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The Russian-Ukrainian War at a Glance: What We Know as of Day 343 of the Invasion | Ukraine

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   The Russian-Ukrainian

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in remarks on Tuesday evening that his administration planned to introduce changes as part of attempts to carry out unusually fast and complex negotiations to secure European Union membership, Reuters reports. Ukraine is holding “summit” talks with EU officials on Friday.
  • “What is very important is that we are preparing new reforms in Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “These are reforms that, in many ways, will change social, legal, and political realities by making them more humane, more transparent, and more efficient.
  • Zelenskiy said he was not done shuffling the ranks of senior officials and that anyone who failed to meet strict standards risked being fired.
  • Media reported in Ukraine that two high-profile anti-corruption raids were carried out on Wednesday morning, targeting oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and former Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov.
  • El Pais reports that Spain will initially send between four and six Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The FT reported on Wednesday that Italy is to join France in the supply of air defenses to Ukraine.
  • The US prepares over $2 billion in military aid for Ukraine this is expected to include longer-range rockets as well as other ammunition and weapons for the first time, two US officials briefed on the matter told Reuters.
  • The Kremlin said on Wednesday that longer-range rockets would have been included in an upcoming military aid package from the WE to Ukraine would aggravate the conflict but not change its course. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden.
  • Senior Advisor to the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, said on Wednesday that talks were already underway on securing longer-range missiles and strike aircraft from foreign partners to help fend off Russian forces.
  • Some Western allies appear to have cooled off on supplying F-16s and other fighter jets to Ukraine in the past 24 hours. Joe Biden, the US president, when asked Monday night at the White House whether his country would provide F-16s, said simply “no”, although he stressed on Tuesday morning that he would remain in discussion with Ukraine over its arms demands.
  • The UK also said the supply of Western jets was impractical. “These are sophisticated pieces of equipment,” a Downing St spokesman said Tuesday. “We don’t think it’s practical to send these planes to Ukraine.” They added that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had backed accelerating support for Ukraine after completing a review that a “prolonged stalemate” in the conflict would benefit Russia.
  • German vice-chancellor Robert Habeck spoke out against his country’s delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, saying such a move would “probably” be one step too far for Western allies weighing support for Kyiv’s cause against fears to be drawn into an outright war.
  • Pro-Russian forces claimed in the Russian media that Bakhmut is almost surrounded. Tass quoted Colonel Vitaly Kiselev on behalf of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic saying that “Bakhmut has practically been ’embraced’ from three sides, an intensive elimination of the enemy is underway. They are trying, and I’m sure they will succeed… to go to the Chasiv Yar region, from where intensive shelling takes place up to Soledar, Bakhmut.
  • Ukrainian state broadcaster Suspilne reports that the Kinburn Peninsula strip of land that protrudes from the southern side of Kherson Oblast on the left bank of the Dnieper, lies in the “grey zone”, without any Ukrainian or Russian army fully controlling the territory.
  • English Department of DefenseThe latest intelligence update says the past few days have seen “some of the most intense shelling of the conflict” along the Dnieper River. “This included the continuous shelling of the city of Kherson,” the ministry noted – adding that outside of Donbas, Kherson is the most heavily bombed city in the conflict. “Russia’s precise justification for spending its strained ammunition stockpiles here is unclear. However, the commanders are probably aiming in part to degrade civilian morale and deter any Ukrainian counterattacks across the river,” the ministry adds.
  • Russian news agency RIA reported that the Novozybkov oil pumping station Druzhba oil pipeline in the Bryansk region of Russia came under fire from Ukraine
  • The Russian President, Vladimir Poutine, said at a government meeting on Wednesday that the bombing of Russian regions from Ukraine should not be allowed, and that this was the task of the Ministry of Defense.
  • Russian forces are preparing for another imminent attack on Ukraine, most likely In the coming months, according to analysts. Citing Western, Ukrainian, and Russian sources, the US think tank Institute for the Study of War said Moscow was “preparing for an imminent offensive”, highlighting remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said that there was “no sign” Vladimir Putin was “preparing peace”.
  • Military casualties on both sides of the war amounted to around 200,000, a Western official said, with a similar number of killed and wounded on each side. A higher proportion of Russians were killed, the official added, because they were on the offensive, meaning “they suffered more deaths than Ukrainians overall”.
  • President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen and vice-president of the Greens of the German Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt both traveled to Kyiv on Wednesday, Van der Bellen traveled to Bucha to pay respect to the mass grave discovered thereafter Russian forces withdrew from occupying the city in Kyiv region in the start of the war.
  • Ukraine should be able to join NATO as soon as the war was over, the new Czech president-elect peter paul said Wednesday.
  • Ukraine’s grain harvest could decline further in 2023 to 49.5 million tonnes from around 51 million tonnes expected in 2022, Deputy Economy Minister says Denys Kudyn said Wednesday.
  • Belarus The armed forces now have autonomous control of Russian-provided nuclear-capable Iskander mobile guided missile systems after completing training in Russia as well as drills in Belarus, its defense ministry said. On Tuesday, the Belarusian leader,  Alexander Lukashenko said his country was “already ready” to offer more assistance to Russia in its war against Ukraine.
  • Latvia will not send its athletes to Paris 2024 Olympic Games whether competitors from Russia and Belarus are allowed to participate while the invasion of Ukraine is underway, a spokesman for the country’s Olympic committee has said.
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