As the war enters its 444th day, we take a look at the main events.
This is the situation as it stands on Saturday, May 13, 2023.
- Moscow recognized that its the forces had receded north of the ruined city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine in a retreat that Russia’s private army chief Wagner called a “rout.”
- The Ukrainian military said in a daily update that Russia was concentrating its efforts near Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka in eastern Ukraine. “The enemy has carried out 36 attacks in these directions in the last 24 hours,” he said.
- Officials stationed by Russia in the occupied Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine said missiles fired by kyiv wounded six children and a Russian parliamentarian. Two disused factories were also damaged, they said.
- The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet said it was strengthening its defenses amid a series of Ukrainian drone strikes targeting the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
- Two Russian pilots were killed when a Russian Mi-28 military helicopter crashed in Crimea, Russian news agencies reported, citing the Defense Ministry.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine had to keep putting pressure on Russian forces and promised his soldiers more weapons. “You have to put pressure on them every day so that their feeling of defeat becomes their flight, their mistakes, their losses,” he said in his daily address.
- China’s Foreign Ministry said Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, will visit Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia starting Monday to promote peace talks.
- The Kremlin said it was not aware of a Vatican peace mission after diplomatic sources told the Reuters news agency that Zelenskyy was expected to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.
- The South African Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the US ambassador to South Africa had “apologized unreservedly” over claims that a sanctioned Russian ship had picked up weapons in South Africa last year.
- UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “disappointed” by European broadcasters that banned Zelenskyy from sending a video message in this weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest final. Organizers say the event, won by Ukraine last year, is “apolitical.”
- Zelenskyy spoke to Sunak on the phone about Ukraine’s future in NATO and thanked him for his donation long range missiles to Ukraine
- Germany plans to buy 18 Leopard 2 tanks for 525 million euros ($578 million) to replace tanks delivered to Ukraine, a defense source told Reuters news agency.