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Latest Developments in Ukraine: June 3


People clean an area of a building damaged by an overnight missile strike in Sloviansk, Ukraine, June 1, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.

10:14 p.m.: A Russian cargo spacecraft docked Friday at the International Space Station, delivering nearly 3 tons of food, fuel and other supplies to its crew.

A Soyuz rocket carrying the uncrewed Progress MS-20 ship blasted off as scheduled from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

While Russia’s military action in Ukraine has heightened tensions in relations with the U.S., the Russian and American crew on the station have kept working as usual. Flight controllers in Houston and Moscow also continued to cooperate as always, according to NASA officials.

9:35 p.m.: Ukrainian forces have recaptured around 20% of the territory they lost in the city of Sievierodonetsk during fighting with Russia, the head of the eastern region of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said Friday, according to Reuters.

Britain's Defense Ministry said Russia now controls more than 90% of Luhansk and is likely to take it over completely in the next two weeks.

But Haidai said progress made in the past two days shows that Ukraine may be able to hold off the Russian attack for that duration, the timeframe for the arrival of new, advanced Western weapons.

Mykola Sunhurovsky of the Razumkov Center, a Kyiv-based think tank, said that because of Ukrainian resistance, the Russian offensive in the region has started to slow, and "they have lost too many forces and need a tactical break.”

9 p.m.: The U.S. has responded to the call by Russia's Foreign Ministry for the heads of U.S. media outlets to come to a meeting Monday in Moscow to notify them of tough measures in response to U.S. restrictions against Russian media.

"The Kremlin is engaged in a full assault on media freedom, access to information, and the truth," a U.S. State Department spokesperson said by email.

The spokesperson said the United States supports access to media and the internet for Russians, who are being subjected to censorship by their own government.

Russia has accused Western countries of imposing unfair restrictions on its media abroad, including bans on some state-backed news outlets. Lawmakers passed a bill last month giving prosecutors powers to shut foreign media bureaus in Moscow if a Western country has been "unfriendly" to Russian media.

8:25 p.m.: Switzerland’s government on Friday confirmed that it won’t honor a request by Denmark to send nearly two dozen Swiss-made armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, citing Swiss “neutrality law” that bans the export of war material to a country at war.

However, the Swiss government also announced it would allow the transfer of some military equipment to Germany and Britain as they replenish supplies that the two countries have sent to Ukraine.

Swiss authorities are walking a fine line to hold to the country's legal requirement to remain neutral as laid out in the War Materiel Act, which bars the transfer of Swiss-made weapons systems, ammunition and other war material to a country involved in an international conflict.

7:55 p.m.: More than a month ago, Elon Musk handed over solar panels and Tesla Powerwall energy saving systems to Ukraine. Since then they have been providing electricity to critical infrastructure in the Kyiv region.

7:10 p.m.: The staff of The Kyiv Independent, Ukraine’s English-language media outlet, has chronicled the 100 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. Here is their report.

6:35 p.m.: Two Reuters journalists were injured and their driver was killed Friday after the vehicle they were in came under fire while heading to the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, the latest battle line in Russia's assault on its neighbor.

Photographer Alexander Ermochenko and cameraman Pavel Klimov were traveling in a car provided by Russia-backed forces on the Russian-held part of the road between Sievierodonetsk and the town of Rubizhne, 10 km to the north.

Reuters could not immediately establish the identity of the driver, who had been assigned to Reuters by the separatists for the reporting trip.

6:15 p.m.: NATO should consider granting Ukraine "de facto" rather than "de jure" membership of the alliance when it discusses its strategy for the next 10 years at a summit in June, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday.

"I think that if we are talking about the membership of Ukraine with NATO de facto not de jure, it could be the good idea in this strategy," Reznikov told the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum by video link.

"Ukraine will be also part of the strategy because we also are the part of eastern flank of Europe, the eastern flank of NATO countries, eastern flank of the EU. I think it will be a win-win situation for all countries," Reznikov said.

