Latest on Ukraine: Russia and Ukraine trade drone strikes; Kyiv removes Soviet symbol

This week in Ukraine saw increased drone strikes between Russia and Ukraine, the removal of Soviet symbols by Ukrainian authorities, and the continuation of peace talks.

Key Events This Week: Drone strikes have increased between Russia and Ukraine, targeting key terrains and infrastructure.
* Russia targeted Odesa and Kyiv, hitting a key Ukrainian port near Romania. Kyiv’s military administration reported destroying almost a dozen Russian drones.
* Russian air defenses reportedly shot down Ukrainian drones aimed at Moscow, causing a Moscow airport to suspend flights after another drone was destroyed.
* In a separate incident, Ukrainian sea drones attacked a Russian naval base in the Black Sea, damaging a Russian tanker.
* The Ukrainian authorities removed the Soviet hammer and sickle from Kyiv’s Motherland Monument and started replacing it with Ukraine’s coat of arms featuring a trident.

Continuation of Peace Talks: Saudi Arabia hosted a peace summit on the Ukraine conflict last weekend.
* The meeting, which was not attended by Russia, included national security advisers and representatives from over 40 countries.
* While a third meeting was agreed upon, no date was set.

Upcoming Events: The coming days are anticipated to further shift the balance in the long-standing conflict.
* The trial of 22 members of the Azov Battalion on terrorism charges continues in a military court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
* This week Moody’s, the global ratings agency, will release its review of Ukraine’s economy.
* Russia will celebrate the founding of its air force on Saturday.

Additional Highlights: The Ukrainian and Russian governments announced a number of notable developments.
* Ukrainian pilots will start training to fly F-16 fighter jets in August, as announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
* A Russian court sentenced jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny to an additional 19 years in prison on extremism-related charges.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a measure that raises the military conscription age cap from 27 to 30 years old.
* The U.S. and Ukraine began negotiations on long-term security commitments.
* The U.S. assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council for August, with the Ukraine war top-prioritised.

View original article on NPR

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