As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 379th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, March 9, 2023:
- Near Orikhovo-Vasylivka, 19 kilometres (12 miles) northwest of Ukraine’s eastern city of Bakhmut, Russian forces made more than 30 unsuccessful attacks on Wednesday, according to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
- The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his fighters had captured all of the eastern parts of Bakhmut. Prigozhin has previously made premature claims of successes that could not be verified.
- Deputy Ukrainian Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said fewer than 4,000 civilians – including 38 children – remain in embattled Bakhmut out of a pre-war population of some 70,000 people.
- Russia’s military will likely be unable to sustain its current level of fighting in Ukraine and will not capture significantly more territory this year, according to the United States Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv and stressed the Black Sea Grain Initiative was “critically necessary” for the world.
- UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan is to meet senior Russian officials in Geneva next week to discuss the continuation of the deal that has allowed Kyiv to export grain via Black Sea ports.
- China will maintain cooperation with Russia despite the “global backlash”, US intelligence agencies have said.
- Zelenskyy has called for “democratic success” in Georgia, where thousands of protesters have been protesting against a controversial “foreign agents” bill.
- Germany’s defence minister, Boris Pistorius, has warned against reaching premature conclusions on who was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, suggesting the attack could also have been a “false flag” operation to blame Ukraine.
- NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said it is still unclear who was responsible for the attack on the pipelines last year.
- The mother of Wagner’s Prigozhin has won an appeal against European Union sanctions imposed on her last year for her alleged support of the mercenary group, which is now fighting in Ukraine.
- Zelenskyy has invited the US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Ukraine to see “what’s happening” on the ground.
- A concert cellist linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin moved millions of francs through Swiss bank accounts without any proper checks, according to Swiss prosecutors.
- Iran has secretly supplied large quantities of bullets, rockets and mortar shells to Russia for the war in Ukraine, planning to send more, a security source has told the UK’s Sky News.
- EU countries have agreed to speed up supplies of artillery rounds and buy more shells to help Ukraine but still have to work out the details on how to turn the plan into reality.