Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 325 of the invasion | Ukraine
The United Nations nuclear watchdog announced it will increase its presence in Ukraine to help prevent a nuclear accident during the conflict. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it will soon have a permanent presence at all five of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. Currently, only the Russian-controlled plant in Zaporizhzhia, which is close to the front line, has a permanent IAEA presence.
Ukraine has denied Russia’s claim that Putin’s forces captured Soledar. On Friday, Russia’s defense ministry said its forces had taken full control of the salt mining town. Ukrainian officials denied the Russian claim, suggesting they were still holding and counterattacking, with Ukrainian military spokesman Serhii Cherevatyi reporting “ongoing battles”.
Soledar is ‘Verdun for the 21st century’ according to a senior Ukrainian official. Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s president’s office, compared the battle for the city to the longest and bloodiest battle in World War I.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Thursday that Ukrainian forces defending Bakhmut and Soledar in the east will be armed with everything they need to keep Russian troops at bay in some of the bloodiest fighting of the war.
Hundreds of civilians remain trapped in Soledar, Ukraine said. Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk, told Ukrainian state television that 559 civilians remained in Soledar, including 15 children, and could not be evacuated.
Satellite images obtained by Maxar Technologies show the destruction caused to Soledar. The Guardian has a series of stunning images from inside the eastern Ukrainian city.
Ukraine is confident Britain will announce it plans to send around 10 Challenger 2 tanks to Kiev soon, a move it hopes will help Germany finally allow Leopard 2s to be re-exported to the embattled country. An official announcement is expected on Monday, but Ukrainian sources said they understood Britain had already decided in favour.
Germany will continue to “carefully weigh every step” and consult with its allies about further arms shipments to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. The German leader is facing increasing pressure to approve German-made battle tanks for Kiev. Scholz said Berlin would maintain its “leading position” as one of Kiev’s main backers, but said it had no intention of rushing into “such serious things that have to do with peace and war, with the security of our country and of Europe”.