On April 18, 2023, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine entered its 419th day. Here are the latest developments:
The Russian-backed Wagner mercenary units have captured more areas of Bakhmut as fighting continues in the ruined eastern city. Meanwhile, Russian recruiters in Crimea are using prop guns and grenades to entice people to join the military.
During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu said that his country’s ties with Moscow were “very strong” and had “entered a new era”. He added that they surpassed the military-political alliances of the Cold War era and were very stable.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Brazil as President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pushed for dialogue in Ukraine. However, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition politician and long-term critic of Putin as well as Moscow’s war in Ukraine, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of “treason” and discrediting the Russian military. This sentence was condemned by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, among other Western governments. Kara-Murza also has United Kingdom citizenship.
US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia and found him in good spirits. Moscow has accused the Wall Street Journal reporter of spying. Meanwhile, Germany pushed for the European Union to include the nuclear sector in a new sanctions package against Russia, according to the economy ministry.
Slovakia has handed over all 13 MiG-29 fighter jets it had pledged to Ukraine, according to the Slovak Ministry of Defence.
In summary, while fighting continues in Ukraine, there have been diplomatic developments with China and Brazil, as well as controversy surrounding the sentencing of a Russian opposition politician. Additionally, Slovakia has fulfilled its pledge to provide Ukraine with fighter jets.