Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Aug 20 (Reuters) - Russia reported fresh Ukrainian drone attacks on Friday evening, a day after explosions erupted near military bases in Russian-held areas of Ukraine and Russia itself, apparent displays of Kyiv's growing ability to pummel Moscow's assets far from front lines.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in the direction of Kramatorsk and Bakhmut, west of the Luhansk area held by pro-Russian separatists, Ukraine's General Staff said on Saturday morning.
* Blasts at the Saky air base in the annexed Crimean peninsula this month have put more than half the Russian Black Sea fleet's naval aviation combat jets out of use, a Western official said.
* The fleet is to receive 12 new vessels alongside additional aviation and land-based vehicles this year, newly appointed commander Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov said on Friday, state-owned TASS news agency reported.
* Reuters could not confirm battlefield reports independently.
* Russia has no moral right to sit at the Group of 20 nations while it presses on with its invasion of Ukraine, Britain's foreign ministry said, hours after G20 host Indonesia said President Vladimir Putin would attend the group's November summit in Bali.
* Putin warned his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that shelling of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which he blamed on Kyiv, could result in a large-scale disaster. According to Macron's office, Putin agreed to an International Atomic Energy Agency mission to the plant.
* President Joe Biden's latest security assistance package for Ukraine includes surveillance drones and for the first time mine-resistant vehicles, a senior U.S. defence official said.
* China's imports of Russian coal jumped 14% in July from a year earlier to their highest in at least five years, as a looming EU ban over the war forced Moscow to sell at a discount to buyers like China and India. Russia remained China's top oil supplier for a third month.
* S&P Global raised Ukraine's foreign currency credit ratings above "selective default", noting that Kyiv had completed a distressed debt restructuring.
* A panel of investors determined Ukraine's two-year sovereign debt freeze, agreed with creditors last week, justified payment of default insurance known as credit default swaps. The Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee said it will hold an auction in the first half of September to settle the contracts.
* Ukraine's economy could contract 35% to 40% by the end of the year, said Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko. Output shrank more than 15% in the first quarter.
(Compiled by William Mallard)
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