Fighting Near Kharkiv

  • Russia launched an attack in the Kharkiv region, potentially opening a new front in the war.  The Ukrainian defense ministry said it was sending reinforcements to the region. (Politico; see also NBC News, Reuters, Reuters, Euractiv, Euractiv)
  • Russia said it had taken five border villages in the Kharkiv region after launching its offensive. (Reuters; see also AP News)
  • Thousands of civilians are fleeing northeastern Ukraine after the start of Russia’s renewed ground offensive. (AP News)
evacuation of children

Aid for Ukraine

  • The United States announced that it would send a $400 million military aid package to Ukraine, which will include new Patriot missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Bradley fighting vehicles, and more. (Politico; see also Reuters, Reuters, AP News, AP News, Euractiv)
  • A high-ranking military source from Ukraine said that Ukraine expects to receive its first F-16 fighter jets from Western allies in June-July but did not specify the country supplying the jets.  Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium have all pledged to send F-16s to Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that he was open to discussing sending a Patriot missile system to Ukraine. (Euractiv)
MIM-104 Patriot

Putin’s Victory Day Speech

  • Putin said that the West was “distorting history” in his Victory Day speech, warning “of his country’s powerful nuclear arsena.l” (Politico)
  • He also said that the West was risking a global conflict. (Reuters)
Vladimar Putin

Continued Cabinet Reshuffle

  • Ukraine’s parliament dismissed Ukraine’s agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi, and Deputy PM and Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. (Politico; see also Euractiv)
  • Zelenskyy replaced the commander of his special forces on Thursday without explanation for the move. (Reuters)

Voluntary Mobilisation of Convicts

  • The Ukrainian parliament passed a bill for the voluntary mobilisation of convicts.  Those who committed serious crimes, including murder, rape, terrorism, dealing drugs, and treason will not be able to trade their jail terms for military service. (Politico)

Infrastructure Attacks

  • Ahead of Victory Day, Russia continued to hit Ukrainian energy infrastructure.  The Ukrainian Air Force shot down 39 of 55 missiles fired on Ukraine. (Politico; see also Reuters, AP News, Euractiv, Euractiv)

Plot to Murder Zelenskyy Uncovered

  • Ukraine’s security service uncovered a plot to assassinate Zelenskyy by Ukrainian security officials working for Russia.  Two undercover officials were a part of Russia’s security service working to plot the assassination.  While Zelenskyy has previously said that he has survived over 10 assassination attempts, this was “the first time such a high-ranking official of the state security department has become [the] enemy’s moles,” the Ukrainian State Security Department spokesman said. (Politico; see also Reuters, Reuters, AP News)

Ukraine’s Desire to Grow Military-Industrial Complex

  • Minister for Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin said that EU funds should be used to place arms orders with Ukrainian companies that can be used to supply Kyiv, a suggestion designed to increase support for Ukraine’s arms industry. (Politico; see also Euractiv)

Sanctions Against Russia

  • The European Commission proposed sanctions on Russia’s LNG sector for the first time.  The sanctions would prevent EU countries from re-exporting Russian LNG after receiving it but does not prevent imports of LNG into the EU. (Politico)

Ukrainian Strikes on Russia

  • At least seven people were killed when a section of an apartment block collapsed after being struck by a Ukrainian missile shot down by Russia, signaling one of the deadliest attacks to date on the region of Belgorod. (Reuters)
  • A Ukrainian drone attack sparked a fire at an oil refinery in Russia’s Kaluga region. (Reuters)  

Anticipated Energy Shortages

  • Ukraine may face increased electricity shortages due to the increase in Russian attacks on power stations, rising consumption, and the repair campaign at nuclear power plants. (Reuters

Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use

  • Russia and Ukraine have both accused each other of using chemical weapons at the global chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague, but neither country has asked the body to conduct a formal investigation. (Reuters)
  • The United States said that Russia had violated the international chemical weapons ban by using the choking agent chloropicrin and riot control agents in Ukraine. (Euractiv)

Russia Threatens the UK and the West

  • Russia threatened to strike British military facilities and said it would “hold drills simulating the use of battlefield nuclear weapons” in response to comments from UK officials over further support of Ukraine. (AP News; see also Euractiv, Politico)
  • British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has promised three billion pounds of annual military aid for Ukraine and said that the weapons could be used inside Russia. (Euractiv; see also Politico)

Crackdown on Draft Dodgers

  • Ukraine’s parliament voted to crack down on draft dodgers.  The move is part of Ukraine’s effort to combat the shortage of soldiers available to fight on the front lines.  The bill has not been signed by Zelenskyy, but it would raise fines for anyone trying to avoid the call-up and allow authorities to detain those avoiding the draft for up to three days. (Euractiv)

Deal to Use Windfall Profits from Russian Assets to Arm Ukraine

  • The EU struck a deal on using windfall profits from frozen Russian assets to buy weapons for Ukraine.  The plan comes after hesitancy from the EU over how to legally use the assets.  The EU will be able to use windfall profits worth up to €3 billion per year to finance the joint purchase of weapons for Ukraine (Euractiv; see also Agence Europe).

Promote Ukraine in the News

  • Promote Ukraine called on Belgium to unfreeze Russian assets to fund Ukrainian air defence in an open letter to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. (The Brussels Times)
Stand with us as we demand Western nations to redirect the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank, towards Ukraine's defense and reconstruction.

Author: Sophie Adams-Smith, Media Analyst, Promote Ukraine

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