On March 8th, two contrasting statements highlighted the continuing conflict in Ukraine. While in Kiev, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres stressed the need to extend the treaty between Ukraine and Russia on grain exports, the Wagner militia group claimed control of the entire eastern city of Bakhmut. Guterres stated that Ukraine’s sovereignty must be maintained and that the UN’s ultimate goal is a just peace based on international law. Despite warnings from Ukrainian President Volodímir Zelenski about a possible Russian takeover of Bakhmut, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg suggested that its fall would not necessarily reflect a turning point in the conflict. Stoltenberg called on allies to increase arms production to aid Kiev. Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius suggested that a pro-Ukrainian group may have been responsible for the recent sabotage of NordStream, though the Ukrainian government has denied any involvement.