Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 817

As the war enters its 817th day, these are the main developments.

A firefighter directing water onto a fire at a private house caused by a Russian attack. Tne building is in ruins. Smoke is rising from the ashes
A firefighter works to put out a fire after a Russian drone attack near Kharkiv [Sergey Bobok/AFP]

Here is the situation on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

Fighting

  • Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelenskyy said his country’s troops are achieving “tangible” results against Russian forces in the northeastern Kharkiv region but the situation on the eastern front near the cities of Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk and Kurakhove was “extremely difficult”.
  • A Russian official said Moscow’s forces controlled “about 40 percent” of Vovchansk, a town near the border with Russia and at the epicentre of fighting.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said that more than 14,000 people had been displaced from the Kharkiv region since Russia launched a ground offensive there on May 10. The WHO said some 189,000 people were still living within 25km (15 miles) of the border with Russia and facing “significant risks” as a result of the fighting.
  • The Ukrainian military said it destroyed the Russian navy’s Tsiklon, a cruise missile carrier, in Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea on the night of May 19.
  • Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Justice Olena Vysotska said more than 3,000 prisoners had applied to join the military since the law was amended to allow certain convicts to serve in the armed forces.
  • Moscow began nuclear weapons drills close to Ukraine in exercises the Ministry of Defence said were to test the “readiness” of its “non-strategic nuclear weapons… to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state”.

Politics and diplomacy

  • The European Union formally adopted a plan to use windfall profits from Russian central bank assets frozen in the EU for Ukraine’s defence, the Belgian government said. Under the agreement, 90 percent of the proceeds will go into an EU-run fund for military aid for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, with the remainder providing Kyiv with other forms of support.
German's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaking to Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenk. They are on a walkway inside a power station destroyed in a Russian attack.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made her eighth visit to Kyiv since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022 [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP]
  • A court in Moscow ruled that investigators acted lawfully when they refused to look into two alleged attempts on the life of Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza in 2015 and 2017. Kara-Murza, a dual citizen of Russia and the United Kingdom, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for treason over his criticism of the Ukraine war. A media investigation into the 2015 and 2017 incidents suggested he had been poisoned by Russia’s FSB intelligence service.
  • Russian general Ivan Popov, who was sacked last July after he criticised army leaders and raised concerns about the high casualty rate in Ukraine, was arrested on suspicion of “large-scale fraud”. State news agencies said the 49-year-old was remanded in custody for two months by a military court.

Weapons

  • Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba urged the country’s allies to consider shooting down Russian missiles over Ukrainian territory to better protect its cities from Russian aerial attacks. Kuleba, who was speaking alongside visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, said Ukraine’s Western backers should not see such a step as “escalatory”.
  • Baerbock, on her eighth visit to Kyiv since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, acknowledged the situation on the front had “dramatically deteriorated”, and that Ukraine needed air defence as an “absolute priority” amid continuing Russian drone, rocket and missile attacks.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies