Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Peskov said Russia is considering a “variety of measures” in response to the alleged drone attack in Moscow, and the country’s ambassador to the United States vowed that the Kremlin would retaliate. “How would Americans react if a drone hit the White House, the Capitol or the Pentagon? The answer is obvious for any politician as well as for the average citizen: The punishment would be harsh and inevitable,” Anatoly Antonov said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency. “Russia will respond to this insolent and presumptuous terrorist attack … when we consider it necessary.” The incident has sparked fears of escalation.
- Ukraine shot down its own drone over Kyiv on Thursday evening, according to the Ukrainian air force. Dramatic footage of the unmanned aerial vehicle being hit by surface-to-air missiles over central Kyiv spread across social media Thursday, but the air force later announced that it had been a Ukrainian drone and not a Russian attack. The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 was probably malfunctioning, the air force said, adding that investigations were underway and that no one was hurt in the incident. Ukraine had defended itself earlier against a wave of Russian drone attacks against Kyiv and other targets across the country, the air force said early Thursday, shooting down other drones flying over the capital.
- The drone attack on the Kremlin was probably staged by Russia with an eye on the domestic audience, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War saidin an analysis of the incident. The think tank said it was “extremely unlikely” that two foreign drones could have avoided detection and reached the Kremlin. The Washington Post verified social media videos showing two drones streaking toward the Kremlin around 2:30 a.m. local time Wednesday and later bursting into flames.
Zelensky visits The Hague
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Thursday. In a symbolic visit less than two months after the court issued arrest warrants for Putin and another senior Russian official over the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children, Zelensky said the Russian president “deserves to be sentenced for these criminal actions right here in the capital of the international law,” according to the Associated Press.
- Zelensky said he was “sure” that Putin would stand trial when Ukraine wins the war, adding: “And we will win the war.” However, the likelihood of Putin ever appearing before the ICC remains distant, despite the arrest warrantagainst him: Russia, like the United States, does not accept the ICC’s jurisdiction, and the court does not try people in absentia.
- In a speech in the Netherlands, Zelensky called Russia’s “crime of aggression” in invading Ukraine the war’s “primary crime” — on a higher level than specific atrocities.
- Amid the drone attacks on Kyiv on Thursday, blasts rocked the city and sirens sent residents scrambling for shelter.
- The death toll in a Russian artillery strike in the Kherson region rose to 23, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said early Thursday. He wrote on Telegram that 46 other people, including two children, were wounded in Wednesday’s attack, which Zelensky said hit a railway station, supermarket, gas station and a home. Sharing gruesome images of the aftermath on Telegram, the Ukrainian president said the world needed to see them to understand the situation in Ukraine.
- Drone attacks targeted two separate oil refineries in southern Russia overnight, according to local authorities. Krasnodar Krai regional governor Veniamin Kondratiev said Thursday that oil tanks caught fire, without identifying who was behind the attack. He added that emergency services were able to extinguish the blaze. The governor of the Rostov region, Vasily Golubev, said on Telegram that another drone exploded after crashing into part of the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery but did not cause any casualties or significant damage to the site. The British Defense Ministry said in its daily update Thursday that a pattern of attacks on Russian fuel storage sites has emerged since the beginning of the year.
- Warning of “a heightened threat” of Russian missile attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine issued a security advisory for Kyiv and the surrounding region, citing a recent increase in strikes across the country. Ukraine is under “daily assault,” Ambassador Bridget Brink said in a separate post on Twitter, adding that Russia is conducting fresh attacks on Ukrainian cities.
- NATO’s Nordic states pledged to continue their political and military support for Ukraine “for as long as it takes” after a meeting with Zelensky in Helsinki on Wednesday. In a joint statement, the leaders of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland said they were committed to pushing for Ukraine’s membership to NATO.
- Ukraine and the European Union renewed a “visa-free” agreement for businesses for another year,Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Telegram. The deal, which allows Ukrainian businesses to sell goods to the E.U. without export duties or tariffs, will help Ukraine’s war-battered economy.
- Cities across Russia, but not Moscow, canceled parades for the Victory Day holiday on May 9 over security concerns. The day marks the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany….
Leak House cleaning…
Ukraine’s military is stronger than U.S. leaks indicated, Blinken says: Secretary of State Blinken said Wednesday that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is likely to yield some success in regaining occupied territory, Missy Ryan and John Hudson report, though leaked U.S. military documents had appeared to paint a grim picture of the country’s chances….
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