Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (June 30)
As Thursday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
Ukraine won back control over Snake Island, which Russia occupied in February. Ukrainian officials said Russian troops evacuated after Ukraine's overnight bombardment. Russia said it left the island as a "goodwill gesture" for Ukraine's grain exports. The strategic outpost in the Black Sea is where Ukrainian soldiers famously refused to surrender to the Russian warship Moskva.
President Biden said the U.S. would provide $800 million more in security assistance for Ukraine. Speaking at the close of a NATO summit, Biden said the war "will not end with Russia defeating Ukraine" and that allies would support Ukraine "as long as it takes." Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said his country had no "problem" with Finland and Sweden joining NATO but would have to respond if the alliance built up a military presence along its northern borders.
Amnesty International said the Mariupol theater bombing was a clear war crime. A new reportby the human rights organization concluded that the attack "was almost certainly carried out by Russian fighter aircraft." Hundreds of civilians sheltered in the building during the March siege of the southern port city that Russian troops now occupy.
The European Court of Human Rights told Russia to ensure two British captives don't get the death penalty. In early June, a court in a Russian-backed separatist part of Ukraine sentenced Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin to death. Russia's government, which pulled out of the European rights jurisdiction after invading Ukraine, said it no longer complies with the European court's orders.
Ukraine said it broke ties with Syria for recognizing the independence of eastern Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions at Russia's request. Ukraine's foreign ministry said in recent years it had already ordered the closure of its and Syria's embassies over crimes of the Syrian regime, which is friendly with the Kremlin. Kyiv said it will now also impose a trade embargo and other sanctions against Syria.
Putin has been unwilling to engage in Ukraine talks, says Secretary of State Blinken.
Tensions are on the rise in the Baltic between Russia and NATO member Lithuania.
Russia's sanctions, graded: NPR's Indicator from Planet Money assesses the effectiveness of economic punishments levied against Russia.
Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world: See its ripple effects in all corners of the globe.
You can read more daily 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.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.