Here is the situation as it stands on Friday, April 7, 2023:
- Authorities in Russian-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine said a total of seven civilians were killed on Thursday in two separate Ukrainian artillery attacks.
- The head of Russia’s Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said Ukrainian forces were not leaving the city of Bakhmut and that he needs more support from Russia’s regular military to advance further.
- Andriy Sybiha, the deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, told the United Kingdom’s Financial Times that Kyiv would be willing to discuss the future of Crimea with Moscow if Ukraine’s counteroffensive were to reach the peninsula. But Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak later appeared to contradict those remarks saying there would be no talks with Moscow about territory until Russia withdraws all its troops.
Kyiv’s plans to retake territories occupied by Russia are closely guarded, with few people aware of the location and timing of a planned “spring” offensive, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said in a radio interview.
Military aid and weapons
- Athens has pledged military assistance to Ukraine for “as long as it takes” but officials also cautioned that Greece needs to keep much of its Russian-made weaponry for its own defensive needs.
- A European Union plan to send 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine is being held up as member states argue over how far spending for the plan will stay within the EU, officials said.
- Ukraine and Poland agreed on the joint production of 125mm-calibre tank shells, Ukraine’s state arms producer announced a day after Zelenskyy visited Poland.
- A Ukrainian air commander said Kyiv is in dire need of F-16 fighter jets, which he described as “four or five times” more effective than the Soviet-era MiG-29 planes the country is currently using.