NATO doesn't expect significant gains for either side on the battlefield in Ukraine in the coming weeks. "I think we'll be in a standstill for a while," a NATO military official with knowledge of the intelligence said.
Here's the latest on the war in Ukraine:
- Turkey could hold up NATO bids: Turkey's foreign minister said it is "unacceptable" for countries that want to become NATO members to impose defense export restrictions and support organizations that threaten Turkey. Ankara has said it would not support Finland and Sweden's bids to become NATO members if they sanction Turkey. The Nordic nations' leaders are set to meet US President Joe Biden on Thursday. Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan called their NATO application a "watershed moment in European security."
- Shift in Ukraine: A NATO military official with knowledge of the intelligence said the military alliance is seeing momentum in the war is shifting significantly in favor of Ukraine. The debate within NATO circles, the official said, is now over whether it is possible for Kyiv to retake Crimea and the Donbas territories. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian armed forces say they have recaptured another settlement in the Kharkiv region, as troops continue their counterattacks in the area.
- US confirms ambassador: The US Senate has confirmed career foreign service officer Bridget Brink as US ambassador to Ukraine. The embassy has been without a confirmed ambassador since Marie Yovanovitch was recalled in May 2019 by then-President Donald Trump.
- Emergency food assistance: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US would give an additional $215 million in new emergency food assistance for Ukraine and called on other countries to swiftly aid the growing global food crisis due to Russia’s invasion. Blinken also said it is “false” that the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its allies have deepened the food crisis.
- War crimes trial: A 21-year-old captured Russian soldier plead "fully" guilty to war crimes at a trial in Kyiv. Vadim Shishimarin is accused of killing a 62-year-old man in the Sumy region. It is the first war crimes trial held since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
- Mariupol evacuations: Russia's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that a total of 959 Ukrainian soldiers, including 80 wounded, had laid down their arms and surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol since May 16. The Ukrainian President said on Tuesday the negotiation process on evacuating the last soldiers from the complex continues with Russia.