A building in Kyiv, Ukraine damaged by debris from a downed Russian drone, June 1, 2023 (Alex Babenko/AP)

Wednesday’s Coverage: Drone Strike on Oil Refinery in Russia’s Krasnodar Region

Map: Institute for Study of War


Ukraine has sanctioned Russian citizen Alexander Lebedev, the owner of the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers in London.

The National Security and Defense Council blacklisted Lebedev on May 19, but had not made a public announcement. Tortoise Media reported the development.

The Russian, who has tourism assets in Russian-occupied Crimea, is banned from moving funds out of Ukraine and from making financial transactions within the country.,/p>

Lebedev, a former Soviet intelligence officer who bought the Evening Standard in 2009 and the Independent in 2010, has not been sanctioned in the UK. He hosted Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister from 2019 to 2022, at parties in London and at a villa in Umbria in Italy.

Johnson gave Lebedev’s son Evgeny, also a part-owner of the Evening Standard, a seat for life in the House of Lords.


Russian State outlet TASS says 11 people from Russia’s border region of Belgorod have been hospitalized because of shelling.

The head doctor of the hospital, Roman Protsenko, said four of the injured are in intensive care.

The anti-Kremlin militias Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russia Volunteer Corps each claim that they carried out a wider raid, similar to an incursion on May 22 in which three villages were attacked.

The militias said they had attacked and destroyed Russian military vehicles, mortars, and rocket launchers.

An explosion was reported at a factory making artificial sapphires.

Russian officials gave conflicting messages. Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov insisted, “There was no enemy on the territory of the Belgorod region and there is none.”

But the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged an incursion, claiming that attacks by “three terrorist groups” had been repelled.


Russia has re-imposed a de facto blockade on Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

Ukraine’s Renovation and Infrastructure Ministry that no ships moved today, because Russia blocked registration for all Ukrainian ports.

The Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul has announced that it is impossible to draw up an inspection plan for June 1 due to another unjustified refusal of the Russian delegation to register the incoming fleet for participation in the Initiative.

Only one incoming ship was registered for inspection on May 30-31.

Moscow had already cut off Pivdennyi, one of the three ports in the July 2022 agreement, preventing inspections and ships reaching the port. About 1.5 million tons of agricultural products are held up.

The Ukrainian ministry said 50 vessels, with a capacity of 2.4m tons of food, await inspection in Turkish territorial waters. Some have been stalled for more than 3 months.

The UN is proposed a bolstering of the deal which includes transport of Russian ammonia across Ukraine. Kyiv and Turkey have agreed, but Russia has not responded (see 0620 GMT).


As Ukraine marks International Children’s Day, the Prosecutor General’s Office reports confirmation of the killing of at least 484 children and wounding of 992 during Russia’s invasion.

The office said it has provided guidance “on more than 2,900 war-related crimes against children: murder and injury, sexual violence, attacks on institutions and facilities for children, deportation, forced displacement, abduction”.

In a joint statement at the European Political Community summit in Moldova, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint statement:

We vehemently condemn illegal deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children, adding to the list of Russia’s war crimes.

We urgently call upon Russia to immediately stop these deportations, to put an end to the practice of so-called ‘expedited adoptions’ and return these children.

We are committed to do all that is needed to establish the whereabouts of deported Ukrainian children, facilitate their safe return, and provide them with essential social, medical, and educational support upon their return.

Referring to the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and Russia’s “Children’s Rights Commissioner” Maria Lvova-Belova over the deportations, Zelensky and von der Leyen said the “time will come” for justice.


The husband of one of the victims of this morning’s Russian attacks on Kyiv has spoken of his wife’s inability to get into a locked shelter.

People knocked….They knocked for a very long time….There were women, children. No one opened. My wife and child [were there]. The child is fine, but my wife died.

I had just run to the other side, calling for them to open. And just at that moment everything happened, at that moment something flew — I don’t know, fragments or something.

