In Ukraine, heavy battles continue around the eastern salt-mining town of Soledar, close to Bakhmut, where intense fighting is also raging. Ukraine’s military denied the claim by Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group that it took control of the town of Soledar, calling it a “complicated situation.”
This comes as Russian strikes hit the eastern city of Kharkiv shortly after a surprise visit by the German and Ukrainian foreign ministers. Germany’s Annalena Baerbock pledged further arms support to Ukraine, though did not say whether this would include the Leopard 2 tanks sought by Kyiv. Baerbock also committed to helping with Ukraine’s bid to join the EU. Meanwhile, the U.S. is increasing its military assistance with a plan to train Ukrainian forces to use the Patriot air defense system at Fort Sill, starting as early as next week.
The U.N. says almost 14 million people in Ukraine have been displaced since Russia invaded 11 months ago. Nearly 8 million of those fled the country, and 6 million have been internally displaced.