Ukraine and Russia: what you need to know
Ukraine is holding fire until more Western armoured vehicles arrive before it starts its long-awaited counteroffensive to recapture Russian-occupied territory, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said in an interview.
"We still need a bit more time," Zelenskiy said in the interview with European broadcasters released on Thursday.
* The founder of Russia's Wagner Group mercenary force Yevgeny Prigozhin said Ukrainian units had begun their counterattack, and were approaching Bakhmut from the flanks.
* Britain has supplied Ukraine with Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles, a Western official said on Thursday, which would allow its forces to hit Russian troops and logistics hubs deep behind the front line.
* A Ukrainian drone attacked an oil storage depot in the Russian border region of Bryansk, the local governor said on Thursday. There were no casualties.
* Russia's military operation against Ukraine is "very difficult" but certain goals have been achieved, Tass news agency cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
BLACK SEA GRAIN DEAL
* Russian President Vladimir Putin could speak with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan at short notice if needed regarding the extension of the Ukraine Black Sea grain deal, the Kremlin said as talks on the matter continue in Istanbul.
* Russian forces are planning to evacuate more than 3000 workers from the town that serves the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, resulting in a "catastrophic lack" of personnel, Ukraine's state-owned Energoatom company said.
* European Union states held an initial discussion about proposed new sanctions over Russia's war in Ukraine that would target Chinese and Iranian firms and allow export curbs on third countries for busting trade restrictions.
* Two Russian soldiers from Kamchatka in the far east have been sentenced to two-and-a-half years each in prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine, human rights group OVD-Info said.