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Factory output in Russia fell in May.Vladimir Smirnov/Zuma Press

Russian factories saw output and new orders fall again in May, leading to some job losses, according to a survey of purchasing managers released by data firm S&P Global on Wednesday.

The survey of 250 manufacturing companies suggests Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Western sanctions imposed in response, continues to take a toll on the country’s economy.

However, there were some signs of stabilization after the initial shock of the invasion, with business confidence rebounding slightly and factories reporting the smallest increase in the prices they charge since June 2020.

S&P said its Purchasing Managers Index for Russia’s manufacturing sector rose to 50.8 in May from 48.2 in April. A reading above 50.0 points to an increase in activity, but the May measure is deceptive.

Usually, the longer waiting times reported by manufacturers to get supplies would point to increasing levels of activity in the sector, but in Russia’s case they instead point to the imposition of sanctions.

“Longer lead times, ordinarily a sign of improving demand conditions but driven by sanctions and logistics delays here, also contributed positively to the latest index reading,” S&P Global said.

The survey’s measure of current output continued to point to a decline, albeit at a slower pace than in April, while new orders and employment also fell. While input costs continued to rise, they did so at a slower pace than in recent months.

Workers in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa on Tuesday repaired an apartment damaged by Russian shelling.stepan franko/Shutterstock

War Leaves 5.2 Million Children in Need of Aid, at Least 262 Dead, Unicef Says

A Ukrainian child, a refugee from the Azovstal Iron and Steelworks in Mariupol, searches for a toy in a pavilion in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.Miguel Gutierrez/Zuma Press

Unicef marked International Day for Protection of Children with a statement illustrating the scope of the impact of the war in Ukraine, declaring that 5.2 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance and at least 262 have been killed since the war began nearly 100 days ago.

On average, more than two children are killed and more than four are injured daily in Ukraine, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund estimated in the report issued Tuesday. At least 415 children have been injured since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Unicef said.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office provided similar numbers on social media: 243 children killed and 446 injured as of Tuesday. Actual casualty figures are believed to be significantly higher, with official accounts based on verified reports that often don’t include areas of Ukraine under Russian control.

Unicef stressed that the invasion has had dire consequences for children “at a scale and speed not seen since World War II,” pointing out that nearly two of every three children in Ukraine have been displaced by fighting. Three million children inside Ukraine and over 2.2 million children in refugee-hosting countries are now in need of humanitarian assistance, it said.

“War has caused an acute child-protection crisis,” Unicef said. “At the same time, the war and mass displacement are devastating livelihoods and economic opportunities, leaving many families without sufficient income to meet basic needs and unable to provide adequate support for their children.”

The U.N. agency repeated calls for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and “full humanitarian access to safely and quickly reach children in need wherever they may be.”

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Local artists drew on debris from rockets in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Tuesday. Some of the items will be sold in an online auction to raise funds for the Ukrainian armed forces.mykola tys/Shutterstock
Team members for Ukrainian prosecutors examined evidence in a heavily damaged residential building the Saltivka district, northern Kharkiv, on Tuesday.genya savilov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Ukraine: Russian forces took parts of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, as Moscow continued its push in the Donbas area. The strategically imporant city's large rail-cargo station would be an asset for Russia’s military, which depends on trains to move troops and munitions.

Two Russian soldiers were found guilty of firing rockets indiscriminately toward civilian areas and given prison terms of 11 years and six months, in Ukraine’s second war crimes trial since Russia invaded in February.

U.S.: The Biden administration plans to supply Ukraine with a guided-rocket system capable of hitting targets from a distance of more than 40 miles, according to U.S. officials, providing new details on plans first reported last week.

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