A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

Political Developments

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has targeted high-ranking Russian officials with arrest warrants. The former defense minister Sergei Shoigu and military chief of staff Valery Gerasimov are accused of war crimes stemming from attacks on Ukrainian civilians.

On Monday, Moscow summoned the U.S. ambassador to lodge a protest against Ukraine’s use of American-made weapons to strike targets inside Crimea. A strike on Sunday reportedly killed four people and wounded more than 150.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov following the attack in Crimea, representing the first time in 15 months that defense heads from both countries spoke. Lloyd’s last call with the Russian defense minister, then Sergei Shoigu, was March 2023. The Pentagon said it’s important for the U.S. and Moscow to maintain lines of communication during the war.

For the second year in a row, Russia has canceled its MAKS military exhibition, usually held annually at the Zhukovsky airport near Moscow. Authorities once again cited ‘security reasons’ in keeping the airshow shuttered.

In a grim echo of the Crocus City Hall terror attack three months ago, Islamist militants carried out twin attacks on two cities in Russia’s Dagestan on Sunday. Moscow pinned the blame on Kyiv, as it did for the Crocus attack as well, but several of the assailants in Dagestan were related to a local Dagestani official.

Military Assistance to Ukraine

The European Union signed off an a security assistance package worth up to 1.4 billion euros that will come from a pool of frozen Russian assets. The money will flow through the Ukraine Assistance Fund, which is typically used for reimbursements. This time, the money will help buy new equipment for Ukrainian forces, such as coveted air defense systems. A quarter of the total will be used to procure domestic gear. Hungary has separately been blocking a 6.6 billion euro reimbursement for weapons purchased for Ukraine.

The U.S. is preparing a $150 million munitions donation to Ukraine to help replenish its dwindling stockpiles. The shipment is expected to include more HIMARS ammunition, which could potentially include the Army Tactical Missile System, which is able to be fired from HIMARS launchers. A U.S. official said the aid package would not include cluster munitions. The shipment is also expected to include anti-tank weapons, artillery rounds, small arms, and grenades.

As much as EUR800 million worth of Serbian ammunition has been delivered to Ukraine since the war’s start, a Financial Times investigation found. While Belgrade does not directly supply Ukraine, Serbia has exported to third parties that later delivered the ammunition onwards to Kyiv.

“This is part of our economic revival, and it is important for us. Yes, we export our ammunition. We can’t export to Ukraine or Russia… but we had a lot of contracts with the Americans, the Spaniards, the Czechs, and others. What they do with it in the end is their choice,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in reference to Serbian arms exports.

General Dynamics European Land Systems presented an offer to Spain regarding the production of 50 ASCOD infantry fighting vehicles for the Ukrainian Army.

AM General delivered a Hawkeye Mobile 105 Howitzer System to Ukraine to undergo combat testing over a period of two weeks. The artillery system pairs a 105mm gun with a HMMWV chassis to provide rapid and mobile artillery support.

Battlefield Updates

Ukrainian Lt. Gen. Yuri Sodol was removed from his post as commander of the Joint Forces on Monday. While no reason was given, press reports highlighted internal criticism over Sodol’s handling of the war.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement on Friday warning that it U.S. drone flights over the Black Sea “multiply the likelihood of airspace incidents with Russian Air and Space Force aircraft, which increases the risk of a direct confrontation between the alliance and Russia.” The statement follows claims from pro-Russian bloggers that a U.S. drone was shot down over the Black Sea this week.

The Institute for the Study of War created a map showing Russian airfields and other potential targets that would be in range of ATACMS missiles if Ukraine was given carte blanche to strike any Russian targets. The U.S. recently gave Ukraine authority to use donated gear to strike a limited number of targets in Russia.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder fielded questions from reporters on Tuesday on a range of subjects, including the reported upcoming deployment of North Korean engineering troops to Ukraine.

“That’s certainly something to keep an eye on. I think that if I were North Korean military personnel management, I would be questioning my choices on sending my forces to be cannon fodder in an illegal war against Ukraine,” Gen. Ryder said.

On Tuesday, Russia and Ukraine agreed to another prisoner swap, trading 90 personnel each under a UAE-mediated agreement.