As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 379th day, we take a look at the main developments.
This is the state of affairs on Thursday, March 9, 2023:
- Near Orikhovo-Vasylivka, 19 kilometers northwest of Ukraine’s eastern city of Bakhmut, Russian forces launched more than 30 failed attacks on Wednesday, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
- The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his fighters had taken all eastern parts of Bakhmut. Prigozhin has previously made premature claims of successes that could not be verified.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said fewer than 4,000 civilians — including 38 children — remain in disputed Bakhmut out of a pre-war population of about 70,000.
- The Russian military probably won’t be able to sustain the current level of fighting in Ukraine and won’t gain much more territory this year, said Avril Haines, director of US intelligence.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev and stressed that the Black Sea Grain Initiative was “critically necessary” for the world.
- UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan is meeting with senior Russian officials in Geneva next week to discuss the continuation of the deal that has allowed Kiev to export grain through Black Sea ports.
- China will continue cooperation with Russia despite the “global backlash,” US intelligence officials said.
- Zelenskyy has called for “democratic success” in Georgia, where thousands of protesters have protested against a controversial “foreign agents” law.
- German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has warned against jumping to conclusions about who was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said it is still unclear who was responsible for the attack on the pipelines last year.
- Wagner’s mother Prigozhin has won an appeal against European Union sanctions imposed on her last year over her alleged support for the mercenary group now fighting in Ukraine.
- Zelenskyy has invited US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Ukraine to see “what is happening” on the ground.
- A concert cellist associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin transferred millions of francs through Swiss bank accounts without any proper verification, according to Swiss prosecutors.
- Iran has secretly supplied large quantities of bullets, rockets and mortar rounds to Russia for the war in Ukraine, and plans to send more, a security source has told Britain’s Sky News.
- EU countries have agreed to speed up the delivery of artillery shells and buy more shells to help Ukraine, but have yet to work out the details to make the plan a reality.