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In The News

Ukrainian Navy Claims Success In Black Sea

Ukrainian officials say a fleet of Russian ships has been forced more than 100 kilometers from the Ukrainian coast, which could be used to alleviate the economic pressure of the Russian blockade.

Ukrainian Navy Claims Success In Black Sea

Russian Navy's Black Sea flagship, RTS Moskva (121)

Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage, Joel Silvestri, and Emma Albright

The Ukrainian Navyclaimed yesterday that it had pushed a fleet of Russian ships more than 100 kilometers from the Ukrainian coast. Ukraine alleged that as a result, Russia had been forced to change its tactics in the northwest part of the Black Sea to rely on coastal defenses in occupied Kherson and Crimea, rather than seaborne air defenses.

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The U.S. think-tank theInstitute for the Study of War reported that it is likely Ukraine will try to use these successes to alleviate the economic pressure of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports.


Known as the “breadbasket of Europe,” Ukraine is a top exporter of grain to dozens of countries. The Russian blockade has seen food prices skyrocket since Ukraine was invaded. The institute also said that Kyiv may try to use their naval success to open up new routes for international aid from the West.

Biden Declassified Information In The Build-up To Russian Invasion

U.S. president Joe Biden

Yuri Gripas/CNP/zuma


President Joe Biden declassified intelligence in the build-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the U.S. Director of Intelligence Avril Haines. The information was selectively shared with media outlets and allies who remained skeptical of a full-scale attack by Moscow.

As Russia massed troops on the Ukrainian border in February, Haines revealed that the President said, “you need to go out and share as much as you possibly can and ensure that folks see what it is that you're seeing, so that we can engage again and perhaps have more productive conversations about how to plan for essentially the potential of a Russian invasion.”

Haines hopes that the approach can be used to “develop mechanisms for sharing” with partners and allies in the future.

Victims’ Families From Moskva Sinking Banned From Speaking About Dead Sailors

Russian Navy veterans attend a memorial event held for the Moskva guided missile cruiser.

Sergei Malgavko/TASS/Zuma


Relatives of sailors who died during the skining of the Russian warship "Moskva" are being required to not speak about it publicly. If they refuse, and speak about their lost sons and brothers, they face non-payment of compensation and criminal prosecution, reports Kyiv-based Lviy Bereg, citing Ukrainian intelligence.

On April 13 the missile cruiser "Moskva" was damaged by Ukrainian-fired cruise missiles, and sank the next day. According to the military intelligence of Ukraine, a special group of psychologists, doctors and lawyers is working with the sailors' relatives to improve the difficult psychological condition, but the main goal is to prevent the leaking of information about the dead and missing.

In Sevastopol (Crimea), during a meeting between the commander of the Black Sea Fleet and the relatives of the dead sailors, the house of naval officers was guarded by military police, and the commander himself was accompanied by a group of special forces. Some relatives, in protest, did not come to the meeting.

Ukrainian Forces Hold Out In Key Regions

A view of an apartment building damaged by shelling in the embattled city of Severodonetsk

Alexander Reka/TASS/Zuma


Fighting continues in Severodonetsk as Russia continues its attacks, while President Volodymyr Zelensky says that a plan for Ukrainian forces to retake the city may be too costly.

Fighting also continues in the regions of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhya while Russia prepares to celebrate “Russia Day” in the Kherson region of Ukraine on June 12.

Russia Loses Another Army General

Russian president Vladimir Putin with army generals in 2019

Aleksey Nikolskyi/Zuma


A Russian general has died in the Donbas. The news was reported by Russian state media via the Telegram channel of a war correspondent. The general was identified as Roman Kutuzov by both Russian state media and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The announcement comes as Russian forces continue their assault on the Donbas region, including fierce fighting in the city of Severodonetsk.

Several Russian army generals have been killed since the start of the war, but their exact number is not known as Russian authorities rarely communicate on their losses.

A “Referendum” In Kherson To Become Part Of Russia?

Russian servicemen distribute humanitarian aid to crew members in Kherson

Russian Defence Ministry/TASS/ZUMA


Kherson was the first major Ukrainian city seized by Moscow and now the deputy head of the administration put in place by the Kremlin, Kirill Stremousov, says there "will most likely be a referendum.”

Moscow could attempt to organize a vote on annexation to Russia. After the fall of Kherson, the Kremlin has already attempted to bring the Russian ruble into circulation.

No official date has been set because of the ongoing war and latest counter-offensive by the Ukrainian military.

Russia Bans More Americans From Entering The Country

Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary

Federico Gambarini/dpa/Zuma

Russia has created a “stop list”, banning 61 more U.S. officials, leading defense and media executives from entering the country. The list includes high-profile figures like U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The ministry said the sanctions were in response to the “ever-expanding US sanctions against Russian political and public figures, as well as representatives of domestic businesses.”

FBI Confiscates Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s Jets 

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich

Vladimir Gerdo/TASS/Zuma


A federal judge approved the FBI’s request to seize two jets belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The decision is the most significant punishment against Abramovich by the U.S. since the start of the war.

Abramovich has also been sanctioned by the European Union and the UK due to his very favorable business deals with the Russian government. Abramovich owned Chelsea FC but was forced to sell the team after UK sanctions.

Wine Win For Ukraine

Ukraine’s Beykush winery

Photograph: PR

A small Ukrainian winemaker has just won the gold in the prestigious Decanter World Wines award, the first time a Ukrainian wine has scooped the top prize.

The Beykush winery is near the town of Ochakiv, in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region. It is still under Ukrainian control, but Russian forces have set their eyes on the area.

“I can’t say we were surprised that we won because our wine is really, really good,” said Svitlana Tsybak, the chief executive of Beykush winery.

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Ideas

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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