Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, March 30, 2023:
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Kyiv, saying “we are ready to see him here”. The two leaders have not spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine, though Xi visited Moscow last week and China has proposed a roadmap to peace in Ukraine.
- The foreign ministers of Russia and Iran met in Moscow for talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal as well as expanding bilateral ties.
- Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s security council and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- The United Kingdom’s King Charles III said the UK and Germany stand with Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invasion during a state visit to Berlin.
- Ukraine and several other central and eastern European nations have called on the world’s top tech firms to act to fight disinformation on their social media platforms.
- Ukraine has condemned the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games as individual athletes.
- The chief of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said the grinding battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has “badly damaged” his army of mercenaries and “practically destroyed” the Ukrainian army.
- UK military intelligence said that Ukrainian soldiers have successfully pushed Russian forces back from their main supply route to Bakhmut and that Russian assaults in the devastated city were lessening.
- Russian forces are attempting to encircle the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka and have made only marginal improvements despite heavy losses, the UK’s defence ministry said.
- Russia began military drills with its Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems in the Siberia region, the country’s defence ministry said.
Aid and sanctions
- Rafael Grossi, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said safety agreements between Moscow and Kyiv must be reached to protect Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which is under Russian military control.
- Germany has committed to about 8 billion euros ($8.7bn) to buy weapons and equipment for Ukraine. About 12 billion euros ($13bn) in total will be released by Germany and related to the Ukraine conflict over the next decade.
- Spain will send six German-made 2A4 Leopard tanks to Ukraine in early April, Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles said.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES