Russia and Ukraine: What you need to know right now

The app of the Russian government newspaper is displayed on an iPhone screen showing Russian President Vladimir Putin during his speech in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, February 22, 2022.[AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr]

Here's what you need to know about the Ukraine crisis right now:

Russia attacked Ukrainian oil and gas facilities, sparking huge explosions, and some Russian forces entered the second city Kharkiv. A blast was heard after air raid siren in the capital Kyiv, where President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian forces were resisting a Russian advance. nL4N2V202X]

Western allies announced sweeping sanctions against Russia, including barring some key banks from the SWIFT payments system. The move will inflict a crippling economic blow to Moscow but also hurt Western companies and banks.

At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed in Russia's invasion, the head of the Ukrainian Health Ministry was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Russian forces blew up a natural gas pipeline in Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, while Russian-backed separatists said Ukraine had blown up an oil terminal in the breakaway Luhansk province. Russia continues to supply Europe with gas via Ukraine.

Refugees continued to pour across Ukraine's western borders, with around 100,000 reaching Poland in two days.

Ukraine denied that it was refusing to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia but said it was not ready to accept ultimatums or unacceptable conditions.

A Ukrainian road-maintenance company said it was removing all road signs to hinder invading Russian forces: "Let us help them get straight to hell."

In a sea of blue and yellow flags and banners, protesters around the world expressed support for the people of Ukraine and called on governments to do more to help Kyiv, punish Russia and avoid a broader conflict.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich said he was giving stewardship of Chelsea to the London soccer club's foundation.


"We will fight as long as it takes to liberate the country," Zelenskiy said in a video message.

"We will hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin," the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States wrote.