Russian President Vladimir Putin says a Ukrainian counter-offensive aimed at recapturing territory is "not succeeding" and that attempts to break through Russian defences, which lie on occupied Ukrainian territory, have failed. Putin made the remarks in an interview with state-controlled television in Russia. The Russian leader was commenting a day after he held telephonic discussions with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Among the issues discussed was the African peace initiative, the Black Sea grain deal - which expires tomorrow - and the upcoming BRICS summit in SA. Ramaphosa had earlier held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. To get an analysis on these and other international stories we are joined via Zoom by Senior Research Fellow at Africa Asia Dialogues, Thembisa Fakude.