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Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 23

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People board a train at the station in Pokrovsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 22, 2022, to flee the devastation wrought by Russian forces who attacked their towns and villages.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

Recap of May 23
FIGHTING
* Moscow has intensified its offensive in the eastern Luhansk region, the Ukrainian military said.
* Eighty-seven people were killed in a Russian air strike on the village of Desna last Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
* Ukraine's Armed Forces have warned of an increase in military activity and troop levels by Belarus near the border.
ECONOMY
* The energy security crisis wrought after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must not lead a deeper dependence on fossil fuels, International Energy (IEA) chief Fatih Birol told the World Economic Forum (WEF), Reuters reported.
* The Kremlin said the West had triggered a global food crisis by imposing the severest sanctions in modern history on Russia.
* A Russia-installed governor of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region says that starting Monday, the region will officially become an area with dual currency — Russian rubles and Ukrainian hryvnyas.
* Germany’s banks say refugees from Ukraine will be allowed to exchange a limited amount of Ukrainian currency into euros from Tuesday.
SANCTIONS
* Ukrainian officials have called for sanctions against Russia to be strengthened further, including action by European nations to cut off energy imports from Russia.
* Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia and Estonia will call on Tuesday for the confiscation of Russian assets frozen by the European Union to fund the rebuilding of Ukraine.
* President Vladimir Putin says Russian economy is “withstanding the blow” of international sanctions well, even though it “is not easy."
HUMANITARIAN
* A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian soldier to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia's February 24 invasion.
* More than 6.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion in late February, the U.N. refugee agency said.
* The head of the Russia-backed separatist region in eastern Ukraine says that Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal steel mill captured by the Russian forces are being held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and will face “international tribunal” there.
DIPLOMACY
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a meeting of global business leaders at Davos that the world faced a turning point and had to ratchet up sanctions against Russia as a warning to other countries considering using brute force.
* A veteran Russian diplomat to the U.N. Office at Geneva says he handed in his resignation before sending out a scathing letter to foreign colleagues inveighing against the "aggressive war unleashed" by President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

11:30 p.m.: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy said late on Monday that Kyiv was ready for an exchange of prisoners with Russia “even tomorrow” and called on his allies to put pressure on Moscow, Reuters reported.

“The exchange of people — this is a humanitarian matter today and a very political decision that depends on the support of many states,” Zelenskiyy said in a question-and-answer video link with audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “It is important ... to pressure politically on any level, through powerful business, through the closure of businesses, oil embargo ... and through these threats actively intensify the exchange of our people for Russian servicemen.”

8:52 p.m.: A team of Colombian soldiers will travel to Europe to train their Ukrainian counterparts on demining techniques, the South American country's defense minister said, according to Reuters. Colombia's nearly 60 years of internal conflict between the armed forces, leftist rebels, right-wing paramilitaries and drug cartels has made it one of the world's most-mined countries, according to the United Nations. Russian soldiers and Ukrainian authorities both have said they will clear landmines from various locations in Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion launched by Russia in February, Reuters reported.

8:12 p.m.:

7:36 p.m.: In his nightly video address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “The coming weeks of the war will be difficult. And we must be aware of that. Yet we have no alternative but to fight. Fight and win. Free our land and our people. Because the occupiers want to take away from us not just something, but everything we have. Including the right to life for Ukrainians.”

6:18 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced at a meeting of allies that about 20 countries offered new security assistance packages for Ukraine to battle invading Russian forces, Agence France-Presse reported. In their second gathering, nearly four dozen countries and organizations forming the Ukraine Defense Contact Group met online to discuss helping Ukraine, and 20 nations pledged arms, ammunition and other supplies to support Kyiv, AFP reported.

5:30 p.m.: The European Union would likely agree to an embargo on Russian oil imports "within days," German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told broadcaster ZDF, Reuters reported. Habeck warned, however, that an embargo would not automatically weaken the Kremlin as rising prices were enabling it to rake in more income while selling lower volumes of oil, according to Reuters. Therefore, one consideration was to no longer pay "any price" for oil, but to agree on upper limits, he said. For that to work, however, many countries would have to get on board, Reuters reported.

