March 9 (Reuters) – Russia said it will provide humanitarian corridors on Wednesday for people fleeing Kyiv and four other Ukrainian cities, as the number of refugees created by the biggest assault on a European country since World War Two surpassed 2 million. read more
Ukraine must hold off Russia’s attack for the next seven to 10 days to deny Moscow claiming any sort of victory, a senior Ukrainian official said.
* Russian forces would “observe a regime of silence” from 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700 GMT) to ensure safe passage for civilians wishing to leave Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol, the head of Russia’s National Defence Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev, was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency.
It was unclear if the proposed routes would pass through Russia or Belarus, conditions previously opposed by the Ukrainian government.
* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Turkey on Wednesday for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Tass cited the Russian foreign ministry as saying. read more
* Britain unveiled new aviation sanctions on Wednesday giving it the power to detain any Russian aircraft and banning exports of aviation or space-related goods to Russia. read more *A U.S. ban on imports of Russia’s oil sparked a further increase in oil prices. Prices have surged more than 30% since Russia invaded its neighbour on Feb. 24. read more
* Russia is reducing the use of U.S. dollars in its reserves and external settlements after the West slapped sanctions on Russia, the RIA news agency quoted the foreign ministry’s director of economic cooperation as saying.
* Ukrainian troops repulsed efforts by Russian forces to enter the eastern city of Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.
* Russian forces have repeatedly tried to seize the southern regional capital of Mykolayiv in attacks that have been repulsed by Ukrainian troops, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said. * Britain said Ukraine’s air defences were having success against Russian jets, likely preventing Russia from controlling the airspace. read more
* The United Nations human rights office said it had verified 1,335 civilian casualties so far in Ukraine, including 474 killed and 861 injured, but the true toll was likely to be higher.
* Ukraine says its forces have killed more than 11,000 Russian troops. Russia has confirmed about 500 losses. Neither side has disclosed Ukrainian casualties. read more
* The United States rejected a surprise offer by NATO ally Poland on Tuesday to transfer its Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. base in Germany as a way to replenish Ukraine’s air force in its defence against invading Russian forces.
* The International Monetary Fund’s executive board is poised to approve $1.4 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine on Wednesday to help it respond to Russia’s invasion, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday. read more
* McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), Starbucks and L’Oreal are temporarily closing all outlets in Russia. Coca-Cola and Pepsi suspended soda sales in the country.
* Unilever (ULVR.L) became the first major European food company to stop imports and exports out of Russia.
* The London Metal Exchange halted trade in nickel after prices of the metal, a key component in electric vehicle batteries, doubled to more than $100,000 a tonne. read more