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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right nowUkrainian forces battled to block Russian military advances into the eastern region of Donbas, a provincial governor said, as Ukraine urged its allies to send it more weapons.Economy/Diplomacy* US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had discussed Russia’s aggression in Ukraine during talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during which he also raised concerns over Beijing’s alignment with Moscow.* G20 foreign ministers called on Friday for an end to the war and grain blockade in Ukraine, as Russia’s top diplomat walked out of a meeting and denounced the West for “frenzied criticism” and squandering a chance to tackle global economic problems.* President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that continued sanctions against Russia could lead to “catastrophic” energy price rises for European consumers.War Rages On* Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations, British military intelligence said.* Russia’s ambassador to Britain told Reuters on Friday that Russia is unlikely to withdraw from a swathe of land across Ukraine’s southern coast and will defeat Ukrainian forces in the entire eastern Donbas region.* Western high-precision weapons are helping Ukraine slow down Russia’s invasion, but it does not have enough of them and soldiers need time to adapt to using them, a top Ukrainian security official said on Friday.* Ukraine has not used advanced US-made high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) to strike Russian targets outside of Ukraine territory, a senior US defense official said on Friday, disputing Russian accusations.Quotes* “They took away my spring, they took away my summer, and now they’ve taken away seven more years of my life,” Alexei Gorinov, a Moscow district councillor was quoted by his supporters as saying on Friday after he was handed a seven-year jail sentence for criticising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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