Ukraine worked on Wednesday to secure territory reclaimed from occupying Russian forces in a swift counter-offensive and reiterated plans to win back all occupied regions, as US President Joe Biden predicted "a long haul" ahead.
Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark deal on Friday to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports, raising hopes that an international food crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion can be eased.
Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces were still holding out inside Sievierodonetsk and trying to evacuate civilians, after Russia destroyed the last bridge to the devastated eastern city in a potential turning point in one of the war's bloodiest battles.
Bitter fighting raged in Sievierodonetsk, but the region's governor said Ukraine remained in control of an industrial area and chemical plant in the eastern city where hundreds of civilians are sheltering from incessant Russian shelling
President Vladimir Putin warned the West that Russia would strike new targets if the United States started supplying Ukraine with longer-range missiles, the TASS news agency reported on Sunday.
Kyiv was rocked by several explosions early on Sunday, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital said, a day after officials said its troops had recaptured a swath of the eastern battlefield city of Sievierodonetsk in a counter-offensive against Russia.
Russian forces intensified their assault on the largest city held by Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region in the east on Sunday as Kyiv said it was hopeful longer-range weapons it desperately needs from Western allies could soon arrive.
Ukraine ruled out a ceasefire or any territorial concessions to Russia, and Poland's president said any loss of Ukrainian territory would be a "huge blow" to the entire West as he warned against appeasing Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russia said on Monday that the West should have no illusions that Moscow will simply put up with the Nordic expansion of the US-led Nato military alliance to include Sweden and Finland, casting the move as a mistake that would stoke military tension.
Ukraine's last soldiers in the port city of Mariupol face a brutal final showdown Sunday with besieging Russian forces, who are hoping to deliver a critical win ahead of the country's victory day.
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Moscow's conflict with Ukraine and its international repercussions with his security council on Friday, the Kremlin said on its website.
France on Monday warned Russia not to resort to blackmail over efforts to revive a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, after Moscow demanded a US guarantee that sanctions it faces over Ukraine would not hurt its trade with Tehran.