© Reuters. An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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(Reuters) – A prominent Russian nationalist writer, Zakhar Prilepin, was wounded in a car bombing in the region of Nizhny Novgorod on Saturday, state news agency TASS said, in an attack that Russia immediately blamed on Ukraine and the West.
* Russia’s main mercenary group announced plans on Friday to withdraw from the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, but Ukraine said the fighters were reinforcing positions to try to seize it before Russia marks World War Two Victory Day next week.
* Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin published an expletive-ridden video on Friday personally blaming top defence chiefs for losses suffered by his fighters.
* The extraordinary announcement by Prigozhin that his fighters will abandon Bakhmut looks like an exercise in blame avoidance and disinformation, Russia specialists and military analysts say.
* Ukrainian air defences shot down a Russian hypersonic missile for the first time during an attack on the capital Kyiv this week, the Air Force said on Saturday, in a potentially major setback for the Kremlin’s campaign of long-range air strikes.
* A drone attack on the Ilsky oil refinery in southern Russia, the second in as many days, has caused a fire, TASS news agency reported on Friday.
* Engineers have reduced the risk of a dam bursting and damaging the large Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine, a senior Russian official was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on Friday.
GRAIN, FARM PRODUCTS
* Poland will demand European Union sanctions on imports of Russian farm products, its ambassador to the EU Andrzej Sados was quoted as saying on Saturday by PAP news agency
* The pace of grain shipments from Ukraine under a U.N.-backed initiative has slowed as concerns grow over ships getting stuck if a deal is not renewed later this month, according to sources and data.
* Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations on Friday failed to authorize any new ships under the deal.
* Switzerland’s parliament has approved a request from Ukrainian authorities for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to address it, according to a statement late on Friday,
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