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Live Briefing: Russia Invades Ukraine


Workers remove the body of a local resident killed by a Russian bomb in the center of Kharkiv on June 22.
Workers remove the body of a local resident killed by a Russian bomb in the center of Kharkiv on June 22.

RFE/RL's Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western military aid to Kyiv, worldwide reaction, and the plight of civilians and refugees. For all of RFE/RL's coverage of the war, click here.

Latest Developments At A Glance

  • Russia launched three missiles targeting Ukraine’s Kyiv region in an early morning strike on June 23, after at least two civilians were killed after a residential building was struck by a Russian bomb in the northeastern city of Kharkiv a day earlier.
  • Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said during a June 20 meeting with senior Ukrainian military officials that he hopes to develop a renewable energy infrastructure in response to Russia's attacks on the country's energy networks.
  • The United States will "reprioritize" planned deliveries of Patriot air-defense missiles to go to Ukraine, the White House said on June 20, as Washington works to fill Kyiv's "desperate need" for more air-defense capabilities.
  • EU ambassadors on June 20 approved a fresh package of sanctions on Russia aimed primarily at closing loopholes that exist in previous restrictions and targeting for the first time Moscow's lucrative liquefied natural gas industry.
  • Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate said that it has identified five Russian military officers suspected of being involved in the execution of four Ukrainian soldiers who were surrendering.
  • China's support for Russia's defense industry is prolonging the Ukraine war and "has to stop," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Ukraine Gets U.S. OK To Hit Targets Inside Russia. Now What?

Ukraine got the green light from Washington, and more than a dozen NATO allies, to start using Western weaponry on some targets inside Russia. Is it a game changer? Read the story by Mike Eckel here.

Why Is Ukraine Attacking Russia's Oil Refineries?

Russia said it would protect oil refineries better after several were struck by Ukrainian drones. Ukraine continues to hit the facilities, despite U.S. warnings against such attacks, as it launches larger and larger drone swarms. The strikes have decreased refinery output but beyond a morale boost for Ukraine, the effects are moderate so far. Read the story by Todd Prince here.

A New Russian Offensive Stretches Ukrainian Forces. Possibly To The Breaking Point.

Russia is advancing in multiple places across the 1,100-kilometer front line in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces are struggling to hold positions, if not outright retreating in some places. The news from the battlefield these days is grim. Read the story by Mike Eckel here.

U.S. Weapons Are Coming To Ukraine. But Russian Forces Have The Momentum.

Ukraine’s defenses are nearing the breaking point amid a shortage of ammunition, manpower, and fortifications. U.S. weaponry is on its way, but it may not arrive in time to blunt Russia’s momentum. Read the story by Mike Eckel and Todd Prince here.

With ATACMS In Hand, Ukraine Looks To Neutralize Putin's Fortress In Crimea

Russia has spent billions militarizing Ukraine’s occupied Crimea region since 2014, and it’s been a launching pad for air attacks since 2022 and a staging ground for forces on Ukraine's mainland. Now, Kyiv thinks it can counter the threat from the peninsula with U.S. long-range ATACMS. Read the story by Todd Prince here.

Ukraine Welcomes Long-Delayed Military Aid, Vows To Make Up For Lost Time

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine on April 24 and said shipments of arms will begin within hours. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed the aid, saying the country's military must act fast to make up for months of losses. One military officer said Russia's logistical infrastructure is a likely target for a renewed Ukrainian counteroffensive. By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Ukraine Welcomes Long-Delayed U.S. Military Aid, Vows To Make Up For Lost Time
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Many Critics, Few Enthusiasts As Ukraine Moves To Fill The Ranks For The Fight Against Russia's Invasion

After long delays and heated debate, the Ukrainian parliament has passed a mobilization bill seeking to strengthen the army as invading Russian forces gain ground. There's plenty of doubt as to whether the watered-down, fragmented legislation can fix a recruitment system widely regarded as broken. Read the story by Aleksander Palikot here.

Ukraine Has No Navy. But It's Hammering Russia In The Black Sea.

The landing ship that purportedly sank off Crimea last week is one of nearly two dozen Russian warships that Ukraine has seriously damaged or sunk since the full-scale invasion two years ago. It’s an extraordinary set of naval losses inflicted by a country that currently doesn’t even have a navy. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

Is Russia Betting It Can 'Outlast The Attention Span Of The West' To Defeat Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to waste lots of lives and money to defeat Ukraine, argues Professor Peter Roberts, a senior associate fellow at the U.K.-based Royal United Services Institute. In an interview with RFE/RL's Georgian Service, Roberts says Putin is in it for the long haul and betting on the West's short attention span to defeat Ukraine. Read the interview by Vazha Tavberidze here.

Interactive: Occupied, Militarized Crimea

As Ukrainian leaders vow to reclaim all territories seized by Russia, Moscow has prepared extensive defensive measures, particularly in Crimea, a region unlawfully annexed in 2014. This area, now under Russian occupation, has been heavily militarized with an array of air bases and army bases, making it one of the most fortified zones in the war. View the interactive map by Crimea.Realities, Schemes, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, and Central Newsroom here.

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