⚫ Moscow claims to have repelled an attack led by Ukraine-aligned militias that led to a series of chaotic battles in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, over the past two days. The governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said late Tuesday measures put in place to stop terrorism after the crossborder attack had been lifted. It came only a few hours after Moscow claimed to have pushed the fighters back over the border. Gadkov said Russia’s defence ministry and security agencies were still engaged in a “mopping up” campaign.
⚫ Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has arrived in China, Moscow’s foreign ministry said, for a visit in which he will meet president Xi Jinping and ink a series of deals on infrastructure and trade.
⚫ The training of Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets has begun in Poland, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. He told a meeting of EU defence ministers in Brussels: “I am happy that finally the training of the pilots for the F-16 has started in several countries. It will take time, but the sooner the better … For example, in Poland.”
⚫ Borrell also said EU countries had provided 220,000 artillery shells and 1,300 missiles to Ukraine since March. Member states are discussing raising Europe’s military budget by another €3.5bn, €1bn of which would be earmarked for Ukraine.
⚫ The Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi has halted operations because Russia is not allowing ships to enter it, in effect cutting it out of a deal allowing safe Black Sea grain exports, a Ukrainian official said.
⚫ A Moscow court extended the detention of the Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, detained in Russia on espionage charges at the end of March. During a brief hearing, the court ordered that Gershkovich should remain in jail until 30 August, Russian news agencies reported. The US called for Gershkovich’s immediate release.
⚫ US president Joe Biden has chosen a new leader for the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command, a joint position that oversees much of America’s cyber warfare and defence. If confirmed, air force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh will take charge of highly influential US efforts to bolster Ukraine’s cybersecurity and share information with Ukrainian forces fighting Russia’s invasion.
⚫ Ukrainian forces still controlled the south-western edge of the city of Bakhmut and fighting in the city itself has decreased, deputy Ukrainian defence minister Hanna Maliar claimed on Tuesday. She wrote on the Telegram messaging app that Kyiv’s forces had made some progress “on the flanks to the north and south of Bakhmut” and that Russian forces, which say they have taken the city itself, were continuing to clear areas they control.
⚫ Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited marines on the Vuhledar-Maryinka defence line in the Donetsk region, as part of celebrations for the national day of Ukrainian marines.
⚫ Ukraine’s general staff said that on Monday Russia carried out 20 missile strikes against Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv oblasts, using cruise missiles, Iskander-M ballistic missiles, and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles over the past day. It also claimed that Russia launched 48 airstrikes using Shahed drones, and targeted both civilian and military targets with up to 90 strikes using multiple-launch rocket systems.
⚫ A top Russian official who faces sanctions in the west over Moscow’s war on Ukraine has visited Saudi Arabia and held talks with his counterpart in the kingdom. Russian interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev’s visit to Riyadh came days after Zelenskiy addressed an Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
⚫ Germany is looking into options to support a coalition of countries that plan to train Ukrainian pilots in flying F-16 fighter jets, German defence minister Boris Pistorius said. He added that any potential German contribution could be minor only, as Germany itself does not own any of the US-built jets.
⚫ Ukraine is investigating the alleged role of Belarus in the forced transfer of children from Russian-occupied territories, the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor general told Reuters. The announcement came in response to a report by the exiled Belarusian opposition alleging that 2,150 Ukrainian children, including orphans aged six to 15, were taken to so-called recreation camps and sanatoriums on Belarusian territory.