Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
But he played down Ukraine's possible EU entry. * Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the West not to "suggest peace initiatives with unacceptable terms", apparently referring to remarks by French President Macron that a diplomatic solution requires not humiliating Russia.
As war rages in the east, Ukraine got a major boost when the EU recommended it become a candidate to join the bloc, a potentially dramatic geopolitical shift in the wake of Russia's invasion. FIGHTING
* Russia heavily shelled the eastern city of Lysychansk, killing many, and a key highway out was impassable, said Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai. * Russian media broadcast what it said were images of two U.S. citizens captured while fighting for Ukraine. Biden said he had been briefed about the missing Americans but was unaware of their whereabouts.
* Ukraine said its forces hit a Russian naval tugboat with two Harpoon missiles in the Black Sea, the first time it has claimed to have struck a Russian vessel with Western-supplied anti-ship weapons. DIPLOMACY
* British Prime Minister Johnson offered military training for Ukrainian forces as he met Zelenskiy in Kyiv on his second visit of the war. * Putin accused the West of colonial arrogance and trying to crush his country with "stupid" sanctions that amounted to an economic "blitzkrieg". But he played down Ukraine's possible EU entry.
* Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the West not to "suggest peace initiatives with unacceptable terms", apparently referring to remarks by French President Macron that a diplomatic solution requires not humiliating Russia. * A U.S. plan to sell four large, armable drones to Ukraine has been paused for fear its sophisticated surveillance equipment might fall into enemy hands, two sources told Reuters.
* Italy may declare a heightened "state of alert" on gas next week if Russia keeps curbing supplies, two government sources said, after energy company Eni reported a shortfall in flows from Moscow for a third day. * Gas flows from Germany to France have stopped since Wednesday after what German officials called Russia's politically motivated decision to reduce supplies to the EU.
* A top U.S. Treasury official warned bankers of elevated cyber threats in the wake of Russia's invasion and underscored the department's commitment to sharing real-time intelligence. QUOTES
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