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Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 122 of the invasion

  • German consumers could face a tripling of gas prices in the coming months after Russia’s throttling of deliveries to Europe, a senior energy official has said. Moscow reduced the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 40% last week, citing technical reasons that Berlin dismisses as a pretext, prompting a four- to sixfold rise in market prices, said the head of Germany’s federal network agency, Klaus Müller. Such “enormous leaps in price” were unlikely to be passed down entirely to consumers, he said, but German citizens had to brace for dramatically rising costs. “A doubling or tripling is possible,” he told public broadcaster ARD.

  • Ukrainian forces are preparing to retreat from the strategic eastern city of Severodonetsk after weeks of fierce fighting. Sergiy Gaiday, governor of the Lugansk region that includes Severodonetsk, said Ukrainian military forces in the city had received the order to withdraw and remaining in the positions “just doesn’t make sense”, adding that 90% of the industrial city had been damaged. Severodonetsk’s military administration head, Roman Vlasenko, told Radio Svoboda that the Ukrainian army was still in the city and it would “take them some time to retire”.

  • The European Council has approved €9bn of financial aid to Ukraine. In a statement made by the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, at the European Council summit in Brussels on Friday, he said: “There is a war in Ukraine and there is nothing to pay nurses, teachers, police, border guards or many other public services.”

  • Russia has condemned the European Union’s decision to accept Ukraine and Moldova as membership candidates. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said: “With the decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries, the European Union has confirmed that it continues to actively exploit the CIS on a geopolitical level, to use it to ‘contain’ Russia,” referring to Russia’s sphere of influence within the Commonwealth of Independent States, consisting of former Soviet countries.

  • Canada will be able to seize and dispose of assets sanctioned as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, following the Canadian Senate’s passage of the budget of the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on Thursday. The government will then be able to use the funds from seized assets to support Ukraine.

  • Ukraine’s main domestic security agency said on Friday it had uncovered a Russian spy network involving Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who was previously accused by the US of being a Russian agent. The state security service said Derkach, whose whereabouts were not made clear, set up a network of private security firms to use them to ease and support the entry of Russian units into cities during Moscow’s 24 February invasion.

  • More than 3,000 dolphins in the Black Sea have died as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian scientists working in the “Tuzlovsky Lymans” reserve, a national nature park. Nexta reports that the “work of sonar and explosions prevent them from finding food” and that dead dolphins have been increasingly found on the coasts of Bulgaria and Romania, in addition to Ukraine.

  • Mass kidnappings have been occurring in Melitopol, the mayor of the south-eastern Ukrainian city said. “More than 500 people have been abducted in the last four months,” Ivan Fedrov said, adding that mass kidnappings resumed in the Russian-occupied territory last week.

  • It would require Ukraine a decade to rebuild infrastructure of its Black Sea ports, whose blockade by Russia is preventing global grain exports, according to Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister. “For alternative routes, it would take 10 years of investment to try to build the necessary infrastructure to replace this Black Sea port infrastructure, which we spent about 20 years building, starting in 2000,” Taras Vysotskiy said on Friday.

  • Russia has launched 70 missiles at Odesa since February 24, the south-western city’s regional prosecution has said. According to the prosecution, the majority of the missiles have targeted residential areas and public utilities.

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