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Russia-Ukraine war live: Zelenskiy signals ‘reforms’ ahead of EU summit in Kyiv; Netanyahu open to mediator role ‘if asked’

Key events

Zelenskiy signals ‘reforms’ ahead of EU summit in Kyiv

Volodymyr Zelenskiy said remarks on Tuesday night that his administration was planning to introduce changes as part of attempts to proceed with unusually rapid and complex negotiations to secure European Union membership, Reuters reports. Ukraine is holding “summit” talks with EU officials on Friday.

“What is very important is that we are preparing new reforms in Ukraine,” he said. “These are reforms which in many aspects will change the social, legal and political realities by making them more humane, more transparent and more effective.”

Zelenskiy’s latest dismissals included one deputy minister accused of taking a bribe and a second implicated in allegations that officials paid inflated prices for food for soldiers.

Welcome and Summary

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest for the next while.

Our top stories this morning: Volodymyr Zelenskiy said remarks on Tuesday night that his administration was planning to introduce changes as part of attempts to proceed with unusually rapid and complex negotiations to secure European Union membership. Ukraine is holding “summit” talks with EU officials on Friday.

And Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would be willing to consider serving as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine if asked by both warring countries and the United States.

Here are the other key recent developments:

  • The US is readying more than $2bn worth of military aid for Ukraine that is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time as well as other munitions and weapons, two US officials briefed on the matter told Reuters.

  • Zelenskiy said he was not finished shuffling the ranks of senior officials and that anyone failing to perform according to strict standards faced dismissal.

  • Some western allies appear to have cooled on the idea of supplying F-16 and other fighter jets to Ukraine over the past 24 hours. Joe Biden, the US president, when asked at the White House late on Monday if his country would provide F-16s, answered simply “no”, although he emphasised on Tuesday morning he would remain in discussions with Ukraine about its weapons requests.

  • The UK also said supplying western jets was not practical. “These are sophisticated pieces of equipment,” a Downing St spokesperson said. “We do not think it is practical to send those jets into Ukraine.” They added that prime minister Rishi Sunak supported accelerating support for Ukraine after completing a review that a “prolonged stalemate” in the conflict would benefit Russia.

  • Zelenskiy’s most senior adviser suggested on Monday that Poland is willing to supply Ukraine with the F-16 fighters. Andriy Yermak said Ukraine had received “positive signals” from Warsaw, although Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, was careful to stress his own country would only act in consultation with Nato allies.

  • Ukraine has said it will continue lobbying, arguing that the west had repeatedly said no to supplying weapons such as tanks before relenting over time. Oleksii Reznikov, the defence minister, said on a visit to Paris: “All types of assistance at the beginning went through the no stage. This means no as of today.”

  • Reznikov’s French counterpart, Sébastien Lecornu, reiterated there was “no taboo” on the supply of jets, echoing similar remarks made by Emmanuel Macron on Monday evening. France also said it would donate 12 Caesar howitzers to Ukraine after the summit between the two ministers. Lecornu said the pair discussed training Ukrainian pilots to fly French fighter jets but that no decision had yet been taken.

  • Ukraine expects to receive 120-140 tanks in a “first wave” of deliveries from a coalition of 12 countries, the foreign minister has said. Dmytro Kuleba added that the first tranche would include the German Leopard 2, the British Challenger 2 and the US M1 Abrams tanks, and that Ukraine was also “really counting” on supplies of French Leclerc tanks being agreed. The number of heavy tanks publicly pledged to Ukraine appears to be well short of the 321 that Vadym Omelchenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to France, stated last week.

  • Russian forces are preparing for a renewed attack on Ukraine imminently, most likely in the coming months, according to analysts. Citing western, Ukrainian and Russian sources, the US thinktank the Institute for the Study of War said Moscow was “preparing for an imminent offensive”, pointing to remarks by the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, who said there were “no signs” that Vladimir Putin was “preparing for peace”.

  • Russian troops have probably developed “probing attacks” around the towns of Pavlivka and Vuhledar into a more “concerted” assault, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update. “Russian commanders are likely aiming to develop a new axis of advance into Ukrainian-held Donetsk oblast, and to divert Ukrainian forces from the heavily contested Bakhmut sector. There is a realistic possibility that Russia will continue to make local gains in the sector.”

  • Military casualties on both sides in the war have totalled about 200,000, a western official has said, with a similar number killed and wounded on either side. A higher proportion of Russians had been killed, the official added, because they have been on the offensive, meaning that “they’ve suffered more fatalities than the Ukrainians on balance”.


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