4:20 p.m.: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy launched a series of new anti-war postage stamps, The Associated Press reported. The "Russian warship… That's all" series of stamps was put into circulation by the Ukrainian Post, to coincide with Monday's Day of the Marines of Ukraine, AP said. Five million stamps in total, which depict the sinking of a Russian warship in April, will be in circulation. ​

3:55 p.m.: So far, Russia's oil exports have not slowed down a bit from the war in Ukraine and international sanctions. In fact, Russia exported more oil in April than it did before the war. And high oil prices mean Moscow is raking in money. That's one reason Europe is considering a Russian oil ban: Current sanctions are not hurting Moscow enough. Europe gets more of its oil from Russia than anywhere else. It would have to make up for those banned barrels somewhere else, and that won't be easy. And it's likely to push oil prices everywhere up even further. VOA’s Steve Baragona and the VOA Graphics team have this report.

3:18 p.m.: Tetyana, a 43-year-old accountant, and her two children, aged 6 and 14, fled the Black Sea port city of Mariupol on February 25, a day after Russian launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. She returned to Ukraine from Italy to marry her partner, Roman, in a ceremony in an ancient wooden church in the western city of Lviv. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story.

2:30 p.m.: A Ukrainian court on Monday ordered the arrest in absentia of former President Viktor Yanukovich, accusing him of treason over an agreement he signed in 2010 extending Russia's lease on naval facilities in Crimea, Reuters reported. The agreement, widely known in Ukraine as the Kharkiv Pact, allowed Russia to keep its Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Yanukovich, who fled to Russia in 2014 after mass protests, has already received a 13-year jail sentence in absentia for treason. That case was related to a letter he sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 1, 2014, asking him to use Russian army and police forces to restore order in Ukraine. Yanukovich could not immediately be reached for comment. He has previously denied all allegations against him.

2:16 p.m.: Human Rights Watch released a statement Monday, the European Union Day Against Impunity, saying that the EU and its member states “should take concrete steps to strengthen the international justice system.” Amongst other recommendations, Human Rights Watch and seven other human rights groups said EU member states should "expand the reach of justice by adopting necessary laws, creating or reinforcing specialized war crimes units, strengthening cooperation among states, and providing greater financial and political support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other accountability mechanisms so they can impartially carry out their work."

1:32 p.m.: "The legs were over there, the head here," says a Ukrainian man who is part of a team exhuming the bodies of Russian soldiers near the village of Mala Rohan on May 18, in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine. Along with colleagues from Lithuania, they are searching for evidence of war crimes — but are also identifying bodies to be sent back to Russia.

1:21 p.m.: Any corridor designed to secure safe passage for food exports out of the Ukrainian port city of Odesa could only occur with Russian consent, a Western official said on Monday, adding it would not be possible without Moscow's permission, according to Reuters. Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko has called for such a corridor, saying it would help Ukraine and help avoid world hunger. "Clearly the Russians are dominating that area. It would require the permission of the Russians, some sort of agreement to allow that to take place," the Western official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It would require some sort of security guarantee, I think from Turkey, to make it a reality. I think the thing that we'd have to rule out is any sense that this could be done without Russia's permission."

1:13 p.m.: The European Commission on Monday released a plan aimed at ending Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and building a new energy infrastructure.

1:04 p.m.: A Ukrainian official says Russian forces are stepping up their bombardment of the Donbas area. Pavlo Kyrylenko told The Associated Press on Monday in Kramatorsk that heavy fighting was continuing near the region of Luhansk and that the front line was under continuous shelling. Kramatorsk and neighboring Sloviansk are the largest cities in the parts of Donetsk region not held by Russian forces currently. Kyrylenko told The Associated Press in Kramatorsk that the “situation is difficult. The front line is under shelling at all times.” The vast majority of the population has already been evacuated, he said. Of more than 1.6 million people who lived in the region before the February 24 Russian invasion, there are "not more than 320,000 people" left.

