7 Key Events In and Around Ukraine Over the Last Week. LIVE Updates

September 15, 2023
In the text below find out 7 key events in and around Ukraine last week.

9-15 September

  • While the primary focus remains in the south, on Novoprokopivka and Verbove, Ukraine’s Armed Forces have advanced on Bakhmut's southern flanks, liberating the strategic village of Andriyivka and retaking parts of Opytne (near Avdiyivka) in a surprise attack.
  • Russia has targeted the southern part of Odesa oblast this week as part of an ongoing effort to bomb Ukrainian cities. As a result, Russia has caused damage to the port and other civilian infrastructure in the Izmail district. Another significant drone attack was launched against Kyiv.
  • In a daring operation in the North-Western part of the Black Sea, Ukrainian forces have regained control of four offshore rigs taken by Russia during Crimea’s occupation in 2014. Russia has been using them as a refueling hub, a helicopter arms depot and a radar station ever since.
  • Ukrainian air forces carried out an operation in occupied Sevastopol that resulted in the destruction/damage to a Russian submarine and a large landing ship. The operation was presumably carried out with the use of either Storm Shadow or Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles.
  • Unlike last year, President Zelensky was not invited to the G20 summit in New Delhi last week. Furthermore, the language used in the final communique in response to Russia's aggression was noticeably vague, overly general, and failed to distinguish between the aggressor and the victim in the war.
  • On September 13th, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un met in Russia’s Far East. While this was not publicly stated, experts speculate that the key topic discussed during the visit was deliveries of North Korean ammunition to Russia.
  • In the two months, almost to the day, since Russia pulled out of the Grain Deal back in July, it has destroyed up to 280 000 tons of Ukrainian grain stored in Ukraine’s ports, Financial Times says.

2 - 8 September

  • Ukraine's counteroffensive is still ongoing, with a focus on the south, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine are attempting to breach Russia's defense lines between Verbove and Novoprokopivka. Ukraine is also attempting to reclaim villages near Bakmut.
  • In the last few days, the Ukrainian navy has sunk two Russian vessels. Also, the AFU has successfully hit a military industrial facility specializing in the production of microelectronics in Bryansk.
  • Russia has continued to bomb Ukrainian ports, with a particular focus on those along the Danube. A drone fell on Romanian territory in one of these attacks. Russia has also bombed major cities such as Kryvyi Rih, Sumy, and Kostiantynivka.
  • The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, paid an unannounced two-day visit to Ukraine. While the agenda of the visit is largely unknown, Western media speculate that key topics included Ukraine's counteroffensive and strengthening the country's energy system.
  • Turkey's President Erdogan met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on September 4th. The possible renewal of the grain deal was expected to be the centerpiece of negotiations, but Erdogan was unable to persuade Putin to revive the deal.
  • Oleksii Reznikov was dismissed as defense minister in the midst of protracted domestic tensions, primarily related to corruption scandals. Rustem Umerov, a former Crimean Tatar MP with a primary focus on human rights, assumed his role.
  • According to Bild, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has been negotiating with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the possibility of lifting a number of sanctions imposed on Russia in exchange for the country's continued participation in the Grain Deal.

