© Reuters. U.S. 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) – Ukraine said its forces had repelled Russian assaults along the length of the front line on Thursday on the eve of the war’s anniversary, as President Vladimir Putin, empty-handed after a bloody winter offensive, talked up Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
DIPLOMACY* U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped up calls on Thursday for increased financing support to Ukraine to help it battle the year-old Russian invasion as the United States readies an additional $10 billion in economic assistance in coming weeks.
* Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Thursday accused the West of using Ukraine to try to break up Russia, but said he thought it would fail.
* Moldova dismissed an accusation by Russia’s defence ministry on Thursday that Ukraine planned to invade the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdniestria after staging a false flag operation, and called for calm.
* NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday the alliance had seen signs China was considering supplying arms to Russia and warned Beijing against taking any such step.
* China’s effort to cast itself as a peacemaker on Ukraine reflects an aim to burnish its image rather than a change of stance, Western diplomats and analysts said, as it seeks to establish itself as a leader of a new multipolar world order.
* Western European countries should be faster and more generous in supplying Ukraine with weapons, the prime ministers of Poland and Denmark said after meeting in Copenhagen on Thursday.
* President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia would pay increased attention to boosting its nuclear forces by deploying a much delayed new intercontinental ballistic missile, rolling out hypersonic missiles and adding new nuclear submarines.
* Russia is intensifying hostilities in Ukraine a year after its invasion in a deliberate attempt to deplete Ukrainian forces, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday.
* Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force, said on Thursday that much-needed ammunition for his troops had been dispatched, after a public row in which he accused the military leadership of treason.
* Three ambulance workers trying to evacuate people from their homes in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine were killed by Ukrainian shelling on Thursday, a Russian-installed official in the region said.
* Reuters was unable to immediately confirm battlefield claims.
* Ukraine’s Zelenskiy has defied Putin against the odds, a year into war.
* Putin, secure in power, has set the stage for a long and draining war.
* A year on from Russia’s invasion, Ukraine and its government have not just survived. They’ve fought back.
* Toughened by war’s scars, Kyiv presses on while Russia attacks
* Hairdresser by day, drone hunter by night helps defend skies over Ukraine
* Russian defence chief keeps job despite Ukraine routsthanks to Putin
* BREAKINGVIEWS-Even a weak Russia is a problem for Europe
* BREAKINGVIEWS-Ukraine yet to make defence a safe investor haven