Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy renewed his call for European Union states to ban visas for Russian nationals to keep the bloc from becoming a "supermarket" open to anyone with the means to enter. * The United States is concerned by reports that British, Swedish and Croatian nationals were being charged by "illegitimate authorities in eastern Ukraine", Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.
Ukraine and Russia are accusing each other of risking disaster by shelling Europe's largest nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces in a region expected to become one of the next big front lines of the war. DIPLOMACY
* Russia has told the United States that diplomatic ties would be badly damaged and could even be broken off if Russia is declared a "state sponsor of terrorism" by the U.S. Senate, TASS cited a top foreign ministry official as saying. * Ukrainian President Zelenskiy renewed his call for European Union states to ban visas for Russian nationals to keep the bloc from becoming a "supermarket" open to anyone with the means to enter.
* The United States is concerned about reports that British, Swedish, and Croatian nationals were being charged by "illegitimate authorities in eastern Ukraine", Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. ECONOMY
* Securing a new $5 billion loan from the IMF would help assure Ukraine's other creditors that its macroeconomic situation was under control, Zelenskiy's chief economic adviser said. * Global rating agencies S&P and Fitch lowered Ukraine's foreign currency ratings to selective default and restricted default as they consider its debt restructuring as distressed.
* Russian oil flows to the Czech Republic through the Druzhba pipeline resumed after more than a week as transit fee payments were unblocked. Supplies had been suspended to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia because Western sanctions prevented paying transit fees to a Ukrainian company, Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft said. FIGHTING
* Ukraine's military said after it struck the fourth bridge spanning the Dnipro River it now had the ability to strike nearly all of Moscow's supply lines in Kherson. There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities. * Two primary road bridges giving access to the pocket of Russian occupied territory on the west bank of the Dnipro are now probably out of use for the purposes of substantial military resupply, British military intelligence said.
* Ukraine's operational command South said its airforce had struck five Russian strongholds of weapons and equipment in the Bashtansky district in Mykolaiv region and in Beryslavskyi and Kherson districts in the Kherson region. * Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region said on Telegram: Russian forces shelling had killed five civilians and wounded 35 in the last 24 hours.
* Reuters could not confirm battlefield reports independently.
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