26 August - 1 September

  • Key developments on the frontlines are taking place to the south of Bakhmut (Andriyivka and Klishchiyivka) and to the south of Robotyne (Zaporizhzhia oblast). Additionally, Ukrainian forces have raised the national flag for the first time on the left bank of Kherson oblast.
  • Russia has continued its bombings of peaceful Ukrainian settlements. In addition to ongoing shelling in Sumy oblast, Russia launched a large-scale missile attack on Kyiv on August 30th, leaving two people dead.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) attacks on Russian territory, though not officially claimed by Ukraine, are becoming more frequent. On August 30th, Russia experienced its largest such attack to date, targeting six Russian oblasts simultaneously and leading to the destruction of at least four cargo military planes at a Pskov airfield.
  • Ukraine steps up its efforts to localize the production of a wider range of weapons. President Zelensky announced that Ukraine has developed long-range weapons with a range of 700 km and has signed an agreement with BAE Systems to manufacture artillery within Ukraine.
  • Approximately200 Ukrainian soldiers have completed their training on Abrams tanks in Germany. The first batch of 10 out of the 31 US-committed tanks are scheduled to arrive in Ukraine in September.
  • Pope Francis addressed Russian youth, urging them to cherish the legacy of "great Russia," in a video message. This statement has infuriated Ukrainians who are suffering due to Russian imperialism, particularly since the Pope had previously attempted to mediate between Ukraine and Russia.
  • According to Ukraine's Ombudsman, up to 25,000 Ukrainian civilians are being held hostage in Russia. The challenge lies in their liberation, as Russia refuses to engage in exchanges and there is a lack of international conventions to govern such matters.

21-25 August

  • The Armed Forces of Ukraine have reportedly broken through the first of Russia’s three defense lines in the south, in the direction of the town of Tokmak (Zaporizhzhya Oblast).
  • Ukraine’s military intelligence units successfully conducted a raid on the western coast of Crimea to destroy Russia’s air defense installations. In addition, the service carried out an operation in which a Russian pilot surrendered himself together with a Mi-8 helicopter and spare aircraft parts.
  • Russia has kept up its bombing of peaceful Ukrainian cities. The two most bloody instances occurred on August 23rd when a Shahed drone destroyed a school in Romny (Sumy oblast), and the next day when Russia struck Dnipro’s main bus station.
  • On the diplomatic front, following his tour of northern Europe, President Zelensky also visited Greece to participate in a summit with Balkan leaders. On August 23rd, Ukraine held the third Crimean platform summit dedicated to the issue of Crimea's future reintegration.
  • Additionally, the US committed to join efforts to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets. According to the US officials, the training will begin in Arizona in October.
  • On August 23rd, Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhyn, the founder of the notorious Wagner Group, was reportedly killed in a plane crash in Russia. The crash happened two months after the failure of his armed march towards Moscow, later dubbed as an unsuccessful coup attempt.
  • According to a recent poll, even 18 months into the war, Ukrainians remain against making concessions to bring the war to an end. Only 5% of Ukrainians are ready to give up territories to end the war, while only 18% are ready to sacrifice Ukraine’s NATO aspirations.

15-21 August

  • Ukraine’s armed forces continue its counteroffensive, advancing further into enemy lines in the south near Robotyne (Melitopol direction) and retaking Staromaiorske (Berdiansk direction).
  • Russia's bombardment of peaceful Ukrainian cities continues unabated. On the 15th of August, Russia attacked Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Lutsk, Khmelnytskyi, and Smila (Cherkasy oblast), destroying a number of infrastructure facilities. A particularly bloody assault occurred in Chernihiv.
  • On August 19–20, President Zelensky visited Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Training Ukrainian pilots and delivering Western fighter jets to Ukraine have been the focal points of his diplomatic tour.
  • This week, a number of nations pledged to provide Ukraine with combat aviation, including Denmark and the Netherlands, which in total pledged 61 F-16. The fact that Ukrainian pilots will be trained in Sweden to fly Gripen jets suggests that these aircraft will also be delivered at a later date.
  • In recent weeks, the number of drone attacks in Russia resulting in explosions at strategic facilities has steadily increased, indicating a supposedly growing parity between Ukraine and Russia in terms of aerial assault capabilities.
  • On August 15th, Stian Jenssen, NATO Secretary General's Chief of Staff, stated that a trade-off was possible between Ukraine's concession of occupied territory and NATO membership. Both NATO and Ukraine's highest-ranking officials reject such discussions.
  • British intelligence reports that Russia is actively attempting to erode Ukrainian identity in the occupied territories. They argue that Russia’s key tool in this process is the reformation of education processes in the occupied territories.

