Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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March 17 (Reuters) - Russian forces in Ukraine were blasting cities and killing civilians but no longer making progress on the ground, according to Western intelligence, as the war entered its fourth week. read more


* Over 350,000 people are sheltering in the besieged southern port of Mariupol, officials said.

* Rescuers are combing the rubble of a theatre in Mariupol bombed on Wednesday for survivors. Russia denies striking it. Italy said it will rebuild it. read more

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* The governor of the northern Chernihiv region said 53 civilians had been in killed in the past 24 hours. Russia denies targeting civilians.

* The U.N. said it had recorded 780 confirmed civilian deaths since the invasion began, and 3.2 million have fled.


* Russia's invasion has largely stalled on all fronts in recent days amid heavy losses, British military intelligence and the Ukrainian armed forces said.


* A "very, very big gap" remains between Ukraine and Russia, Western officials said after another day of peace talks. read more

* Russian President Vladimir Putin shows little desire to compromise, they said, while Ukraine wants to retain sovereignty over areas occupied since 2014 by Russia and pro-Russian forces.

* Washington said it was concerned that China was assisting Russia with military equipment. U.S. President Joe Biden will talk to Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday. read more

* Russia accused the United States of stoking "Russophobia" and said it had the power to put its "brash enemies into place". read more


* The OECD estimates the war could knock more than 1 percentage point off global growth this year. read more

* Some creditors have received payment of Russian bond coupons which fell due this week, market sources said, meaning Russia may for now have averted a debt default. read more


* European governments have approached the U.S. government and defence contractors with a shopping list of arms including drones and missiles, sources told Reuters.


"Every year politicians repeat 'never again'," Zelenskiy told German lawmakers, invoking a slogan used to mark the Holocaust. "And now we see that these words are simply worthless. In Europe a people is being destroyed, they are trying to destroy everything that is dear to us, what we live for."

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Compiled by Gareth Jones and Rosalba O'Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.