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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Hayden Vernon

Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 624

Ukrainian soldier at a position in the Kharkiv region.
Ukrainian soldier at a position in the Kharkiv region, amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
  • The UK Ministry of Defence said Russia’s military is being overextended by the war in Ukraine. In its latest daily intelligence update, the MoD said that the likely need for Russia to reallocate surface-to-air missile (Sam) systems from distant parts of its territory to maintain coverage over Ukraine showed the conflict is straining its military.

  • Hungary said the EU should not start membership talks with Ukraine. EU leaders are expected to decide next month whether to accept the European Commission’s recommendation to invite Kyiv to begin membership talks with the bloc, but Hungary prefers a form of “privileged partnership” for Ukraine, rather than full membership.

  • But Ukraine will be able to overcome Hungary’s political opposition to its progress on EU membership, according to Kyiv’s minister for European integration, Olga Stefanishyna. “Today, Hungary has made such a statement,” she said. “We understand that there is a such a statement, but we also understand there is a dialogue with Budapest.”

  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia does not believe the European Union’s promises to admit Ukraine are “real”. “Most likely we are talking about a carrot that is tied in front of the cart,” Peskov said in comments to Kremlin reporter Pavel Zarubin.

  • Ukraine’s parliament voted to approve its 2024 state budget. Reuters reports that more than half of all Ukrainian budget spending is planned for the defence sector to fund its war effort against Russia.

  • Ukraine’s security service (SBU) confirmed in a statement to Reuters that Russian hackers were behind a cyberattack that disrupted part of Ukraine’s power grid in late 2022. The attack was likely to have been carried out to maximise the impact of Russian missile strikes, Illia Vitiuk, head of the SBU’s cybersecurity department, said.

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