Here is the situation on Tuesday, April 18, 2023:
- Moscow said Wagner mercenary units captured more areas of Bakhmut as fighting continues in the ruined eastern city.
- Russian recruiters in Crimea are using prop guns and grenades to entice people to join the military.
- Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu said his country’s ties with Moscow were “very strong” and had “entered a new era”, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “They surpass the military-political alliances of the Cold War era… They are very stable,” he said in translated remarks broadcast on Russian TV.
- Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Brazil as President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pushed for dialogue in Ukraine.
- Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition politician and long-term critic of Putin as well as Moscow’s war in Ukraine, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of “treason” and discrediting the Russian military.
- France, Germany and the United Kingdom were among Western governments which condemned the sentence, the harshest of its kind since the invasion began. Kara-Murza also has United Kingdom citizenship.
- US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy said she visited journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia and found him in good spirits. Moscow has accused the Wall Street Journal reporter of spying.
- Germany pushed for the European Union to include the nuclear sector in a new sanctions package against Russia, the economy ministry said.
- Slovakia has handed over all 13 MiG-29 fighter jets it had pledged to Ukraine, the Slovak Ministry of Defence said.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies