As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 389th day, we take a look at the main events.
This is the situation as it stands on Sunday, March 19, 2023:
- The Ukrainian military says its forces outside the eastern town of Bakhmut are managing to hold off Russian units so ammunition, food, equipment and medicine can be delivered to the defenders.
- From Russia Wagner’s mercenary group it plans to recruit some 30,000 new fighters by mid-May, its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said.
- Russian strikes killed two people and wounded 10 in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Saturday, a governor said, accusing Moscow of using cluster bombs in the attack.
- President Vladimir Putin has toured Mariupol, almost a year after Moscow claimed to have captured the strategic port city. This is the Russian leader’s first trip to the Donbas region since the start of the Ukraine conflict in February last year.
- Putin traveled to Crimea on Saturday on an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula to Ukraine.
- A deal that allows the safe Black Sea Export Ukrainian grain was renewed for at least 60 days, half the planned period, after Russia warned that any further extension beyond mid-May would depend on the removal of some Western sanctions.
- Three top US security officials held a video call with a group of their Ukrainian counterparts to discuss military aid to Kiev, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff said.
- President Xi Jinping heads to Russia on Monday hoping to make a breakthrough in Ukraine as China seeks to position itself as a peacemaker.