Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now By Reuters

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© Reuters. A Ukrainian military man walks past a burnt-out car, while Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the village of Krasylivka outside Kyiv, Ukraine on March 26, 2022. REUTERS / Marko Djurica

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(Reuters) – Ukraine’s top security official has denied allegations by Moscow that Kyiv was behind an attack on an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, which serves as Russia’s main logistics hub for the war.

FIGHTING

* Russian forces are being pushed back around Kyiv but fighting is still fierce in some areas near the capital, Ukrainian officials said.

* In Irpin, a commuter suburb northwest of Kyiv that had been one of the main battlefields for several weeks, now back in Ukrainian hands, volunteers and rescue workers carried the dead on stretchers out of the rubble. The city of Bucha, near Irpin, is also back in Ukrainian hands, its mayor said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a convoy it had organized to evacuate civilians trapped in the besieged and destroyed port city of Mariupol had had to turn around as there were no conditions for their safe passage.

ENERGY

* European governments and companies are working on a common approach to Russia’s demand that they pay for their gas in rubles as the threat of an imminent halt in supply eases.

* According to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, foreign buyers of Russian gas were forced to open ruble accounts in state-controlled Gazprombank from Friday to allow foreign currency to be converted into rubles. But the Kremlin said they would not immediately shut down the taps.

ECONOMY

Russia’s bombing of Mariupol has caused at least $ 10 billion in infrastructure damage, according to a preliminary estimate from local authorities.

DIPLOMACY

* Russia and Ukraine resumed online peace talks as Moscow said it was preparing its response to Ukrainian proposals.

“Russia will increase its use of non-Western currencies for trade with countries such as India,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a visit to New Delhi.

* China offered assurances to the European Union that it would seek peace in Ukraine but said it would do so on its own terms and divert pressure for a tougher stance against Russia.

QUOTE

“When our army arrived, I fully understood that we had been liberated. It was happiness beyond imagination. I pray that all this will end and that they will never come back,” said Lilia Ristich as she sat on a playground swing. in Irpin with her young son Artur.

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