Russia's war on Ukraine latest news: Russia attacks in east as recalibrates war aims
FIGHTING * The Kremlin said it was still set on securing at least the bulk of the territories in east and south Ukraine that Moscow has declared part of Russia, but appeared to give up on seizing other territory.
Russian forces attacked settlements in eastern Ukraine from the ground and air, officials said, in support of the Kremlin's apparently scaled-back ambition of only securing the bulk of Ukrainian lands it has claimed in the war. FIGHTING
* The Kremlin said it was still set on securing at least the bulk of the territories in east and south Ukraine that Moscow has declared part of Russia, but appeared to give up on seizing other territory. * Russian soldiers were preparing for fighting in winter conditions by taking part in tactical training exercises in Moscow's close ally Belarus, the Russian defence ministry said.
* The risk of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons as part of his war in Ukraine has decreased in response to international pressure, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview. BRITTNEY GRINER
* U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia and is on her way back to the United States, President Joe Biden said, ending what he called months of "hell" for her and her wife. * Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who is serving 16 years in Russia on charges of espionage which he denies, told CNN he was disappointed that more had not been done to secure his freedom following Griner's release.
ECONOMY * Ukraine's central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged at 25%, and said Russian missile strikes on energy facilities were set to have an impact on GDP this year and complicate a quick rebound by the economy.
DIPLOMACY AND POLITICS * The United Nations is examining "available information" about accusations that Iran supplied Russia with drones, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, as he faces Western pressure to inspect downed drones in Ukraine.
* Pope Francis broke down and cried as he mentioned the suffering of Ukrainians during a traditional prayer in central Rome. (Compiled by John Stonestreet)
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