Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
- Ukraine denied a Russian claim that a US-made Patriot defence system was destroyed, while United States officials told the Reuters news agency the equipment was probably damaged but not knocked out.
- Russia’s defence ministry said a United Kingdom-made L-119 howitzer used in Ukraine had been destroyed by Russian troops, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
- Ukraine’s military said it made new advances amid heavy fighting near the eastern city of Bakhmut and that Russia was continuing to send in new units including paratroopers.
- A child in was killed in Russian shelling of the Kherson region according to the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak. “This happened as a result of shelling in Zelenivka [a village in Kherson]. Her father carried her to the hospital in his arms,” he said on Telegram.
- A Kyrgyz court handed a 10-year jail term to a man who fought as a mercenary for Russia in Ukraine.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the extension of the Ukraine Black Sea grain deal for two more months.
- Ukraine’s foreign minister told China’s visiting envoy Li Hui that Kyiv would not accept any proposals to end the war with Russia that involved it losing territories.
- South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to come to Ukraine on a “peace initiative”, a spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
- Belarus, one of Russia’s closest allies, has partially restored controls on its 1,239km (770 miles) border with its neighbour, Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik said.
- Finland and Denmark’s bank accounts in Russia have been frozen, prompting their embassies to make payments in cash, officials from both countries said.
- The Czech government scrapped communist-era deals that allowed Russia to use land and property in Prague and elsewhere for free.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked the French Senate for its endorsement of a resolution calling the Great Famine of 1932-1933, or Holodomor, a “genocide”.
- A Moscow court ordered the arrest of prominent film producer Alexander Rodnyansky and theatre director Ivan Vyrypaev for “spreading false information” about the Russian army. Neither man is in the country.
- Any decision to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will fall on the White House, UK and German defence ministers said, despite a recent jet “coalition” announced by the UK and the Netherlands.
- Polish President Andrzej Duda said Warsaw would not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
- Hungary will block the next tranche of EU military support for Ukraine and any new sanctions package against Russia unless Kyiv removes Hungarian bank OTP from its list of war sponsors, its foreign minister said.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies