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Sat, 21 May 2022
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Putin’s War, Day 18

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♦ Russia has asked China for military ​equipment to ​support its invasion of Ukraine, ​according to US officials, sparking concern in ​the White House that Beijing ​may undermine western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country.

♦ The US has ruled out offering any sanctions relief to Russia in order to clinch its support for an agreement to revive the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, rebuffing a last-minute demand from Moscow. A state department spokesperson on Sunday told the Financial Times that the new economic sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine were “unrelated” to the Iran deal and “should not have any impact on its implementation”.

♦ The Ukrainian colonel’s blast-damaged car limped back from the forest where he had just treated soldiers wounded in a Russian missile attack on a military base in the country’s far western edge. Leonid Benzalo, an officer in the Ukrainian medical reserve, told Reuters he was in a dormitory at the vast Yavoriv base, just 15 miles (25 km) from the Polish border, when air raid sirens woke him at 3:20 a.m. (0120 GMT). 35 people were killed.

♦ Ukraine’s atomic energy ministry on Sunday said power had been restored to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which meant cooling systems would operate normally and not have to use backup power.

♦ The EU is preparing a fresh round of restrictions on Russian business people, with Roman Abramovich among the intended targets, in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Ambassadors from EU member states met in Brussels on Sunday to go through the proposed list, with Abramovich one of the 15 individuals being considered, according to a draft legal text. Ambassadors are expected to reconvene on Monday to finalise the measures and convert them into law, assuming no changes are requested.

♦ Instagram users in Russia have been notified that the service will cease from midnight on Sunday after its owner Meta Platforms (FB.O) said last week it would allow social media users in Ukraine to post messages such as “Death to the Russian invaders”.

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