12:46 p.m.:

12:41 p.m.: Germany’s banks say refugees from Ukraine will be allowed to exchange a limited amount of Ukrainian currency into euros from Tuesday, The Associated Press reported. In a statement Monday, the banks said they had signed an agreement with the German Finance Ministry and the national banks of Germany and Ukraine to allow a total of 1.5 billion hryvnia ($50.8 million) to be converted. Every adult Ukrainian refugee with an account at a major German bank will be allowed to exchange up to 10,000 hryvnia, or about 317 euros ($339).


12:39 p.m.:

12:27 p.m.: At a cemetery outside Mariupol, a Ukrainian city captured by Russia last week after a destructive three-month siege, a grief-stricken mother sobs inconsolably, Reuters reported. Natalya lost her only son, Vladimir Voloshin, on March 26 when shrapnel smashed into his skull and chest in the fight for the city. He was 28. Wearing a headscarf to hold back her flowing white curls, the 57-year-old nurse said Vladimir had recently graduated from a local naval academy. What seemed like a promising career was upended overnight when Ukraine announced a general mobilization to counter the Russian invasion.

12:19 p.m.:

12:03 p.m.: Ukraine's Armed Forces have warned of an increase in military activity and troop levels by Belarus near the border. "The armed forces of the Republic of Belarus are intensifying reconnaissance, additional units are being deployed in the border areas of the Homel region," the Ukrainian general staff said in a situation report on Monday. "The threat of missile and air strikes from the territory of the Republic of Belarus remains," it added. After the Ukrainian statement, Belarus's Defense Ministry said that it had started what it called "another phase of checks" of military equipment to observe their mobility and capacity. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

11:51 a.m.:

11:47 a.m.: Like many Russians, Andrei had planned to spend his summer holiday on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. But this July, he, his wife and their two children will be in Russia's Black Sea resort of Anapa, hoping to avoid the fallout from the conflict in Ukraine, Reuters reported. Tours to Turkey, one of Russia's top foreign holiday destinations, jumped in price after Russia sent its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, triggering Western sanctions that have complicated everyday life for ordinary Russians. MasterCard and Visa credit cards issued in Russia stopped working abroad, while the number of flights from Russia shrank because Russian airlines' leasing contracts were terminated and airspace was closed to Russian planes. "Air tickets are the No.1 problem," said Andrei, a 35-year-old IT specialist from Moscow. "So, now I'm preparing to shove my way through algae in the Black Sea."

11:28 a.m. The Washington Post shared on Twitter portions of an interview with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, asking for her reaction after a Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian soldier to life in prison on Monday for killing an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia's invasion. Venediktova said this verdict is "the first result" and said that there are over 13,000 cases of war crimes pending prosecution. "We will find everyone," she said, adding that those who committed atrocities will be held responsible.

11:11 a.m.:

10:52 a.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country has objected to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, called on Stockholm on Monday to take "concrete steps" that would alleviate Turkey’s security concerns, The Associated Press reported. Turkey has said it opposes the two Nordic states membership in the alliance citing their alleged support to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK and other groups that Turkey views as terrorists. The country is also demanding a lifting of military export bans on Ankara.

10:45 a.m.:

10:07 a.m.: President Vladimir Putin says Russian economy is “withstanding the blow” of international sanctions well, even though it “is not easy,” The Associated Press reported. Putin on Monday hosted his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. “The Russian economy withstands the sanctions blow, it withstands it very worthily,” Putin said, opening the talks. “All the main macroeconomic indicators speak of this.” At the same time, the Russian leader noted that “everything is not easy, everything that happens requires special attention and special efforts from the economic bloc of the government.”

