The White House asked Congress on Friday to approve a $106bn (£87bn) package of emergency aid to Israel and Ukraine, as well as to the southern US border. The request includes $61.4bn for Ukraine, $44.4bn of which is to provide defence department equipment for the country. For Israel, the Biden administration is asking for $14.3bn. In addition, the package includes $9.15bn for the US state department to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Gaza.
A United Nations commission of inquiry found additional evidence that Russian forces had committed “indiscriminate attacks” and war crimes in Ukraine, including rape and the deportation of children to Russia.
The Security Service of Ukraine has sent an indictment to the court against the former abbot of the Ukrainian Orthodox monastery Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Authorities charged Metropolitan Pavel with the violation of the equality of citizens, and justification, recognition as legitimate or denial of the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine. It comes a day after Ukraine’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to advance legislation seen as effectively banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church over its ties to Moscow, despite the church’s insistence it is fully independent and supportive of Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders.
Ukraine has recovered 14 archaeological items allegedly stolen by a Russian man, from Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory. The return of the artefacts is a small victory amid the widespread destruction and pillaging of historical sites and treasures that has accompanied the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities have estimated total losses as being in the hundreds of millions of euros, and the ministry of culture reports that the number of buildings of cultural value damaged or destroyed has reached at least 623. After Ukrainian forces liberated the city of Kherson, authorities discovered 16,000 items missing from the art museum.
A Ukrainian strike on Russian helicopters and air defence equipment this week could prompt Moscow to once again move its operating bases and command and control nodes further from the frontline, the UK defence ministry said in its daily intelligence briefing.
A Russian-American journalist has been detained in Russia on charges of violating its foreign agents law, reportedly due to her coverage of Russia’s military mobilisation for its invasion of Ukraine. Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor with Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty’s (RFE-RL) Tatar-Bashkir service, was detained on Wednesday.
European leaders are frustrated about the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, in Beijing this week. “As it has been repeatedly shown, Putin does not meet European leaders with the aim of achieving peace in Ukraine,” said Petr Pavel, the president of the Czech Republic. “Peace can be achieved without any negotiations on his part simply by ceasing attacks and withdrawing his troops from Ukrainian territory.”
Ukraine claimed to make a small incremental gain of 400 metres to the south-west of Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia region. Military spokesperson Oleksandr Stupun said the southern advance was still difficult because of Russian minefields and heavily fortified defences.
Nato is stepping up patrols in the Baltic Sea after recent damage to undersea infrastructure. “The increased measures include additional surveillance and reconnaissance flights. A fleet of four Nato minehunters is also being dispatched to the area,” Nato said in a statement.