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An Ukrainian armoured personnel carrier (APC) BTR-4 seen destroyed after shelling in Kharkiv, on Feb 28, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Putin lays out conditions as Russians shell Ukrainian city

Russian President Vladmir Putin on Monday levelled conditions on ending Moscow's offensive against Ukraine as Russian forces shelled the country's second city in the face of sweeping Western sanctions.

The Russian attacks on Kharkiv killed at least 11 people, Ukrainian officials said.

Kyiv says more than 350 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed since the invasion began on Thursday.

The United Nations said more than half a million people have fled the country.


Russia expected to try and encircle Kyiv in coming days: US official

The United States expects Russian forces to try to encircle Kyiv in the coming days and could become more aggressive out of frustration with their slow advance on the Ukrainian capital, a senior US defence official said on Monday.

Air raid sirens wailed across the largely empty streets of Kyiv on Monday warning of another possible missile attack by Russia as the city girds for worse battles to come as Russian forces approach.

"We expect that they're going to want to continue to move forward and try to encircle the city in the coming days," the official said, adding that Russian troops were about 25km from Kyiv's city centre.


Macron gets French election poll boost after Ukraine crisis

Support for President Emmanuel Macron rose to its highest yet in polling intentions for the first round of France's presidential election, boosted by his role in the Ukraine crisis, according to a poll published on Monday.

Macron gained two points in the IFOP poll for Paris Match, rising to 28%, the highest level since the start of the rolling poll.

It comes less than two months before the election's first round on April 10.


Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine less effective in ages 5-11: New York study

Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was protective against severe disease in children aged 5 to 11 during the recent Omicron variant surge, but quickly lost most of its ability to prevent infection in the age group, according to a study by New York State researchers.

The vaccine's efficacy against infection among those children declined to 12% at the end of January from 68% in mid-December compared to kids who did not get vaccinated, according the study, which has not yet been peer reviewed.

For those aged 12 to 17, the vaccine's protection against infection fell to 51% in late January from 66% in mid-December.


Football: Fifa and Uefa suspend Russia from all competitions until further notice

Fifa and Uefa have suspended Russia's national teams and clubs from international football until further notice due to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The move makes it likely that Russia will be excluded from this year's World Cup and the women's Euro 2020 tournament.

"Fifa and Uefa have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both Fifa and Uefa competitions until further notice," Uefa said in a statement.


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