Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know

·2-min read

Britain promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy long-range attack drones when he visited the country on Monday as part of European tour aimed at securing new weapons for a counteroffensive against Russia.


* A top Chinese envoy, Li Hui, was due to begin a tour of Ukraine, Russia and other European countries on Monday in a trip Beijing says is aimed at discussing a "political settlement" to the crisis.

* Zelenskiy, in his evening video address, said he was returning home with new military help and newer, more powerful weapons. The Kremlin said it did not believe the added British hardware would change the course of the conflict.

* Britain said it would begin basic training of Ukrainian pilots. French President Emmanuel Macron told TF1 television France was open to training Ukrainian fighter jet pilots.

* Leaders of the Group of Seven nations plan to tighten sanctions on Russia at their summit in Japan this week, officials with direct knowledge of the discussions said.

* The UN aid chief said on Monday efforts will continue in coming days to extend a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, a pact Russia has threatened to quit on May 18 over obstacles to its grain and fertiliser exports.


* Ukraine's military on Monday hailed advances around Bakhmut as its first successful counterattack in the battle against Russian forces fighting for control of the eastern city.

* Russia's Defence Ministry said on Monday that it had downed a long-range Storm Shadow missile supplied to Ukraine by Britain. Reuters was unable to verify the report.

* The head of Russia's Wagner private army, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Monday dismissed a Washington Post report that he had offered to betray Russian positions, and the Kremlin called it a "hoax". A White House spokesman declined to comment on the report, which cited a US intelligence leak.

* Russia's defence ministry said it scrambled a fighter jet on Monday after it said it detected French and German patrol aircraft flying towards Russian airspace. France and Germany said its planes were conducting flights as part of a NATO exercise and behaved in accordance with international law.

* Four people were killed in a Russian missile attack that hit a hospital in the eastern city of Avdiivka on Monday, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

* Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.