7-14 August

  • Russia has continued to bomb peaceful Ukrainian cities and military infrastructure. The Russians have targeted the Motorsich plant, which manufactures jet parts, as well as the Starokostiantyniv airfield, where Ukrainian jets are presumed to station Storm Shadow missiles.
  • Ukraine has advanced up to 16–19 km deep into Russian defences in the southern parts of the frontline, while also establishing footholds on the Dnipro's left bank and shelling bridges connecting Crimea to mainland Ukraine.
  • Ukraine has significantly stepped up its operations against the Russian navy. On August 4th, Ukraine hit a Russian landing ship in Novorossiysk, then successfully targeted a Russian oil tanker called SIG. On top of that, Ukraine has continued to successfully bomb the Crimean Bridge.
  • On August 5-6th, foreign policy advisors and representatives of foreign ministries from 40 states met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss President Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula. This is the second such meeting, with participants from China and India this time.
  • While discussions about additional Western assistance for Ukraine are ongoing, much of it is subject to significant delays. Although the German government is still debating whether to hand over Taurus missiles to Ukraine, it is projected that Ukrainian pilots will finish their F-16 training no earlier than next summer.
  • In response to the G7 declaration on Ukraine's long-term support reached at NATO's Vilnius summit, Ukraine has launched consultations with a number of countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Greece) on the conclusion of bilateral agreements on security guarantees.
  • Polish security services have arrested two men who were caught spreading flyers, calling on people to join the Wagner private military company in Poland's major cities of Warsaw and Kraków.

22-28 July

  • Ukraine's counteroffensive remains underway, with Ukraine's armed forces liberating Staromayorske in the south and Andriivka in the east. At the same time, Russia's pressure on Ukraine's flanks from the northern part of Luhansk Oblast remains a problem.
  • In the meantime, Ukraine continues demilitarizing the Crimean peninsula, blowing up more of the Russian arms depots located there. In addition, there was a drone attack carried out on Moscow on July 25th.
  • Russia has continued bombing peaceful Ukrainian cities, with a particular emphasis on Odesa this week. Among other things, Russia hit the UNESCO-protected parts of the city. 1 person was killed and 22 were wounded.
  • The IAEA reports that it  discovered anti-personnel mines in the territory of the Zaporizhzya NPP, which is the first documented evidence of this. The Russians have also tried to put the fourth energy bloc into the hot shutdown status in the absence of available licenses.
  • Russia is bombing Ukraine's port infrastructure, both along the Black Sea coast and on the Danube, in an apparent attempt to deprive Kyiv of export capacity after Moscow pulled out of the Grain Deal.
  • In response to Russia's bombing of Ukrainian ports, Ukraine requested a meeting of the newly established Ukraine-NATO Council. Although no specific information is available on the outcomes of the meeting held on July 26th, President Zelensky publicly hailed its results.
  • The Russia-Africa summit took place from July 27th-28th in Saint-Petersburg. Even though Russia is trying to present itself as a benefactor for African countries, including with regard to grain exports, only 17 out of 54 African sent their heads of state - compared to 49 in 2019. when the summit was held for the first time.

