Each week we cover everything from our coverage of the Ukraine war with must-read news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinion.
Anti-Putin militias hit the headlines
The founder of the Russian Volunteer Corps, Denis (C), known as ‘White Rex’, attends a presentation to the media in northern Ukraine attended by fighters in camouflage. Photograph: Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images
As Russian militias opposing the Kremlin prepare for a daring cross-border raid in the Belgorod region this week, a man with disheveled hair, in full camouflage and holding an automatic rifle, stares into a camera lens, Andrew Roth Report.
That man was Maximilian Andronikov, the self-proclaimed commander of the Freedom of Russia Legion, a paramilitary group that, until this week, was chided for its outlandish Internet and media activity.
With raids in southern Russia this week, the spotlight has been turned on both the Russian Army of Independence and the Russian Volunteer Corps, another group made up of Russians who now say they are fighting against Putin.
Jonathan Yerushalmi Put together a lecturer on Belgorod, the Russian sector being drawn into the war.
Zelensky steals the limelight at the G7 in Japan
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol shake hands during the G7 leaders’ summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Photograph: Yonhap News Agency/Reuters
Usually G7 summits are battling comma for free world comma, patrick wintour wrote in his analysis of Zelensky’s appearance at the summit, as diplomats parsing lengthy dialogues of short-term importance long into the night.
But the true significance of the Hiroshima summit lies in Volodymyr Zelensky’s scene-stealing visit courtesy of a ride on Emmanuel Macron’s French plane. The Ukrainian President attempted to win over non-aligned countries such as India and Brazil, without being entirely successful in the case of Brazil.
Zelensky received fresh military assistance from the US during a day of frantic diplomatic activity, Justin McCurry reported, as Russia claimed victory on the battlefield in the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
After the end of G7, Rishi Sunak said that the ceasefire in Ukraine will not be enough, rowena mason As reported, any end to the war would need to recognize the country’s territorial integrity and include a plan for a “just and durable” peace. He said that Zelensky’s presence at the summit had sent an “incredibly powerful” message to Russia.
Wagner chief says 20,000 of his fighters died at Bakhmut
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin says that 20,000 of his fighters have been killed in the Battle of Bakhmut. Photograph: Reuters
The head of Wagner’s mercenary force has said that 20,000 of his fighters have been killed in the battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Julian Borger reported, and warned that Russia could face another revolution if its leadership did not improve its handling of the war.
Yevgeny Prigozhin stated that 20% of the 50,000 defectors were recruited by Wagner, and a similar number of its regular troops were killed several months later in the Battle of Bakhmut.
Prigozhin pointed to the social inequality underlined by the war, in which the sons of the poor were sent back from the front in zinc coffins, while the children of the aristocracy “shacked their asses” in the sun.
Ukraine this week rejected Russian claims to have captured Bakhmut, insisting that its forces still have a foothold in the Donbass city and are increasingly surrounded by Russian mercenaries holding the center of the ruined city.
Russia and China deepen economic ties
Chinese honor guards march during a reception for Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Beijing. Photograph: Thomas Peter/AFP/Getty Images
Russia and China have agreed to deepen investment in trade services, boost agricultural exports and boost sports cooperation, as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a set of bilateral agreements on a visit to Beijing .
Mishustin is the highest-ranking Russian official to visit Beijing since the war in Ukraine began. In March, Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow in support of his “dear friend”.
China has claimed to be a neutral mediator in the war in Ukraine, but China and Russia have come together since the invasion began. Amy Hawkins informed of. Ben Bland, director of the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, said the G7 statements “underscored a deepening geopolitical divide between China and Russia on the one hand and the US and its allies on the other”.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko arrives for a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: Ilya Pitlev/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images
The Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, said that Russia has begun moving tactical nuclear weapons to storage in Belarus, adding that it was possible the weapons had already arrived in his country.
“We had to prepare storage facilities and rest there [in Belarus], We’ve done all of that. That is why the transfer of nuclear weapons began, ”Lukashenko said during a summit of the Eurasian Economic Forum in Moscow.
Asked if the weapons had already arrived, he said: “Maybe. I’ll go and see.”
The remarks came hours after Russian and Belarusian military officials signed an agreement providing for Moscow to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Andrew Roth report, marking a shift in the Kremlin’s nuclear posture that could raise the stakes of any future instability in Belarus.