An eyewitness, Kateryna Didukh, explained:

They ran here to hide but unfortunately it was closed. This is the largest bomb shelter. They were all standing at the entrance. There is a polyclinic and a kindergarten here, and [the debris] fell right between them.


While promoting Ukraine’s accession to NATO (see 0851 GMT), Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked the international community to establish security guarantees for his country and neighboring Moldova.

Zelenskiy made the appeal at the start of the European Political Community summit of 47 leaders at Moldova’s Mimi Castle vineyard, 12 miles from the Ukraine border.

Zelenskiy said he would speak to partners a “potential air jets coalition” and one providing Patriot air defense systems.

He tweeted about a meeting with European Commimission head Ursula von der Leyen


Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko has asked the Zelenskiy Government to suspend two officials after three civilians, including a mother and 9-year-old daughter, were killed outside a locked air raid shelter in Kyiv this morning.

The victims were struck by debris from a downed Russian drone.

Klitschko requested the suspension of Dmytro Ratnikov, the head of the Desnyan district, and the head of the medical facility where the shelter was located.

Andriy Sadovyi, the mayor of Lviv in western Ukraine, has announced an inspection of air shelters this evening.

Today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. all shelters located in residential and non-residential premises must be open. This is an opportunity for residents to meet, check the status of their shelters, and renegotiate their operation during an air alert. This applies to all shelters in the city….

If the shelter is closed from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., or there are other problems with it, contact the city hotline at 1580.

A commission will be held on all issues raised and the result will be made public.


Arriving for today’s European Political Community summit in Moldova (see 0708 GMT), Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said:

Ukraine is ready to be in NATO. We are waiting [for] when NATO will be ready. And I think security guarantees are very important not only for Ukraine, for our neighbors, for Moldova — because of Russia and of their aggression in Ukraine and potential aggression for their part of Europe.

Spain’s Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said Ukraine must be given a strong political message of support for its NATO bid.

However, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was cautious, “NATO’s open door policy remains in place, but at the same time it is clear that we cannot talk about accepting new members in the midst of a war.”


Following reports that the three civilians killed during today’s Russian attacks on Kyiv were outside a locked shelter, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko says police will patrol during air alerts in curfew hours to ensure the shelters are open.


Vladimir Putin’s office has ordered the construction of a bomb shelter at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, where high-ranking Russian officials are treated.

The order for design and survey work for a “protective structure of civil defense” was placed on May 26, with an initial cost of 35 million roubles ($431,900).

A date of December 20 has been set for completion.

The order says the shelter should have special communication systems “for officials who are objects of state protection…equipping the premises of the relevant officials with technical means of protection against leakage of classified information”.


The three civilians killed by Russia’s strikes on Kyiv this morning were struck by debris after they could not get into a locked shelter.

Residents said this was not the first time that they could not enter the shelter in the polyclinic in the Desnyan district.

Kyiv police have started a criminal investigation of official negligence.

Citing the polyclinic’s director, the head of the Desnyan district administration, Dmytro Ratnikov, said a night shift worker opened the central entrance. Some people managed to enter, but others were still outside.

The director of Kyiv’s security department, Roman Tkachuk — directed by Mayor Vitaly Klitschko to go to the scene — said that the guard tried to open the shelter but was injured by an explosion. Tkachuk claimed that the security department had not received complaints from people about shelters in the polyclinic.

But Anastasiia Lapatina of the Kyiv Independent comments, “An utter failure of Kyiv city authorities, who can’t provide shelters a year into the war. And this issue is endemic in many Ukrainian cities.”


The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region claims eight people were wounded by overnight shelling that continued this morning on the town of Shebekino.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said multiple buildings were damaged.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has arrived in neighboring Moldova for the European Political Community summit.

He posted on Telegram, “We are developing a coalition of fighter jets and offering a coalition of Patriots. EU, NATO, peace formula. Everything to protect our future.”

Dozens of European leaders will discuss security issues and areas of cooperation. In its first meeting last October, the EPC discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global energy crisis.

