Ukraine live briefing: Kremlin boosting tank production, Putin says; Kyiv frustrated by UN human rights report

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Saturday to bolster its tank supply over the next three years, boasting that Moscow’s fleet would eventually exceed Ukraine’s by three times. Putin’s comments follow reports of Russia’s mounting tank losses on the battlefield.

Putin also told state media station Russia 24 that the Kremlin would store tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. US officials said Saturday evening that they had seen reports of Russia’s announcement and were monitoring the implications. “We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture nor any indications Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry expressed frustration at UN human rights monitors after they reported that Kyiv and Moscow had committed rights violations against civilians and prisoners of war. Ukraine considers “it unacceptable to place responsibility on the victim of aggression,” the ministry said Friday in a statement.

Here’s the latest on the war and its impact around the globe.

Olesya Krivtsova, 20, branded a terrorist by the Russian authorities for opposing the war, fled Russia for Lithuania, in the European Union. To do so she disguised herself as a homeless beggar, swapped cars three times and arrived in Lithuania after several days on the run.

Krivtsova said she “cried a little” at her newfound freedom and threw away an electronic ankle bracelet that Russian authorities had used to monitor her house arrest. Krivtsova said it was better to risk her life escaping than face the possibility of 10 years in jail, after fellow students denounced her for antiwar posts in a social media chat group.

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