Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know

Ukraine has defied Russia’s demand for soldiers to lay down arms in Mariupol, where civilians are besieged in a city being laid to waste by bombardment.

Russia’s almost month-old assault on Ukraine has stalled along most fronts, failing to seize any major city or topple the government.

But shelling and missiles are causing devastation.


* In the capital Kyiv, shells hit a shopping centre on Sunday evening, killing at least eight people.

* Russian artillery continues to pound the eastern cities of Kharkhiv, Sumy and Chernihiv.

* But the focal point is Mariupol, a strategically important southern port. There, horror and bewilderment stalk the devastated, Russian-besieged city, where some bury neighbours in roadside graves.


* Nearly 6.5 million people have been uprooted from homes, the United Nations says. More than 8000 people were evacuated on Monday alone.


* The European Union cannot agree on whether or how to slap sanctions on Russia’s lucrative energy sector. Germany says the bloc is too dependent on Russian oil for that.


* Peace talks resumed but there is no sign of significant progress.

* US-Russia bilateral ties were on the brink of collapse, Russia’s foreign ministry said, summoning the US ambassador after President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”

* The UN General Assembly is expected to vote again this week on a motion criticising Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.


* “It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated,” Pope Francis said.

* “Everything is destroyed. Where can we go?” asked librarian Irina Chernenko in a dark cellar in Mariupol packed with families for 11 days.

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