Moldova is on the frontline of Vladimir Putin’s war, with its Transnistria region occupied by Russian troops since 1992. President Maia Sandu has held out against Moscow’s pressure and threats trying to curb her support of Kyiv.


Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group mercenaries, has called for senior officials of the Russian Defense Ministry to be investigated and prosecuted.

In his latest verbal attack as he seeks influence in Moscow, Prigozhin asked Russia’s Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office to start proceedings against officials for “committing a crime during the preparation and during the conduct of the special military operation”.

The Wagner Group leader continues to threaten the withdrawal of his fighters from Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, only weeks after occupying the city amid six months of “human wave” assaults that killed about 20,000 mercenaries and former convicts.


Four Tatar people from Russian-occupied Crimea have been given lengthy prison sentences by a Russian court in Rostov-on-Don.

The quartet were arrested for “terrorist activities”. Jebbar Bekirov was condemned to a 17-year term, and Rustem Tairov, Rustem Murasov, and Zavur Abdulayev to 12 years.

Tatars sufferedrepression during the Soviet era, with mass killings, deportations, and hundreds of thousands starving to death in the 1920s.

The Ukraine Foreign Ministry responded:

These new falsified and worthless “sentences” only show that Russia is resorting to all kinds of crimes in the temporarily occupied territories with the aim of destroying centers of freedom of thought and religion that are not under the control of its punitive bodies.

Violence and repression cannot be the answer to the right to express one’s beliefs and defend one’s identity.


Trying to end Russian obstruction of the July 2022 deal over three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, the UN has proposed work for the transit of Russian ammonia through Ukraine, according to “a source close to the talks”.

Moscow has effectively renewed its blockade of Pivdennyi, preventing inspections and ships reaching the port, with 1.5 million tons of agricultural products held up.

The source said Ukraine and Turkey have agreed to the new proposal, but Russia has not yet responded.


The US has announced another $300 million in military aid to Ukraine.

The package includes munitions for Patriot air defense systems, Aim-7 air defense missiles, Avenger air defense systems, and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. Tens of millions of rounds of ammunition are provided for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, 105mm tank ammunition, and Zuni aircraft rockets.

Washington has committed $37.6 billion in military assistance to Kyiv during Russia’s invasion.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized, amid drone strikes and last week’s raid on Russian border regions, “We have been very clear with the Ukrainians privately — we’ve certainly been clear publicly — that we do not support attacks inside Russia.”

He added:

We don’t tell them where to strike. We don’t tell them where not to strike. Ultimately, President Zelenskiy and his military commanders decide what they’re going to do….

We certainly don’t want to see attacks inside Russia that are being propagated, that are being conducted, using US-supplied equipment.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia has carried out its 18th wave of missile and drone strikes on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv in a month, killing three people.

Air defenses downed all 10 Iskander short-range ballistic missiles fired about 3 a.m.. However, the three victims — including a 9-year-old girl and her mother — were killed in the capital’s Desnyan district in a clinic struck by debris.

Another 12 civilians, including a child, were injured.

In the Dniprovs’kyi district, a residential building was damaged, parked cars caught fire, and debris fell on to a roadway.

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska noted on Twitter that the strikes were on International Children’s Day:

Children’s Day has always been about a safe childhood, the beginning of summer, life. Today it is about the new crimes of the Russian Federation against Ukrainian children.

As a result of shelling in Kyiv, a 9-year-old girl died, and another was put in the hospital.

Every affected child causes pain for the whole country. Our thoughts are with their families.

Russia has pursued the waves of strikes with missiles and Iranian-made drones since last October. Initially, the attacks tried to break Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, freezing the population over the winter, but they ultimately failed.

In the past month the attacks on civilian sites have been clustered, hoping to overwhelm air defenses. However, not a single Russian missile or drone has hit a target in Kyiv, with Ukraine bolstered by systems such as US-made Patriots and German IRIS-Ts.

There have been scattered sites struck outside the Kyiv, but damage has been limited. With most stock of weaponry exhausted, the Russian waves are smaller than strikes with more than 100 missiles at the outset last autumn.