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Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 736

  • Several members of Ukrainian special forces have died in an assault on the Tendra Spit in Kherson oblast, according to reports. Ukraine’s special operations forces confirmed the deaths, suggesting those who died had stayed behind to ensure the main contingent escaped.

  • Ukraine’s forces shot down 10 Russian aircraft in as many days with the latest being two Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers on 27 February, according to the Ukrainian general staff.

  • The UK government said on Wednesday that how Ukraine uses donated cruise missiles is “the business of the armed forces of Ukraine” after comments by Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, about possible UK and French involvement in targeting, and how Germany would not get involved in similar activity by sending its Taurus missiles.

  • The Russian defence ministry claimed through state media on Wednesday that its forces had captured Petrovske, formerly renamed by Ukraine as Stepove, in eastern Ukraine.

  • Ukraine’s foreign ministry on Wednesday cautioned against any meddling from Russia in Moldova’s neighbouring breakaway region of Transnistria, whose separatist leaders have supposedly appealed to Moscow for “protection” – a ploy that has previously been instigated by Russia to justify invading other countries.

  • Moldova’s government has called the Transistrian separatists’ request a propaganda event. Transnistria is a primarily Russian-speaking region that is legally part of Moldova. In February 2022 leading up to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian-backed militants in Ukraine also asked for Moscow’s “protection”.

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has promoted the idea of joint arms production at a summit of south-eastern European countries in the Albanian capital, Tirana. Zelenskiy proposed a Ukrainian-Balkans defence forum in Kyiv or a Balkan capital, similar to initiatives held last year with British and US weapons companies. A joint declaration signed by 10 countries at the summit said their leaders were ready to take part in a Ukrainian-led peace summit in Switzerland this spring to discuss Zelenskiy’s vision of peace.

  • Albania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Romania are Nato members, have joined western sanctions against Russia, and sent arms and equipment to Ukraine. There are significant arms industries in parts of the Balkans left over from the former Yugoslavia. Serbia has not imposed sanctions on Russia, and neither Belgrade nor Kyiv recognise the independence of Kosovo, an Albanian enclave that claims independence, backs Ukraine and seeks EU and Nato membership.

  • The EU should consider using profits from frozen Russian assets to buy military supplies for Ukraine, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday. Japan has backed the idea, saying the EU proposals appear to have a basis in international law.

  • Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, said his government was considering a “temporary” closure of the border with Ukraine for goods, amid tensions over low-priced Ukrainian grain. “We are talking with the Ukrainian side about a temporary closure of the border, the cessation in general of trade.” However, Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukrainian deputy PM, said: “Ukraine is not going to close its borders with Poland. No one from the Ukrainian side is negotiating about this. Our people are fighting for their existence in a war with the Russian aggressor. For us, a stable border is a matter of survival.”

  • Ensuring Ukraine’s success against Russia is “the biggest test of our generation”, UK Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said on Wednesday. He added: “At the G20 foreign ministers meeting it was clear there are few illusions about what Russia is doing and that the UN and Britain underlined how dangerous Putin’s actions are for the entire world.”

  • Russian forces struck 11 communities along the Sumy oblast border in 42 separate attacks on Wednesday, the regional military administration reported according to the Kyiv Independent. No casualties or damage to local infrastructure were reported.

  • Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will attend a diplomacy forum in Turkey from Friday, the countries’ governments said. Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Lavrov would meet Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan.

  • A court in southern Russia jailed a Ukrainian man for 11 years and six months after convicting him of espionage for trying to procure secret missile components for Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday.

  • China’s Eurasia envoy, Li Hui, will visit Russia, Ukraine and the headquarters of the EU this week for talks. The trip will represent “the second round of shuttle diplomacy on seeking a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis”, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement, adding Li would also go to France, Germany and Poland.


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