(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had not seen any desire from Kyiv to fulfil what he described as a preliminary peace deal agreed to in March to end the war in Ukraine, where Russian bombardment continued.
* There was no immediate response from the Ukrainian government to Putin’s remarks. Talks did take place in March but no apparent breakthrough was made.
* Putin held talks with the Iranian Supreme Leader in Tehran, his first trip outside the former Soviet Union since the February invasion of Ukraine.
* The two countries need to co-operate to stay vigilant against “Western deception”, the Iranian leader told Putin.
* The White House said, citing intelligence, that Russia was seeking to annex Ukrainian territory by installing proxy officials and establishing the rouble as the currency in Russian-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine.
* Olena Zelenska, the wife of the Ukrainian president, met with U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill in Washington.
* Russian missile strikes in Odesa injured at least four people and burned houses to the ground, said Ukraine authorities.
* Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had destroyed ammunition depots in Odesa that were storing weapons supplied to Kyiv by the United States and Europe.
* At least one person was killed in a Russian missile strike on the eastern city of Kramatorsk, the regional governor said.
* Ukraine said Russian troops tried unsuccessfully to advance towards the city of Avdiyivka north of Donetsk, but were pushed back after several days fighting, suffering heavy losses, with some 40 dead.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.
* Putin met with Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea – currently blockaded by Russia forces.
* The European Commission plans to publish on Wednesday a target for EU countries to cut their gas demand ahead of winter and could make it legally binding if necessary.
“I called my daughter and she says that Maksym is not picking up the phone. He must have been knocked off then,” said Valentina, 70, whose son-in-law Maksym was critically injured in a Russian missile strike on the city of Kramatorsk.
(Compiled by Mark Heinrich, Rosalba O’Brien and Michael Perry)