Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

‘Don’t fall for it’: Ukraine alarms Russian disinformation may target Western lawmakers

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has fooled Western lawmakers and media not to be fooled by Russian disinformation.

Francois Walschaerts | Afp | Getty Images

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has warned Western lawmakers about the prospect of a “massive” Russian disinformation campaign over the imposition of sanctions and the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

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

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

— Sam Meredith

France’s Societe Generale to withdraw from Russia with sale of Rosbank stake; shares jump 5%

French bank Societe Generale has announced plans to exit 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.

The bank’s exit from Russia after mounting pressure to follow in the footsteps of other Western companies in the wake of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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

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

— Sam Meredith

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

The UK Defense Ministry says Russian shelling continues in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with Ukrainian forces seen “repulsing assaults resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks, vehicles and artillery equipment.”

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

It also said Russia’s “continued reliance on unguided bombs said their ability to discriminate when targeting and conducting strikes while greatly increasing the risk of further civilian casualties.”

— Sam Meredith

War to slash Ukraine’s GDP output by over 45%, World Bank forecasts

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

Valentine Ogirenko | Reuters

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

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

The World Bank’s Eastern Europe region, including Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, is forecast to show a GDP contraction of 30.7% this year, due to shocks from the war and disruption of trade.

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

Reuters

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