Ukraine live briefing: U.S. nudges Kyiv to ease negotiation stance; Zelensky calls out Iran on drones

Washington Post

The United States is pushing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to reconsider his stance against negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post reports. The effort is intended as a means to maintain international support, not necessarily to induce bargaining between the warring nations. A Ukrainian presidential adviser called for retaliatory strikes against Iranian weapons manufacturing facilities after Iran acknowledged publicly for the first time that it had given Russia deadly drones — albeit, it said, before the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion began in February. Zelensky said Tehran’s “confession” was false, after weeks of attacks on Ukrainian territory from Iranian Shahed drones.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

1. Key developments

Zelensky’s ban on negotiating with Moscow is wearing on other nations’ leaders, The Post reports, and the United States is trying to mitigate “Ukraine fatigue.” Biden administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive discussions between Washington and Kyiv, said the White House is pushing Zelensky to soften his stance.

Iran’s foreign minister said his country supplied Russia with a “limited number of drones” months before the invasion. But Hossein Amirabdollahian said Iran had not received any confirmation that they had been used in Ukraine. Iran has repeatedly denied supplying Moscow with drones to use in Ukraine.

Ukraine has long accused Russia of using Iranian-made drones, and U.S. officials said the United States had examined the wreckage of Iranian-made drones shot down in Ukraine. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, called for strikes targeting Iranian facilities manufacturing drones and ballistic missiles in response to Tehran’s support of Russia, the RBC-Ukraine news agency reported.

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