Here is the situation as it stands on Thursday, March 23, 2023:
- The president of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, said he expects Western support for Ukraine to decline over time, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted him as saying. “If support from the USA dwindles, support from a number of European countries will also dwindle. Ukraine must take that into account,” Pavel was quoted as saying.
- China had declared that President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia this week was a “journey of friendship, cooperation and peace” and criticised Washington for providing military support to Ukraine. During his two-day visit, Xi barely mentioned the war in Ukraine beyond saying China had an “impartial position”.
- State news in Turkey reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will hold a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days to discuss the Black Sea grain export deal for Ukraine and Russia.
- The spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians said Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church shared responsibility for Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Comments by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew were a rebuke to Russian Patriarch Kirill, who has blessed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.
- Canada is extending a support programme meant to help Ukrainians and their immediate families to become temporary residents and more easily apply for work or study permits, the Canadian immigration ministry has said.
- The ice hockey teams of Russia and Belarus will be barred from taking part in international competitions in the 2023-2024 season, IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) has said.
- At least eight people were killed and seven injured in a series of Russian drone attacks on two dormitories and a college in the town of Rzhyshchiv, 64 km (40 miles) south of the capital Kyiv, emergency services said.
- One person was killed and 25 wounded in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia after a Russian missile slammed into an apartment building, Ukrainian officials have said. Two of the injured were children.
- President Volodymr Zelenskyy visited Ukrainian troops near the front line in Bakhmut to hand medals to soldiers that he said were heroically defending their country’s sovereignty.
- Zelenskyy said Ukraine would “respond to every blow” after Russia’s attacks in the Kyiv region and Zaporizhzhia.
- The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said Russia’s assault on the eastern city of Bakhmut might be losing momentum as Ukrainian resistance continues, including a local counterattack in the west of the city.
- Moscow-backed officials in the Russian-annexed Crimean city of Sevastopol suspended ferry routes around the Crimean port after its governor said Russian naval air defences had repelled a Ukrainian drone attack.
- The UK said there was no nuclear escalation after Russia criticised the UK for supplying tank munitions containing depleted uranium to Ukrainian forces.
- Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery needs have grown to $411bn over the next 10 years, the World Bank has said. The assessment is an increase from the $349bn estimated in a report released in September.
- United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China has not provided substantial “lethal aid” to Moscow. Blinken said Beijing is “very carefully” watching the global response to the invasion but has not yet crossed the line of providing Russia with lethal aid.
- China said it supports a United Nations-led investigation into the series of unexplained underwater explosions that damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines last September. Investigations are continuing into who was responsible.
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