Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to meet in Sochi on Friday for talks on ending the war in Ukraine and starting a new one in Syria. Follow FRANCE 24's liveblog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
4:36am: Erdogan to sound out Putin on Ukraine and Syria
Ending the war in Ukraine and starting a new one in Syria are expected to dominate talks on Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan will be riding high from the diplomatic success of helping orchestrate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments across the Black Sea when he visits Sochi for his second talks with Putin in just over two weeks.
But there are tensions. The Turkish leader was told by Putin in Tehran last month that Russia remains opposed to any new offensive that Turkey might be planning against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.
Analysts believe these strains form part of the "competitive cooperation" that has defined the two leaders' relation over the past 20 years.
2:16am: Ukraine says it was forced to cede some territory in the east
Ukraine said it had been forced to cede some territory in the east of the country in the face of a Russian offensive, and the head of the NATO military alliance said Moscow must not be allowed to win the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this week described the pressure his armed forces were under in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine as "hell". He spoke of fierce fighting around the town of Avdiivka and the fortified village of Pisky, where Kyiv has acknowledged its Russian foe's "partial success" in recent days.
12:29am: Canada will send military trainers to the UK to teach Ukrainian troops
Canada is sending military trainers to the United Kingdom to teach Ukrainians how to fight invading Russian forces, Defense Minister Anita Anand said Wednesday.
Up to 225 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will eventually be based in the U.K. for an initial period of four months, said Anand. They will work alongside counterparts from Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand in training Ukrainian troops on the basics of soldiering.
"This is an all hands on deck moment for allies and partners that support Ukraine," Anand said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
An earlier Canadian military training mission based in Ukraine was suspended only weeks before the invasion began.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)