As Friday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
Between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops are being killed on the front line every day, Ukraine's senior presidential aide told the BBC. That's double the combat toll previously estimated by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as battles for the country's eastern regions grind into another week. Despite billions of dollars in military aid from the U.S. and European allies, Ukraine still says it's outgunned by Russia, and Kyiv continues to plead for more weapons.
Concerns are growing about a possible cholera outbreak in the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol. The city's mayor, now based outside Mariupol, said 20,000 civilians may have died in Russia's siege of the southern port city, and corpses have been contaminating the wells. The British Defense Ministry said medical services in Mariupol are near collapse, as Russia struggles to provide public services in occupied areas.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv, and pledged to continue supporting Ukraine with military and other aid. The United Kingdom is also pushing for the release of two British nationals convicted of "mercenary activities" and sentenced to death by a court in the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk region. British officials said they were working with Kyiv to secure the soldiers' release.
Russia's central bank cut its interest rates to their prewar level, citing slowing inflation. The bank chopped its key rate to 9.5%, more than Western economists had expected, as Russia eases back from the 20% emergency rate hike when the war began and Western sanctions followed. Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said the effect of sanctions so far has been "less acute" than feared, though she acknowledged they haven't reached their full effect.
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