Russia-Ukraine at a glance: what we know on day 203 of the invasion - The Guardian

  • Ukraine has set its sights on freeing all territory occupied by invading Russian forces after driving them back in a speedy counteroffensive in the north-east. In an address on Tuesday evening, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said about 8,000 sq km (3,100 square miles) have been liberated so far, apparently all in the north-eastern region of Kharkiv. "Stabilisation measures" had been completed in about half of that territory, Zelenskiy said, "and across a liberated area of about the same size, stabilisation measures are still ongoing".

  • Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych held out the prospects of building on the gains made over the weekend in the Kharkiv region by moving on the eastern province of Luhansk. "There is now an assault on Lyman and there could be an advance on Siversk," Arestovych said. The pro-Russian leader of the Donetsk People's Republic denied the claims and said in a video post that Lyman remains in their hands, saying "the situation has been stabilised."

  • However, the frontline in eastern Ukraine is approaching the borders of territory claimed by the self-proclaimed pro-Russian separatist Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) according to Andrey Marochko, a senior LPR military commander.

  • The general staff of Ukraine's armed forces warned that Russian forces were continuing to loot as they withdrew from occupied territories. On a stretch of highway heading into Russian territory, Ukrainian officials spotted civilian vehicles with licence plates from the Kharkiv region, driven by Russian military and weighed down with looted belongings. In the south, there were reports of Russian occupants breaking the gates of private garages and taking cars, as well as removing furniture.

  • Russia has probably used Iranian-made uncrewed aerial vehicles in Ukraine for the first time, Britain's defence intelligence said on Wednesday, after Kyiv reported downing one of the UAVs – a Shahed-136 – on Tuesday. The device is a "one-way attack" weapon, the MoD said, and has been used in the Middle East. The shooting down of the drone near the frontline in Ukraine suggests that Russia is using the weapons as a tactical weapon rather than a strategic one targeting military installations deeper into Ukrainian territory.

  • Western sanctions on Russia are having a real impact and are there to stay, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday, stressing that the European Union's solidarity with Ukraine would be "unshakeable". "This is the time for us to show resolve, not appeasement," she said. "We are in it for the long haul."

  • Von der Leyen also sent a strong signal over European Union expansion, saying the European Union is not complete without Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and western Balkan countries. "You are part of our family, you are the future of our union. Our union is not complete without you," she said.

  • Russian oil and gas revenues have fallen to their lowest for almost a year, despite a big rise in prices.

  • Pope Francis, at a summit of religious leaders in Kazakhstan, has said that God does not guide religions towards war in what appears to be an implicit criticism of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has backed the invasion of Ukraine.

  • US president Joe Biden said it was hard to tell if Ukraine had reached a turning point in the six-month war. Asked about the situation on Tuesday, he said: "It's clear the Ukrainians have made significant progress," he said. "But I think it's going to be a long haul."

  • The White House said the United States is likely to announce a new military aid package for Ukraine in "coming days".

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