WORLD

What you need to know about Ukraine and Russia right now

(Reuters) – On Wednesday, Finland and Sweden officially asked to join NATO. This was a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused one of the biggest changes to Europe’s security system in decades.

Fighting

*The Russian defense ministry said that 694 Ukrainian fighters who had taken refuge in Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks had given up in the last 24 hours, according to RIA. Since Monday, 959 militants from Azovstal have given up, and RIA says that 80 of them were hurt.

ECONOMY

*Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that Britain and other G7 countries are looking into how Russian assets could be used to pay for the rebuilding of Ukraine.

U.N. officials say that on Wednesday, Antonio Guterres, the head of the U.N., will tell the public that he is in talks with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union to bring back grain shipments from Ukraine and fertilizer shipments from Russia and Belarus.

*Russian gas company Gazprom (MCX:GAZP) said on Wednesday that it still sends gas to Europe through Ukraine at the Sudzha entry point.

*Swiss packaging company Vetropack said it would cut about 400 jobs in Ukraine because of war damage to its Hostomel plant. This shows that the fighting in Ukraine is taking a bigger economic toll.

DIPLOMATIY

*On Thursday, the leaders of Sweden and Finland will meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to talk about their plans to join NATO.

*Officials say peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have stalled, with both sides trading blame and Moscow saying it may be hard to get back to talks.

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