The U.S. shares the UK’s assessment that Russia may declare war on May 9 as part of its Victory Day celebration. French President Emmanuel Macron held a two-hour call with Russian President Vladimir Putin – the first in a month – but the two sides reportedly are as far apart as ever.
Russia and Israel are having a bit of a diplomatic tiff after Russia’s Foreign Minister claimed over the weekend that Adolf Hitler was Jewish and then doubled down Tuesday saying Israel was supporting a “neo-Nazi” regime in Ukraine.
Ukraine and Germany are having a bit of a diplomatic tiff, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reportedly turning down a visit to Ukraine because Ukraine refused a visit from Germany’s president. Ukraine called Scholz’s refusal not “very statesmanlike to behave like an offended liver sausage.”
Denmark and Sweden summoned their Russian ambassadors after a Russian spy plane violated their airspace.
America’s Chargé d’Affaires for Ukraine returned to Ukraine but not Kyiv. She told reporters that the U.S. will not define what victory means, that’s up to Ukraine. The U.S. reclassified WNBA star Brittney Griner to be “wrongfully detained” in Russia.
Slovakia and Hungary will not back EU sanctions on Russian energy, though there have been discussions of an exemption to earn their approval.
Russia dipped into its dollar reserves and appears to have avoided default at the 11th hour.
Bloomberg reports that Asian buyers are snapping up Russian oil, but do not want it delivered on Russian-owned vessels. Buyers also want steep discounts. Greece began work on an LNG terminal that will reduce reliance on Russian gas.
Fiji’s high court will allow the U.S. to seize a $325 million megayacht owned by a Russian oligarch.
Russia struck power substations in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has seen only limited fighting, plunging western parts of the city into darkness. There were also strikes in Kyiv, Odesa, and Dnipro. Russia rerouted Kherson’s internet to run through Russia.
The first group of civilians successfully evacuated from the steel plant in Mariupol made it to their destination of Zaporizhzhia, while Ukrainian soldiers at the steel plant said Russia were storming the facility.
President Biden is expected to sign the Ukraine Lend-Lease bill into law this week. Germany is weighing sending howitzers to Ukraine.
Russia claimed another attack was foiled in Transnistria, the pro-Russian breakaway region of Moldova that’s increasingly coming under the microscope.