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Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: Kyiv marks anniversary of Bucha recapture

By:
Reuters
Updated: Mar 31, 2023, 15:30 GMT+00:00

(Reuters) - Russian forces attacked northern and southern stretches of the front in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region on Friday, pressing on with their offensive despite assertions from Kyiv that Moscow's assault was flagging near the city of Bakhmut.

General view shows a car damaged by debris in Avdiivka

(Reuters) – March 31 (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine would never forgive Russian troops responsible for atrocities in Bucha, as the town near Kyiv marked the anniversary of its recapture after 33 days of occupation.

DIPLOMACY, WEAPONRY

* A senior Ukrainian official ruled out any ceasefire in Russia’s war on his country that would involve Russian forces remaining on territory they now occupy in Ukraine.

* Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia faced “existential threats” to its security and development from “unfriendly states” as he presented President Vladimir Putin with an updated foreign policy doctrine.

* U.S. Secretary of State Blinken will push back on Russia’s attempts to “weaponize energy” and rally support for a Ukrainian counteroffensive when he meets NATO foreign ministers in Brussels next week, an official said.

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that Russia, which has already decided to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, could if necessary put intercontinental nuclear missiles there too.

* The Turkish parliament ratified Finland’s NATO accession but kept Sweden waiting. Finland and Sweden asked to join the military alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The parliaments of all NATO members must ratify newcomers.

Battlefield

* At least six Russian missiles hit the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv late on Thursday, and officials are gathering details about damage and casualties, the regional governor said.

* The advance of Russian soldiers on the outskirts of the eastern frontline town of Bakhmut “has been halted – or nearly halted”, the director of the Ukrainian defence publication Defense Express said.

* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

U.s. reporter’s arrest

* The Kremlin said that all accredited foreign journalists could continue to work in Russia, a day after a Wall Street Journal reporter was remanded in custody on espionage charges brought by the FSB security agency.

* U.S. President Joe Biden called on Russia to release detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was charged with spying by Moscow.

* A Nobel prize-winning Russian journalist said he did not believe that arrested American reporter Evan Gershkovich was a spy, and that he hoped diplomacy could bring about his quick release.

Stories of note

* In Ukraine’s Bucha, a ‘wounded soul’ aches one year after liberation from violent Russian occupation

* SPECIAL REPORT-Facial recognition is helping Putin curb dissent with the aid of U.S. tech

* INSIGHT-Ukraine’s scramble for ‘game-changer’ drone fleet

* SPECIAL REPORT-Wagner’s convicts tell of horrors of Ukraine war and loyalty to their leader.

(Compiled by Reuters editors)

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