Russia-Ukraine war: What happened this weekend (June 4-5)
As the weekend draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments:
Putin warned of hitting new targets if Ukraine gets long-range weapons from abroad. As his country attacks Kyiv, Russia’s president said on Sunday that Moscow would hit “objects that we haven’t yet struck” if the West provides Ukraine with long-range rocket systems. Vladimir Putin’s threat came less than a week after the U.S. said it would send advanced weapons to Ukraine as part of a $700-million security aid package. The delivery includes precise, medium-range rocket systems.
Russia strikes Kyiv after weeks of security. Early Sunday, Russia bombed Ukraine’s capital for the first time in over a month. Four Russian missiles slammed into four separate buildings at a large railway car repair compound. Russia claimed it was bombing tanks but journalists on the site saw no evidence of weapons.
Opera in Kyiv is back. After a three-month hiatus, during which the sounds of air raid sirens and rocket fire echoed in the city, the National Opera House in Ukraine reopened. The Kyiv Opera Company is kicking off the opening with a production of Natalka Poltavka, a romantic drama showcasing Ukrainian folk songs.
Ukraine’s World Cup dream ends. The men’s national team pulled off a 3-1 upset win against Scotland last week before losing to Wales on Sunday in the qualifying round. The 1-0 loss dashed Ukraine’s hopes to join the 2022 tournament in Qatar, what would’ve been the country’s first time qualifying for a World Cup since 2006.
What to watch for this week
A key Ukraine city could fall to Russian control. Russian troops have been making recent gains in eastern Ukraine, with continued assaults on Severodonetsk, a city in the western Donbas region. Officials say the city, a key area in Moscow’s goal to capture the entire Donbas, could fall to Russian control in the coming days. Before invading Ukraine in February, Putin recognized the independence of two separatist regions in the Donbas as part of his justification for sending troops into the country.
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