© Reuters. Ukrainian servicemen return from heavy fighting amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Bakhmut, Ukraine April 15, 2023. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
(Reuters) – Russia said it was expelling a number of German diplomats in a tit-for-tat move. Germany did not immediately confirm its own deportations, but said the arrival of a Russian government plane in Berlin was linked to the issue. Russian news agency RIA Novosti said Germany had decided to deport more than 20 Russians.
* The Russian Defense Ministry said Russian forces had captured three more blocks in the western part of the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
* The United States said on Friday it would soon begin training Ukrainian troops to use its Abrams tanks as Germany announced an agreement to establish a center in Poland to repair German Leopard tanks deployed in Ukraine.
* NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said NATO allies had agreed Ukraine would eventually join and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy had been invited to attend the Western military alliance summit in July .
* The US Air National Guard accused of leaking classified documents about the Ukraine conflict to a small group of gamers had posted months earlier than expected and to a much larger newsgroup, the New York Times, citing online publications he had seen.
* A Moscow court has ordered the arrest in absentia of Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev, whose reporting for the Bellingcat newspaper has angered Russia, the RIA news agency said.
* Russia’s richest people have added $152bn to their wealth over the past year, helped by high natural resource prices – rebounding from the huge losses they suffered after the war began in Ukraine, Forbes Russia said.
* A first batch of Russian fertilizer seized by Latvia last year is being shipped to Kenya by the United Nations World Food Programme, Latvia said. It was not immediately clear whether Russia approved the shipment, or what effect that would have on the prospect of an extension of the separate Black Sea deal allowing Ukraine to export grain by boat.
* Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz held talks with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:), Halliburton (NYSE:) and Chevron (NYSE:) about projects in Ukraine as the Kyiv government tries to attract foreign investment into its energy sector, the Financial Times reported.