Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

‘Don’t fall for the trap’: Ukraine warns Russian disinformation could target Western lawmakers

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Western lawmakers and media not to be fooled by Russian disinformation.

Francois Walschaerts | AFP | Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has warned Western lawmakers of the prospect of a “massive” Russian disinformation campaign over imposing sanctions and supplying arms to Ukraine.

“Russia knows that arms supplies are essential for Ukraine and is mobilizing all efforts to undermine them,” Kuleba said via Twitter.

“Moscow has prepared a massive information campaign targeting foreign media and politicians. Their troll factory can spam emails and flood comments with [disinformation] on Ukraine. Don’t fall for the trap,” Kuleba said.

—Sam Meredith

French Societe Generale pulls out of Russia with sale of Rosbank stake; shares jump 5%

The French bank Societe Generale has announced its intention to leave Russia.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

French bank Societe Generale has agreed to sell its stake in Rosbank and the Russian lender’s insurance subsidiaries to Interros Capital, an investment firm founded by Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin.

Bank of Russia’s exit comes after growing pressure to follow in the footsteps of other Western companies following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

SocGen said in a statement that it would have a €2 billion ($2.1 billion) impairment of the net book value of divested businesses and a non-cash exceptional item with no impact on the Group’s capital ratio. of 1.1 billion euros.

Shares of SocGen rose nearly 5% in early morning trading in London.

—Sam Meredith

UK fears Russia may use phosphorus munitions in Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol

The British Ministry of Defense said Russian shelling continued in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with Ukrainian forces seen “repelling several assaults resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks, vehicles and artillery equipment”.

The ministry warned Russian forces that the past use of phosphorus munitions in Donetsk Oblast “raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city escalates.”

He also said that “Russia’s continued reliance on unguided bombs diminishes its ability to discriminate when targeting and conducting strikes while significantly increasing the risk of further civilian casualties.”

—Sam Meredith

The war will reduce Ukraine’s GDP by more than 45%, according to World Bank forecasts

Ears of wheat are seen in a field near the village of Hrebeni in Kyiv region, Ukraine, July 17, 2020.

Valentin Ogirenko | Reuters

Ukraine’s economic output will likely contract by 45.1% this year as the Russian invasion shuttered businesses, reduced exports and destroyed productive capacity, the World Bank said in a new impact assessment on Sunday. economics of war.

The World Bank also predicts that Russia’s GDP output in 2022 will fall by 11.2% due to punitive financial sanctions imposed by the United States and its Western allies on Russian banks, state-owned enterprises and other institutions. .

The World Bank’s Eastern Europe region, comprising Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, is expected to see a 30.7% contraction in GDP this year, due to shocks from war and trade disruption .

For Ukraine, the World Bank report estimates that more than half of businesses in the country are closed, while others still open are operating well below normal capacity. The closure of Black Sea shipping from Ukraine has cut off about 90% of the country’s grain exports and half of its total exports.

Reuters

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