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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now © Reuters. General view of Kyiv after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

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(Reuters) – Russian troops are in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and forced their way into the council building, the mayor said after a day of conflicting claims over whether Moscow had made the first major gain of a city in its eight-day-long invasion.

The invasion was denounced by the United Nations in a historic vote, as global brands exited Russia and the rouble hit record lows.

MORE HEADLINES

* The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine, following a request to do so by 39 of the court’s member states.

* Top Japanese automakers including Toyota were forced to halt production in Russia as sanctions scrambled logistics and cut supply chains.

* At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising in Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, ship tracking data showed.

* A Ukrainian delegation has departed for a second round of talks with Russia, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters.

* Japan Airlines and ANA said they would cancel all flights to and from Europe on Thursday, citing safety concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

* Senior Chinese officials told senior Russian officials in early February not to invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

* More than one million people have fled Ukraine since the fighting began, most crossing into Poland and Romania.

* The European Union and United States imposed new sanctions on Belarus for its supporting role in the invasion.

* Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said he would sell London’s Chelsea Football Club and donate money from the sale to help victims of the war.

* A Russian-run online store on Chinese e-commerce platform JD (NASDAQ:).com thanked Chinese shoppers for their support after it sold out of most items including chocolate and fabric softener, saying it showed the country’s friendship in “difficult” times.

* Commodity markets extended their bull runs, with aluminium, coal and palm oil all hitting new records while and wheat scaled multi-year highs as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted global raw material flows.

QUOTES

* “Russia is increasingly an economic island….Nothing is off the table in terms of future sanctions,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

* “There were armed visitors in the city executive committee today,” Kherson Mayor Igor Kolykhayev said in a statement. “My team and I are peaceful people – we had no weapons and there was no aggression from our side… I didn’t make any promises to them… I just asked them not to shoot people.”

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