As the war enters its 434th day, we review key developments.
This is the state of affairs on Wednesday, May 3, 2023:
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the US government has no record of Russian losses in eastern Ukraine and that estimates claiming 20,000 soldiers were killed in the past five months were “foolish”.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at least two people were killed in a nightly Russian missile strike in Pavlohrad, a Ukrainian city and rail hub in the east.
- General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukrainian ground forces, said Ukraine will continue to defend the eastern city of Bakhmut as the army prepares for an expected counter-offensive.
- A freight train has been derailed in Russia’s Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine, by an “explosive” on the track, the local governor said. It was the second train incident in as many days. Ukrainian troops were also accused of shelling and setting fire to a village in the region.
- Russia summoned Poland’s chargé d’affaires after Warsaw closed a Russian embassy school in the Polish capital.
- Talks on the Black Sea grain deal will take place on Wednesday, according to Reuters, with all parties involved in the deal.
- Members of Ukraine’s parliament – the Verkhovna Rada – have voted to extend martial law in the country, according to a statement on Telegram by MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak.
- Zelenskyy said he discussed Ukraine’s integration into the European Union and NATO with the Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, Augusto Santos Silva.
- The Danish security and intelligence service said it expects Russia to recruit civilians as agents and use journalists to spy on the country as Moscow’s intelligence-gathering needs in NATO countries increase.
- The European Commission said it has imposed restrictions on imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed until June 5 to reduce the oversupply of these grains in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
- The company behind the dating app Tinder is leaving Russia more than a year after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine prompted a wave of international companies to shut down or suspend their Russian operations.
- The US plans to announce a new $300 million military aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday, which will include an air-launched short-range missile for the first time, two US officials told Reuters news agency.
- Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said his country will donate more money to support Ukraine’s military needs.
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow has taken steps to increase production of weapons and military equipment to support its forces in Ukraine, state media said.
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