Here is the situation on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.
- Four people were killed and at least one injured after Russia shelled the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, local officials said.
- France summoned Alexey Meshkov, the Russian ambassador to France, after two French aid workers were killed in Russian artillery fire near Kherson last Thursday. Three more French citizens were also injured in the attack that Paris described as an act of “barbarism”.
- Russia’s FSB security service said three Russian citizens had been detained on suspicion of attempting to assassinate a high-ranking Crimean official with a car bomb. The FSB claimed Ukraine’s security service was behind the attempted attack and said the three had been charged with “terrorist” offences. It did not name the official who was allegedly the target.
Politics and diplomacy
- The Kremlin warned Western countries that any attempt to use frozen Russian assets as collateral to raise funds for Ukraine would be illegal and lead to a Russian legal challenge. The United States and its allies banned transactions with Russia’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance, after President Vladimir Putin began his full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago, freezing an estimated $300bn of sovereign Russian assets.
- The presidential bid of antiwar candidate Boris Nadezhdin is hanging in the balance. Nadezhdin said Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) had informed him that 15 percent of the signatures he submitted to access the electoral race were invalid. The CEC could now block his bid to enter the election.
- Lawmakers from Hungary’s ruling party boycotted an emergency parliament session in which a vote on Sweden’s bid to join NATO was on the agenda. Hungary is the only member of the 31-member security alliance not to have backed Sweden’s bid. The US said it was disappointed at the move.
- Kajsa Ollongren, the Dutch defence minister, said The Netherlands would deliver six more F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, taking the total number pledged to 24. “Ukraine’s aerial superiority is essential for countering Russian aggression,” Ollongren said.
- Georgia said it seized a clandestine shipment of explosives bound for the Russian city of Voronezh from the Ukrainian port of Odesa. It said the explosives, hidden in a cargo of car batteries, arrived in Georgia in a Ukrainian-owned minivan and were to be transported to Voronezh, about 180km (110 miles) from the Ukrainian frontier. It did not say what for.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies