Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

FIGHTING, CIVILIANS * Ukraine's military command said in early hours on Tuesday that the mission to defend the besieged Azovstal steel plant by "the heroes of our time" in the strategic southern port of Mariupol is over and pledged to rescue servicemen still trapped inside. * Ukraine said troops defending its second-largest city, Kharkiv, had repelled Russian forces and advanced as far as the border with Russia.


Reuters | Updated: 17-05-2022 05:57 IST | Created: 17-05-2022 05:57 IST
Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

The force holed up in the last Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged port of Mariupol began evacuating, appearing to cede control of the city to Russia after months of bombardment. FIGHTING, CIVILIANS

* Ukraine's military command said in early hours on Tuesday that the mission to defend the besieged Azovstal steel plant by "the heroes of our time" in the strategic southern port of Mariupol is over and pledged to rescue servicemen still trapped inside. * Ukraine said troops defending its second-largest city, Kharkiv, had repelled Russian forces and advanced as far as the border with Russia. Reuters could not immediately verify Ukraine's battlefield account. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed the achievement and thanked the troops.

* Nine civilians were killed by Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, the region's governor said. Reuters was not able to independently verify the report. * Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra returned home after an emotional Eurovision Song Contest victory. Frontman Oleh Psiuk said he hoped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the war effort by selling the Eurovision trophy.

DIPLOMACY * The U.S. Senate voted to advance $40 billion more aid for Ukraine in its war against Russia, setting the stage for a vote on the bill possibly later this week.

* Vladimir Putin said there was no threat to Russia if Sweden and Finland joined NATO - the war's biggest strategic consequence so far. But the Russian president's unexpectedly calm reaction came with a warning that Moscow would respond to any military build-up in the alliance's new Nordic members. * EU foreign ministers failed in their effort to pressure Hungary to lift its veto of a proposed oil embargo on Russia.

ECONOMY * McDonald's Corp, whose arrival in Russia was an emblem of the Cold War's end, said it would sell all its restaurants there.

* Renault said it would sell its majority stake in carmaker Avtovaz to a Russian science institute, reportedly for just one rouble, with a six-year option to buy it back. QUOTES

* "It is terrifying that St Petersburg and the Leningrad region will be so close to NATO's bases," said St Petersburg resident Natalia Vostrikova. * "They are in hell. They receive new wounds every day. They are without legs or arms, exhausted, without medicines." Natalia Zaritskaya, wife of a member of the Azov Battalion, describes conditions at the steel works. (Compiled by Cynthia Osterman)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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