Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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·2-min read
Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the Donbas region
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(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Tuesday, stressing closer ties in the face of Western pressure over the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces struck more targets across the country.

FIGHTING

* Russian missile strike in Odesa injured at least four people, burned houses to the ground, cluster shell strikes in Mkoliav injured at least two and more than 150 mines and shells fired on Sumy region, said Ukraine authorities.

Russia's defence ministry said its forces had destroyed ammunition depots in Ukraine's southern Odesa region that were storing weapons supplied to Kyiv by the United States and European countries.

* At least one person was killed in a Russian missile strike on the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, the regional governor said.

* Ukraine said Russian troops tried unsuccessfully to advance towards the city of Avdiyivka north of Donetsk, but were pushed back after several days fighting, suffering heavy losses, with some 40 dead.

* Ukraine's top military commander said U.S.-supplied long-range rocket systems "stabilize the situation" through "major strikes at enemy command points, ammunition and fuel storage warehouses."

* Ukrainian shelling of a hydroelectric power station in Russian-controlled territory in southern Ukraine could lead to a complete shutdown of navigation on the Dnipro river, the country's largest waterway, TASS news agency reported, citing Russian-installed authorities in the occupied Kherson region.

* Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered generals to prioritise destroying Ukraine's long-range missile and artillery weapons after strikes on Russian supply lines.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.

ECONOMY

* Gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline showed a rise in flows ahead of the scheduled end of annual maintenance on Thursday, as the operator carried out pressure tests. There have been fears among governments and business that flows will not restart right away if a repaired turbine being sent from Canada is not installed in time and after Russia's Gazprom declared force majeure to some European customers, excusing it from contractual obligations.

* Foreign allies need to increase their financial support for Ukraine to help the country maintain financial stability during the war with Russia, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said.

DIPLOMACY

* Putin held talks with the Iranian Supreme Leader in Tehran, the Kremlin leader's first trip outside the former Soviet Union since Moscow's February 1invasion of Ukraine. Putin also held his first face-to-face meeting since the invasion with a NATO leader, Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss a deal that would resume Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports - now blockaded by Moscow.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are expected to sign the deal later this week.

* EU foreign ministers agree another 500 million euros ($504 million) of funding to supply arms to Ukraine, taking the bloc's security support to 2.5 billion euros since Russia's invasion began.

(Compiled by Michael Perry and Mark Heinrich)

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