Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Zelensky says the situation within the Kharkiv region has “stabilized” after Russian forces made significant progress

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that Russian forces had advanced 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) into Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region, Reuters reported, citing media agency RBC-Ukraine.

However, Zelensky told reporters that Ukrainian forces had now “stabilized” the situation. His comments come as Russian forces seek to construct on recent successes in Ukraine's second-largest city.

“Today our defense forces have stabilized the Russians where they are now. The deepest point of their advance is 10 km,” Zelensky said.

Russia urges US to answer its prisoner exchange proposals

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Friday called on the United States to answer its prisoner exchange proposals, state news agency TASS reported reportedblamed Washington for slow progress and called for “a realistic search for solutions.”

“Who can be replaced and according to what scheme is another question. The State Department is not a direct participant in these exchanges, and the discussions are conducted through a special communication channel, but in general I can say that the US has done this.” “We have not taken up our proposals so far,” Ryabkov said in an interview with TASS.

“Nevertheless, we urge them to focus on a realistic search for solutions based on Moscow’s proposals that they are aware of,” he added.

A US State Department spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Japan says Ukraine's use of frozen Russian assets must be in accordance with the law

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday that proposals to use frozen Russian financial assets to support Ukraine were necessary to comply with international law.

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven major democracies are meeting in Italy next week to discuss how to use proceeds from frozen Russian assets.

“Japan will take part in the discussions on the upcoming meeting from this fundamental standpoint,” Suzuki said during a regular news conference after the Cabinet meeting.

Shortly after the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022, the G7 froze financial assets worth around $300 billion.

Since then, the G7 countries and the European Union have been debating whether and how the funds should be used to support Ukraine.

Kharkiv was hit by multiple drone strikes during the longest airstrike warning of Ukraine's war

Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, was hit by multiple drone strikes overnight, according to the regional governor, during the country's longest airstrike alert since Russia's full-scale invasion began.

Governor of Kharkiv Oleh Syniehubov said A Google-translated Telegram post late Thursday said Russian forces had attacked the country's northeastern city with at least five drone strikes. It was not clear whether there had been any casualties.

CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.

An air raid alert in the city lasted more than 16.5 hours, Reuters reported, citing Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne. It was the longest recorded air raid alert in the country since Russia began its war with Ukraine in February 2022.

Syniehubov said On Friday, Ukrainian forces reported that they repelled eight attacks by Russian forces in the Liptsy, Staritsa and Vovchansk areas of the Kharkiv region.

Putin says Russia and China can be proud of economic cooperation

Russia and China can be proud of their economic cooperation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, adding that Moscow is ready to supply Beijing with clean energy.

During a state visit to a Russia-China expo in the Chinese city of Harbin, Putin said Russia was building close strategic cooperation with China.

He added that Russia is in the process of diversifying its supplies to China, including through agricultural exports such as fish, grain and pork.

Xi welcomes Putin to China as both leaders seek to strengthen strategic ties

Putin praised Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday at the start of his two-day state visit and thanked Beijing for its efforts in resolving what he called the “Ukraine crisis.”

Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine entered its third year at the end of February.

'Brothers forever': Putin says relations between Russia and China are at the highest level in history

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Russian and Chinese people “brothers forever” on Thursday in a speech to a concert in Beijing marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the countries.

Putin said relations between Russia and China were at the “highest level in history” and had the “character of a real comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction,” according to an English transcript released by the Russian presidential office.

“A well-known song from 75 years ago is often performed today. It contains a phrase that has become a catchphrase: “Russians and Chinese are brothers forever.” I am confident that we will continue to strengthen harmonious Russia. China’s partnership in this brotherly spirit,” Putin said.

The countries have repeatedly emphasized their friendly ties and so-called “borderless partnership,” with Beijing embroiled in trade disputes and Moscow largely alienated from the West.

Zelensky meets military leaders in Kharkiv as Russian offensive advances

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine where he was briefed on the battlefield situation as Russia's new offensive makes progress.

Zelensky said on Telegram that he met with Ukrainian army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi and other military officials to discuss the “operational situation, tasks and wishes of every brigade involved, each unit, especially within the Kharkiv region, within the Vovchansk and Lyptsi districts.” says a translation from NBC News.

According to Russian officials, both areas are considered hotspots of the war, with Russian troops occupying parts of Vovchansk and on the verge of taking Lyptsi.

The Ukrainian military said earlier Thursday that it was slowing Russia's advance and that its units “proceed to conduct combat operations inside the Vovchansk urban development within the northern a part of the town, keeping the enemy under fire control.”

CNBC was unable to verify the battlefield assessments.

In his latest update, Zelensky acknowledged that the situation in the Kharkiv region “stays extremely difficult” but is “broadly under control.” He added that Ukraine was “reinforcing our units.”

The current combat situation in Ukraine, upcoming threats and “Ukrainian options for countering Russian offensive plans” were also discussed, Zelensky said.

In a later post, the Ukrainian leader said he also visited soldiers wounded in combat in Kharkiv.

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