Here is the situation as it stands on Sunday, March 12, 2023:
- Three civilians were killed in Russian shelling of Kherson in southern Ukraine on Saturday, and one more died in the eastern Donetsk region, regional officials said.
- Ukraine will fight on in the ruined city of Bakhmut because the battle there is pinning down Russia’s best units and degrading them ahead of a planned Ukrainian spring counteroffensive, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
- Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his Wagner private army has opened recruitment centres in 42 cities as he seeks to replenish its ranks after heavy losses in fighting for Bakhmut.
- Iran has reached a deal to buy advanced Su-35 fighter planes from Russia, Iranian state media said, expanding a relationship that has seen Iranian-built drones used in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
- The United Kingdom’s government has written to Olympic sponsors, urging them to pressure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over its proposal to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete at next year’s Paris Games, British media reported.
- The European Union could soon top up the fund used for purchasing weapons for Ukraine by $3.7bn, a senior EU official said.
- The United States accused Russia of seeking to destabilise Moldova and said it would help the Eastern European country fight off such attempts by sharing information and providing other assistance, according to the White House.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in India last week was “constructive”, but he heard nothing new from the US side.
- The Group of Seven (G7) and other like-minded organisations renewed their pledge to support Ukraine’s energy sector, Japan’s foreign ministry said.
- Canada has banned the import of all Russian aluminium and steel products in a move Ottawa said was aimed at denying Moscow the ability to fund its war against Ukraine.