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Week in Ukraine war: new Russian strikes, oil price cap, no Biden-Putin talks (Dec. 5)

Svitlana (center) and Anastasiya (bottom) take shelter with their McDonald's coworkers in Lva Tolstoho Metro during an air alert in Kyiv on Monday. Russia renewed its missile attacks across Ukraine on Monday.
Pete Kiehart for NPR
Svitlana (center) and Anastasiya (bottom) take shelter with their McDonald's coworkers in Lva Tolstoho Metro during an air alert in Kyiv on Monday. Russia renewed its missile attacks across Ukraine on Monday.

As the week begins, here's a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week.

What to watch this week

New measures targeting Russian oil revenue took effect Monday. They include a European Union embargo on most Russian oil imports and a Russian oil price cap.

Ukraine will be working again to repair its energy grid after new Russian strikes Monday.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is touring Europe this week, including visits to London, Rome, Paris, Berlin and Prague.

The United Nations high commissioner on human rights is due to give a news conference Wednesday after a trip to several Ukrainian locations.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to give remarks virtually on Wednesday for a discussion with the United States Institute of Peace on how to hold Russian officials accountable.

What happened last week

The U.S. is helping Ukraine bolster its war-battered energy system. In Romania for NATO meetings on Nov. 29, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $53 million for Ukraine to acquire key equipment for its electricity grid.

The European Union has frozen billions of euros of Russian money and wants to set up a United Nations-backed court to try Russia's alleged crimes in Ukraine, EU officials said.

The Russia-Ukraine war was a central focus of French President Emmanuel Macron's state visit to Washington. President Biden said Dec. 1 the U.S., France and NATO allies stand strong against Russia's war. And the two leaders remarked to reporters about the idea of speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Western countries reached a deal for a price cap on Russian oil, and the EU is banning most Russian oil imports. The $60 per barrel price ceiling and embargo are aimed at hurting Moscow's fuel revenues but some analysts and officials are skeptical the efforts will work.

The Kremlin said "nyet" to the idea of talks with President Biden, after the U.S. leader remarked he'd be willing to have contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin also said Putin had a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in which the Russian leader defended his assault on Ukraine's energy grid.

The U.S. sees a "reduced tempo" in fighting in Ukraine and remains optimistic about the prospects for a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the spring, the national intelligence chief said Dec. 3.


NPR investigates a single war crime in Ukraine.

What to know about the West's new efforts to slash Russia's oil revenue.

Putin turns down Biden talks and defends Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy grid.

Ukrainians say they hid orphaned children from Russian deportation.

A journalist's plea to the West: "Pay attention to Ukraine and its fate."

An interview with a former senior Ukrainian health official.

An interview with an ex-chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court about a proposed special court for trying war crimes in Ukraine.

NATO foreign ministers underscore their commitment to Ukraine.

Special report

Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world: See its ripple effects in all corners of the globe.

Earlier developments

You can read past 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.


NPR Staff