© Reuters. A firefighter works at the site of a tobacco factory damaged in a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine May 28, 2023. Pavlo Petrov/ Press service of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service/Handout via REUTERS
(Reuters) – As a long-promised Ukrainian counteroffensive looms to retake territory captured by Russia in 15 months of fighting, Moscow launched a series of attacks on Kiev over the weekend targeting military infrastructure and supplies.
* Russia launched aerial attacks on kyiv in the early hours of Monday using drones and cruise missiles. Ukrainian officials said defense forces shot down more than 40 targets.
* Russia unleashed what Ukrainian officials called the biggest drone attack on kyiv since the war began on Sunday, killing one and injuring several people.
* In a sign of the importance of the drone battle, Ukraine has stepped up its attacks deep inside Russia, including against its oil infrastructure.
* Ukraine signaled over the weekend that its forces were ready to launch a long-promised counteroffensive.
* Russian troops have temporarily eased attacks in and around the besieged eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut to regroup and build capacity, Ukraine said.
* The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Monday that Russia continues its main efforts to fully occupy the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian forces have repelled 19 enemy attacks in these areas over the past 24 hours.
* Russia’s private Wagner militia began handing over its positions in Bakhmut to regular Russian troops on Thursday, as group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said his units would leave the territory by June 1.
* Wagner’s chief Prigozhin said he was convinced senior Kremlin officials had banned reporting on him in state media, warning that such a misleading approach would provoke a backlash from the Russian people in a few months.
* President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered a tightening of border security to ensure “swift” Russian military and civilian movement into Ukrainian areas now under Moscow’s control.
* Reuters could not verify reports on the Russian and Ukrainian battlefields.
DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY
* Western countries have left Belarus no choice but to deploy Russian tactical nuclear weapons and had better be careful not to ‘cross red lines’ on key strategic issues, a senior Belarusian official said on Sunday .
* Foreign investors who left Russia after selling their businesses there between March 2022 and March 2023 withdrew around $36 billion from the country, state news agency RIA reported on Monday, citing an analysis of Bank data central.