Ukraine’s future hinges on the outcome of fighting with Russia in the east, including in and around Bakhmut, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, with both sides describing relentless battles in the small city as Russia intensifies a winter campaign to capture it.
* In what would be the first international war crimes cases arising from Russia’s invasion, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to seek the arrest of Russian officials for forcibly deporting children from Ukraine and targeting civilian infrastructure, a source told Reuters.
* The source said arrest warrants could include the crime of genocide, and were expected to arrive in the “short term” if the court prosecutor’s request was approved by a pre-trial judge at the Hague-based court. It was unclear which Russian officials the prosecutor might seek warrants for.
Russia has strongly denied its forces have committed war crimes.
* Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to travel to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.
* Xi plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the first time since Russia’s invasion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said the call was likely to take place after Xi’s visit to Moscow next week. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Ukraine has not confirmed the call.
* The Biden administration will allow Ukrainians who entered the United States last year over the Mexican border to renew their humanitarian status, giving them continued access to government benefits like health insurance and food stamps
* The United Nations affirmed its commitment to the Black Sea grain deal on Monday, saying its chief would do everything possible to preserve its “integrity” after Russia floated renewing it for a shorter period.
* Russia is suggesting the renewal of the deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports but only for 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Monday.
* A patchwork of fixes and increased crop plantings around the world to counter the impact of the war on global grain supplies are not enough to ward off further risks of disruption, experts say.
* The situation in Bakhmut was difficult, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces said, though adding that his troops were repelling all Russian attempts to capture it.
* Zelenskiy said that Ukraine’s future depended on the outcome of battles in key points in the east of the country.
* “It is very tough in the east – very painful. We have to destroy the enemy’s military power. And we shall destroy it,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. (Compiled by Reuters editors)

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