© Reuters. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meet to discuss how to help Ukraine defend itself
(Reuters) – Russia has increased shelling of Ukraine’s eastern regions outside the main front line in the Donbas industrial area, officials from the Zaporizhia and Sumy regions said on Saturday.
* A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Kyiv’s allies to “think faster” about stepping up their military support, a day after they failed to agree on sending battle tanks coveted by Kyiv.
* A tearful Zelenskiy attended a memorial service to commemorate seven senior Interior Ministry officials killed in a helicopter crash, a fresh blow to a nation already grieving its many war dead.
* Germany’s new defense minister Boris Pistorius plans to visit Ukraine soon, he told a German newspaper, as Berlin faces pressure to allow the shipment of German-made tanks to Ukraine.
Senior US officials are advising Ukraine to hold off on launching a major offensive against Russian forces until the latest supply of US weaponry is in place and training has been provided, a senior Biden administration official said.
* The United States will impose additional sanctions next week against Russian private military company the Wagner Group, which US officials say has been helping Russia’s military in the Ukraine war, the White House said.
* The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, published a short letter to the White House asking what crime his company was accused of, after Washington announced the new sanctions.
* Wagner plans to send the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting in the captured town of Soledar to territory held by Ukraine, a website linked to founder Prigozhin reported.
* Western countries are working to structure price caps on Russian refined petroleum products to ensure continued flow of Russian diesel, but the markets are complicated and there is a chance things do not go to plan, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.