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Russian forces in Ukraine were potentially on the verge of one of their worst defeats of the war after Ukrainian troops captured two villages close to the eastern Russian-occupied stronghold of Lyman.

EU rejects Russia’s ‘illegal annexation’ in Ukraine

Annexation

  • A defiant Russian President Putin proclaimed the annexation of territory seized in his invasion in four regions amounting to 15% of Ukraine’s territory while Kyiv said it would continue its fight to retake occupied land.

  • Before signing documents to annex four regions - an act denounced as illegal by Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and the head of the United Nations - Putin delivered a 37-minute anti-Western diatribe.

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine said it was formally applying for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance and that Kyiv was ready for talks with Moscow, but not while Putin was president.

  • Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution introduced by the United States and Albania condemning Moscow’s proclaimed annexations, with Russia’s strategic partner China abstaining from the vote.

  • The United States responded to the annexations by imposing more sanctions on Russia, targeting hundreds of people and companies, including those in Russia’s military-industrial complex and lawmakers.

Casualties

  • At least 30 civilians were killed and almost 100 wounded in what Kyiv said was a cynical Russian missile strike on a convoy of civilian cars in southern Ukraine.

Gas leak

  • Putin, without providing evidence, blamed the United States and its allies for blowing up pipelines under the Baltic Sea, raising the temperature in a crisis that has left Europe racing to secure its energy infrastructure and supplies.

  • US President Biden said it “was a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies,” adding that Washington and its allies would send divers to find out what happened.

  • The ruptures on the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline system have led to what is likely the biggest single release of climate-damaging methane recorded, the United Nations Environment Programme said. AID

  • The World Bank said it will provide an additional $530 million in support to Ukraine, bringing the total aid by the bank to $13 billion, as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.

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