Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, April 13, 2023:
- Some 354,000 Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed or injured since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February last year, according to a trove of purported United States intelligence documents posted online that also warned the war could last well beyond 2023.
- Ukrainian officials condemned the Russian military after a video circulating on social media appeared to show the beheading of a Ukrainian prisoner.
- Ukraine’s army rejected the claim that Russian troops have captured “more than 80 percent” of Bakhmut and said that “considerably” more than 20 percent of the ruined eastern city remained in Ukrainian hands.
- The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence said Russian forces had built extensive defensive lines in the Zaporizhia region, which Moscow claims to have annexed, along with three other Ukrainian regions, but does not control in its entirety.
- The Kremlin said steps to make draft papers digital were needed to sort out what it called “a mess” at military recruitment offices.
- Hundreds of cemeteries near the front lines will be closed to Ukrainians wanting to pay respects at relatives’ graves for Orthodox Easter this weekend due to dangers from mines and unexploded ordnance.
- Ukraine’s defence minister said the Pentagon document leaks contained a mixture of true and false information about his country’s military and that accurate intelligence had “lost its relevance”.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is in China to strengthen ties with his nation’s biggest trade partner and win support for his long-shot push for peace in Ukraine.
- Moscow said the US designation of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained” meant nothing to Russia.
- Belarus extradited a Russian father who was separated from his daughter and sentenced to two years in prison after she drew a Ukraine-themed picture at school.
- Russia imposed sanctions on 333 Canadian officials and public figures, including prominent Olympians, in what it said was a response to Canadian restrictions on Moscow.
Aid and sanctions
- The US and UK announced new sanctions aimed at Russian oligarchs Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich as well as their financial networks.
- The World Bank said it would finance $200m to help fix Ukraine’s energy and heating infrastructure, with partners and others to provide another $300m.
- Ukraine asked for more medicine as well as medical equipment and invited Indian companies to help rebuild the country as Ukraine’s first deputy foreign affairs minister, Emine Dzhaparova, ended a four-day visit to New Delhi.
- The Kremlin said the outlook for the United Nations-brokered Black Sea grain deal was not great because promises to remove obstacles to Russian exports of agricultural and fertiliser exports had not been fulfilled.
- The US Commerce Department said it was imposing export controls on more than two dozen companies in China, Turkey and other countries for supporting Russia’s military and defence industries.
- Ukraine’s defence minister said he asked his Spanish counterpart to supply air defences, including F-16 jets, and more ammunition.
- Russia released a video of what it said was the successful launch on Tuesday of an “advanced” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the first known successful launch of such a weapon since Moscow left the nuclear New START treaty with the US.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies