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Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: Pentagon releases video of drone intercept

By:
Reuters
Updated: Mar 17, 2023, 21:20 GMT+00:00

(Reuters) - The head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group said on Wednesday his forces had taken full control of the eastern part of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the year-long war.

Ukrainian serviceman carries a shell for a 2S5 Giatsint-S self-propelled howitzer before firing towards Russian troops outside the frontline town of Bakhmut

(Reuters) – March 17 (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, alleging Moscow’s forcible deportation of Ukrainian children is a war crime, as the Kremlin reacted with outrage.

Putin warrant

* The United States said there was no doubt Russia was committing war crimes in Ukraine, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said.

* The move obligates the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory.

* It provoked a furious reaction in Moscow, ranging from dismissal of the court’s jurisdiction to vows to protect Putin from arrest.

* The Kremlin said the warrant was outrageous, but meaningless with respect to Russia.

* Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during the invasion, which it calls a special military operation.

DIPLOMACY, NATO

* The United Nations is “doing everything possible” to make sure a deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports continues, U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Friday, a day before the pact is due to expire.

* Turkey’s parliament will start ratifying Finland’s accession to NATO, lifting the biggest remaining hurdle to enlarging the Western defence alliance as war rages in Ukraine, though he held off approving Sweden’s bid.

* The United States welcomed Erdogan’s announcement, and encouraged Turkey to quickly ratify Sweden’s accession into the military alliance as well.

* NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hailed Turkey’s decision and said he was confident Sweden would join soon too.

FIGHTING, POLITICS

* In eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s forces continued to withstand Russian assaults on the now-ruined city of Bakhmut.

* A commander of Ukrainian ground forces said Russian forces were trying to break through Ukrainian defences in several directions in an attempt to fully encircle the small eastern city of Bakhmut.

* The United States has resumed surveillance drone flights over the Black Sea region following a Russian fighter jet intercept on Tuesday that led to the downing of a U.S surveillance drone, two U.S. officials said.

(Compiled by Reuters editors)

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