Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Ukraine’s president called on the West to impose a blanket travel ban on Russians, an idea that has found support among some EU member states but angered Moscow which pressed on with a fierce military offensive in eastern Ukraine.


* One person was killed when a Russian air base in the annexed Crimean peninsula was rocked by blasts that Moscow said were detonations of stored ammunition, not the result of any attack.

* The Kremlin dismissed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s call for a Western travel ban on all Russians as irrational.

* Anti-aircraft defences around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant will be strengthened following days of reported shelling, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Russian-installed separatist official as saying. The head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power firm said it was vital Kyiv regains control over the facility in time for winter.

* Russia’s defence ministry said that Russian forces had destroyed an ammunition depot near the central Ukrainian city of Uman storing U.S.-made HIMARS missiles and M777 howitzers.

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports. DIPLOMACY

* U.S. President Joe Biden signed documents endorsing Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO, the most significant expansion of the military alliance since the 1990s as it responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

* French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed their commitment to support Ukraine as long as necessary, the French presidential palace said.

* The U.S. State Department has approved $89 million worth of assistance to help Ukraine equip and train 100 teams to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance for a year.

* Germany’s network regulator, which would be in charge of gas rationing in the event of a supply emergency, has received scores of exemption requests from across industry, reflecting fears of potential production cuts and subsequent losses.

* Ukraine has suspended Russian oil pipeline flows to parts of central Europe since early this month because Western sanctions prevented it from accepting transit fees from Moscow, Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft said.

* Two more grain-carrying ships left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port on Tuesday, Turkey’s defence ministry said bringing the total to leave the country under a safe passage deal to 12.

* Russian airlines, including state-controlled Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), are stripping jetliners to secure spare parts they can no longer buy abroad because of Western sanctions, four industry sources told Reuters.