IN BRIEF: Russia-Ukraine conflict – What you need to know right now

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Ukrainian forces are preparing for new Russian attacks in the east of the country as Moscow builds up its troops there after suffering setbacks near the capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday.

British military intelligence says shelling, missile strikes around Chernihiv, heavy fighting in Mariupol, however Ukrainian Forces control the centre of the city. Heavy fighting is expected in Kyiv suburbs in the coming days.

Russia’s defence ministry said it was prepared to observe a ceasefire in Mariupol on Thursday, Russian news agencies reported.

Nearly 5000 people have been killed, the Mariupol mayor’s office estimates, and about 170 000 people remain trapped amid ruins without food, heat, power or running water. Many more have fled.

Reuters has been unable to verify the figures.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on Russia to exit Ukraine:


Russia and Ukraine resume peace talks online on April 1, said a senior Ukrainian official, after the latest round of face-to-face negotiations ended in Turkey.

Russian President Vladmir Putin was misled by advisers who were too scared to tell him how poorly the war in Ukraine is going and how damaging Western sanctions have been, a US official said,citing declassified intelligence.

Russia demanded oil and gas payments be made in roubles by Friday, raising fears of energy shortages and boosting recessionary risks in Europe. Germany has warned of a possible emergency if Russia cuts supplies.

The United States is considering a massive release of oil reserves to counter rising oil prices which are fuelling inflationary fears around the world. The International Energy Agency (IAE) will hold an emergency meeting on Friday.

UN refugee agency says four million people have left Ukraine:


Russia may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and destroying hospitals in its pounding of Ukrainian cities, the top United Nations human rights official said.


“We cook what we find among neighbours. A bit of cabbage, abit more of potatoes, we’ve found tomato paste, some beetroot,”said former steel worker Viktor from Mariupol.