As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 387th day, we take a look at the main developments.
This is the state of affairs on Friday, March 17, 2023:
US drone incident
- The Pentagon has released video from Tuesday’s interception of its drone over the Black Sea, showing a Russian Su-27 fighter jet coming very close to the United States’ drone.
- Russia has denied there was a collision, saying the drone crashed after making “sharp maneuvers” after flying “provocatively” close to Russian airspace near Crimea.
- The Kremlin said its military would decide whether to try to collect the drone debris.
- Kiev forces continued to resist Russian attacks on the now-devastated salt mining town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
- Russian attempts to take Bakhmut are “difficult” and there are no signs Ukraine is ready to withdraw, said the Russian-installed leader of Ukraine’s semi-occupied Donetsk region.
- Ukraine revealed it shot down a Chinese-built drone near Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine.
- Russia has committed a “wide range” of war crimes in Ukraine, according to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, an investigative body mandated by the United Nations. Russia rejected the report.
- China hopes that Russia and Ukraine will hold peace talks, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said in a phone call to his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday. According to a statement from China’s foreign ministry, Beijing hopes that “all parties will remain calm, rational and restrained”.
- Kuleba said the discussions were about “the meaning of the principle of territorial integrity” and that he had repeated Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s formula for restoring peace.
- The UN has backed Turkey and Ukraine’s call for a 120-day extension of the Black Sea grain deal after Russia said it would only extend the deal for 60 days.
- Poland said it has detained nine people from a suspected Russian spy gang who planned to disrupt arms deliveries to Ukraine.
- Poland will send four MIG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days, Polish President Andrzej Duda said.
- Poland’s decision to hand over the MIGs is a “sovereign decision” that will not prompt US President Joe Biden to supply Kiev with US F-16s, the White House said.