Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

(Reuters) - Ukrainian officials said they hoped to get thousands of women and children out of the besieged southeastern city of Mariupol as Russia pressed ahead with a new offensive along front lines in eastern Ukraine.

FIGHTING

* Russia's military presence on Ukraine's eastern border continues to build, a British military update said, adding that fighting in the southeastern Donbas region is intensifying as Russian forces seek to break through Ukrainian defences.

* Russia called on Ukrainian troops at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol to surrender, saying its troops will observe a ceasefire while the proposal is in effect. No Ukrainian fighters responded to a similar call on Tuesday, Russia said.* Ukraine hopes to send 90 buses to Mariupol on Wednesday to evacuate about 6,000 women, children and elderly people, the city's mayor Vadym Boichenko said. He said about 100,000 thousand civilians remain in the city.

* About 120 civilians living next to the plant left via humanitarian corridors on Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported, quoting Russian state TV.

DIPLOMACY

* European Council President Charles Michel made an unexpected visit to Kyiv, following a trip to the Ukrainian capital by the head of the EU's executive earlier this month.

* U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to send more artillery weaponry to Ukraine.

* Norway has donated about 100 Mistral air defence missiles to Ukraine, the Norwegian defence ministry said.

* Western nations are preparing to stage coordinated walk-outs to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine at Wednesday's meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington.

ECONOMY

* Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, who started transitioning to the IMF's economic counselor role in January, said the war in Ukraine may damage expectations for decades-high inflation to start to subside this year.

* Russia's war in Ukraine is to blame for exacerbating "already dire" world food insecurity, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

* World Bank President David Malpass will host a meeting on Thursday with Ukraine's prime minister and finance minister to discuss further aid.

* The Ukraine war's impact on economic growth and associated costs such as reducing dependence on Russian natural gas have forced Austria to hike its budget deficit and debt forecasts for this year.

QUOTES

* "The Russian army will forever inscribe itself in world history as perhaps the most barbaric and inhuman army in the world," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

(Editing by Himani Sarkar and Philippa Fletcher)