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Latest on Ukraine: Russia will mark WWII Victory Day, as Ukraine war rolls on (May 8)

Residents stand next to a building that was damaged in the night, following Russian shelling in Komyshevakha, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Monday.
Andriy Andriyenko
/
AP
Residents stand next to a building that was damaged in the night, following Russian shelling in Komyshevakha, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Monday.

Here's a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week.

What to watch

Ukrainians are assessing the damage after waking up to missile strikes overnight in Odesa.

On Tuesday, Russia celebrates Victory Day, which commemorates the Soviet Union's part in defeating the Nazis in World War II. President Vladimir Putin traditionally attends a military parade in Moscow's Red Square. The day has taken on new symbolism with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Tuesday is also Europe Day — which is supposed to celebrate peace and unity on the continent but is marked for a second year with war in Ukraine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen plans to visit Kyiv to commemorate the day.

On Thursday, Russia's associates governing occupied territories of eastern Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk mark the anniversary of self-proclaimed independence from Ukraine, which nobody else recognized until Putin declared recognition of the two regions as "republics" in February 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy could be planning to go to Germany the coming weekend, say German news reports. Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine are winners of the Charlemagne Prize to be awarded in Aachen, Germany, on Sunday.

The Eurovision Song Contest finale is on Saturday. It's supposed to take place in the country of the previous winning group — but that was Ukraine, and organizers instead chose to hold the event in Liverpool, England. It didn't stop Ukrainian champs Kalush Orchestra from kicking off the party last week.

Delegates from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations could be meeting this week to discuss extending the deal allowing grain and other farm goods to ship from Black Sea ports.

On Sunday, Turkey has a general election. A popular opposition candidate has pledged to align the country closer to the European Union.

What happened last week

Russia said it shot down two drones over the Kremlin, alleging a Ukrainian attempt to kill Putin. Ukraine's government denied it. Moscow later accused Washington of masterminding the alleged attack, which the United States denied.

Ukraine said it downed a Russian hypersonic missile over Kyiv using American Patriot defense systems. It was the first known time Ukraine has intercepted this type of missile, which posed a challenge to the country's defenses particularly before Patriot systems arrived in April.

President Zelenskyy visited Finland and the Netherlands. In Helsinki, he took part in a Nordic-Ukrainian summit with leaders of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In the Netherlands, he met with the Dutch prime minister and visited the Hague, where he called for a special tribunal to try Russian leaders.

The president's wife, Olena Zelenska, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal attended the coronation of King Charles III, while President Zelenskyy and other officials sent congratulations and thanks for the United Kingdom's strong support during the war. In London, Zelenska met with Jill Biden, the U.S. first lady, who said of a photo of the two alongside the U.K.'s Catherine, Princess of Wales: "We stand with Ukraine." Russian leaders were reportedly not invited to the coronation.

More than 1,600 residents were evacuated from around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, a Moscow-installed official in the region said. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the situation at the plant is "increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous" as shelling in the region continues.

The White House estimated more than 20,000 Russian troops were killed and 80,000 were wounded in Ukraine since December, according to John Kirby, a National Security Council spokesperson. He did not cite a recent estimate for Ukrainian troop losses. NPR couldn't verify casualties for either side. In terms of noncombatants, U.N. human rights workers have been able to verify more than 8,000 civilians killed since the large-scale invasion over a year ago, but they believe the full toll is considerably higher.

In-depth

Ukraine says its newly fielded U.S. Patriot system downed a Russian hypersonic missile.

Ukraine buries a "brave son" from America.

On State of Ukraine podcast: A top Ukrainian official on the coming counter-offensive and Russia's future.

Russia alleges Ukraine tried to attack the Kremlin in a Putin assassination attempt.

Special report

Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world: See our report on its ripple effects in all corners of the globe.

Earlier developments

You can read past recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR's coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR's State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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