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The Russian-Ukrainian War at a Glance: What We Know as of Day 304 of the Invasion | Ukraine

  • Vladimir Putin commanded the Russian defense industry chiefs ensure that his army obtains all the weapons, equipment and military materials it needs “in the shortest possible time” to fight in Ukraine. The Russian president also called for their proposals on “solving the problems that are unavoidable” and how to “make sure there are fewer of them”. Putin’s comments in the city of Tula, a center of Russian weapons manufacturing, came just days after he pledged to give his army whatever it asked for in a meeting with the senior Russian military officials.

  • The United States has called on Vladimir Putin to acknowledge reality and withdraw his troops from Ukraine after he used the word “war” to describe the conflict in Ukraine. Putin on Thursday publicly acknowledged the situation as a “war” for the first time since the February invasion, previously calling his campaign a “special military operation”. A State Department spokesperson said, “Finally, after 300 days, Putin has called the war what it is.” A Russian opposition politician, Nikita Yuferev, has filed a complaint against Putin’s use of the word “war”.

  • Russian forces demolished a theater in occupied Mariupol in southern Ukraine, which was the site of a deadly airstrike that reportedly killed hundreds of civilians, according to an aide to the city’s exiled Ukrainian mayor. Ukraine’s Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said the move was an “attempt to forever hide evidence of the deliberate murder of Ukrainians by Russians”. Video posted Friday on Ukrainian and Russian websites showed heavy equipment destroying much of the building. An Amnesty International investigation concluded that Russian forces had committed a war crime by deliberately targeting the building.

  • Iran seeks to expand supply of advanced weapons to Russia, said the head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad, according to local media. David Barnea’s warning comes after the United States raised alarm this month over a “large-scale defense partnership” between Tehran and Moscow.

  • Russian forces shelled newly liberated Kherson region 61 times Thursday, killing one person and injuring two, said the head of the military administration of the eastern region of Ukraine, Yaroslav Yanushevych. About half of the strikes hit the city of Kherson, hitting residential blocks, educational institutions and private homes, he said, while a kindergarten was also hit. Two civilians were killed in the bombardment of the city on Friday morning, according to the regional prosecutor’s office.

  • Two people were injured after a car bomb exploded in the Russian-occupied town of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine, according to a local pro-Moscow official. Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed official in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia province, described the incident as a “terrorist attack” carried out by “Kyiv regime militants” to Russian state media. Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol, wrote on Telegram that witnesses reported that a car had “exploded”.

  • German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck called the discovery of a German intelligence official suspected of working for Russia “alarming”., amid fears the official had access to sensitive information from Western allies. The man, an employee of the foreign intelligence agency BND identified as Carsten L, was arrested on suspicion of treason for allegedly passing state secrets to Russia, German prosecutors said.

  • Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov warned that the risk of a clash between the United States and Russia was “high” and compared US-Russian relations to an “ice age”. in comments reported by Russian news agency Tass. The Kremlin has accused the United States of waging a proxy war against Russia.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy released a video saying he is back to work in Kyiv after his historic visit to Washington this week. “I’m in my office – we’re working towards victory,” he said in the video, posted to his Telegram channel on Friday.

  • Zelenskiy’s visit to the White House confirmed that Ukraine and the United States are “strategic partners” for the first time in history, said the top adviser to the Ukrainian leader. Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, told the Guardian that the trip cemented Zelenskiy’s bond with US President Joe Biden and senior US Republican officials.

  • The senior Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region said the bombing of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had “almost stopped”.. Speaking on Russian state television, Governor Yevgeny Balitsky said on Friday that Russian troops would not leave the nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – and that it would never return to Ukrainian control.

  • Ukraine estimates that its grain harvest has fallen by around 40% year-on-year due to the Russian invasion, said a representative of the country’s industry. “We expect a grain harvest of 65-66 million tonnes” by the end of the year, head of Ukraine’s Grain Association Sergiy Ivashchenko said on Friday after a record harvest of 106 million tonnes l last year. “The main reason is the war,” which immediately led to fuel shortages and hampered planting, he said.

  • Ukraine plans to open new embassies in 10 African countries, announced Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with the aim of increasing Kyiv’s presence in Africa and strengthening trade ties. There were also plans to develop a “Ukraine-Africa trading house” with offices in the capitals of the “most promising countries” on the African continent, he added.

    Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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