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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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© Reuters. Firefighters work at a residential building damaged by shelling during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, Ukraine March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
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(Editor’s Note: Offensive language in paragraph 10)

(Reuters) – Ukraine said its forces had seized back all areas around Kyiv, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia invaded more than five weeks ago.

FIGHTING

* In the recaptured town of Bucha northwest of Kyiv, the sprawled remains of more than a dozen bodies lined a road. A mass grave at a church was open, with hands and feet poking through the red clay heaped on top. The smell of explosives and the stench of death hung in the cold, dank air.

* Zelenskiy accused Russian soldiers of deliberately mining areas in northern Ukraine as they withdraw or are pushed out.

* A Red Cross convoy was again trying to evacuate civilians from the besieged port of Mariupol after abandoning an attempt on Friday over security concerns.

* Maksim Levin, a photographer and videographer working for a Ukrainian news website and a long-time contributor to Reuters, was killed covering the war.

ECONOMY, DIPLOMACY

* Ukraine’s economy shrank 16% in the first quarter from a year earlier and could contract 40% for the year as a result of Russia’s invasion, the economy ministry said.

* Ukraine’s railways are struggling with a backlog of grain wagons on the western border as traders look for alternative export routes after Russia’s invasion blocked off the main Black Sea ports, analyst APK-Inform said.

* The EU is working on further sanctions on Russia but they would not affect the energy sector, said Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.

* Pope Francis implicitly criticised Putin over his invasion, saying a “potentate” was fomenting conflict for nationalist interests.

QUOTES

* “The bastards!” said 66-year-old Vasily in Bucha, weeping with rage in a thick coat and woollen hat. “I’m sorry. The tank behind me was shooting. Dogs!”

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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