March 26, 2022
(Reuters) – Ukraine’s Zelenskiy pushed for further talks with Russia as Moscow signalled it was scaling back its ambitions, focussing territory claimed by Russian-backed separatists in the east after attacks elsewhere stalled.
* Russia said the first phase of its military operation was mostly complete and it would focus on “liberating” Ukraine’s breakaway eastern Donbas region. Reframing his goals may make it easier for Putin to claim a face-saving victory, analysts said.
* Three hundred people may have been killed in the bombing of a Mariupol theatre, local officials said. Russia said 1,351 of its soldiers had died, while the U.N. said it had confirmed 1,081 civilian deaths in Ukraine.
* Thousands of miles from Ukraine, Russia was conducting military drills on islands claimed by Tokyo, Japanese media said, days after Moscow halted peace talks with Japan because of its sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
* About 3.7 million people have fled Ukraine, which had a prewar population of 44 million.
* The U.N. is looking into allegations that civilians were forcibly moved from the besieged southern city of Mariupol to Russia.
* China’s state-run Sinopec Group suspended talks for a major petrochemical investment and a gas marketing venture in Russia, sources told Reuters, heeding a government call for caution as Western sanctions mount.
* The United States will supply Europe with more liquefied natural gas to help curb reliance on Russia, Biden said.
* The war is driving commodities prices up and will likely reduce global growth prospects, U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen said.
* “I told my wife to grab the children and to hide in the basement, and I went to the drafting station and joined my unit straight away.” – Andriy, a Ukrainian soldier on the frontline northwest of Kyiv.
(Compiled by William Mallard)