One of the Russian Navy’s most important warships has sunk in the Black Sea, dealing a major blow to Russian forces as they congregate in the country’s east in preparation of a renewed offensive. Meanwhile, Western partners are upping military aid to Ukraine, and bringing diplomatic staff back to the capital Kyiv.
Here are the latest developments on the war in Ukraine:
- The Russian warship: The guided-missile cruiser, Moskva, has sunk in the Black Sea, Russian state media confirmed, citing the Russian defense ministry. Moskva is one of the Russian Navy’s most important ships — analysts say it’s comparable to the US Navy losing a battleship during World War II or an aircraft carrier today. Conflicting reports have emerged, with Ukraine claiming it hit Moskva with missiles, and Russia saying a fire broke out on board, causing munitions to explode and forcing the crew to evacuate.
- Buildup in the east: Russian troops continue to prepare for an offensive operation in the east, training additional units and gathering aviation power, according to Ukraine’s military. The first Russian troops that withdrew from northern Ukraine earlier this month have begun appearing in the northern Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, a senior US defense official said Thursday. Meanwhile, civilians are being evacuated from the region, which has seen weeks of shelling and fighting break out in towns.
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- ICC prosecutor visits Ukraine: The International Criminal Court chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, is in Ukraine investigating possible war crimes by Russia. After visiting Bucha, where mass graves and murdered civilians were discovered in early April after Russian forces withdrew, Khan said Ukraine was “a crime scene” and that “this is a moment that should wake everybody up.”
- Genocide resolution: Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a resolution declaring the actions of the Russian forces in the country are “genocide.” In a tweet, the parliament cited mass atrocities, willful killing of civilians and forcible transfer of children to Russian territory.
- Aid workers killed: The UN humanitarian chief has called on all parties to provide safe passage of civilians out of the besieged port city of Mariupol after the news that two aid workers and their family members had been killed.