Russian troops are close to seizing the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, but Ukrainian forces appear poised to launch a counteroffensive using weapons provided by the West.
Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Thursday that his country has received a delivery of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from the United States.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai told local media that Ukrainian troops have been told to pull out of Severodonetsk. He also said Russian forces are advancing to the neighboring city of Lysychansk.
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the European Union and NATO of building a war coalition.
The same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said global food and commodity prices are surging because of the macroeconomic policies of the Group of Seven nations, not his so-called special military operation in Ukraine.
Putin was speaking at an online summit of the BRICS nations. The group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Other countries from Asia, the Middle East and Africa also took part.
Friday marked four months since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.