Here is the situation as it stands on Tuesday, April 4, 2023:
- The Czech and Slovak prime ministers have called on the European Union to stick to sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Allies should also “prevent bypassing the sanctions and create mechanisms to punish those responsible for crimes related to this aggression”, they added.
- Finland is set to join NATO on Tuesday, said Jens Stoltenberg, head of the world’s largest military alliance. In response, Russia said it will strengthen its military capacity in its western and northwestern regions.
- Poland’s presidential office has announced that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Warsaw this week.
- The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, will visit Moscow on Wednesday, Russia’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, told state television.
- The United States government is pushing hard for the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich who has been arrested in Russia and accused of spying, the White House said.
- The West is trying to put a wedge between Russia and China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Argumenty i Fakty (arguments and facts) website.
- Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes linked to Ukraine, is likely to brief an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council, according to a note seen by Reuters.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has bestowed the highest Order of Courage to Vladlen Tatarsky, whose real name was Maxim Fomin, a high-profile military blogger and supporter of Moscow’s assault on Ukraine who was killed in a St Petersburg café explosion.
- The woman arrested on suspicion of killing the military war blogger has admitted she brought a figurine to the café that exploded, according to Russian news agency TASS.
- A report by the non-governmental organisation Save the Children says at least 501 Ukrainian children have been confirmed killed in the war but the actual number is likely to be much higher.
- Zelenskyy has paid tribute to nearly 400 residents of a village in northern Ukraine who were held in a school basement under Russian occupation for 27 days before they were set free a year ago.
- Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed his troops had raised a Russian flag on the administrative building in the centre of Bakhmut as Ukraine said it still holds the eastern town.
- Russia will move its tactical nuclear weapons close to the western borders of Belarus, according to the Russian envoy to Minsk.
- The Belarus Ministry of Defence says it has started combat readiness inspections of the armed forces.
- A UN agency says Russia’s war on Ukraine has so far caused damage to the country’s heritage and cultural sites estimated to be about $2.6bn.
- German arms firm Rheinmetall says it will soon open a maintenance centre in Romania for military equipment used in the Ukraine war.
Aid and Sanctions
- Ukraine received funding worth $2.7bn, the first tranche of support under the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Fund Facility programme on Monday.
- Poland says it has already transferred some of its promised MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine after fellow NATO member Slovakia announced it had shipped an initial batch of its own.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies