Here is the situation as it stands on Monday, April 24, 2023:
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that if the G7 bans exports to Russia, Moscow would respond by terminating the Black Sea grain deal with Ukraine, signalling that it will not allow the agreement to continue beyond May 18. The G7 has called for the “extension, full implementation and expansion” of the Black Sea port grain deal.
- Ukraine, France and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have expressed dismay after China’s ambassador in Paris questioned the sovereignty of former Soviet countries. “These ex-USSR countries don’t have actual status in international law because there is no international agreement to materialise their sovereign status,” Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye said in an interview aired on French television.
- Russia on Sunday said its forces have advanced in Bakhmut while Ukrainian Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi shared images on the Telegram messaging app with the caption “Bakhmut frontline. Our defence continues”.
- Belarus military units have completed training on how to use Russia’s Iskander tactical missile system to launch nuclear weapons, the Belarusian defence ministry said.
- Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has repelled a drone attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol early on Monday, the Moscow-installed governor of the city said on social media.
- Russia has pounded the Ukrainian cities of Kherson and Beryslav, destroying about 30 buildings and injuring civilians, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern command reported.
- Global military spending rose to a record last year as Russia’s war on Ukraine drove the biggest annual increase in expenditure in Europe since the end of the Cold War three decades ago, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has said.
- Russian billionaires have seen their wealth grow to more than half a trillion dollars, adding $152bn over the past year, helped by high prices for natural resources, Forbes Russia reports.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies