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Latest on Ukraine: As Russia pounds Odesa, Moscow and Crimea become targets

Church personnel inspect the damage inside the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Ukraine, Sunday, following Russian missile attacks.
Jae C. Hong
Church personnel inspect the damage inside the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Ukraine, Sunday, following Russian missile attacks.

Here's a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week.

What to watch

Russia is accusing Ukraine of launching a "terrorist drone attack" on Moscow early Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry said one uncrewed aircraft crashed close to its headquarters in central Moscow and another hit an office high-rise in another part of the capital. That followed reports from Russian-installed authorities in Crimea of an overnight drone attack on the peninsula,striking an ammunition depot and a residential building.

Winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are in Washington, D.C., to talk about their work and the war in Ukraine.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will visit the White House on Thursday, meeting with President Biden to discuss global issues including support for Ukraine.

Also Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a summit with African leaders.

What happened last week

Russia backed out of the Ukraine grain deal (again), sparking concern in food-insecure countries and condemnation from the head of the United Nations, the United States and allies. The U.N. and Turkey brokered the deal with Russia and Ukraine a year ago to allow Ukraine to resume shipping grain and other farm goods safely during the war. Russia complains that its side of the bargain isn't being met, even though Western countries say their sanctions don't target Russian food exports.

Russia targeted a Ukrainian port and food facilities after pulling out of the grain deal. Russia struck Odesa for several days over the past week, killing three people and injuring many more. The attacks hit the city's key Black Sea port and food storage, destroying many tons of food, as well as badly damaging a cathedral and other historical buildings.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the country's ambassador to the U.K., Vadym Prystaiko, after the ambassador said Zelenskyy had used "unhealthy sarcasm" in remarks toward the British defense secretary.

An explosion on the bridge to Crimea last Monday knocked out a section of road, killing two people and injuring a third. Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and built the Kerch Bridge linking the Russian mainland with the peninsula, blamed Ukraine for the attack. Officials in Kyiv have not acknowledged direct responsibility for the attack, although Ukrainian officials have called the bridge a military target and did acknowledge an attack on it last year.


The world is isolating Putin. Here's what that could mean for the war

An update on the Black Sea grain deal

Ravaged by Russian troops, Ukraine's Bucha rises from the ashes

CIA chief: The uprising in Russia shows 'signs of weakness' in Putin's rule

U.S. says Russia is laying the groundwork to attack civilian ships and blame Ukraine

Russia's nixing of Ukraine grain deal deepens worries about global food supply

USAID chief visits Ukraine and slams Russia for leaving grain deal

U.S. ambassador to U.N. talks about Russia backing out of the Ukraine grain deal

From the State of Ukraine podcast: A step-back look at the war in Ukraine from a foreign relations veteran

WAMU's 1A travels to Lviv, Ukraine

Special report

Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world: See our report on its ripple effects in all corners of the globe.

Earlier developments

You can read past recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR's coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR's State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Alex Leff is a digital editor on NPR's International Desk, helping oversee coverage from journalists around the world for its growing Internet audience. He was previously a senior editor at GlobalPost and PRI, where he wrote stories and edited the work of international correspondents.