This is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
- The Russian government accused Ukraine of a “terrorist attack” on Moscow city after at least eight attack drones were shot down over the capital. Kyiv denied involvement.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attack was aimed at “civilian targets” with the goal of frightening Russians.
- Russia’s foreign ministry said Moscow “reserves the right to take the harshest possible measures” following the drone assault.
- Wagner Group founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, unleashed a new tirade against Russia’s elite, blaming the drone attack on senior military officials living in Moscow’s exclusive Rublyovka suburb.
- Russia launched a wave of air attacks on Kyiv, killing at least one civilian and forcing the evacuation of a highrise block of flats after the building caught fire.
- Belgorod’s regional governor said one person was killed and two others injured after an alleged Ukrainian attack on a centre for displaced people in the Russian border region.
- Russia’s interior ministry put Ukraine’s top general, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, and Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, on a “wanted list”, the Russian RIA news agency reported.
- International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi asked Ukraine and Russia to respect five core principles to safeguard the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, saying the security and safety situation at the site “continues to be extremely fragile and dangerous”.
- The Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s leading opposition party, said it had taken legal action to force the government to arrest Putin if he attends the BRICS summit in August. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin – over accusations that Russia unlawfully deported Ukrainian children – in March.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia will be “duly represented” at the summit, and expected its BRICS partners “not be guided” by “illegitimate decisions” such as the ICC warrant.
- United Kingdom Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna discussed July’s NATO summit and “agreed that we must bolster support for Ukraine and ensure that NATO adapts to an increasingly contested and volatile security environment”.
- United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Turkey to approve Sweden’s accession into NATO, saying “the time is now”.
- Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow was monitoring the supply of equipment and weapons into Ukraine and would attack the supply routes if detected.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for a 3 billion euro ($3.2bn) defence package during a phone call between the two leaders.