Here is the situation as it stands on Monday, February 20, 2023:
- Ukrainian troops conducting weekend exercises near the small town of Siversk said they were preparing to defend a possible target of a new Russian offensive. The town, which had a pre-war population of 10,000, is 35km (21 miles) north of Bakhmut – the scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks.
- Russia has accused Ukraine of planning to stage a nuclear incident on its territory to pin the blame on Moscow ahead of a key United Nations meeting.
- Turkish and Russian leaders may soon discuss a UN-backed initiative that has enabled the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, but there is no date set yet, a source familiar with negotiations on the deal told RIA Novosti on Monday.
- US President Joe Biden will visit Poland from February 20 to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he would discuss with Biden possibly increasing US troop presence in Poland and making it more permanent.
- The Biden administration is planning to impose new export controls and sanctions targeting Russia’s defence and energy sectors, financial institutions and several individuals, Bloomberg News reported.
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that French President Emmanuel Macron was wasting his time considering any sort of dialogue with Russia.
- Russia has charged 680 Ukrainian officials, including 118 members of the armed forces and defence ministry with breaking laws governing the conduct of war, including the use of weapons against civilians, TASS news agency reported.
- European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Sunday backed a call for the bloc’s members to buy arms jointly to help Ukraine but warned it would not solve Kyiv’s urgent need for more ammunition now.
Source: News Agencies