5:25 p.m.: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has paid an official visit to Moldova, which borders Ukraine, in a public show of support for the country witnessing Russia’s ambitions in the region up close and sheltering thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Sánchez said Spain would stand up for Moldova’s territorial integrity, in a reference to Transnistria and Russia’s military presence there.

Transnistria is a disputed, Russian-backed breakaway state that borders southwestern Ukraine. Pro-Russian forces broke it off from Moldova in 1992, and Russian troops have been stationed there ever since, ostensibly as peacekeepers.

5 p.m.:

4:31 p.m.: The European Union on Friday blacklisted Russian military commanders who it said led troops involved in atrocities in Ukraine, describing them as the butchers of Bucha and Mariupol, Reuters reported.

The EU list includes the names of 65 more people targeted by the latest round of sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including Azatbek Omurbekov, who the EU said led Russian troops as they "killed, raped and tortured civilians in Bucha," earning him the nickname "Butcher of Bucha." Russia has denied killing civilians in Bucha.

3:55 p.m.: Russia will continue its military operation in Ukraine until all its goals have been achieved, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

"One of the main goals of the operation is to protect people in the DNR and LNR. Measures have been taken to ensure their protection and certain results have been achieved," Peskov said, referring to the two breakaway regions of Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatist

3:15 p.m.: A French person was killed “in combat” in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said Friday, according to The Associated Press.

The ministry did not elaborate about the death of a French volunteer fighter in the Kharkiv region. It did note that Ukraine “in the totality of its territory is a war zone.” France advises anyone against going there “whatever the motive.”

The number of French volunteers is not known.

2:40 p.m.: Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine’s envoy to the U.N. office in Geneva, said Russia is playing “hunger games” with the world by trying to depict sanctions against Moscow as the reason that grain can’t transit the Black Sea — and not Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As grain exports dry up through Ukraine’s embattled or captured ports, Filipenko said Russia has sought to pin the blame on Ukraine and Western sanctions that have been levied by the thousands against Moscow.

“Russia has played hunger games recently to put the blame on Ukraine and others for blocking Ukrainian food exports,” she said, according to The Associated Press.

1:50 p.m.: President Joe Biden said Friday a “negotiated settlement” will be necessary to end the war in Ukraine.

When asked whether Ukraine should give up territory to Russia to end the war, Biden said his policy continues to be that the United States will not make any decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine.

He said “it’s their territory” and “I’m not going to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do.”

1:26 p.m.: Prosecutors investigating war crimes cases in Ukraine are examining allegations of the forcible deportation of children to Russia since the invasion as they seek to build a genocide indictment, the country’s top prosecutor said in an interview with Reuters.

International humanitarian law classifies the forced mass deportation of people during a conflict as a war crime. "Forcibly transferring children" in particular qualifies as genocide, the most serious of war crimes, under the 1948 Genocide Convention that outlawed the intent to destroy - in whole or in part - a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

1:12 p.m.: The Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, warned of dire consequences due to international sanctions on Russia. Claiming Russia favors dialogue over confrontation, he told Al Jazeera TV, "one can believe that the horsemen of the Apocalypse are already on their way and all hope is in Almighty God. However, one can still try to tone down this international situation."

12:23 p.m. The EU Parliament banned lobbyists working for Russian companies from its premises:

11:30 a.m.: The European Union has expanded sanctions against Russia and added the National Settlement Depository, which Moscow planned to use to service the country's Eurobonds, to the list of sanctioned entities, Reuters reports.

Russia replaced Citibank, which has stopped servicing the country's Eurobonds, with its own National Settlement Depository, as it risks its first major external debt default in more than a century.

11:20 a.m.

10:00 a.m.: UN officials warned on Friday that a protracted war in Ukraine threatened a hunger crisis in the country and around the world, Reuters reports.

