Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (May 25)
As Wednesday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
Parts of eastern Ukraine came under constant Russian bombardment. Russia is trying to take full control of the Donbas region that’s become the main focus of its war in Ukraine. Fighting escalated especially near the city of Severodonetsk; the Luhansk region’s pro-Kyiv governor said on Telegram 15,000 citizens remain in and around the city and Ukrainian forces are still holding out. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that his country refuses to give up any land for an end to the war.
Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials offered condolences to the community of Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 21 people — including 19 students — at an elementary school. Speaking by video at a conference on the sidelines at Davos, Zelenskyy also drew a link, citing tragic killing of children in both the shooting and the war in Ukraine.
Moscow could provide a humanitarian corridor for food shipments out of Ukraine in exchange for lifting of some sanctions, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko. Ukraine’s foreign minister called the offer “blackmail.” World leaders are warning of a looming global food shortage as Black Sea trade routes remain blocked, trapping Ukrainian exports of wheat, sunflower oil and other foodstuffs.
Russia simplified a path to Russian citizenship for residents of some occupied parts of southern Ukraine: Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Russian President Vladimir Putin also made the first public visit to a Moscow military hospital as the Kremlin said he met with soldiers wounded in Ukraine. Russian lawmakers separately passed a bill to widen the military-recruiting pool by lifting the age cap for people signing up for voluntary contracts, allowing for recruits between 40 and 50 years old.
A new European Commission proposal would permit European Union governments to seize assets of people or companies who evade EU sanctions against Russia. The proposal would streamline the law for all countries in the bloc, where member states vary in how they prosecute evasion of sanctions. The proposal also seeks to punish lawyers, bankers or any others who help circumvent sanctions.
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You can read more daily recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find NPR’s full coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.