Moscow acknowledged on Friday that its forces had fallen back north of Ukraine’s battlefield city of Bakhmut after a new offensive, in a retreat that the head of Russia’s Wagner private army called a rout.
* Russian-installed officials said on Friday missiles fired by Ukrainian forces had injured six children and a Russian parliamentarian and damaged two disabled factories in eastern Luhansk region’s main city, about 100 km (60 miles) behind the front lines.
* The Ukrainian military said in a daily update that Russia was focusing its efforts near Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka. “The enemy carried out 36 attacks in these directions in the last 24 hours.”
* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine had to keep pressing Russian forces and promised more weapons to his soldiers “to defeat the aggressor.”
* Two Russian pilots were killed when a Russian Mi-28 military helicopter crashed in the annexed peninsula of Crimea, Russian news agencies reported, citing the defense ministry.
* South African officials hit back at US accusations that a sanctioned Russian ship had picked up weapons from a naval base near Cape Town late last year, a move investors feared could lead Washington to impose sanctions.
* UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi plans to present an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to the UN Security Council this month, indicating a deal is close, four diplomats told Reuters.
* The EU is discussing its 11th package of sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine, meant to focus on those circumventing existing trade restrictions.
* Group of Seven finance chiefs said “the global economy has shown resilience against multiple shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and associated inflationary pressures,” but that vigilance was still needed.
* Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are considering speeding up a plan to disconnect the Baltic region’s electricity supply from Russia’s grid.
* Police in the Russian city of St. Petersburg have created an anti-drone unit to detect unmanned aerial vehicles following a purported drone attack on the Kremlin this month.
* Pro-war Russian nationalists led by Igor Girkin said a new group they had set up was entering politics to save Russia, which they warned was in danger of turmoil due to military failures in the Ukraine war.
* INSIGHT-Communities torn as Ukraine turns its back on Moscow-linked church.
* INSIGHT-How Russians end up in a far-right militia fighting in Ukraine.
* EXCLUSIVE-Turkey defers $600 mln Russian energy payment -sources
* EXCLUSIVE-Oilfield firm SLB retracts as Russia sanctions squeeze
* FOCUS-Why eastern Europe’s grain producers face a perfect storm
(Compiled by Reuters editors)
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