LIVE – War in Ukraine: Moscow claims to have captured 400km of territory from Kyiv since the start of the year

Find key information related to the last 24 hours of conflict below:

– US diplomatic chief Antony Blinken is in France on Monday, where he will discuss support for the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East with President Emmanuel Macron, his counterpart Stephane Sjourne and the French Minister of the Armed Forces. The American Secretary of State will first visit the site of Nexter, a subsidiary of the Franco-German group KNDS that manufactures the Caesar cannons supplied to Kiev, in Versailles, near Paris, along with Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu. France, which hosted a summit in late February to provoke a “surge” in Ukraine’s favor, asked its allies to redouble their efforts to defeat Russia. Far ahead of France, the United States has been Kiev’s main support since the Russian invasion in February 2022. But in Washington, a $60 billion military aid program for Ukraine has been blocked for months by Republican opposition in Congress.

– Valery Chaika, a local official in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian region of Lugansk (east), was killed Monday during a “car bomb” explosion in Starobilsk, pro-Russian authorities said. A local investigative committee said he died from an “explosion of an unknown device” in the car. An investigation was launched into a “terrorist act,” according to the same source, who added that the circumstances of the incident were being established. In the past, car bombings blamed on Ukraine have often targeted pro-Russian officials in occupied Ukrainian territories.

– French Foreign Minister Stephane Sjourne said in Beijing on Monday that France expects China to send “very clear messages” to its close ally Russia about the war in Ukraine. “We expect China to send very clear messages to Russia,” the minister declared during a press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, urging a “balance of power favorable to Ukraine.” Because “obviously China plays a key role in respecting international law, including the independence, sovereignty of Ukraine,” he said. China, which presents itself as a neutral party but has deepened ties with Russia since the beginning of the conflict, is calling for a political settlement to end the fighting in Ukraine. Russia is regularly called upon by the Western community to play a more active role in this conflict by using its influence.

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