Moscow announced on Friday that its men had retreated north of Ukraine’s battleground city of Bakhmut following a fresh onslaught, describing the retreat as a defeat by the commander of Russia’s Wagner private army.
Russian soldiers are believed to have retreated from their positions on the southern flank of Bakhmut operations in terrible order during the previous four days, according to the British defense ministry’s daily intelligence briefing on Saturday.
* Russian-installed officials said on Friday missiles fired by Ukrainian forces had injured six children and a Russian parliamentarian and damaged two disused factories in eastern Luhansk region’s main city, about 100 km (60 miles) behind the front lines.
* The Ukrainian military said in a daily update that Russia was focusing its efforts near Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka. “The enemy carried out 36 attacks in these directions in the last 24 hours.”
DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY
* A draft communique from a meeting of Group of Seven finance chiefs reiterated the group’s condemnation of Russia’s “illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression” against Ukraine, and said it will continue to strengthen coordination in monitoring cross-border transactions between Russia and other countries.
* South African officials hit back on Friday at U.S. accusations that a sanctioned Russian ship had picked up weapons from a naval base near Cape Town late last year, a move investors feared could lead Washington to impose sanctions.
* U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi plans to present an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to the U.N. Security Council this month, indicating a deal is close, four diplomats told Reuters.
* Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are considering speeding up a plan to disconnect the Baltic region’s electricity supply from Russia’s grid.
* Police in the Russian city of St. Petersburg said on Friday they have created an anti-drone unit to detect unmanned aerial vehicles following a purported drone attack on the Kremlin this month.
* Pro-war Russian nationalists led by Igor Girkin said on Friday a new group they had set up was entering politics to save Russia, which they warned was in danger of turmoil due to military failures in the Ukraine war.