As the war enters its 423rd day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here’s what it looks like on Friday, April 21, 2023:
- The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a briefing that the assault force was fighting in the western region of Bakhmut, the last part of the Ukrainian city still controlled by Kiev forces.
- Ukraine said Russian forces had made some progress in the fierce battle for Bakhmut, but the situation remained under control.
aid and diplomacy
- German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius rejected the possibility of sending German fighter jets to Ukraine during a meeting with Western allies at the U.S. air force base in Ramstein, Germany.
- Latvia announced at the Ramstein Conference that it will deliver to Ukraine all Stinger anti-aircraft missiles still in the Latvian Armed Forces.
- NATO Chairman Jens Stoltenberg invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a NATO summit in July, while emphasizing the need to support Ukraine’s battlefield logistics.
- A Russian foreign ministry spokesman said NATO wanted to defeat Russia and kept Ukraine motivated by promising to join Ukraine after the war.
- Britain has imposed sanctions on a Russian judge and four others in connection with the arrest of Anglo-Russian Kremlin critic Vladimir Karamurza, who was sentenced this week to 25 years in prison.
- A deal to allow safe exports of Ukrainian grain to the Black Sea could be closed after Russia said it would not approve any new ships unless their operators assured that crossings would be completed by the “expected … closure date” of May 18. The week began to wind down. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow believes the conditions for extending its UN-brokered agreement to guarantee safe exports through the Black Sea have not been met.
- Prospects for lifting Ukraine’s blockade of grain exports to Eastern Europe have improved as Romania has opted not to unilaterally ban grain imports. Ukraine has boosted agricultural and food exports through EU countries after Russia’s incursion disrupted Ukraine’s usual Black Sea routes.