Ukrainian forces destroyed parts of a Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video from Ukraine’s military showed on Friday, as Moscow appeared to be refocusing its assault in the east after a new pushback by Kyiv.
Ukraine has driven Russian troops away from the second-largest city of Kharkiv in the fastest advance since Kremlin forces pulled away from Kyiv and the northeast over a month ago, although Moscow is still bombarding villages north of Kharkiv.
The city, which had been under fierce bombardment, has been quiet for at least two weeks and Reuters journalists have confirmed Ukraine now controls territory stretching to the Siverskyi Donets River, around 40 km (25 miles) to the east.
In Germany, Foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations met to discuss a planned EU embargo on Russian oil as well as fears the conflict could spill over into Moldova.
Renewed fighting around Snake Island in recent days could help Ukraine resume grain exports vital to world supplies, some of which are now being shipped by rail.
Ukraine said it had damaged a Russian navy logistics ship near Snake Island, a small but strategic outpost that Ukrainian military intelligence said allows control of civilian shipping.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said membership for her country would have a stabilising effect and benefit countries around the Baltic sea.
Joining the alliance would end the neutrality the two states maintained throughout the Cold War and further the expansion of NATO that Putin said his invasion of Ukraine aimed to prevent.
Moscow called Finland's announcement hostile and threatened retaliation, including unspecified “military-technical” measures.
The UK ramped up its sanctions on Russia, targeting friends and family members it said were helping to prop up President Vladimir Putin’s “luxury lifestyle.”.
Individuals sanctioned on Friday include Putin’s former wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, and Alina Kabaeva, a former gymnast and Chair of the Board of the National Media Group who is alleged to have a close relationship with him.
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