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RUSSIA

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday said Ukrainian forces would respond to the shelling of Marhanets. Ukraine's military said Russia also bombarded several other areas in the Zaporizhzhia region including the coal-mining town of Vuhledar.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week described the pressure his armed forces were under in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine as "hell." He spoke of fierce fighting around the town of Avdiivka and the fortified village of Pisky, where Kyiv has acknowledged its Russian foe's "partial success" in recent days.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a Women's National Basketball Association star, was arrested in mid-February as she arrived to play for a Russian side during the WNBA offseason.
Schroeder, a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and increasingly derided in Germany for his pro-Russia stance, said last month's agreement on grain shipments from Ukraine, aimed at easing a global food crisis, might offer a way forward.

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Russia said it was responding to comments by Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine's deputy head of military intelligence, about the way Kyiv had used U.S.-made and supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers based on what he called excellent satellite imagery and real-time information.
Washington was "deeply concerned" that Moscow was now using the plant as a military base and firing on Ukrainian forces from around it, Blinken told reporters after nuclear nonproliferation talks at the United Nations in New York.
The deaths, some of which were confirmed by Reuters journalists at the prison where the men were held in eastern Donetsk province, overshadowed a U.N.-brokered deal to restart shipping grain from Ukraine and ease a worldwide food crisis.
Russian forces have taken over Ukraine's second biggest power plant, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in an interview posted on YouTube. Russian-backed forces had earlier announced the capture of the Soviet-era, coal-fired Vuhlehirsk plant in eastern Ukraine.
With a dozen EU countries already facing lower Russian supplies, Brussels is urging member states to save gas and store it for winter, fearing Russia will completely cut off flows in retaliation for sanctions over the Ukraine war.
Soaring energy costs and the threat of hunger faced by millions in poorer nations show how the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two, now in its sixth month, is having an impact far from Ukraine.

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Friday's deal means around $10 billion worth of grain will be available for sale with roughly 20 million tons of last year's harvest that can now be exported, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Nearly five months since President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Russia's neighbor, its forces are grinding through the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and occupy around a fifth of the country.
Unveiling what he said was U.S. intelligence, John Kirby, the chief National Security Council spokesman, told a White House news briefing that the Russians are preparing to install proxy officials, establish the ruble as the default currency and force residents to apply for citizenship.

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