War in Ukraine: Latest developments

·3-min read

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Russia urges Severodonetsk surrender -

Russia's defence ministry calls on Ukrainian fighters holding out at a chemical plant in the war-torn eastern city of Severodonetsk to halt their "senseless resistance" and surrender.

The Russian army also announces plans to organise evacuations on Wednesday for hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children, believed to sheltering inside the Azot plant.

It says the evacuees will be taken to a part of the Lugansk region held by pro-Moscow separatists.

Ukraine had yet to publicly respond to the announcement, which comes after Russian forces destroyed the last bridge linking the city to the neighbouring city of Lysychansk in a bid to encircle it.

- No UK request on death row fighters, says Moscow -

The Kremlin says that London has not asked Russia to intervene and help save two Britons sentenced to death by pro-Moscow separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine.

"They have not asked," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters, saying any request should be lodged with the separatist authorities of the breakaway region of Donetsk which tried Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner for fighting with Ukrainian troops.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "appalled" at the death sentences. London has been pressing their case with Kyiv.

- Bodies of 64 Mariupol defenders returned -

Ukraine confirms Russia has returned the bodies of 64 soldiers who died defending the fallen city of Mariupol in an exchange that saw Ukraine return the remains of Russian troops.

The 64 fighters died in the Azovstal steelworks, where Ukrainian troops held out under siege for weeks before finally surrendering to Russian forces last month.

The ministry said the swap took place in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region and did not specify how many Russian soldiers' bodies had been returned.

- Russia blacklists top UK journalists -

Russia says it is blacklisting 49 UK citizens, including several top reporters whom it accuses of the "deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information about Russia and the events in Ukraine and Donbas".

Among the journalists who have been banned from entry to the country are Shaun Walker of The Guardian and Gideon Rachman of The Financial Times.

- Ukraine grain circumvents blockade -

A Ukrainian grain shipment has arrived in Spain after successfully circumventing Russia's blockade of the country's Black Sea ports, a Spanish food association says.

The grain was transported overland to Poland, from where it was shipped to Spain via the Baltic Sea, the first time the northern sea passage has been used for Ukrainian grain, the Agafac food manufacturers association claims.

Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine was the world's top producer of sunflower oil and a major wheat exporter, but millions of tonnes of grain exports remain trapped in silos and ports because of the blockade.

- Gazprom cuts Nord Stream deliveries -

Russia's energy giant Gazprom says it will reduce daily gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany due to the "repair" of compressor units by German company Siemens.

The deliveries from the Portovaya compression station near the northwestern city of Vyborg are set to be reduced by around one third.

Along with many Western companies, German conglomerate Siemens announced its exit from the Russian market over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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