15-21 July

  • Russia continued terrorizing Odesa and Odesa Oblast with airstrikes. The attacks were carried out every night from July 18 to 22. Port and grain infrastructure was the primary target of Russian terror. They used various types of missiles, including Kalibr, Onyx, X-22, X-59, as well as Shahed UAVs. On the night of July 19 alone, Russia fired 31 missiles of different types and 32 Shahed drones at Odesa. As a result of the attacks, 100 tons of peas, 20 tons of barley, and 60 thousand tons of grain were destroyed. Grain and oil terminals, industrial facilities, storehouses, and civilian buildings including residential buildings were destroyed or damaged. One person was killed, and 13 people were wounded.
  • After halting its participation in the Grain Deal on July 17, Russia began blackmailing the world by disrupting food and maritime security. The attacks on Odesa and recent statements from Russian leadership are parts of this story. On July 19, the Russian Ministry of Defense threatened commercial ships headed towards Ukraine by saying that they would consider any ship sailing towards Ukraine to be a potential target. Russian President Putin listed a number of “conditions” under which Russia was ready to return to the Grain Deal, including lifting sanctions on export of Russian grain and fertilizers and re-connecting Russian banks to SWIFT.
  • Kenya's Foreign Minister condemned Russia’s decision to halt the Grain Deal. The Minister called Russia’s actions“a stab in the back of global food security which disproportionately impacts countries in the Horn of Africa impacted by drought."
  • The Russian Army has gone on the offensive in the Kupyansk sector in Kharkiv Oblast. More than 100,000 Russian soldiers are concentrated there. According to the Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar, these actions are aimed at pulling away Ukrainian forces from the Bakhmut sector, where they are making steady advances. Maliar stated that this contingency was anticipated and that Russian actions continue to fail.
  • The 14th Ramstein format meeting was held on July 18. Its focus was supplying Ukraine with weapons and equipment urgently needed to liberate the occupied territory. Air defense systems, ammunition, and armored vehicles supplies were the priorities. The ministers in attendance also discussed the training of Ukrainian pilots on the F-16.
  • In occupied Crimea, major explosions struck Russian training grounds, as well as fuel and weapons depots. An explosion in a Russian base in Starokrymske detonated large amounts of ammunition. Two thousand people from four nearby towns were evacuated.
  • A network of Russian agents was detained in Poland. They had planned to blow up trains with military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

11-17 July

  • Over the past six weeks or so, Ukraine has liberated 31 square km of its territory in the east and 180 square km in the south. At the same time, to reduce its losses, Ukraine has changed the tactics of its counteroffensive, now relying on attriting Russian artillery rather than direct offensive actions to win the day.
  • In the early morning of July 17th, the Crimean bridge was attacked, leading to the destruction of parts of the roadway. Ukraine is not openly taking responsibility, but experts say that the bridge provides for as much as 70% of Russian military logistics in Ukraine's south.
  • Russia has continued bombing peaceful Ukrainian cities. On July 12th, Russia hit Zaporizhzhya, wounding 20 people, including 8 children. The next night, Russia struck Kyiv, followed by Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kryvyi Rih on July 14th.
  • The AP published an investigation on the thousands of Ukrainian civilians detained by Russia. The occupiers operate a network of more than 100 prisons in Russia, Belarus, and occupied territories, where Ukrainian civilians are systematically tortured and forced into performing slave labor.
  • During the NATO summit held in Vilnius on July 11th-12th, Ukraine did not receive an invitation to membership in the bloc, or any specific details as to when that might happen. At the same time, Ukraine received extensive additional military support.
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol paid an unannounced visit to Ukraine on July 15th, marking the first ever visit of that country's president to Ukraine. During his stay, he visited Bucha and Irpin, as well as announced a $150 million assistance package.
  • The latest iteration of the Back Sea Grain Deal expired today, on July 17th, without any extension formally agreed upon at this time. Russia demands that any continuance of the deal be matched with an array of its conditions, including reconnection of Russian banks to SWIFT.

1-10 July

  • July 8th marked the 500th day of Russia's full-scale invasion in Ukraine. The war that Russia intended to wage for a mere couple of days escalated into the biggest and bloodiest war in Europe since WWII.
  • After battling for her life with devastating wounds from a Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk, Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina passed away on July 1st. Farewell gatherings and funerals in Kyiv and Lviv were attended by crowds of people who came to pay tribute to her life and work.

Her funerals in Lviv on July 5th were followed by Russia's massive missile attack on a residential area in Lviv city center, killing 10 people and wounding another 48, making it the largest attack on Lviv's civilian infrastructure throughout the whole full-scale invasion.

  • After months-long deliberations, the US finally agreed to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions. They will reportedly be procured until next spring by which time the US will have sufficiently increased production of conventional ammunition, and be subject to specific conditions of use.
  • On July 8th commanders of the Azov battalion who had been taken POWs on May 20th, 2022 in Mariupol, returned to Ukraine from Türkiye. They had previously agreed to remain in Türkiye until the end of the war in accordance with the terms of their release from Russian captivity.
  • Over the course of the last couple of days President Zelensky carried out a diplomatic tour to Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Türkiye, during which he discussed further military support to Ukraine as well as the upcoming NATO summit.
  • On July 9th President Zelensky and President Duda met in Lutsk to commemorate victims of the Volyn tragedy. The tragedy has been one of the major points of dispute between Ukraine and Poland with regard to memory politics.
  • As the NATO summit approaches, debates over Ukraine's NATO future have become increasingly heated. *While Zelensky has stated his intention  to attend the summit only if Ukraine is offered a clear path to the alliance's membership, the US says Ukraine is not ready."

24-30 June

  • Ukrainian counteroffensive is going on. Apart from gradual advancement on the frontlines, Ukraine's armed forces have reportedly established a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro River.
  • After accusing the Russian military leadership of shelling Wagner PMC units from behind their lines, Prigozhyn organised a mutiny, taking control of Rostov-na-Donu and going on a crusade to Moscow. However, next day Prigozhyn agreed to stopafter reported mediation by Belarus's Lukashenko
  • Ukraine's intelligence reports that Russians are gradually evacuating employees from the Zaporizhzhia NPP, as well as patrol forces from the surrounding territories. The info comes amid intensified speculations that Russia is planning a technological disaster at the NPP.
  • On 24th of June Russian occupying authorities informed on having eliminated "two pro-Ukrainian terrorists" who turned out to be two 16-year old teenagers. They are reported to have been Ukrainian partisans in Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia oblast.
  • On June 27th Russia shelled the frontline town of Kramatorsk with S 300 missiles, hitting a local cafe. As a result, 12 people died (including 3 children) and 65 were wounded.
  • On 29-30th of June an EU summit took place which was largely focused on Ukraine-related issues. Apart from deciding on the prolongation and the expansion of the existing support to Kyiv, the EU leaders also adopted the decision on the use of VAT revenues from Russia's freezed assets for Ukraine's reconstruction
  • On 28th of June the US has announced a new $500-m-worth assistance package that will include additional ammunition for Patriot and HIMARS systems, as well as dozens of Bradley's and Strykers that are meant to replenish Ukraine's resources during the counteroffensive

17-23 June

  • The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to gradually advance south in their counteroffensive. Eight settlements have been liberated, covering 113 square km of Ukrainian territory. Ukrainian units have sustained advances as deep as 7 km into the enemy's defenses. The AFU is continuing counteroffensive operations in the direction of  Melitopol, Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Lyman.
  • Ukraine's leadership reports that their tactics in the counteroffensive are deliberately cautious. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that the counteroffensive has begun and will continue according to the plans and pace set by his commanders. He noted that there have been difficulties advancing caused by the fact that Russia has mined over 200 square km of Ukrainian territory.
  • Russia continues striking Ukrainian cities with missiles and kamikaze drones almost every night. Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts have been under attack the most often. The largest  attacks took place on the nights of June 20 (30 Shahed drones, 28 shot down) and June 23 (13 cruise missiles, all shot down).
  • The water level in flooded areas of Kherson Oblast is dropping, which is making it possible to assess the approximate number of casualties from the disaster in Ukrainian-held territory.

In liberated Kherson Oblast, 21 people were killed, 28 wounded. 109 people remain missing. Russian occupation authorities on the left bank of Kherson Oblast report around 11 people killed.

However, the real numbers are much higher. The National Resistance Center reports that at least 500 people were killed in occupied Oleshky alone. The precise number is unknown. There is a terrible stench in the city, and the sewage system doesn't work. Almost everywhere is without electricity and drinking water.

  • The situation around the Zaporizhzhya NPP is becoming increasingly tense as Russia continues using its tactics of nuclear blackmailing. According to military intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov, the Russians have mined the cooling pool at the NPP. President Zelenskyy warned that Russia is considering carrying out a terrorist act at the Zaporizhzhya NPP and has made full preparations to do so. Ukraine is calling on the international community to help prevent a nuclear disaster with global consequences.
  • The Ukraine Recovery Conference was held in London on June 21 and 22. Ukraine is ready to embark on its reconstruction before the end of the war. As a result, Ukraine is set to receive 60 bln euros to finance its recovery. Donors include around 500 companies from 42 countries, as well as Ukraine's partners. The EU promised to cover 45% of all Ukraine's financing needs through 2027 using grants, loans, and the proceeds of frozen Russia's assets.
  • Ukraine has been able to return 3 out of 11 POWs handed over by Russia to Hungary. Ukrainian diplomats still don't have access to the Ukrainian POWs being held in Hungary, even though they have urgently insisted upon being granted access to the prisoners.

10-16 June

  • Russia continues bombing Ukrainian cities. On June 13th Russia struck a residential building in Kryvyi Rih, killing 12 people, including a 17-year old. The next night, Russia hit a shopping center, an educational facility, and several other buildings in Odesa, leaving 3 dead & 13 wounded.
  • In the early phases of its counteroffensive, Ukraine has managed to retake several villages in Zaporizhzhya and Donetsk Oblasts, along with expanding control of the flanks around Bakhmut. The struggle for strategic success goes on.
  • Ukraine's military intelligence reports that Russia is preparing to carry out another terrorist act by blowing up the Crimean Titan plant located in Armyansk (Northern Crimea). The Russians are reportedly laying explosives in the plant's buildings, which contain around 200 tons of ammonia.
  • On June 15, the Rammstein format's 13th meeting was held. Ukraine's partners committed to deliver hundreds of air defense rockets, train Ukrainian pilots to use F-16 fighter jets, provide additional financial support, and more.
  • The leaders of South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda, Congo, Comoros, and Zambia embarked on a peace-making trip to Ukraine and Russia, planning to visit Kyiv on June 16th and Saint Petersburg on June 17th. However, details of their peace plans are now scarce.
  • On June 8th, the Russian Orthodox Church reported that it had handed over 11 Ukrainian POWs to Hungary. While Ukraine was not officially notified of this, Ukrainian intelligence says that their ultimate release will depend on them making statements condemning Ukraine at a staged press conference.
  • After the Russians blew up the Kakhovka Dam, the situation on the left bank of Kherson Oblast remains critical. 17 towns and villages (1649 households) remain flooded. Russian forces continued shelling Kherson as evacuations were underway. In addition, pollutants have been pouring into the Dnipro as a result of the floods, and then into the Black Sea. The water on Odesa's beaches is turning green from cyanobacteria, and dangerous pathogens have been found in samples.

