Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Ukraine ordered forces holding Mariupol’s final enclave to cease fighting, effectively handing control of the southeastern port city to Russia after a violent months-long siege that came to symbolize the brutality of the Kremlin’s assault and the resilience of the Ukrainian resistance, NBC News reported. Meanwhile, the Russian parliament is proposing to prohibit the exchange of Russian prisoners of war for captured soldiers of Ukraine’s Azov regiment, according to Al Jazeera.
  • Finland and Sweden formally filed for NATO membership Wednesday, a move that, if granted, would profoundly reshape Northern Europe’s security picture and provide the alliance with a vital edge against Russia in the aftermath of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal wrote. The move came a day after Finnish lawmakers unanimously approved NATO membership as a deterrence to Russian aggression, France 24 said. Meanwhile, Russia expelled two Finnish diplomats in retaliation for Finland’s decision to expel a similar number of Russian diplomats in April, Radio Free Europe reported.
  • The International Criminal Court announced the largest field deployment of forensic and investigative experts to Ukraine, a team that will investigate war crimes in the country, CNN wrote.
  • The European Union is preparing to approve another military aid package for Ukraine worth $527 million, Al Jazeera noted. Meanwhile, the US Senate advanced a $40 billion Ukraine aid package this week, the Hill added.

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