Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russia has prepared the groundwork for withdrawing its troops from Kherson, the largest Ukrainian city its forces have occupied since the February invasion, one Western official told Politico. The official added that the Ukrainian army has achieved “spectacular” advances in its fight to reclaim land taken by the Russians, who have been forced to take a more defensive posture and have become “critically short on munitions,” in recent weeks. Even so, other officials warned that Iran is preparing to send nearly 1,000 additional weapons to Russia, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles, according to CNN.
  • Russia has re-joined an agreement that allows the shipment of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea this week, one of the few areas of cooperation during the Ukraine conflict, reducing uncertainty about the fate of a treaty viewed as critical to preventing starvation in other parts of the world, the New York Times reported. Over the weekend, Moscow suspended its participation in the agreement following an attack on Russian warships in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol that it blamed on Ukraine. It was unclear why the Kremlin abruptly altered course, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said in televised remarks that the deal was contingent on Ukraine securing the safety of Russian warships.
  • The UN nuclear watchdog said it found no evidence of “undeclared nuclear activities” at three locations investigated in Ukraine at Kyiv’s request following Russian suspicions of a “dirty bomb,” Al Jazeera noted. Russia had previously named all three sites in conjunction with allegations that Ukraine was intending to use a dirty bomb, which is a conventional explosive device contaminated with radioactive, biological, or chemical ingredients.
  • The Polish government ordered the construction of a new border barrier along Poland’s 130-mile border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, Euronews wrote. The move come amid fears that Moscow is preparing to encourage unlawful border crossings by Asian and African migrants.

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