Here is the situation as it stands on Saturday, March 4, 2023:
- The head of Russia’s Wagner Group said the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has been almost completely surrounded with only one road still open for Ukraine’s soldiers.
- The commander of a Ukrainian drone unit active in Bakhmut said in a video that his unit had been ordered to withdraw immediately from the city.
- The United States announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $400m. It is primarily comprised of ammunition, but for the first time will include tactical bridges to move tanks and armoured vehicles.
- Russia said it would take measures to prevent new border incursions and President Vladimir Putin told his Security Council to discuss additional “anti-terrorism measures” after what he called a “terrorist attack” in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine.
- US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met in the Oval Office on Friday, declaring themselves in “lockstep” on maintaining pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
- A senior European Union official has said Beijing giving Moscow weapons would be an “absolute red line” and the EU would respond with sanctions, Reuters news agency reported.
- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the US of hypocrisy after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia cannot be allowed to wage war in Ukraine with impunity.
- US Attorney General Merrick Garland made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Friday and promised to hold “Russian war criminals accountable” for their actions.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said justice will be served when the Russian state and military leadership is held accountable for the war it started against his country.
- Foreign ministers of the Quad group – the United States, Japan, India and Australia – have denounced Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war, according to a statement.
Source: News Agencies