As the war enters its 435th day, we take a look at the main developments.
This is the state of affairs on Thursday, May 4, 2023:
- A Russian attack on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and surrounding villages has killed at least 21 civilians and injured dozens more, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
- A 58-hour weekend curfew was imposed in the city, the head of Kherson’s regional military administration, Alexander Prokudin, said on Telegram: [it] lasts until 6 a.m. on May 8.”
- Ukraine denied Russia’s claim that it attempted to attack the Kremlin overnight.
- Russia opened a “terrorism” investigation after it shot down two alleged drones it said were aimed at President Vladimir Putin’s residence.
- Zelensky said Ukraine will “soon” launch a counter-offensive against Russian forces. The head of Russia’s Wagner group of mercenaries said there was more activity along the front line and claimed the counter-offensive had already begun.
- Rail deliveries to Russia’s Black Sea port of Taman will be restricted until further notice, Russian Railways said on its website after a fuel depot caught fire near a bridge.
- Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said talks between Russia and the United Nations on the Black Sea grain agreement will take place in Moscow on May 5.
- Nordic countries support Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union and NATO, the leaders of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland said in a joint statement with Zelenskyy who was in Helsinki.
- NATO intelligence chief David Cattler said there was an increased risk that Russia would sabotage submarine cables to punish Western countries for supporting Ukraine.
- Pope Francis greeted the Russian Orthodox Church’s foreign envoy days after revealing a secret “mission” to end the war in Ukraine.
- Germany condemned the eight-year prison sentence handed down to Belarusian activist Roman Protasevich, who was arrested after his flight was forced to land in the country.
- The United States approved a $300 million military assistance package for Ukraine, including additional ammunition for the HIMARS missile system, howitzers, and artillery and tank ammunition.
- After weeks of disputes, Sweden, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, said the group’s ambassadors had made a decision “to support the Ukrainian armed forces with €1 billion for joint procurement of munitions and missiles”. The scheme aims to supply Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells within the next 12 months.
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