Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 826

As the war enters its 826th day, these are the main developments.

A damaged building at a riding school after a Russian attack outside Kharkiv. The roof is mangled. There is rubble all over the ground. Firefighters are working at the site.
The Kharkiv area suffered multiple Russian attacks [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

Here is the situation on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Fighting

  • The Russian defence ministry said its air defence systems destroyed a Ukrainian drone over the Tatarstan region. Two airports in Tatarstan on Friday suspended operations for more than two hours for safety reasons. Overall, Russia said it destroyed 29 Ukrainian drones in the south south.
  • The Ukrainian navy hit an oil depot in Russia’s Krasnodar region with Neptun missiles in early hours of Friday, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. Russian officials said earlier that two people were injured when an oil depot in the Krasnodar region caught fire after Ukraine missile and drone struck targeting oil facilities.
  • At least three people were killed and 16 injured after Russia struck three sites, including a five-storey apartment building, in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, at about midnight local time (21:00 GMT). Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov said at least two children were among the injured. Earlier in the day, at least four people were injured in Russian shelling of the city.
  • Ukraine’s top military commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskii said Russia was continuing to send additional regiments and brigades from other areas and training grounds to boost its forces along two main lines of attack in the north of the Kharkiv region, where Moscow launched an offensive earlier this month.
  • United States officials, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issues, told multiple media outlets that President Joe Biden had decided to allow Kyiv to use US-supplied weapons at targets inside Russia but only on the border with the northeastern Kharkiv region.
  • Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence service said its forces destroyed two Russian patrol boats using naval drones off Crimea, which Russia occupied and annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow said earlier it had destroyed two naval drones “heading for Crimea”.
  • Russia fired a total of 51 missiles and drones at “military facilities and critical infrastructure”, across Ukraine, the air force said. Air defences destroyed seven missiles and 32 drones, it added.

Politics and diplomacy

  • The Czech Republic will at some point ask countries for further contributions to its initiative to source ammunition supplies for Ukraine from around the world, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said on Friday. Earlier this week, it said that it had contributions of more than 1.6 billion euros and that could cover half a million shells this year.
  • Chinese Defence Minister Dong Jun told the US that Beijing is not providing weapons to either side of Ukraine conflict, according to a Chinese defence spokesman.
  • Poland is currently organising its 45th package of aid for Ukraine, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorkski announced. Since the war began, Poland contributed around four billion euros to Ukraine’s military assistance alone.

  • The 27 members of the European Union agreed to impose “prohibitive” tariffs on grain imports from Russia and Belarus in a bid to cut off Moscow’s funding for its war on Ukraine. Grain in transit to other parts of the world through Europe will not be affected by the tariffs.
  • China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud where the two exchanged views on various subjects including the Ukraine crisis, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.
  • Ukrainian lawmakers and journalists called for an investigation into political pressure on the country’s state news agency Ukrinform. Oleksiy Matsuka, the agency’s head, stepped down this week after being accused of leading an editorial policy exclusively backing the presidential administration. He was replaced by a former army spokesman, Serhiy Cherevaty, deepening concerns about official censorship.
  • Tharaka Balasuriya, Sri Lanka’s junior foreign minister, said Colombo would start talks with Moscow to secure the release of hundreds of citizens, mostly former soldiers, who it believes were duped into joining Russian forces in Ukraine. It is also seeking the release of about a dozen men being held as prisoners of war in Ukraine. At least 16 men have been killed in the fighting.
  • Russia’s FSB security service said it detained four people in Crimea who were allegedly involved in a series of sabotage attacks planned by Ukrainian special services to destroy railway lines in the occupied peninsula. A fifth man, reported to be the group’s leader by Russian news agencies, was killed when the FSB tried to capture him.

Weapons

  • German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius made an unannounced visit to Ukraine’s southern city of Odesa where he held talks with Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov and promised Ukraine a new package of military aid worth 500 million euros ($540m), a spokesperson for the ministry told the AFP news agency. The package includes “artillery, air defence [and] drones”, he added.
  • A Czech official said Ukraine would receive between 50,000 and 100,000 shells in June under a Czech-led ammunition supply initiative.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies