This is the situation as it stands on Friday, June 2, 2023.
- Ukrainian officials said at least three people, including a girl and her mother, were killed in a Russian missile attack on Kyiv.
- The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said alleged Ukrainian shelling of the town of Shebekino wounded nine people and damaged buildings. Belgorod borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.
- Russia’s defence ministry said it repelled three cross-border attacks near the town, accusing Ukraine of using what it said were “terrorist formations”. Ukraine denies its military is involved in the incursions.
- The Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), a far-right paramilitary group of ethnic Russians that supports Ukraine, posted images on social media of fighters firing weapons and said a “second phase” of incursions had begun.
- The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington, DC-based think tank, said that Russian military commanders had probably ordered Chechen fighters to take the lead in the fighting in the Ukraine war.
- In a new video, Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin condemned the Russian army’s “clowns” and said his mercenary troops would take a month’s rest after leaving Bakhmut on June 5.
- Russian investigators said they were seeking a third suspect in the April killing of popular pro-war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in an explosion at a café in St Petersburg.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his call at a meeting in Moldova for his country to join NATO and the European Union, but the security alliance remained divided.
- Zelenskyy said he spoke to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about Ukraine’s peace plan
- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was looking at how to boost Ukraine’s non-member status in the alliance and was preparing a framework for security commitments after the end of the war.
- US President Joe Biden said he is confident Sweden will join NATO “as soon as possible”, despite Turkey and Hungary continuing to block the country’s membership.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reiterated his country’s criticism of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine but said he was trying to remain neutral in order to be able to broker potential peace talks.
- Ukraine’s Ministry of Renovation and Infrastructure said the Black Sea grain export deal had been halted again because Russia had blocked the registration of ships to all Ukrainian ports.
- A United Nations spokesman said Russia had informed officials overseeing the Black Sea grain deal that it would limit the registration of ships to the port of Pivdennyi in Ukraine’s Odesa province until all parties agreed to unblock the transit of Russian ammonia. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the situation was “very serious”.
- A BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) meeting of foreign ministers in South Africa was overshadowed by questions on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will be arrested if he attends the bloc’s summit in August.
- Canada’s foreign ministry announced sanctions on Moldovan oligarchs, business people and politicians over their connections to Russia and to prevent alleged Russian destabilisation efforts in the region.
- The US Department of Defense said in a statement it would buy Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite communications service for Ukraine.
- Zelenskyy called on European leaders for a “coalition” of Patriot air defence systems and modern fighter jets in an address to other European leaders. He said they would be “decisive components” in the war.
- The Netherlands wants to buy dozens more Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine, the Dutch press agency ANP reported, citing sources.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies