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As the war enters its 706th day, these are the main developments.
- Russia claimed to have taken control of Tabaivka, a tiny village on the front line in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region. Ukraine denied the claim and said fighting continued.
- Alexei Kulemzin, the Russian-installed mayor of the occupied Ukrainian city of Donetsk, blamed Ukraine for a rocket attack that killed at least three people and injured three more.
Politics and diplomacy
- Hungary signalled its readiness to compromise on a proposed 50 billion euro ($54bn) European Union aid package for Ukraine. Balazs Orban, a top aide to Prime Minister Victor Orban, said Budapest had sent a proposal to Brussels on Saturday showing it was open to using the EU budget for the aid package and issuing common EU debt to finance it, provided other “caveats” were added. The EU is due to hold an emergency summit on the budget on Thursday.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said they prepared the ground for a meeting of their leaders during talks in western Ukraine, and also agreed to work together on the divisive issue of Hungarian minority rights in Ukraine.
- United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that all advances in Ukraine would be “in jeopardy” if Congress failed to approve new aid for Kyiv. Republicans are blocking a $61bn assistance package and want it linked to tougher immigration policies.
- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg met top officials in the US, including Blinken, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Stoltenberg is in Washington, DC to rally support for a Ukraine deal and is due to meet members of Congress involved in the aid debate on Tuesday.
- United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron called on Moscow to reveal the whereabouts of Vladimir Kara-Murza, after his wife said he had been moved from a Siberian penal colony to an unknown location. Kara-Murza, who has Russian and UK citizenship, was jailed for 25 years last April for treason and spreading “false information” about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
- Members of the Russian rock group Bi-2, who have condemned the war in Ukraine, face deportation to Russia after they were arrested in Thailand for working without a permit. Russian authorities labelled the band’s lead singer, Igor Bortnick, a “foreign agent” after he criticised President Vladimir Putin online.
- A Russian court jailed a 72-year-old woman to five and half years in prison after she shared two posts online about Russian military casualties in Ukraine. Rights groups said Yevgeniya Maiboroda from the southern Rostov region was charged with spreading “false information” about the armed forces.
- Sales of US military equipment to foreign governments rose 16 percent in 2023 to a record $238bn, according to the US State Department, as countries sought to replenish arsenals sent to Ukraine and prepare for major conflicts. Sales during the year included National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to Ukraine, as well as weapons for Poland and Germany.
- Source:- Aljazeera