As the Russian-Ukrainian war enters its 345th day, we take a look at the main events.
Here is the situation on Friday, February 3, 2023:
- CIA Director William Burns said the intelligence agency estimated the next six months would be “critical” for Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.
- Russia, determined to make progress before Ukraine receives its newly promised Western battle tanks and armored vehicles, has seized momentum on the eastern front and announced advances north and south of Bakhmut, which has endured months of persistent Russian bombardment.
- Russian forces are pushing from both north and south to encircle Bakhmut, using outnumbered troops to try to cut it off from supplies and force the Ukrainians to leave, Ukrainian military analyst Yevhen Dikiy said.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russian forces would respond to the delivery of longer-range Western weapons to Kiev by trying to push Ukrainian forces further from their borders to create a safe buffer zone.
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russian arms suppliers would “significantly” increase their deliveries in 2023 to help inflict a “devastating defeat” on Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin evoked a famous World War II victory over the Nazis to rally his nation as he predicted a Russian triumph in Ukraine.
- The German government has approved the delivery of Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine from industrial stocks and is in talks to buy 15 Gepard tanks from Qatar for shipment to Kyiv, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.
- European Union leaders will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi in Kiev on Friday, pledging new sanctions against Russia but likely to dash Ukraine’s hopes for quick EU membership.
- EU countries will seek an agreement on Friday on the European Commission’s proposal to set a price ceiling for Russian oil products amid divisions among member states, diplomats said.
- Poland believes it will be possible to build a coalition of some 40 countries, including the United States, Great Britain and Canada, by February 10, backing calls to block Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Paris Olympics, a Polish minister said.