As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 386th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, March 16, 2023:
US drone incident
- The crash of a United States military surveillance drone into the Black Sea after it was intercepted by Russian jet fighters continues to be “investigated”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
- Defence chief Lloyd Austin said the US will continue to fly wherever international law allows, after speaking with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.
- Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said he told US officials that Moscow would “no longer allow anybody to violate our waters”, Moscow’s state TASS news agency reported.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the US is “ignoring” the fact that Russia had established air space restrictions around Crimea.
- Russia’s defence ministry said it would react “proportionately” to any future US “provocations”.
- Ukrainian ground forces shot down a Russian fighter jet near the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut, said Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office.
- Russian forces have taken control of the village of Zaliznianske and are expanding the encirclement of Bakhmut, head of the Russian mercenary Wagner force Yevgeny Prigozhin said.
- Finland expects Turkey to approve its NATO membership bid this week as Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is set to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Friday.
- In a televised meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Russia was fighting “Nazis” in Ukraine and expressed support for Moscow.
- The International Monetary Fund says its staff made “very good progress” in talks with Ukrainian officials on a set of policies supporting a new lending programme for Ukraine.