Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 391 of the invasion
Russian cruise missiles intended for use by Moscow’s Black Sea fleet have been destroyed in an explosion in the city of Dzhankoi in the north of the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine’s defence ministry has said. Ihor Ivin, the Russian-installed head of the Dzhankoi administration, was quoted as saying the city had come under attack from drones, and that a 33-year-old man had suffered a shrapnel injury from a downed drone.
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are holding a second set of talks on Tuesday. The Chinese president’s trip to Moscow has been viewed as a major boost for his strategic partner Putin. The Chinese leader is expected to continue to position himself as a potential peacemaker in the Ukraine war during his two-day visit to Russia – his first state visit since Putin’s invasion.
Xi met Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin on Tuesday morning, and invited both Mishustin and Putin to visit China later this year.
China’s state media has extensively and positively covered the visit. Most coverage has focused on Xi’s comments and talking about how strong the relationship is. None of the pieces mentioned the recent ICC arrest warrant for the Russian president over alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken criticised Xi on Monday for providing “diplomatic cover” for Russia to continue committing war crimes. Blinken said the visit “suggests that China feels no responsibility to hold the Kremlin accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine.” Blinken voiced scepticism over China’s “peace” proposals to end the Ukraine conflict, warning they could be a “stalling tactic” to help Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine.
Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida has arrived for talks with Zelenskiy. Kishida and Zelenskiy are expected to discuss Japanese support for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Kishida, who is to chair the Group of Seven summit in May, is the only G-7 leader who hasn’t visited Ukraine and was under pressure to do so at home.
Japan has continued to import Russian timber worth US$414m since the start of the war in Ukraine, according to a London-based NGO, which accused Tokyo of “helping to bankroll Putin’s bloody war” despite joining other countries in imposing sanctions on the Kremlin.
Iryna Vereshchuk, who is one of Ukraine’s deputy prime ministers and is the minister of reintegration of temporarily occupied territories, has said there is no confirmed time agreed for a mooted call between Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Xi.
Ukraine is holding its defence of the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut as Russian forces attempted to advance to the city centre, a Ukrainian general has said. There was intense fighting along the eastern frontline, he said on Tuesday.