10:01 a.m:

10:42 a.m.: While street battles may have quieted down in Ukraine’s occupied region of Kherson, there appears to be another fight brewing in its halls of education. Now, as the Kremlin contemplates annexing the region or recognizing it as an “independent republic” it is moving ahead with plans to impose “Russian standards” in local schools, and finding plenty of resistance. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

10:23 a.m.: The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Monday released a video on Twitter showing the impact that donor funding has had on the humanitarian response effort in Ukraine so far.


10:18 a.m.: A Russia-installed governor of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region says that starting Monday, the region will officially become an area with dual currency — Russian rubles and Ukrainian hryvnyas, The Associated Press reported. Vladimir Saldo also said that an office of a Russian bank will open in the region, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. The Russian forces took control over the Kherson region, which borders the Donetsk region to the east and Crimea to the south, early on in the war and installed a pro-Kremlin administration there. One official in this administration has announced plans to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to incorporate the region into Russia.

10:10 a.m.:

9:43 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa in Tokyo Monday. “The Secretary and the Foreign Minister hailed the U.S.-Japan Alliance as the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. “They reaffirmed their resolute support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and committed to holding the Kremlin accountable for its war of aggression in Ukraine,” he added.

9:37 a.m.:

9:31 a.m.: Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia and Estonia will call on Tuesday for the confiscation of Russian assets frozen by the European Union to fund the rebuilding of Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, a joint letter by the four showed on Monday. “A substantial part of costs of rebuilding Ukraine, including compensation for victims of the Russian military aggression, must be covered by Russia,” said the letter, that is to be presented to EU finance ministers on Tuesday. The letter, seen by Reuters, also calls for the 27-nation bloc to start preparing new sanctions against Moscow.

9:24 a.m.:

9:21 a.m.: The head of the Russia-backed separatist region in eastern Ukraine says that Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal steel mill captured by the Russian forces are being held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and will face “international tribunal” there, The Associated Press reported. “The plan is to arrange the international tribunal on the territory of the republic as well,” Denis Pushilin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. Pushilin added that “at the moment the charter for the tribunal is being worked out.” Pushilin said earlier that 2,439 people from Azovstal were in custody, including some foreign nationals, though he did not provide details. Family members of the steel mill fighters, who came from a variety of military and law enforcement units, have pleaded for them to be given rights as prisoners of war and eventually returned to Ukraine.

9:16 a.m.:

9:11 a.m.: A young girl from Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan has chosen her high-school graduation ceremony to express her opposition to Moscow's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. A video of the girl, which went viral on social media, purportedly shows her shouting: "No to war! Liberty to Ukraine! [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is the devil!" The video shows that the girl's action was apparently applauded by members of the audience, comprising students, parents, and teachers. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

9:07 a.m.:

9:04 a.m.: The Russian military on Monday released footage of de-mining specialists working at the recently overtaken Azostal steel mill in the captured port city of Mariupol, The Associated Press reported. Russia’s Defense Ministry was quoted by the state RIA Novosti news agency as saying that over the past two days, more than 100 explosives have been destroyed.

9:02 a.m.:

8:57 a.m.: A veteran Russian diplomat to the U.N. Office at Geneva says he handed in his resignation before sending out a scathing letter to foreign colleagues inveighing against the "aggressive war unleashed" by President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. The 41-year-old Boris Bondarev confirmed his resignation in a letter delivered Monday morning at the Russian diplomatic mission after a diplomatic official passed on his English-language statement to The Associated Press. Bondarev confirmed to the AP in a phone call that he had resigned.


8:43 a.m.: The top Black Sea vacation destination of Crimea is buzzing once again this summer season. Just not with tourists. Russian military jets and helicopters are whizzing over Crimea’s warm, sandy beaches as they take part in the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine, choking off tourism, the region’s bread and butter. Sergei Romashkin, chief executive of Russian tour operator Dolphin, said hotel bookings in Kremlin-controlled Crimea this summer are down as much as 40 percent compared with last year. Other tour industry executives said demand could fall 50 percent as the war in Ukraine continues with no end in sight. Radio Free Euorpe/Radio Liberty has this report.

