As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 384th day, we take a look at the main developments.
This is the state of affairs on Tuesday, March 14, 2023:
- The International Criminal Court is about to open war crimes and issue arrest warrants against several Russians accused of being responsible for the mass kidnapping of Ukrainian children and attacking Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, reports said.
- The situation around Bakhmut remains difficult, but Ukrainian forces are resisting Russian attempts to take the city, the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces said, amid heavy casualties on both sides.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian private military group Wagner, described the Bakhmut battles as “tough, very tough”.
- Ukraine’s future depends on the outcome of fighting at key points in the east of the country, says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, adding: “It is very tough in the east – very painful. We must destroy the enemy’s military power. And we will destroy it.”
- A Ukrainian soldier executed by Russian forces in graphic images released last week was a citizen of Moldova, according to Moldova’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. The footage showed POW Oleksandr Matsievsky smoking a cigarette before saying “Glory to Ukraine” to the camera as he was shot by automatic weapons.
- A Russian lawmaker has introduced a bill to raise the age for mandatory military service from 18-27 to 21-30.
- According to Reuters news agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping may travel to Russia next week to meet President Vladimir Putin.
- Xi could hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the first time since Russia’s invasion, the Wall Street Journal reports. The call is likely to take place after Xi visits Moscow.
- The United States is extending the one-year permission granted to thousands of Ukrainians to live in the country.
- The United Nations reaffirmed its commitment to the Black Sea grain deal, saying the chief would do everything possible to preserve its “integrity” following Russia’s proposal to extend it for a shorter period.
- Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov says a Russian proposal to extend the grain deal by 60 days contradicts documents signed by guarantors Turkey and the UN for a 120-day extension, but he did not reject the proposal.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said Kiev’s membership in the European Union and NATO should be seen as something in the “best pragmatic interest of the European community” rather than an act of “charity” .
- The UK will spend more on security because of growing concerns about China and Russia.
- Ukraine has denied interfering in anti-government protests that erupted in Georgia last week after the country’s prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, accused Zelenskyy of involvement in Georgian politics by commenting on the unrest.
- Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak has criticized the Academy Awards after Zelenskyy was denied permission to send a video message to the ceremony.
- Ukraine has become the world’s third-largest arms importer after Moscow’s invasion last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Annual Report on Global Arms Trade.
- Ukrainian troops have completed four weeks of Leopard 2 tank training in Spain.
- Finland is open to discussion about supplying fighter jets to Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said.
- Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska has called for more Western weapons as her country continues to fend off the Russian invasion.
- Britain’s Royal Navy escorted a Russian frigate and a tanker through waters close to shore after shadowing the ships through the English Channel on Sunday morning.