Russia blasted an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles on Wednesday and swarmed cities with drone attacks, in a display of force as President Vladimir Putin bid farewell to his visiting “dear friend” and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. FIGHTING
* At least nine people died in the Russian air strikes which Ukrainian President Zelenskiy said showed Moscow was not interested in peace. * Zelenskiy gave medals to Ukrainian troops near the frontline city of Bakhmut, scene of months of fighting.
* British military intelligence said there was a possibility the Russian assault on Bakhmut was losing steam. * The Russian-backed administration in Sevastopol suspended ferry routes around the Crimean port, shortly after its governor said air defences repelled a Ukrainian drone attack.
* Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports. RUSSIA-CHINA
* Peace plans and pipelines: What came out of the Putin-Xi talks? * Putin and Xi discussed a major new infrastructure project, Power-of-Siberia 2, to deliver gas to China via Mongolia. However, Russia is still waiting on a deal and China has powerful leverage to secure advantageous price terms. China is not expected to need additional gas supply until after 2030.
* During his two-day visit, Xi barely mentioned the Ukraine conflict beyond saying China had an “impartial position”. * U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China is “very carefully” watching the global response to the invasion but has not yet crossed the line of providing lethal aid to Moscow.
AID/DIPLOMACY * Turkish President Erdogan said he will have phone call in 2-3 days with Putin to discuss the Black Sea grain export deal for Ukraine and Russia, Anadolu news agency reported.
* Rebuilding Ukraine’s economy is expected to cost $411 billion, 2.6 times Ukraine’s expected 2022 gross domestic product, an international study found. * The spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians said Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church shared responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine.
QUOTE “Take care of yourself, dear friend, please,” Xi told Putin before leaving Moscow.
(Compiled by Reuters editors)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)