As the war continues to rage on, we take a closer look at the latest developments. Here is a summary of the situation as of April 21, 2023:
The Russian defence ministry has reported that their assault troops are currently engaged in fighting in western parts of Bakhmut, the last remaining area of the city still held by Ukrainian forces. Meanwhile, Ukraine has stated that Russian forces have made some progress in their efforts to take control of Bakhmut, but that they still have the situation under control.
Aid and Diplomacy
At a meeting with Western allies held at the US airbase of Ramstein in Germany, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius rejected the possibility of delivering German fighter jets to Ukraine. However, Latvia announced that they would be delivering all Stinger anti-aircraft missiles still in their armed forces to Ukraine. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has invited Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to attend NATO’s summit in July, while also emphasizing the need to support Ukraine’s battlefield logistics.
A spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry has accused NATO of wanting to defeat Russia and keeping Ukraine motivated by promising membership after the war ends. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on a Russian judge and four others who are linked to the recent arrest of Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison earlier this week.
Russia has announced that it will not approve any new vessels for safe Black Sea exports of Ukrainian grain unless their operators guarantee that the transits will be completed by May 18, which is the expected date of closure. As a result, a deal allowing for safe Black Sea exports of Ukrainian grain could begin winding down as early as next week. Ukraine has increased its exports of agricultural and food products through European Union nations after Russia’s invasion disrupted its usual Black Sea shipping route. However, Ukraine’s prospects of unblocking grain shipments to Eastern Europe have improved as Romania has opted against a unilateral ban on food imports.
In conclusion, the situation in Ukraine remains tense as the war continues to drag on. While there have been some diplomatic efforts to support Ukraine, there are still significant challenges to overcome, particularly in terms of trade and logistics. As the conflict enters its 423rd day, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Ukraine and its people.