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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Martin Belam, Guardian staff and agencies

Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 443 of the invasion

Ukrainian servicemen of a Reconnaissance team fly a drone at a front line near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region on 8 May 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian servicemen of a Reconnaissance team fly a drone at a front line near the town of Bakhmut. The UK says it is donating long-range Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. Photograph: Sergey Shestak/AFP/Getty Images
  • Russia’s defence ministry has denied reports that Ukrainian forces had broken through in various places along the front lines and said the military situation was under control. Moscow was reacting after Russian military bloggers, writing on the Telegram messaging app, reported what they said were Ukrainian advances north and south of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, with some suggesting a long-awaited counteroffensive by pro-Kyiv forces had started. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy had earlier said the offensive had yet to start.

  • Turkey’s defence minister, Hulusi Akar, has said that parties to the Black Sea grain initiative are approaching an extension. Akar’s comment was released by his ministry in a statement on Friday, after talks in Istanbul.

  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleksandr Musiyenko says Kyiv’s backers understand that a counteroffensive “may not result in the complete eviction of Russian troops and the definitive defeat of Russia in all occupied areas”. “We have to be ready for the war to continue into next year - or it could end this year,” Musiyenko told Ukrainian NV Radio. “It all depends on how the battles develop. We can’t guarantee how the counter-offensive will develop.”

  • The Russian-imposed mayor of occupied Donetsk has reported on Telegram that one person was killed by Ukrainian shelling of the city overnight.

  • The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has said its defences are being tightened amid a flurry of Ukrainian drone strikes targeting its home base, the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Vice Adm Viktor Sokolov told Friday’s edition of the military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda: “In connection with the threat of attacks by robotic surface and underwater systems, we have increased the technical defences of the fleet’s main base and of the ships’ anchorages”. Sokolov said the Black Sea Fleet, whose flagship, the cruiser Moskva, was sunk by Ukraine in April 2022, would receive four new ships in 2023.

  • China’s foreign ministry has announced that its special representative of Eurasian affairs will visit Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia from Monday in what it calls “an effort to promote peace talks”,

  • US President Joe Biden and Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez will discuss Ukraine, defence cooperation, and migration on Friday during a meeting at the White House. While Madrid agrees with Washington on the illegality of Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Sánchez will convey the divergent views of China and Brazil and propose giving greater weight to the views of non-Nato nations hurt by the war, a Spanish diplomatic source told Reuters.

  • US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen met German finance minister Christian Lindner on Friday, to underscore the importance of working together to counter evasion of sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine, the US Treasury has said.

  • The prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said on Friday they are considering speeding up a plan to disconnect the Baltic region’s electricity supply from Russia’s power grid.

  • Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, on Thursday confirmed reports that the UK is donating long-range Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. Wallace said Ukrainians will have the “best chance to defend themselves”.

  • The US ambassador to South Africa has accused the country of covertly providing arms to Russia – a charge that drew an angry rebuke from Pretoria. Reuben Brigety told a media briefing that the US believed weapons and ammunition had been loaded on to a Russian freighter that docked at a Cape Town naval base in December. “We are confident that weapons were loaded on to that vessel and I would bet my life on the accuracy of that assertion,” Brigety said, according to a video of the remarks. “The arming of Russia by South Africa … is fundamentally unacceptable.”

  • Poland’s defence minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, confirmed that the army was aware of a possible missile heading towards the country in December but failed to inform the government. Poland has been on alert for possible spillover of weaponry from the war in neighbouring Ukraine, especially since two people were killed near the border last November by what Warsaw concluded was a misfired Ukrainian air defence missile.

  • Zelenskiy again denied any Ukrainian responsibility for the drone incident over the Kremlin. Russia has accused Washington and Kyiv of masterminding the attack, which it described as an assassination attempt on Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time, and no injuries were caused by the drones.

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