© Reuters. General view of Kyiv after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
(Reuters) – A fire broke out at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant during a Russian attack in Ukraine, sending jitters through global markets even though U.S. and Ukrainian officials said background levels of radiation had not changed.
*Stop fighting around nuclear plant – Biden
U.S. President Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy about the fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the White House said. The two leaders urged Russia to “cease its military activities in the area and allow firefighters and emergency responders to access the site,” it said.
*One million refugees More than 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine in just seven days, the United Nations said.
*‘According to plan,’ Putin says “I want to say that the special military operation is proceeding strictly in line with the timetable. According to plan. All the tasks that have been set are being successfully resolved,” he said on television.
*France’s Macron tells Putin: ‘You are lying to yourself’ – French official “There was nothing in what President Putin said that could reassure us” in a phone call he made to French President Macron, said a French presidential adviser. He said Putin reiterated that he was seeking the “de-nazification of Ukraine” and Macron said: “You are lying to yourself.”
*Ad giant Google (NASDAQ:) pulls ads in Russia
Google said it had stopped selling online advertising in Russia, a ban that covers search, YouTube and outside publishing partners. Sneaker maker Nike (NYSE:) and home furnishings firm IKEA shut down stores in Russia.
*INSIGHT: A battle to prove war crimesPast cases at the International Criminal Court in The Hague suggest that – despite mounting civilian casualties in Ukraine – it will be a long and difficult process to prove violations of international humanitarian law and to prosecute any suspects successfully. *MARKETS: Stocks slide, oil jumps
Asian shares took a beating in early trade and oil prices jumped as investors took fright over reports of the fire at the nuclear plant.
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