Russian forces attacked northern and southern stretches of the front in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, even as Kyiv said Moscow’s assault was flagging near the city of Bakhmut.
* Some 10,000 Ukrainian civilians, many elderly and with disabilities, are clinging on to existence in horrific circumstances in and around the besieged city of Bakhmut, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
* Russian missile strikes and shelling killed at least seven civilians in northern and eastern Ukraine, regional officials said, including at least three women at a civilian refuge.
* Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had destroyed a hangar housing drones belonging to Ukraine’s armed forces in the southwestern Odesa region of the country.
* Russia wants to create demilitarised buffer zones inside Ukraine around areas it has annexed, an ally of President Vladimir Putin said, saying it might be necessary to push deeper into Ukraine if such zones cannot be set up.
* Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports.
* Estonia’s foreign ministry said it had decided to expel a Russian diplomat working at its embassy in Tallinn for “causing divisions in Estonian society”.
* Russia’s middle class will shrink as social inequality grows over coming years, an economic study conducted by Russian experts suggested, as sanctions limited growth potential scupper development prospects.
* Russia’s parliament speaker proposed banning the activities of the International Criminal Court after it issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of the war crimes.
* Democratic and Republican U.S. senators urged the Biden administration to share information with the ICC as it pursues war crimes charges against Putin.
* U.S. President Joe Biden, appearing in Ottawa with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said he would continue to pressure Putin and help Ukraine.
* Air force commanders from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark said on Friday they have signed a letter of intent to create a unified Nordic air defence aimed at countering the rising threat from Russia.