Vladimir Putin has said civilians still living in the Russian-annexed province of Kherson must be “evacuated” from the conflict zone, amid suggestions Russian forces may be preparing to abandon the west bank of the Dnipro river. The Russian president’s comments came amid mounting speculation that Moscow would attempt to hold the city of Kherson itself – the largest urban area under Russian occupation – at any cost.
A 24-hour curfew has been imposed in Kherson city, which makes up part of the Ukrainian province Russia annexed in September.
The western military alliance has released footage of its latest nuclear exercise over north-western Europe, with the majority of its exercises being held at least 1,000km from Russia’s borders, over Belgium, the North Sea and the UK.
Russia wants the west to ease restrictions on state agriculture lender Rosselkhozbank to facilitate Russian grain exports, according to four sources familiar with the request.
Xi Jinping and Olaf Scholz have condemned Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, with both leaders expressing their desire for the conflict to end. The Chinese president stressed the need for greater cooperation between China and Germany in “times of change and turmoil”, while the German chancellor said Moscow was in danger of “crossing a line” if it used atomic weapons, in what was his first meeting with Xi.
The US announced $400m worth of additional security assistance for Ukraine, including refurbishing T-72 tanks from the Czech Republic and missiles for Hawk air defences that could be used against Russian drones and cruise missiles. The package brought US military aid for Kyiv to more than $18.2bn since Russia’s invasion in February.
The US talkshow host David Letterman has travelled to Kyiv to interview Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Netflix made the announcement on Twitter, saying the Ukrainian president will appear in a coming episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister, and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, discussed the situation in Belarus and agreed the need to keep sending a strong message to Russia that intimidation would not work, according to a statement from Sunak’s office.
Indian IT services company Infosys, from which the British prime minister’s wife collects £11.5m in annual dividends, is still operating from Moscow eight months after the company said it was pulling out. The company retains a staffed office and is paying subcontractors in the Russian capital to carry out IT services for a global client, although a spokesperson said they were looking to end that arrangement.