Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (June 1)
As Wednesday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
Russian forces closed in on the last remaining areas under Ukrainian control in the eastern Luhansk region. The Luhansk regional governor said 80% of the city of Sievierodonetsk is under occupation, but Ukrainian forces have launched counterattacks and captured Russian troops. He said Ukraine still held onto the nearby city of Lysychansk, a militarily advantageous area on a hill.
The U.S. is sending more advanced rocket systems and munitions to Ukraine, but not to be shot into Russia. This will include longer-range weapons as part of a new military aid package estimated at $700 million. President Biden wrote the new weapons will enable Ukrainians to make more precision strikes, but stressed that "we are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders." Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the weapons increased the risk of a direct conflict breaking out between Russia and the U.S. Germany also promised heavy weapons to Ukraine, including an air-defense system.
Russia's nuclear forces held drills northeast of Moscow, according to the Russian news agency Interfax, citing the country's defense ministry. The drills in the Ivanovo region were said to involve 1,000 troops and more than 100 units of equipment, including Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, reported to have a range of over 6,800 miles.
Ukraine made headway prosecuting Russians for war crimes. A court in the central Ukrainian city of Poltava handed guilty verdicts to two Russian soldiers — the second ruling in a war crimes trial in the country since Russia invaded, The Washington Post reports. The court sentenced the soldiers on Tuesday to 11 1/2 years for "violating the laws and customs of war" when they shelled civilian sites in a town in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Ukraine's chief prosecutor said 80 alleged war crimes cases were underway of around 15,000 incidents reported since the start of the February invasion.
Ukraine's soccer team won 3-1 against Scotland for a chance to qualify for this year's World Cup. The game in Glasgow was the Ukrainian team's first competitive match since Russia invaded their country on Feb. 24. Next the team will face Wales. Russia's team has been banned, and the Ukrainian team got extra several months to prepare. Ukraine has not qualified to play in the World Cup since 2006.
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