At least three people were killed and dozens of homes damaged by blasts in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the regional governor said, while Ukrainian forces hit a Russian military base in occupied southern Ukraine.
* Ukrainian forces hit a Russian base with over 30 strikes in the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol, the city’s exiled Ukrainian mayor said. A Russian official confirmed strikes had hit the city.
* Lysychansk, Ukraine’s last big bastion in the strategic eastern province of Luhansk, could fall, Zelenskiy adviser Oleksiy Arestovych acknowledged as fighting intensified.
* Rodion Miroshnik, ambassador to Russia of the pro-Moscow self-styled Luhansk People’s Republic, said, “Lysychansk has been brought under control” but “not yet liberated.”
* Far from the eastern fighting, Russia said it had hit army command posts in Mykolaiv near the Black Sea port of Odesa, where the mayor had reported powerful explosions.
* Belarusian President Lukashenko said Ukraine tried to strike military facilities on Belarusian territory last week but all its missiles had been intercepted. * Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.
DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY
* Russia may continue to suspend gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline beyond a planned maintenance shutdown this month, said German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.
* The United States is sending Ukraine two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition as part of its latest weapons packages for Ukraine.
* A sizable number of companies, executives and investors underpinning Russia’s defense sector have yet to be affected by Western sanctions, a Reuters examination show.
* “The sound was so strong that I jumped up, I woke up, got very scared and started screaming… All the windows in our house were shattered, the doors came out of alignment,” a resident of Belgorod told Reuters about the 3 a.m. blasts. (Compiled by William Mallard)