8:25 a.m.: The Russian ruble firmed around 4% against the dollar and euro on Monday, heading back towards multi-year highs hit last week, supported by capital controls and an upcoming month-end tax period, Reuters reported.

8:23 a.m.: A Mariupol official on Monday sounded the alarm about the growing threat of an epidemic in the ravaged port city captured by the Russians, pointing to unsanitary conditions compounded by the weather, The Associated Press reported. Mayor advisor Petro Andryushchenko said on Telegram that rain drains and sewers make rainwater spread across the city “along with rotting garbage and corpse poison.” Andryushchenko wrote, “The threat of an epidemic becomes a reality with each thunderstorm,” adding that the Russian forces in the city “continue to ignore sanitary challenges and are only engaged arranging ‘good photos’ depicting fictional ‘life improvements’.” The official said that Mariupol “desperately needs a new wave of evacuations.”

8:20 a.m.:

8:13 a.m.: There were echoes of Russia's socialist past as a sign-up parade was held recently in front of the Kremlin for a resurrected version of the Young Pioneers, a communist-era youth organization that just marked its 100th anniversary. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this photo essay.

8:08 a.m.:

7:51 a.m.: Three months into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has closed off access to lower-priced Black Sea wheat, owners of five mills in the Palestinian Gaza Strip are feeling the heat as they try to replenish stocks, Reuters reported. Prices have jumped by around 20%, meaning the territory's five mills are struggling to compete with imported stock sold at slightly cheaper rates from Egypt and the West Bank, which have lower production costs than Gaza. Abdel-Dayem Abu Awwad, general director of Gaza's biggest AL-Salam Mills Company, said the crisis had forced them to lay off most of their 54 workers and shorten working hours.

7:47 a.m.:

7:36 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday told a meeting of global business leaders at Davos that the world faced a turning point and had to ratchet up sanctions against Russia as a warning to other countries considering using brute force, Reuters reported. “History is at a turning point... This is really the moment when it is decided whether brute force will rule the world,” Zelenskyy said in an address to the conference. The World Economic Forum shared video of Zelenskyy’s speech Monday on Twitter.

7:24 a.m.: Russian state oil giant Rosneft has confirmed that Austria's former foreign minister, Karin Kneissl, whose wedding in 2018 was attended by President Vladimir Putin, has left the company's board of directors. Rosneft said in a statement on Monday that Kneissel had stepped down three days earlier, and that she would not seek to renew her position on the board for a second term. Her resignation comes after former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder left the board under pressure from lawmakers in the Bundestag, who had announced he would lose his taxpayer-funded office and staff amid the controversy over his close ties to Russia. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

7:18 a.m.:

7:09 a.m.: The Kremlin said on Monday that the West had triggered a global food crisis by imposing the severest sanctions in modern history on Russia over the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported. The war - and the West's attempt to isolate Russia as punishment - have sent the price of grain, cooking oil, fertiliser and energy soaring. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said, agreed with the United Nations assessment that the world faced a food crisis that could cause famine. "Russia has always been a rather reliable grain exporter," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. "We are not the source of the problem. The source of the problem that leads to world hunger are those who imposed sanctions against us, and the sanctions themselves." Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies.

7:02 a.m.:


7:00 a.m.: A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian soldier to life in prison on Monday for killing an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia's February 24 invasion, Reuters reported. Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old tank commander, had pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov in the northeastern Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on February 28 after being ordered to shoot him. Judge Serhiy Agafonov said Shishimarin, carrying out a "criminal order" by a soldier of higher rank, had fired several shots at the victim's head from an automatic weapon.

6:51 a.m.: More than 6.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion in late February, the U.N. refugee agency said Monday, according to Reuters. Since Russia's invasion began, 6,538,998 refugees have left Ukraine, with the majority of them entering Poland.


