Hard Numbers: Russian death toll, oligarchs’ yachts get away, migrants storm Spanish enclave, Afghan trust fund, space junk

File photo of a Russian soldier standing guard at an outlook post.

REUTERS

498: At least 498 Russian soldiers have died so far in the Ukraine invasion, Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday. It's the first time Moscow has put a figure on its own casualties since launching the war almost a week ago.


5: President Joe Biden announced in his SOTU address Tuesday night that the US would seize the property of Russian billionaires with ties to Vladimir Putin in response to the Ukraine invasion. Five yachts owned by Russian oligarchs have arrived in the Maldives — which notably has no extradition treaty with the US — since sanctions were placed on Russia.

2,500: On Wednesday, about 2,500 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa tried to cross the border fence that separates Morocco from Melilla, one of Spain’s two enclaves in the North African country. It’s the biggest influx since May 2021, when another wave of migrants crashed the gates in Ceuta — the other Spanish enclave — during a diplomatic clash between Rabat and Madrid over the sovereignty of Western Sahara.

1 billion: The World Bank said Tuesday that it will use more than $1 billion from a frozen trust fund to pay for urgently needed development programs in Afghanistan. The money will go directly to the UN and other agencies on the ground – but not a single cent will go to the Taliban.

5,800: A mass of space junk weighing more than three tons is traveling at 5,800 mph to the far side of the Moon. It will likely crash there on Friday. Experts believe the trash is the remains of a Chinese rocket launched in 2014, but Beijing has declined to confirm it.
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