As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 360th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as it stands on Saturday, February 18, 2023:
- Ukrainian soldiers fighting in the eastern city of Bakhmut pleaded on Friday for more weapons as Western powers gathered at the three-day Munich Security Conference.
- The Russian mercenary company Wagner Group has suffered more than 30,000 casualties since the start of the war almost a year ago, with about 9,000 of those fighters killed in action, the US White House said on Friday.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Western allies to speed up their military support for Ukraine, warning that delays would play into Russia’s hands.
- Zelenskyy said it is “obvious” that Ukraine would not be the last stop on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion list.
- Ukraine was weathering a wave of Russian attacks on its power grid and seeing recovering supplies, despite Russia’s campaign against key infrastructure, energy operator Ukrenergo has said.
- In Munich, French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to toughen his stance towards Moscow, urging allies to step up military support for Ukraine to help it push back Russia’s invasion since now was not the time for dialogue with Moscow.
- The Kremlin has accused the United States of inciting Ukraine to escalate the war by condoning attacks on Crimea, warning that Washington was now directly involved in the conflict because “crazy people” had dreams of defeating Russia.
- Russia asked the United Nations Security Council to seek an independent inquiry into September attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, connecting Russia and Germany, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters news agency on Friday.
- The United States will directly warn companies against evading US sanctions imposed on Russia over the war in Ukraine, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters on Friday, as Washington seeks to further squeeze Russia’s economy.
- The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine, setting the stage for talks on a full loan program that would support Kyiv’s economy and its bid to join the European Union.
- Negotiations will start in a week on extending a UN-backed initiative that has enabled Ukraine to export grain from ports blockaded by Russia after its invasion, a senior Ukrainian official said on Friday.