President Zelensky of Ukraine was welcomed to Germany with military honors. Meanwhile, the US-made Patriot missile defense system used by Ukraine was likely damaged by a wave of Russian missile strikes launched on Tuesday morning. However, it has not been destroyed and the US and Kiev are discussing how to repair it without removing it from Ukraine. President Putin threatened to “eliminate” the system, which is designed to counter a combination of aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. On the battlefield front, Ukrainian forces claimed to have recaptured about 20 square kilometers of territory from Russia in recent days around the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian forces are reportedly ready to launch a counterattack, though breaking through Russian lines may not be the key. Instead, the “cognitive effect” of attacking the Kremlin could be more important, according to Western officials. Ukraine has told China’s envoy that it will not accept any peace proposal that involves the loss of territory. China has been leaning towards Russia and has avoided using the term “aggression” to describe Russia’s actions.
Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, has said that the country cannot supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters due to its relatively small fleet. However, Poland is ready to support the training process of Ukrainian pilots. Satellite photos of Bakhmut reveal catastrophic destruction of schools, universities, houses, shops, and the city’s green spaces after a recent strike.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows Ukraine to continue exporting grain without a Russian attack, has been extended by another 60 days. A Ukrainian-born activist has been jailed for seven years in Russia for “justifying terrorism.” Russian mercenary group Wagner’s fighters are reportedly heading for traps “like rats” in Bahmut. Turkey and Ukraine are negotiating an extension of the grain agreement, which could be highly likely, according to Turkish officials.