1. Russia

Russia | The Guardian: Russia-Ukraine war live: Russian assault on Bakhmut has ‘largely stalled’, says UK

Ministry of Defence says ‘extreme attrition’ and tensions between Russia’s military and Wagner mercenaries are probably behind failure of offensive

Hello and welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. This is Adam Fulton to bring you up to speed with the latest developments.

The leaders of the US and Canada, Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau, have met in Ottawa and reaffirmed their “steadfast support” for Ukraine just days after the leaders of Russia and China met for a summit in Moscow.

At least 10 civilians were killed and 20 wounded from long-range Russian bombardments in several parts of Ukraine on Friday, officials said. The casualties included two people who died in heavy Russian shelling of the town of Bilopillia in Sumy province in northern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said.

The United Nations has said it is “deeply concerned” by what it said were summary executions of prisoners of war by both Russian and Ukrainian forces on the battlefield. A new report from the UN’s office of the high commissioner for human rights said its monitors had documented dozens of the executions by both sides, that the actual number was likely higher and that they “may constitute war crimes”.

The Russian former president Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow was readying for a Ukrainian counteroffensive that “everyone knows” Kyiv is preparing for. Medvedev, who is deputy chair of Putin’s powerful security council, warned that Moscow was ready to use “absolutely any weapon” if Ukraine attempted to retake the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014.

Russian forces attacked northern and southern stretches of the front in eastern Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region on Friday. Ukrainian military reports described heavy fighting along a line running from Lyman to Kupiansk, as well as in the south at Avdiivka on the outskirts of the Russian-held city of Donetsk.

The US president, Joe Biden, has said he believed China has not sent arms to Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. “I’ve been hearing now for the past three months China is going to provide significant weapons to Russia … They haven’t yet,” he told a news conference on Friday. “Doesn’t mean they won’t, but they haven’t yet.”

Ukraine claimed Russian forces were “running out of steam” in Bakhmut and its commanders have started to raise the prospect of an unlikely turnaround in the besieged eastern Ukrainian city.

Three women were among at least five people killed after a Russian missile struck one of the “invincibility points” providing refuge and basic services for Ukrainian civilians in the eastern city of Kostiantynivka in the Donetsk region, local officials said. The Russians attacked overnight on Thursday with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, prosecutors said

Air force commanders from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have agreed to create a unified Nordic air defence aimed at countering the rising threat from Russia, they said. The intention is to be able to operate jointly based on already known ways of operating under Nato, according to statements by the four countries’ armed forces. The Danish air force commander, Major General Jan Dam, said: “Our combined fleet can be compared to a large European country.”

About 10,000 civilians, many of them elderly and with disabilities, are living in “very dire conditions” in and around Bakhmut, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Several thousand civilians are estimated to remain in the city itself and be “spending almost the entire days in intense shelling in the shelters”, the ICRC’s Umar Khan said.

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Russia | The Guardian

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