Ukraine’s Foreign Minister told NBC that it’s “extremely difficult to even think of negotiations with people who commit atrocities…but if sitting down with the Russians will help prevent at least one massacre…I have to take that opportunity.” Austria’s Chancellor became the first Western leader to hold a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it “not a friendly visit.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv and walked the streets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Lithuania’s Prime Minister traveled to Ukraine, visiting Kyiv and Borodyanka – a city outside Kyiv that was claimed to have seen worse civilian casualties than Bucha. Spokespeople for President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron said neither have any plans in the near term to visit Kyiv.
President Biden spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Ukraine and told him that buying Russian oil is not in India’s interest.
The EU reopened its de facto embassy in Kyiv. France kicked out six Russian diplomats.
Finland and Sweden are extremely seriously considering joining NATO.
Ireland, the Netherlands, and Lithuania say that the EU’s sixth round of sanctions could include an oil embargo. However, there is still resistance from Hungary, Bulgaria, and Germany. OPEC, meanwhile, told the EU that it could not replace the loss of Russian oil to the bloc.
The World Bank estimates Russia’s GDP will drop 11.2% this year, while Ukraine’s GDP will drop 45.1%. S&P says Russia is under “selective default” for attempting to use rubles to make a $650 million payment on dollar-denominated debt. The bonds do have a 30-day grace period, but S&P doesn’t believe Russia will be able to make the payment within that period.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has reportedly furloughed its Russian staff and suspended new orders for a month as it gross concerned about secondary sanctions.
Shell is blending 49.99% Russian oil to ensure cargo isn’t Russian in origin, which they’re calling the “Latvian blend.”
Russia continues to shift its focus to the south and east parts of Ukraine, where Ukraine may not enjoy the strategic advantages it had in the north. The Pentagon assesses that most of Russia’s forces in Ukraine are in southern Ukraine between Mykolaiv and Kherson. The former is under Ukrainian control, while the latter is under Russian control.
It also believes nearly 40 Russian battalion tactical groups have been rendered combat ineffective. The Institute for the Study of War claims that Russian forces are refusing to reenter Ukraine, with the Russian government offering bonuses to incentivize reentry and calling up discharged troops.
The UK and Germany have ruled out sending tanks to Ukraine. However, the UK announced new aid, including armored vehicles, anti-ship, anti-tank, and anti-aircraft missiles. German military manufacturer Rheinmetall said it is prepared to supply 50 used Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine within six weeks. Lithuania said it would train Ukrainian troops to use Western munitions. Russia claims that it destroyed the single Soviet-era air defense system being sent by Slovakia, but Slovakia and the Pentagon say that’s not the case.
Ukrainian farmers reportedly plan to sow 70-80% of its crops.
French forensic experts arrived in Ukraine to investigate war crimes around Kyiv. The U.S. believes that 57 people were killed in the Kramatorsk train station bombing. The mayor of Mariupol said that over 10,000 civilians have been killed but that could be as high as 20,000.