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Russia-Ukraine war: A weekly recap and look ahead (July 11)

Iryna Shulimova, 59, weeps at the scene in the aftermath of a Russian rocket that hit an apartment building in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Sunday. At least 24 people were killed and others may still be trapped in the rubble.
Nariman El-Mofty
Iryna Shulimova, 59, weeps at the scene in the aftermath of a Russian rocket that hit an apartment building in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Sunday. At least 24 people were killed and others may still be trapped in the rubble.

As the week begins, here's a roundup of key developments from the past week and a look ahead.

What to watch this week

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend the opening of a Donetsk embassy in Moscow, representing the Russian-backed, self-proclaimed independent region that Ukraine and other countries refuse to recognize. Russia continues its push to capture Donetsk, after already taking over the other large part of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, Luhansk.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to brief the European Parliament's defense and foreign affairs committees on Wednesday.

WNBA star Brittney Griner's next court hearing is set to take place in Moscow on Thursday. She has admitted to bringing cannabis into Russia, but said she'd packed in a hurry and did not intend to break the law.

Russia may be planning to annex Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, going beyond its stated aims of capturing regions such as Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, U.S. security analysts said.

Ukraine's government asked civilians to evacuate Russian-occupied Kherson as Ukrainian forces prepared a counterattack there.

What happened last week

July 4: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Russia had taken control of Lysychansk, the last city in the eastern Luhansk regionthat had been under Ukrainian control. He vowed Ukraine would retake the city.

July 5: Global leaders and international organizations met in Lugano, Switzerland, to chart a way forward in supporting Ukraine's recovery. Billed as "the international kick-off for the recovery process in Ukraine," the meeting adopted principles to aid the country in rebuilding from the war with Russia. Britain will host next year's Ukraine Recovery Conference.

July 6: Russia and the U.S. trolled each other over the address of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Russian authorities renamed the street as "Donetsk People's Republic Square." The U.S. Embassy responded by displaying geo-coordinates as its address on its homepage, while sticking to the previous Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok street address on its other webpages.

July 7: Ukraine reinstalled the national flag on Snake Island after regaining control of the Black Sea island from Russian forces. Snake Island became a legendary symbol early in the war when Ukrainian troops there reportedly defied a Russian warship's demand to surrender.

And Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Moscow court last Thursday. The U.S. basketball star also wrote a letter to President Biden asking for help. She was arrested in February just as Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine. The Biden administration says she is wrongfully detained and is working to get her home.

July 8: The Biden administration announced a $400 million military aid package for Ukraine, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, which Ukrainian officials say make a difference on the battlefield. The lightweight HIMARS mount on a truck and can reach targets up to 180 miles away.

July 9: America's top diplomat told his Chinese counterpart the Biden administration is deeply concerned about Beijing's alignment with Moscow. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected China's claim that it's neutral over the Russia-Ukraine war and said Beijing's stance further complicates U.S.-Chinese ties. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi blamed the U.S. for the countries' tensions and accused it of "China-phobia."

July 10: A Russian rocket attack on Sunday killed at least 30 people in an apartment building in Chasiv Yar, a town in Donetsk.


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Special report

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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.

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