Russia blasted an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles on Wednesday after launching a swarm of drones at cities overnight, a deadly display of force following a solidarity visit to Moscow by China’s leader Xi Jinping.
* Russian forces killed at least four people near Kyiv and one person in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia in the air strikes, which Ukraine’s president said showed Moscow was not interested in peace.
* President Zelenskiy visited Ukrainian troops near the frontline city of Bakhmut and handed out medals, his office said.
* British military intelligence said there was a possibility the Russian assault on Bakhmut was losing steam.
* The Russian-backed administration in Sevastopol suspended ferry routes around the Crimean port city, shortly after its governor said air defences repelled a Ukrainian drone attack.
* Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the modernisation of Moscow’s air defence system would be completed this year, Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported.
* Reuters could not immediately verify the battlefield reports.
* Peace plans and pipelines: What came out of the Putin-Xi talks?
* Putin and Xi discussed a major new infrastructure project, Power-of-Siberia 2, to deliver gas to China via Mongolia. However, Russia is still waiting on a deal and China has powerful leverage to secure advantageous price terms. China is not expected to need additional gas supply until after 2030.
* During his two-day visit Xi barely mentioned the Ukraine conflict beyond saying China had an “impartial position”.
* Russia and China said their relationship had reached its highest level but that it was not directed against any other country and did not constitute a “military-political alliance”.
* Rebuilding Ukraine’s economy is now expected to cost $411 billion, 2.6 times Ukraine’s expected 2022 gross domestic product, a new study by the World Bank, United Nations, European Commission and Ukraine found.
* The International Monetary Fund reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine for a four-year financing package worth about $15.6 billion to help its economic recovery.
* Britain said there was no nuclear escalation in the Ukraine war after Russian President Vladimir Putin criticised Britain for supplying depleted uranium tank munitions to Ukrainian forces.
* Russia said a division of its Bastion coastal defence missile systems had been deployed to Paramushir, one of the Kuril islands in the north Pacific, some of which Japan claims as its territory. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Kyiv on Tuesday.
“Now there are changes that haven’t happened in 100 years. When we are together, we drive these changes,” Xi told Putin before leaving Moscow.