UN crisis coordinator Amin Awad said at least 15.7 million people in Ukraine are in urgent need of assistance and protection, with the number rising by the day.

When winter comes, millions of people will be exposed given the destruction of power plants and fuel depots, Awad told an online media briefing.

9:33 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message Friday that his country won’t stop its resistance against the Russian invasion, the Associated Press reports.

“Our team is much larger,” said Zelenskyy. “The Ukrainian Armed Forces are here. Most importantly, our people are here.”

“We have defended Ukraine for 100 days already,” he added.” Victory will be ours!”

9:09 a.m.: Kyiv's ambassador to Ankara on Friday accused Turkish buyers of buying grain that Russia stole from Ukraine, Reuters reports. Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar said Russia was shipping stolen grain out of Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and added Kyiv was working with Turkey and Interpol to find the culprits.

8:45 a.m.: Ukraine has granted citizenship to one of Russia's most well-known TV journalists and Kremlin critics, Aleksandr Nevzorov, who was labeled as a foreign agent and whose arrest was ordered in absentia in Russia last month, RFE/RL reports.

7:24 p.m.: Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in a street-by-street battle in Sievierodonetsk, a small factory city in Ukraine's Luhansk province, Reuters reports.

"I regret to say that the Russian army succeeded in making its way deep into the city... they control most of the city," Ukrainian regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said in televised comments overnight.

He said about a fifth of the city was now a contested "grey zone". Ukrainian fighters were holding out in one area, were still able to clear Russians out of some streets, and had captured six Russian prisoners the previous day.

"So I would tell skeptics not to write off Sievierodonetsk. It's too early to do that. The city is holding on."

6:38 a.m.: The Kremlin says that Ukrainian grain supplies to world markets will be part of the agenda for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talks with the chairman of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall, according to the Associated Press

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil. Ukrainian authorities and their Western supporters have accused Russia of endangering world food supplies with a naval blockade of Ukraine's ports. Russia has denied blocking the ports and said Ukraine needed to remove sea mines to allow safe shipping.

5:22 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that so far, in the Luhansk region alone, the Russian invasion has damaged more than 400 kilometers of road and destroyed almost 70 schools and 50 kindergartens. It's also destroyed 33 hospitals and 237 rural medical clinics, the region's governor said.

4:30 a.m.: Reuters reports that Ukraine's 2022 wheat crop is likely to drop some 42%, to 19.2 tons.

Ukrainian officials and analysts warn that the conflict with Russia could make any harvest impossible.

Additionally, Reuters reports, corn production could drop to 26.1 million tons, down from 37.6 million tons in 2021, and the barley crop could fall to 6.6 million tons, down from from 10.1 million tons.

3:08 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry says that after failure to seize Kyiv and Ukrainian centers of government at the beginning of the invasion, Russia is now seeing some success in the Donbas.

"Russian forces have generated and maintained momentum and currently appear to hold the initiative over Ukrainian opposition," the update notes.

However, the update says, this success had a "significant resource cost" and has not been replicated in other areas of Ukraine.

"Any form of success," the update notes, "will require continued huge investment of manpower and equipment, and is likely to take considerable further time."

2:03 a.m.: CNN reports that Ukraine is investigating 10 Russian military personnel who allegedly looted civilian property in Bucha.

CNN reports the items allegedly stolen include underwear, clothing and large household appliances. The prosecutor says the suspects mailed the looted property to their relatives.

1:05 a.m.: The Associated Press reports that the U.S. says it'll hold Russia accountable for crimes its forces have committed since the invasion of Ukraine began.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya addressed the U.N. Security Council and said the U.S. and its allies support a broad range of international investigations into alleged atrocities in Ukraine.

12:02 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that a man in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has been indicted for allegedly supporting the Russian invasion. A prosecutor says the man produced and distributed materials justifying the invasion. If convicted, he could get five years in prison.

Some information in this report came from Reuters.

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