6:45 a.m.:

6:39 a.m.: Moscow has intensified its offensive in the eastern Luhansk region, the Ukrainian military said on Monday, with Severodonetsk under "round-the-clock" indiscriminate bombardment as Russian troops attempt to encircle the city, while U.S. President Joe Biden warned that Russia wants to "eliminate" Ukraine's national identity. In total, Ukrainian defenders have repelled 11 enemy attacks in the last 24 hours as Russian troops repeatedly tried to break through, stepping up their use of aircraft to destroy infrastructure, Ukraine's General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said early on Monday. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

6:36 a.m.: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote an open letter to Ukraine’s children and posted it on Twitter Monday.

6:34 a.m.:

6:30 a.m.: Eighty seven people were killed in a Russian air strike on the village of Desna last Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy said on Monday during a speech to global business leaders at Davos, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian authorities last week had said that eight people were killed in the strike on Desna, located in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv. Reuters could not immediately verify the new toll.

5:30 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “must pay a dear price for his barbarism in Ukraine.”

Speaking during a visit to Japan, Biden cited the importance of sending a message with long-term sanctions penalties for Russia.

“If, in fact, after all he’s done there’s a rapprochement between the Ukrainians and Russia, and the sanctions are not continued to be sustained in many ways, then what signal does that send to China about attempting to take Taiwan by force?” Biden said.

5:00 a.m.: Ukrainian officials have called for sanctions against Russia to be strengthened further, including action by European nations to cut off energy imports from Russia. European Union leaders have proposed a ban on Russian oil, but heavy reliance by several member countries has so far blocked those efforts.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s lead negotiator with Russia and an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, highlighted that situation Monday saying Europe is buying about $1 billion of Russian oil and gas every day.

“Russia continues to kill children, rape women and destroy cities,” Podolyak tweeted. “Ukraine continues to defend European borders and democratic civilization. Draw conclusions.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to impose even stronger sanctions against Russia as he spoke to Ukraine’s parliament Sunday.

“Half-measures should not be used when aggression should be stopped,” Zelenskyy said.

Russian deputy foreign minister said Monday that Moscow will be ready to return to negotiations with Kyiv when Ukraine demonstrates “a constructive response,” Reuters reported citing Interfax News Agency.

4:30 a.m.: The energy security crisis wrought after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must not lead a deeper dependence on fossil fuels, International Energy (IEA) chief Fatih Birol told the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Monday, Reuters reported.

The right investments, especially in renewable energy and nuclear power, mean the world need not choose between energy shortages and accelerated climate change due to fossil fuel emissions, Birol told delegates in Davos, Switzerland.

3:30 a.m.: Poland has decided to terminate an intergovernmental agreement with Russia regarding the Yamal gas pipeline, Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said on Twitter on Monday, Reuters reported.

“Russia's aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the accuracy of the Polish government's determination to become completely independent from Russian gas. We always knew that Gazprom was not a reliable partner,” Moskwa said.

2:30 a.m.: New Zealand said Monday it is deploying additional 30 defense force personnel to the United Kingdom in support of Ukrainian armed forces, CNN reported.

“The soldiers will be stationed in the United Kingdom until the end of July,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

In April, New Zealand deployed a C-130 Hercules and 58 personnel to Europe to further support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, according to Reuters.

2:00 a.m.: Russian citizens may express their discontent with the way the war against Ukraine is going, the British defense ministry predicted Monday, based on the number of casualties Russian forces have suffered.

“Russia has likely suffered a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine year war in Afghanistan,” The ministry said in its daily update posted on Twitter.

1:30 a.m.: The U.N.’s refugee agency said conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution around the world, including the war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, have driven more than 100 million people from their homes in total.

“100 million refugees and displaced people are a terrible indicator of the state of our world,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said Monday in a Twitter post.

1:00 a.m.: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country is interested in a major gas exploitation project in Senegal as he began a three-nation visit to Africa on Sunday that also is focused on the geopolitical consequences of the war in Ukraine. The Associated Press has the story.

12:30 a.m.: During U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan this week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Biden Monday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “undermines the foundation of global order,” The New York Times reported.

“We can in no way allow whatsoever such attempts to change the status quo by force wherever it may be in the world,” Kishida said.

Information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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