As the war enters its 443rd day, let’s take a look at the main developments.
Here is the situation as of Friday, May 12, 2023:
- Russia’s defense ministry denied reports that Ukrainian forces had infiltrated various areas of the front lines and said the military situation was under control.
- Launching a counter-offensive today would be “unacceptable” and endanger lives, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, adding that Kyiv was waiting for more Western armored vehicles to arrive to begin attack it.
- Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin warned of the “worst of all expected scenarios” happening in Bakhmut as he blamed regular Russian army troops for failing to guard the captured territory.
- A Ukrainian drone attacked an oil storage depot in the Russian border region of Bryansk, according to the local governor. There were no casualties.
- US lawmakers have accused the Pentagon of undermining Russian war crimes prosecutions by blocking the US military from sharing intelligence with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
- Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations discussed proposals at the UN to extend an agreement allowing the safe export of Ukraine’s Black Sea grain but the meeting appeared to end without an agreement with Russia for the an extension.
Finance leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) developed nations discussed ways to support Ukraine and pressure Russia to end the war as they met in Japan for a three-day summit. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the G7 countries “will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes” to end the war.
- Zelenskyy said he approved a plan to reform Ukraine’s criminal and legal systems, a key element of plans to ensure the country’s early membership in the European Union.
- Zelenskyy is expected to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday, just two weeks after the pope said the Vatican was involved in a peacekeeping mission to try to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
- A Russian court fined Google’s Russian subsidiary 3 million rubles ($38,600) for failing to remove YouTube videos it said promoted “LGBT propaganda” and “false information” about the war in Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.
- Russia is looking at boycotting fencing qualifying competitions for next year’s Paris Olympic Games after some fencers were not allowed to compete, Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said.
- Japan will unveil a plan to mobilize $1bn to help countries surrounding Ukraine accept refugees from the war-torn country, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said.
- The United Kingdom will send long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said, the first country to do so.
- The Kremlin criticized the US decision to send confiscated Russian assets to Ukraine, saying it was illegal and would backfire on Washington.
- The US ambassador to South Africa said a Russian ship had picked up weapons in South Africa, in possible violation of Pretoria’s declared neutrality in the war in Ukraine.