Tuesday evening UK news briefing: How Russia’s race to take the Donbas may give Ukraine the edge

The advance comes amid reports that Russian-backed separatists are dropping “bunker-busting bombs” as they storm the last remaining holdout of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol.

Soldiers are zoning in on the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the besieged port city, whose network of underground tunnels is currently sheltering thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and as many as 1,000 civilians. 

The civilians hiding out in the warren of passageways are said to be mainly women and children. 

This video shows people describing the conditions in the tunnels.

‘Tectonic shift’

The UK is revoking the Moscow Stock Exchange’s status as a recognised stock exchange in the latest sign of Russia’s isolation from the global financial system.

The move, announced by HM Revenue & Customs, comes as the IMF’s economists slashed growth forecasts in the wake of Russia’s invasion and warned that the world is at risk of splitting into two economic blocks as a “tectonic shift” puts an end to decades of globalisation.

Read how there are fears China and Russia could create a financial system to rival the West. 

Tim Wallace investigates who will save the world economy while Matthew Lynn sets out why Germany should face sanctions too if it will not stop buying Russian gas.

Failing refugees

Today, Boris Johnson joined a call with other G7 leaders, chaired by Joe Biden, over the war in Ukraine. 

Yet back home his immigration policy was coming under fire, with the Prime Minister’s achievements becoming seriously undermined by the treatment of Ukrainian refugees.

In the Commons today, former prime minister Theresa May has said she does not support the Government’s plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda on the grounds of “legality, practicality and efficacy”. 

Matthew Lesh sets out why tick-box Britain has failed Ukrainian refugees.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Electric chopsticks do taste trick

Japanese scientists have put the flavour back into a low-sodium diet by developing electrically charged chopsticks that fool a diner’s taste buds into believing their meal has been liberally sprinkled with salt. Scientists at Meiji University have teamed up with Kirin Holdings Company, one of Japan’s largest drinks manufacturers, to transform traditional chopsticks into a state-of-the-art solution to high blood pressure, strokes and other illnesses associated with a high salt intake. See them in action.

Tuesday interview

The Vote Leave data guru now saving the NHS

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