Here is the situation on Saturday, April 15, 2023:
- Eight people, including a toddler, were killed after Russian shells hit an apartment block in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk. More than a dozen residents were hurt.
- The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence said Russia had “re-energised” its efforts in Bakhmut thanks to better relations between the army and the mercenary Wagner Group. Ukraine was still holding western districts of the town but had been subjected to particularly intense Russian artillery fire, it added.
- Russia’s special forces have suffered “significant losses” in the war in Ukraine, leaked US military documents show.
- Ukraine will “test and use” any non-banned weapons to liberate its territory, including Russian-occupied Crimea, the head of its National Security and Defense Council said.
- Ukraine retrieved the bodies of 82 of its soldiers from Russian-controlled territory, a government minister said.
- In talks in Beijing, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on the need for a negotiated settlement to end the war in Ukraine.
- Also in Beijing, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged China to pressure Moscow to end its invasion of Ukraine<span, saying no other country had “more influence on Russia”.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote to Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to raise concerns about the implementation of a deal that allows the safe wartime export of grain from several Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
- Finland, which joined NATO last week, unveiled the first section of a fence it is building on its border with Russia.
- The Pentagon announced US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will meet his Swedish and German counterparts next week, and host a Ukraine-related defence meeting with nearly 50 countries.
- The eight Leopard 2 tanks Canada promised to Ukraine arrived in neighbouring Poland, according to Defence Minister Anita Anand.
- The Danish defence ministry said Ukraine would receive 19 French-made Caesar howitzer artillery systems within the coming weeks.
- China has “approved the incremental provision” of military equipment to Russia and wanted it kept secret, according to leaked US military intelligence based on Russian intercepts.
- Foreign Minister Qin Gang said China would not sell weapons to either Russia or Ukraine to use in the war.
- A senior adviser in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said Ukrainian forces said were finding China-made components in Russian weapons used on the battlefield.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies