Zelensky wraps up another fruitful trip and Russia claims a big win in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine grabbed the spotlight at the Group of 7 summit in Japan and won even more promises of military aid, including training Ukraine’s pilots in F-16 fighter jets. But at home this week he is facing questions about the future of the eastern city of Bakhmut, the deadliest battle of the war.

Russia claimed over the weekend that it had captured Bakhmut and, if confirmed, the result would be a powerful symbolic success for Moscow. It would represent the first Ukrainian city to take since Lysychansk last summer, and it would be a setback for kyiv.

With Bakhmut nearly in ruins, the big question seems to be what happens next. Ukraine and Russia have been in a nearly year-long battle over the now-destroyed city, and there are signs that an end to that fighting could bring some significant changes to the battlefield.

Ukraine, which insists that Bakhmut has not fallen completely, sees an opportunity to seize the initiative from the outskirts of the city.

Fresh from a weekend tour to meet Arab League members and an appearance at the G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Mr Zelensky was confident his outreach had helped Ukraine. “The world listens to our position,” he said Sunday as he was aboard a plane. It was not immediately clear when he would return to Ukraine.

Here are other potential developments we’re keeping an eye on this week:

  • Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is scheduled to visit China on Tuesday and Wednesday for an official visit. The two sides will have “an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, practical cooperation and issues of mutual interest,” according to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two countries have maintained close ties even as Beijing has portrayed itself as a neutral party in the war and criticized the United States and Europe for supplying Ukraine with weapons.

  • President Biden, who initially fought against sending fighter jets to Ukraine fearing an escalation of the conflict, has cleared the way for Ukrainian pilots to be trained on US-made F-16s and has said he is prepared to approve transfers of aircraft by other countries. to Ukraine It was not clear exactly how or when all of this would happen.