If you are just joining us, here are the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine so far on Friday.
Ukraine claims Russians are withdrawing from their positions in Zaporizhzhia: The Ukrainian military claims that some Russian troops are withdrawing from their positions in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia and that the Russians are preparing the evacuation of “the personnel of the occupation administrations.”
CNN is unable to confirm the claims made by the General Staff.
A Ukrainian leader alleges that a census is underway in parts of the same region: The Ukrainian mayor-in-exile of the city of Melitopol claims that Russia has begun conducting a census in parts of occupied territory in Zaporizhzhia in preparation for “evacuation.”
Kremlin warns Washington’s refusal to accept annexed regions as part of Russia complicates possible Putin-Biden talks: The fact that Washington doesn’t recognize annexed Ukrainian regions as part of Russia would complicate any possible talks between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Friday. The illegal annexations followed sham referendums in the four regions.
Biden and Macron have different views on engaging with Putin: US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday demonstrated a united front in addressing the ongoing war in Ukraine, but offered divergent answers over their willingness to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden told reporters during a joint White House news conference with Macron that he “has no immediate plans” to contact Putin, but added that he’s prepared to speak with the Russian leader if he’s looking for a way to end the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Macron said that once Ukraine sets conditions for a peace agreement, he’s willing to talk with Putin, and told ABC’s “Good Morning America” earlier Thursday that he intends to speak to the Russian president in the coming days.
Russia told US about Brittney Griner’s transfer to penal colony weeks after she was moved: The Russian government formally told the US Embassy last week about Brittney Griner’s transfer to a remote penal colony, weeks after the wrongfully detained WNBA star had been moved, according to the Biden administration. Separately, the Kremlin said on Thursday that any details of prisoner swap discussions with the United States will not be publicly disclosed and that Moscow is not planning to engage with the Biden administration before the end of the year, according to Russian state media.
New law would ban religious groups in Ukraine associated with Russia: Ukraine’s parliament will vote on a new law that would ban the operation of religious organizations “affiliated with centers of influence” in Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday, in an effort to prevent an “opportunity to manipulate” Ukrainians.
Between 10,000 and 13,000 Ukrainian troops killed, says Zelensky adviser: Between 10,000 and 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the war in Ukraine, according to Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky. But this figure is much lower than estimates suggested by the United States.
Electricity supplies are being restored in Kherson: The southern Ukrainian city was left without power due to Russian shelling early Thursday, a local official said.
Russians advance in Bakhmut: Social media videos indicate that Russian troops in the areas around Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region are taking heavy casualties, even as they take some territory, especially south of the city.