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UN says 6.5 million Ukrainians have become refugees; Zelenskyy tells Davos the world is at a 'turning point'

This was CNBC's live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine on Monday. See here for the latest updates. 

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls for stiffer sanctions against Russia at Davos
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Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls for stiffer sanctions against Russia at Davos

Ukraine is set to be top of the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday, as business leaders gather at the annual event. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the summit via video link on Monday.

Notably this year, Russian politicians, business leaders and academics are absent from the event.

Over the weekend, Russia continued its push into Ukraine's eastern Donbas region with heavy strikes on numerous locations, including Severodonetsk — a strategic target as forces attempt to push through from Donetsk to Luhansk.

Meanwhile, a Russian soldier was sentenced to life in prison in the conflict's first war crimes trial. As the war drags on, the United Nations said that more than 6.5 million Ukrainians have become refugees.

Turkey urges Sweden to alleviate its security concerns about the country's bid to join NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Turkey on November 11, 2017. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Sweden to take "concrete steps" to ease Turkey's security concerns regarding Sweden's bid to join NATO, the Associated Press reported.
Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Sweden to take "concrete steps" to ease Turkey's security concerns regarding Sweden's bid to join NATO, the Associated Press reported.

"We can in no way ignore the fact that Sweden is imposing sanctions against us," Erdogan said, according to the AP. "Turkey's rightful expectations concerning (an end to the) support to terrorism and sanctions must be met."

Turkey has said it opposes Sweden's application to join NATO, saying the country supports the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or the PKK – a Kurdish Marxist separatist movement that has been fighting Turkish forces on-and-off since the 1980s.

The PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, as well as by the U.S., Canada, Australia and the European Union.

— Chelsea Ong

World Food Program chief presses billionaires ‘to step up’

The head of the U.N.'s World Food Program is telling billionaires it's "time to step up" as the global threat of food insecurity rises with Russia's war in Ukraine, saying he's seen encouraging signs from some of the world's richest people, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Agency Executive Director David Beasley built upon a social media back-and-forth he had with Musk last year, when the Tesla CEO challenged policy advocates to show how a $6 billion donation sought by the U.N. agency could solve world hunger.

Since then, "Musk put $6 billion into a foundation. But everybody thought it came to us, but we ain't gotten any of it yet. So I'm hopeful," Beasley told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some of the world's biggest elites and billionaires have gathered.

"I don't know what it's going to take," he said of Musk. "We're trying every angle, you know: Elon, we need your help, brother."

Musk and Bezos didn't immediately respond to emails or other messages seeking comment.

— Associated Press

EU will likely reach a Russia oil embargo deal 'within days,' German economy minister says

The European Union will likely agree to an embargo on Russian oil imports "within days", German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told broadcaster ZDF.

Habeck warned, however, that an embargo would not automatically weaken the Kremlin as rising prices were enabling it to rake in more income while selling lower volumes of oil.

Therefore, one consideration was to no longer pay "any price" for oil, but to agree on upper limits, he said. For that to work, however, many countries would have to get on board.

— Reuters

Pentagon says Biden would decide whether to send U.S. troops to guard embassy in Kyiv

Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on "Department of Defense's Budget Requests for FY2023", on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2022. 
Sarah Silbiger | Reuters

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley declined to detail any plans to send American servicemembers into Ukraine to bolster security at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv.

Milley said that the decision of whether to reintroduce U.S. troops into Ukraine would be up to President Joe Biden. Milley's comments follow a Wall Street Journal report that mentioned potential plans to send special forces to Kyiv to guard the newly reopened U.S. embassy.

Milley added that while there are currently no U.S. troops inside of Ukraine, the Pentagon has increased its military presence in neighboring NATO countries. Milley said that there are approximately 102,000 American servicemembers in Europe, up from about 78,000 troops in the region last year.

— Amanda Macias

Some 20 countries commit new security aid for Ukraine, Pentagon chief says

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2022. The committee heard testimony to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2023 for the Department of Defense. 
Win McNamee | Reuters

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that some 20 countries had announced new security assistance packages for Ukraine during a virtual meeting with allies that was aimed at coordinating arms for Kyiv.

The countries that announced new packages included Italy, Denmark, Greece, Norway and Poland, Austin told reporters following a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. Denmark would provide a harpoon launcher and missiles to defend Ukraine's coast, Austin said.

"Everyone here understands the stakes of this war," Austin said.

— Reuters

Artist paints flowers and butterflies around bullet and shrapnel holes in Bucha

Canadian artist Ivanka Siolkowsky paints flowers and butterflies around the many bullet and shrapnel holes in the war torn suburb of Bucha on May 23, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

Canadian artist Ivanka Siolkowsky paints flowers and butterflies around the many bullet and shrapnel holes in the war-torn suburb of Bucha, Ukraine.

A butterfly painted around bullet and shrapnel holes by Canadian artist Ivanka Siolkowsky in the war torn suburb of Bucha on May 23, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine. 
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

Siolkowsky is of Ukrainian descent and left Toronto at the beginning of the Russian invasion to help with refugees at the Polish border. She eventually volunteered to help in Bucha.

Canadian artist Ivanka Siolkowsky paints flowers and butterflies around the many bullet and shrapnel holes in the war torn suburb of Bucha on May 23, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

She painted her first flower around a bullet hole after speaking to a resident who said, "The bullet holes in my fence remind me of all that I've lost," which gave her the idea.