Ukraine said its forces had recaptured villages from Russian troops, pressing a major counter-offensive in the northeast of the country that could signal a shift in the war’s momentum and jeopardize Russia’s main advance.
* Ukrainian troops had recaptured the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske, in a pocket north of Kharkiv in recent days, according to a spokesperson for the main Ukrainian force near Kharkiv.
* Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said the region was attacked 22 times over the previous 24 hours.
* There is a high probability of missile strikes at both civilian and military infrastructure throughout Ukraine, the general staff of its armed forces said in a daily update.
* In the southern port city of Mariupol, Russian forces continued their assault on the Azovstal steel plant where the city’s last defenders are holed up. An aide to the city’s mayor said at least 100 civilians were still trapped there.
* Ukraine’s emergency services said all fires resulting from Russia’s Monday strikes on the Black Sea port of Odesa had been put out.
* Asked if Moscow would rule out a preemptive tactical nuclear strike on Ukraine, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said the option was clearly set out in Russia’s military doctrine, RIA reported.
DIPLOMACY AND SANCTIONS
* Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the highest-ranking German government official to visit Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, announced the reopening of the German embassy in Kyiv and said Ukraine should become a full EU members at some point.
* French President Emmanuel Macron and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed on the importance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in a phone conversation between the two leaders, Macron’s office said.
* Xi told Macron confrontation between blocs resulting from the Ukraine crisis could become a bigger and more lasting threat to global peace than the crisis itself, Chinese state media reported.
* Japan will decide when and how to ban Russian oil imports while considering the possible economic impact, its industry minister said.
* Russia is not planning to close embassies in Europe in response to western “unfriendly measures,” the RIA news agency quoted a deputy foreign minister as saying.
* Thousands more civilians have been killed in Ukraine than the official toll of 3,381, the head of the United Nation’s human rights monitoring mission said.
* At least 3,000 people had died in Ukraine because of lack of access to treatments for chronic diseases, the WHO said.
* More than 8 million people have been displaced inside Ukraine since the start of the invasion, the U.N. migration agency said. (Compiled by Tomasz Janowski)