As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 346th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as it stands on Saturday, February 4, 2023:
Fighting, military aid
- Ukraine will not give up on embattled Bakhmut in the east of the country, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said, as Moscow says Russian forces are encircling the city from several directions.
- Pete Reed, a humanitarian paramedic and United States Marine Corps veteran, was killed while he was evacuating civilians in Bakhmut after his ambulance was shelled, his wife Alex Potter said on social media.
- Western allies have pledged precision rockets and missile systems to Ukraine after Zelenskyy called for sophisticated weapons to push back Russian forces.
- A $2.2bn US military aid package to Ukraine includes a new rocket, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb, that would double the country’s strike range, the Pentagon has said.
- France said it has completed technical talks with Italy for the joint delivery of a SAMP/T-MAMBA air defence system, the only European-made system that can intercept ballistic missiles, to Ukraine in the spring.
- Ukraine’s prosecutor general is launching a criminal case against the Russian head and founder of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, for “waging an aggressive war”.
- The US imposed sanctions on the board of directors of Iranian drone maker Paravar Pars, with the Treasury Department saying Iranian drones were being used by Russia to attack Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.
- Germany has collected evidence of war crimes in Ukraine, the country’s prosecutor general has said in a newspaper interview, adding that he saw a need for a judicial process at the international level.
- Canada has imposed sanctions on 38 people and 16 entities that it says are “complicit in peddling Russian disinformation and propaganda”.
- The European Union offered strong support for Ukraine at the Kyiv summit as air raid sirens wailed, but set “no rigid timelines” for its accession to the wealthy bloc. Zelenskyy had hoped the EU would put Ukraine on a rapid road to membership.
- The EU has agreed to introduce price caps on Russian petroleum products to try to further limit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest by targeting his key exports.
- China said mutual political trust with Russia has deepened further after vice foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu met with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Russia.
- Belarusian athletes openly opposing the leadership of Alexander Lukashenko called on the International Olympic Committee to let them compete while barring those who support the authorities and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.