Russian troops keep coming in waves along the frontline in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian soldiers said on Tuesday, a sign of no letup in Russia’s winter offensive despite Moscow having failed to secure any big victories so far.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his top military command agreed on Tuesday to continue to defend Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, the president’s office said.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that what was at stake in Ukraine was Russia’s very existence as a state.
* The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russia’s goals in Ukraine could only be achieved by military force at the moment, and that Kyiv needed to accept the “new realities” on the ground before a peaceful settlement could be reached.
* Russia does not recognise the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the TASS news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying when asked about reports the ICC was expected to seek its first arrest warrants against Russian individuals.
* Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, voted on Tuesday to approve an amendment that would punish those found guilty of discrediting “volunteer” groups fighting in Ukraine, extending a law that censors criticism of Russia’s armed forces.
* Ukraine has accused two Russian soldiers of sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl and gang raping her mother at gunpoint in front of her father, as part of widespread allegations of abuse during the more than one-year-long invasion. Russia’s Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Russia has strongly denied its forces have committed war crimes.
* Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday ordered a top Russian arms manufacturer to double its production of high-precision rockets, the TASS news agency reported.
* Talks continue to extend a deal to allow grain shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports ahead of a deadline later this week, the United Nations and Turkey said on Tuesday, after Kyiv rejected a Russian push for a reduced 60-day renewal.
* Putin on Tuesday hailed what he described as Russia’s economic strength in the face of Western sanctions and the fallout from Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.
* Russia has not been informed about the progress of an investigation into last year’s Nord Stream pipeline blasts and has handed in a report to prove this to the United Nations, a senior diplomat said.
* Poland could give Ukraine MiG-29 fighter jets in the coming four to six weeks, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday, suggesting that Kyiv’s allies were moving closer to an agreement on the next step in their military support.
* The Mayor of Paris said it was unthinkable that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be allowed to take part in the 2024 Summer Olympics under their national flags, adding she would do everything she could to prevent it.
* Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Tuesday that the likelihood that Finland joins the NATO military alliance before Sweden had increased, though Swedish membership was only a matter of time.