– 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.

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“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.

17 Shahed Drones Used in Russian Attack on Ukraine, Fire Erupts at Energy Facility near Kryvyi Rih
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17 Shahed Drones Used in Russian Attack on Ukraine, Fire Erupts at Energy Facility near Kryvyi Rih

Ukrainian forces successfully downed 16 Shahed drones launched by Russia, yet a fire ensued at an energy facility near Kryvyi Rih due to falling drone debris.

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”.

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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.

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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.Biden announces $1 bn in new military aid for Ukraine

– US President Joe Biden announced a new package of arms and ammunition for Ukraine- 

He did so on Tuesday after reaffirming Washington’s support for Kyiv against Russia’s invasion in a call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The package of $1 billion worth of arms includes more artillery, coastal anti-ship defense systems and ammunition for artillery and advanced rocket systems that Ukraine is already using, Biden said.

In the phone call, Biden said he “reaffirmed my commitment that the United States will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression,” according to a statement.

Biden also announced $225 million worth of humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.

The money will go toward supplying food, drinking water, medical supplies and other critical goods.

“The bravery, resilience, and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world,” Biden said

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