Here is the situation as it stands on Monday, May 1, 2023:
- Russia’s defence ministry has said Russian forces took control of new areas of the eastern city of Bakhmut.
- The head of Russia’s Wagner Group of mercenaries has threatened to withdraw his troops from Bakhmut because of rising casualties.
- A Ukrainian military spokesperson has said Kyiv remained in control of a key supply route into Bakhmut. The “road of life” is a vital road between the ruined city and the nearby town Chasiv Yar to the west — a distance of about 17km (11 miles).
- At least four civilians have been killed and two injured as a result of alleged Ukrainian shells hitting a village in Russia’s Bryansk region, the regional governor said.
- Russia has said a drone attack caused a fire at a fuel storage facility in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Andriy Yusov, a Ukrainian military intelligence official speaking to RBC Ukraine, said more than 10 tanks of oil products were destroyed without claiming responsibility for the attack.
- The Russian army has replaced its highest-ranking general in charge of logistics ahead of an expected counteroffensive by Kyiv. The Russian defence ministry statement did not say why Mikhail Mizintsev was replaced after just seven months on the job.
- Pope Francis has urged Hungarians to open their doors to others as he wrapped up a weekend visit with a plea for Europe to welcome refugees, migrants and the poor, and for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
- Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk has described the possibility of China taking on a mediation role in the Ukraine war as “not unrealistic”. The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany said that for Kyiv, the withdrawal of all Russian troops was a necessity.
- French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke by phone on Sunday and discussed Ukraine’s military needs, both sides said.
- Russia has declared it would respond harshly to what it said was Poland’s “illegal” seizure of its embassy school in Warsaw.
- Ukrainian fencers, gathered in Paris for a training camp, have said they would not compete against Russians and Belarusians after they were readmitted to international competition.
- The International Olympic Committee’s recommendation to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to international competition as neutrals is “excessive and discriminatory”, the Russian Olympic Committee’s athletes’ commission said.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies