) in new humanitarian aid

  • Russian police detained more than 1,400 people at anti-war protests on Sunday, an independent monitoring organisation said, lifting the tally for crackdown arrests to over 4,000.

  • #UkraineRussiaWar
    #VladimirPutin #PutinWarCriminal
    #Ukraine #Ukriane #UkraineRussia


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