5-9 June

  • On June 6, the Russian Armed Forces blew up the Nova Kakhovka dam. The Kakhovka HPP was irreparably damaged. It is Europe's worst man-made disaster in decades. Ukraine's south and southeast will be severely impacted, with the ramifications believed to have long-lasting implications throughout the whole of Ukraine and the Black Sea region.
  • Due to the man-made flood caused by Russians 9 objects of the Emerald network, 5 Ramsar sites covering an area of more than 76 thousand hectares are in danger of extinction. It will be almost impossible to restore these ecosystems the way nature created them. - Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
  • Russia has put the global food security order under threat. The Kakhovka Canal supplied with water from the Kakhovka Reservoir provided more than half a million hectares of land with water. Therefore, the problem of irrigation will become the most pressing issue in agriculture. The soil itself has been heavily damaged. - Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine
  • The undermining of the Kakhovka dam by the Russians may have adverse repercussions for the occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP. However, as of the morning of June 9, the water level in the Kakhovka reservoir in the Nikopol area is 11.74 m, and in the cooling pond of the occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP - 16.66 m, which is quite sufficient to meet the station's needs. Energy Agency experts are monitoring the situation.
  • The situation on the Left Bank of Dnipro, which is under Russian occupation, is dire. The occupation authorities are conducting no evacuation efforts, nor providing locals with help. Instead, they are creating obstacles for those who want to leave the affected areas. The number of affected Ukrainians on the Left Bank is unknown. Moreover, Russian troops have been shelling Kherson while the people are being evacuated by the AFU.
  • Russia's attack on the Kakhovka HPP will not change Ukraine's counteroffensive plans. President of Ukraine Zelenskyy emphasised: "Only the victory of Ukraine will restore security. And this victory will happen. The terrorists will not be able to stop Ukraine with water, missiles, or with anything else."
  • Ukraine protects its cultural heritage. The Netherlands Supreme Court upheld the Amsterdam Court of Appeal's decision to return Scythian gold to Ukraine. Crimean occupation authorities lost the case.

29 May - 3 June

  • Over the past week, Russia has continued to shell Ukraine, particularly Kyiv, almost every night, employing up to 5 dozen missiles/Shahed drones each time. While Ukraine's air defense has successfully intercepted and shot down almost all of them, missile debris killed several civilians, including children.
  • On May 30, it was reported that approximately  30 drones attacked Moscow (although Ukraine denies responsibility). While the majority were shot down and no significant damage occurred, this was the first time that Russia's capital had been subject to such a large-scale attack. 
  • Ukraine held talks regarding the possible creation of a "Patriot"-coalition, which would consist of a group of states that would contribute to the transfer of more Patriot defense systems to Ukraine. According to President Zelensky, talks  dedicated to this topic have already been held with leaders of Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.
  • Li Hui, China's special envoy on RU-UA war, reportedly called on European leaders to recognise Russia-occupied territories in Ukraine as Russian, WSJ reports. However, UA's foreign minister Kuleba says that those same European politicians denied this in conversations with him.
  • The US announced a new aid package to Ukraine, which consists primarily of missiles for Patriot air defense systems, artillery ammunition (including for HIMARS), Avenger and Stinger air defense systems and more.   *In a second raid in recent weeks, anti-Putin regime units known as the Russian Volunteer Corps & Freedom of Russia Legion crossed Ukraine's border with Russia's Belgorod oblast (this time near Shebekino) and engaged with Russian forces.
  • Ukraine is set to fortify its marine force by establishing an entire Marine Corps. According to the Navy officials, this will be done immediately rather than after the war. These additional capacities are needed for  assisting  Ukraine's counteroffensive.

22-28 May

  • In his first ever offline appearance at a G7 summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Hiroshima, Japan on May 20-21. He also used the trip to speak with the leaders of India, Indonesia, & South Korea, as well as to stop by at the Arab League  summit.
  • Ukraine's partners agreed to the long-awaited delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv. The UK, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy have already confirmed they would contribute to the training of Ukrainian pilots and transfer of the jets.
  • Russia and Belarus signed an agreement on the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory. Control over the weapons will reportedly be kept by Russia.
  • During the latest prisoner exchange on May 25th, Ukraine returned 106 of its POWs who had been previously captured in battles in and around Bakhmut.
  • Ukraine is regaining territory on the flanks of Bakhmut, thus putting Russian forces under fire control from dominant heights and blocking them from moving towards Chasiv Yar & Kostiantynivka.
  • Units known as the Russian Volunteer Corps & Freedom of Russia Legion reportedly comprised of  Russians fighting against the Putin regime  raided  territory in Russia's Belgorod Oblast across Ukraine's border, temporarily capturing border crossing checkpoint and several villages.  
  • On May 26th, Russia bombed a healthcare facility in Dnipro, leaving 1 dead and 23 wounded so far.