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As Monday draws to a close in Kyiv and Moscow, here are the main developments of the day:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that thousands of Russian troops are massing for a new offensive in eastern Ukraine – an assessment supported by Western governments. A senior US defense official said the United States continued to see signs of Russian command and control elements, support battalions, infantry and helicopters moving into the Donbass region just from across the Russian border.
Ukrainian officials say at least 1,200 civilians were killed in the Kyiv region. Recovery efforts continue in suburbs, towns and villages outside the capital. Bodies were found in basements and manholes and recovered from destroyed buildings and homes.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in the first face-to-face exchange between Putin and a Western leader since Russia invaded Ukraine. As a non-aligned European country, Austria has traditionally played a unique role between NATO member states and Russia. “This is not a friendly visit,” Nehammer said in a statement. “My most important message to Putin was that this war must finally end, because in a war there are only losers on both sides.” The Kremlin had no comment.
Russia’s war could shrink Ukraine’s economy 45% this year, warns the World Bank. Sanctions imposed on Russia are expected to cut output by 11.2%, economists say. Emerging and developing countries in this region have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, notes a World Bank report.
Russian Ministry of Defense accused the United States to assist Ukraine in what Russia has called efforts to fake atrocities against civilians and blame the Russian forces. Faced with mounting evidence that Russian forces have carried out summary executions of Ukrainian civilians near kyiv and other cities, Russia continues to dismiss the atrocities as fakes or “provocations”. In Monday’s statement, the department said, “The United States, which has many years of experience staging provocations with human victims, continues its campaign to create and promote false ‘evidence’.” He provided no evidence to back up his claims.
A Russian woman who interrupted a live news program to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was hired as a freelance journalist by the German media group Welt. Marina Ovsyannikova was editor-in-chief of Russian state broadcaster Channel One when she jumped on set holding a sign that denounced the war and the Kremlin propaganda promoting it. She was detained and fined for this. “At a crucial moment, Marina Ovsyannikova had the courage to confront Russian viewers with a no-frills take on reality,” Ulf Poschardt, editor-in-chief of Welt, said in a statement. Ovsyannikova will cover Russia and Ukraine.
Russia’s Plan A in Ukraine has failed. Here’s what plan B might look like.
Chernihiv doctors testify about the fate of their hospital after the Russian bombings.
John Lennon’s son Julian performs ‘Imagine’ for the first time in support of Ukraine.
You can read more Monday news here and daily recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find NPR’s full coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR Ukrainian state podcast for updates throughout the day.