Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 392 of the invasion
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has visited frontline military positions near the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut. During his visit, Zelenskiy heard “reports on the operational situation and the course of hostilities on the frontline”, an official statement said. He was also pictured meeting Ukrainian servicemen, and held a moment of silence in memory of those who had fallen in the war.
At least six people have been killed overnight in a drone attack on Rzhyshchiv in the Kyiv region. The strike is reported to have hit a dormitory building and a school. The body of a 40-year-old man was pulled from the rubble on one floor, according to its regional police chief, adding that more than 20 people were taken to hospital. Suspilne, Ukraine’s state broadcaster, is reporting that one of the people who died was “an ambulance driver who came to the call”.
At least one person has been killed and 33 wounded by a twin Russian missile strike on two residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia, officials in Ukraine have said. Footage from a security camera captured the moment the strike hit, causing an explosion and a large plume of smoke to rise from two nine-storey buildings.
The US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, tweeted in reaction to the attack: “After all the talk in Moscow yesterday [between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping], more Russian missiles and more drone attacks on civilians overnight make it perfectly clear how much interest President Putin has in a just peace or an end to the war he started.”
Russia’s missile attack on a residential building in Zaporizhzhia this morning “certainly could” have been targeted at civilians, the White House has said. A senior Ukrainian official called it “a specific, deliberate strike at a residential building”. “It’s obviously right out of the Russian playbook to target civilian infrastructure and to show no regard for avoiding the targeting of civilians,” the White House’s spokesperson John Kirby said, adding that the US did not yet have “tactile information specifically about that strike”.
Russia will not leave “unanswered” a UK plan to supply Ukraine with tank shells made with depleted uranium, its foreign ministry has said. Separately, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Britain’s decision took the situation to new and dangerous levels. Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverley, earlier today said there was no “nuclear escalation” in the country’s decision.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov has said the risk of a nuclear conflict is at its highest level in decades. Russia was committed to keeping the world “safe and free” from the threat of nuclear war, he said, but added later that business could not continue as usual, given that Moscow was now “in a de facto state of open conflict” with Washington.
British military intelligence said on Wednesday there was a possibility that the Russian assault on the town of Bakhmut was losing the limited momentum it had obtained. This could be because “some Russian MoD units have been reallocated to other sectors”, the Ministry of Defence said in its regular bulletin.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it is “deeply concerned” about the situation in Bakhmut and nearby communities around the frontline in eastern Ukraine and the “deep civilian suffering caused by constant military hostilities”.
Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, has criticised the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague for its decision to issue arrest warrants for Putin and the Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, over the alleged illegal deportation of Ukrainian children. She cited evacuations of children by the US from Vietnam in the 1970s, and said she was “looking forward” to the ICC acting against the US leadership.
The Russian-backed administration in Sevastopol, in Crimea, said on Wednesday it had suspended ferry routes around the port city, shortly after the city’s governor said a Ukrainian drone attack had been repelled by air defences.
The RIA news agency reported that several radio stations were hacked in Crimea, and that “reports of a possible evacuation from the peninsula are false, authorities say”.
The spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians said on Wednesday that Russia’s powerful Orthodox church shared responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine but that he stood ready to help in Russia’s postwar “spiritual regeneration”. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s comments are a rebuke for Russian Patriarch Kirill, whose vocal support for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has splintered the worldwide Orthodox Church.
The US has offered to sell Slovakia 12 new Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopters at a two-thirds discount after Bratislava sent its retired MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, the defence minister, Jaroslav Nad, said on Wednesday.
The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday it had reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine for a four-year financing package worth about $15.6bn (£12.7bn), offering funds the country needs as it continues to defend itself against Russia’s invasion. The agreement, which must still be ratified by the IMF’s board, takes into consideration Ukraine’s path to accession to the European Union after the war. The fund said its executive board was expected to discuss approval in the coming weeks.
Xi and Putin’s meetings concluded on Tuesday when the Chinese and Russian leaders signed a series of documents on a “strategic cooperation” after what Putin described as “successful and constructive” talks that showed China-Russian relations were at the “highest point” in “the whole history of our two countries”. The Chinese president’s trip to Moscow has been viewed as a major boost for his strategic partner, Putin.
Xi said China had an “impartial position” on the conflict in Ukraine and that it supported peace and dialogue, Russian state media reported. Xi said talks with his Russian counterpart had been “open and friendly”. Putin, speaking at the joint news conference, said Beijing’s proposal to end the Ukraine conflict could be the basis for a peaceful settlement – when the west was ready for it. Xi has invited Putin to visit China this year.
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said China is watching “very carefully” to see how Washington and the world respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If Russia was allowed to attack Ukraine with impunity, it would “open a Pandora’s box” for would-be aggressors and lead to a “world of conflict”, he told lawmakers at a US senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
The White House national security council spokesperson, John Kirby, said the US did not see China as capable of being an impartial mediator between Moscow and Kyiv over the war in Ukraine. He noted that China had continued to buy Russian oil even as the west piled sanctions on Moscow’s energy industry and said China kept “parroting the Russian propaganda”.
Sweden’s parliament has formally approved a bill to allow the country to join Nato. Sweden and its neighbour Finland applied to join Nato in May 2022, abandoning decades of non-alignment after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The process has been held up by Turkey, which along with Hungary has yet to ratify the memberships. Membership in Nato “is the best way to safeguard Sweden’s security”, the Swedish foreign minister, Tobias Billström, said during the nearly seven-hour debate on Wednesday.
The Prince of Wales has travelled to Warsaw as part of a surprise two-day trip to Poland to thank British and Polish troops for their efforts supporting Ukraine, as well as to learn more about how the country has cared for displaced Ukrainian refugees. Prince William became the first member of the royal family to meet troops in Poland during a visit that was kept secret until after his arrival. He will also meet the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, while in the country.