Russo-Ukrainian War: What We Know About Day 163 of the Invasion | Ukraine

  • Three ships carrying nearly 60,000 tons of grain between them left Ukrainian Black Sea ports and are en route to Britain, Ireland and Turkey respectively. Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said he plans “to ensure that ports have the capacity to handle more than 100 ships per month.”

  • Russia says it is ready to talk about a prisoner exchange with the United States following Wednesday’s nine-year prison sentence against American basketball player Brittney Griner. However, the Kremlin says such negotiations should not take place publicly.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy criticized Amnesty International report – which suggested that the tactics of the Ukrainian forces were endangering civilians by using certain schools and hospitals as bases. Zelenskiy said the report “cannot be tolerated” because there “can be no condition under which a Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified.”

  • The UK Ministry of Defense has raised concerns about the ‘security and safety’ of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. It indicates that Russia “used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the western bank of the Dnipro river”.

  • Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdoğan are to meet at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Talks between the Russian and Turkish presidents are expected to focus on Syria, Ukraine and Russia’s construction of a nuclear power plant in southern Turkey.

  • Canada sends up to 225 members of the Canadian armed forces to the United Kingdom to resume training of Ukrainian military recruits, announced the Canadian Minister of Defense. Since 2015, Canada has trained 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel, but in February it halted some aspects of the training.

  • A US official has accused Moscow of preparing to file false evidence to give the impression that the recent massacre of Ukrainian prisoners in an attack on a Russian-controlled prison was caused by Ukraine. Kyiv and Moscow swapped responsibility for the strikes on the Kremlin-controlled Olenivka prison in eastern Ukraine last week.

  • Ukraine ceded part of the territory of the Donbass region to Russian forces, with Kyiv acknowledging Russia’s “partial success” in recent days. Zelenskiy described the pressure on his forces in the east of the country as “hell”. They recaptured two villages near the city of Sloviansk, according to Ukrainian General Oleksiy Hromov, but were forced to abandon a coal mine seen as a key defensive position as forces were pushed back to the outskirts of Avdiivka.

  • Russia could launch an offensive in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine to try to regain Kyiv’s momentum and visibly strengthened his forces, Hromov said on Thursday. Much of the region is already occupied by Russia after capturing areas at the start of its invasion, but Ukrainian forces have developed a counter-offensive to regain territory.

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