Ukraine on Friday battled Russian troops trying to pierce its lines in the east and northeast before Kyiv takes delivery of tanks from its Western allies, saying the fighting showed it needed more weapons to repel the invaders. FIGHTING

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the situation at the front as “extremely acute”, particularly in the eastern Donetsk region where Russia is stepping up an offensive. * Zelenskiy reported major battles for Vuhledar, to the southwest of Donetsk’s regional capital, and Bakhmut, to the northeast. Bakhmut has largely been pulverized by repeated Russian attacks.

* A 74-year-old Spanish man arrested this week over a spate of letter bombs sent to institutions including the Spanish prime minister and the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid in late 2022 sought to pressure his country’s authorities to drop support for Ukraine, an investigating magistrate said. ARMS

* Ukraine has been promised 321 heavy tanks by several countries, said its ambassador to France. * Poland will send an additional 60 tanks to Ukraine on top of the 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks it has already pledged, the Polish prime minister said in an interview with Canadian television on Thursday.

DIPLOMACY * Russia is violating the “fundamental principles of child protection” in wartime by giving Ukrainian children Russian passports and putting them up for adoption, the U.N. refugee agency chief told Reuters.

* Ukraine will launch an international campaign to prevent Russian athletes from being allowed to compete in the 2024 Olympics, Zelenskiy said after his sports minister declined to rule out boycotting the Paris Games if Russian and Belarusian athletes took part. * Japan tightened sanctions against Russia following its latest wave of missile attacks in Ukraine, adding goods to an export ban list and freezing the assets of Russian officials and entities. Russia said Japan’s sanctions were nothing to worry about and that it was adapting to life under such restrictions.

* Ukraine said it would summon Hungary’s ambassador to complain about “completely unacceptable” remarks Prime Minister Viktor Orban made about Ukraine, Kyiv said on Friday. Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko, writing on Facebook, said Orban had told reporters that Ukraine was a no man’s land and compared it to Afghanistan. * North Korea on Saturday denounced U.S. pledges of battle tanks to Ukraine, claiming Washington was “further crossing the red line” to win hegemony by proxy war, state media KCNA reported. 

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)