War in Ukraine: latest developments

·3-min read

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Ukraine moves closer to grain exports -

The Ukrainian navy says that work has resumed at three Black Sea ports designated under a deal with Russia to resume cereals' exports that have been blocked by Russia's invasion.

At talks in Turkey last week, Kyiv and Moscow agreed a mechanism to allow blocked Ukrainian grain to be exported across the Black Sea from the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Pivdennyi.

Kyiv has said it hopes to begin sending out the first of millions of tonnes of grain "this week" despite a missile strike by Russia last week on the port in Odessa.

Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of agricultural products, but Moscow's invasion has severely disrupted Ukrainian wheat exports as the fighting damaged harvests and left ports blocked and mined.

As part of the deal, a coordination centre involving Ukrainian and Russian representatives was opened Wednesday in Istanbul to monitor the safe passage of ships along the agreed routes.

- Ukraine hits Russian-held bridge -

Ukrainian forces hit a key Russian-held bridge overnight during a counter-offensive to retake the occupied southern city of Kherson, representatives from both sides say.

The Russian army has used the Antonivskiy bridge over the Dnipro River as a key resupply route into Kherson, which fell to Russian forces in the early days of the invasion.

Kyiv has vowed a major counter-offensive to retake the region next to the Crimea peninsula, with the help of advanced missile systems supplied by the West.

- New Ukraine prosecutor named -

Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Kostin is appointed the country's new prosecutor general, a week after President Volodymyr Zelensky fired Kostin's predecessor and the head of the country's security agency, citing widespread collusion with Russia among their staff.

The prosecutor general's office said that 299 lawmakers of Ukraine's parliament -- the Rada -- backed Kostin's nomination.

Zelensky says he hopes Kostin will help achieve "fair punishment for every Russian war criminal."

- EU court confirms ban on Russian news channel -

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg upholds a broadcast ban imposed on Russian news channel RT France.

Consistently accused of churning out Russian state propaganda, RT has been blocked in most Western countries since President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February.

The Kremlin has hit back by curtailing the work of some Western media outlets in Russia.

Russian lawmakers have also passed draconian laws restricting free speech, under which criticism of the war and occupation can lead to lengthy prison sentences.

- Gazprom carries out threatened cuts -

Russian energy giant Gazprom has carried out its promise to drastically cut gas deliveries to Europe through the Nord Stream pipeline to about 20 percent of its capacity from 40 percent, German authorities say.

The Russian state-run company announced Monday that it would slash supply to 33 million cubic metres a day -- half the amount it has been delivering since service resumed last week after 10 days of maintenance work.

EU states have accused Russia of squeezing supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over Moscow's war in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blames EU sanctions for the limited supply.

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