Russia held its May 9 Victory Day parade, but Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech made no mention of a declaration of war, general mobilization, or declaration of victory as some had feared.
The U.S. continues to insist it has no definition of victory, deferring to Ukraine’s judgment. CIA Director William Burns said he sees no indication of Russia planning deployment or potential use of tactical nukes.
During her trip to eastern Europe, First Lady Jill Biden paid a surprise visit to western Ukraine, meeting with Ukraine’s First Lady. The first U.S. diplomats returned to the embassy in Kyiv.
The President of the European Council visited Odesa and had to take refuge in a bomb shelter due to missile strikes. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Kyiv and Irpin with his Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs. Trudeau announced that Canada’s embassy in Kyiv will reopen. Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Kyiv.
G7 leaders released a statement reinforcing its commitment to military aid for Ukraine, pledging further monetary support, and committing to phase out Russian oil imports, cut off Russian access to certain services, and sanction additional Russian banks, media, and elites.
The U.S. announced the next wave of sanctions. The Treasury Department announced sanctions against Sberbank and Gazprombank executives, Moscow Industrial Bank, defense company Promtekhnologiya, three Russian state-owned TV stations, and prohibited Russian individuals and companies from enlisting U.S. accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services. The State Department will impose visa restrictions on 2,600 Russian and 13 Belarusian military officers and sanction eight Russian maritime companies and their vessels. The Commerce Department is further expanding export controls to include items like wood products, industrial engines, boilers, motors, fans, ventilation equipment, bulldozers, and other items with industrial and commercial applications. The U.S. will also suspend the Section 232 steel tariffs on Ukraine for a year. Finally, President Biden signed the lend-lease bill for Ukraine into law and said he would accept splitting new Ukraine aid from COVID aid.
Canada will lift all duties on Ukrainian imports for a year, provide further financial aid, and sanction 31 Russian individuals and 5 entities.
The UK announced additional tariffs on Russian and Belarusian imports, including platinum and palladium and an export ban on British chemicals, plastics, rubber, and machinery.
The next wave of EU sanctions is being blocked by Hungary over its concerns on a Russian oil import ban, but Hungary said “some progress” was made in talks today. Hungary reportedly wants a longer exemption and billions of dollars to overhaul its energy infrastructure to adjust for the transition. The EU is also weighing a new debt issuance to cover Ukraine’s short-term financing needs over the next three months.
Japan said it is committed to phasing out Russian oil imports “in principle,” but it will take time.
Bloomberg reports that an internal Russian Finance Ministry report shows a projected 12% GDP drop this year, which is greater than the projections of the Economy Ministry (8%), Russian Central Bank (8-10%), IMF (8.5%), and a Bloomberg survey (10.3%).
Chinese shipments to Russia of laptops are down 40%; smartphones down 65%; telecommunications equipment down 98%.
The superyacht The Scheherezade, which is rumored to belong to Russian President Putin, was seized by Italy.
The Pentagon says it would not classify fighting in eastern Ukraine as a “stalemate” per se because Russia is making slow progress nonetheless. It also says it is seeing anecdotal evidence of mid-level Russian officers disobeying orders.
President Joe Biden told intel agencies to stop leaking about Ukraine. Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the Javelin anti-tank missile, said it’s planning to double production capacity, though American defense companies have been hit by supply chain issues.
A Russian airstrike on a school where civilians had taken refuge in Luhansk is estimated to have killed 60. Amnesty International says it can name Russian units involved in war crimes in Borodyanka and Bucha. Russian airstrikes hit a shopping center in Odesa. Ukraine is trying to rebuild cities as fast as Russia destroyed them.
Bono and the Edge of U2 held a concert in a Kyiv metro station.
Explosions were heard near the border on May 6, which Ukraine claims may be false flags perpetrated by Russia.