War in Ukraine: Latest developments

·3-min read
The United States has been pushing its allies to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons (AFP/Yasuyoshi CHIBA) (Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Russia halts gas to Poland and Bulgaria -

Russia's Gazprom will halt gas shipments to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday in Moscow's latest use of gas as a weapon in the conflict.

Bulgaria is almost completely dependent on Russia for its annual consumption of about 3.0 billion cubic metres of gas, while Poland is hoping to receive gas from Norway via a pipeline that is expected to be completed later this year.

- Ramping up weapons production for Ukraine -

As Kyiv lobbies for heavier firepower to fend off the Russian advance, Britain's foreign minister plans to call on allies to "ramp up" tank and military plane production to help sway the conflict.

A Putin victory would have "terrible consequences across the globe," and more, heavier, weapons should be sent to Ukraine despite the risk of escalation, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss plans to say on Wednesday.

- Chernobyl anniversary -

On the 36th anniversary of what is considered the worst-ever nuclear disaster there is relief the hulking sarcophagus covering the reactor's radioactivity has returned to Ukrainian control.

But concerns have far from dissipated for atomic sites in Ukraine, with missiles flying over a nuclear power station near the southern city of Zaporizhzhia in the latest close call.

- Moldova under fire -

Fears of the conflict spilling over into Moldova rise after a series of blasts in its breakaway Russian-backed Transnistria region, which borders western Ukraine.

Authorities in Transnistria say two explosions on Tuesday morning damaged a radio tower, while on Monday evening the offices of the state security ministry were hit in a suspected grenade attack.

The United Nations and United States express alarm, though stopped short of backing Kyiv's contention that Russia was responsible.

- Putin has 'hope' for negotiations -

Russian President Vladimir Putin tells the visiting UN chief Antonio Guterres that he still has hope for negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine.

"Despite the fact that the military operation is ongoing, we still hope that we will be able to reach agreements on the diplomatic track. We are negotiating, we do not reject (talks)," Putin tells Guterres.

Guterres, who is seeking to mediate in the conflict, is on his first visit to Moscow since the war began and is then to travel to Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

- US, allies discuss weapons -

Defence ministers of 40 countries gather at a US airbase in Germany to discuss boosting arms supplies to Ukraine.

The United States and its allies will meet once a month to talk about Ukraine's defence needs, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tells Congress that Putin has shown "no sign" he is "serious" about diplomacy, but by giving Ukraine the means to fight the invasion Washington can help "strengthen their hand" when meaningful talks do take place.

- Germany to send tanks -

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht says that Berlin will send anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, marking a U-turn by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who had previously urged a more cautious approach.

His perceived reluctance to break with Germany's historic policy of detente towards Moscow had drawn fierce criticism from Kyiv and caused tensions with his coalition partners.

- Friendship statue demolished -

Authorities in Kyiv demolished a monument symbolising historic ties between ex-Soviet Ukraine and Russia.

"It took some effort but the Soviet sculpture of the two workers -- symbolising the reunification of Ukraine and Russia -- was dismantled this evening," Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko says in a statement on social media.

- Over eight million refugees expected -

The UN says nearly 5.3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia invaded and warns that three million more could follow by the end of this year.

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