Ukrainian President Zelensky visited Germany and was welcomed with military honors. The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that officials, including regional leaders, security officials and members of the presidential administration, cannot resign during the “special military operation.” The ministry argued that officials may be skeptical of the war and working in a dysfunctional wartime system, and collective responsibility for the war is necessary. Explosions shook cities across Ukraine, and one person was killed in the Odessa area after a Russian missile strike hit Kviv in the ninth Russian air raid on the capital earlier this month.
Leaders began their visit to Japan for the G7 summit, with Ukraine’s war at the top of the agenda. G7 leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues, including tightening sanctions on Russia to prevent circumvention of these restrictions. The devastation of Putin’s war on Ukraine was revealed in new satellite images taken from the front-line city of Bakhmut, which has been under Russian control for nearly 10 months. Rows of infrastructure, including apartment buildings, schools and shops, have been destroyed across the city. More than 1,000 Russians fled to Finland to avoid conscription in Russia, and it remains unclear when the EU will make a decision on their asylum claims.
Russian Agriculture Minister Patrushev announced that Russia will export up to 55 million tons of grain in 2023-24, and the 2023 wheat harvest is expected to be 78 million tons. Russian President Putin said that Russia increased food exports last year and claimed that he needed to help farmers in the areas annexed from Ukraine. Russian mercenary commander Evgeny Prigozhin accused Russian regulars of leaving Bakhmut’s flank exposed, leaving the flank of his country’s fighters exposed. Wagner’s forces spearheaded an attack on Bakhmut, which Moscow called a “special military operation,” and has support from regular forces in recent months.