Western officials emphasise that Russia, despite early setbacks, still plans to seize the capital Kyiv and subjugate much of Ukraine. "Those maximalist objectives remain in place," one official said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Luxembourg's parliament that Russia now occupies about 20% of Ukraine and the Russian army "has already destroyed almost the entire Donbas." He made a plea for more weapons and for more sanctions on Russia. Separately, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked U.S. officials for authorizing $700 million in new military aid, including long-range rocket systems.
The Biden administration plans to sell Ukraine drones that can be armed with Hellfire missiles, a U.S. official confirmed to NPR. The drones, whose sale requires congressional approval, would be a significant upgrade to the smaller, shorter range unmanned aerial systems that Ukraine has been using. President Biden separately met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the military alliance's summit later this month.
The White House also announced new sanctions against Russian officials and oligarchs, aiming to crack down on evasion of existing penalties and crank up the pressure on President Vladimir Putin and his allies. The sanctions are in partnership with 30 other countries, the Biden administration said. They include targets like yachts and yacht brokerages the administration says are connected to Putin and his inner circle.
Ukraine more than doubled its interest rate to 25% in the first hike since the war began. The central bank at first froze its 10% rate but now finally increased it — to the highest level in seven years. The goal is to slow surging inflation and prop up the country's currency, the hryvnia, as the war is expected to shrink Ukraine's economy by more than a third.
The new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, presented her credentials to Zelenskyy and said America would stand with Ukraine as long as it faced Russian aggression. Brink is the first permanent ambassador to Ukraine in three years. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv reopened two weeks ago, having temporarily closed just before Russia invaded in February.
Ukraine is entering the next 100 days of the war without the same online attention it had going into the first 100, according to NewsWhip data exclusively provided to Axios.
Why it matters: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Axios' Jonathan Swan last week that global attention has been crucial for Ukraine, but he worries people will get "fed up" and "cynical" and "wants something new." As attention wanes, so will the pressure on world leaders to help Ukraine and punish Russia.
"To the people of the United States, do not get used to this war. ... Otherwise, we are risking a never-ending war ... Don't get used to our pain."
— Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska to ABC News
By the numbers: There has been a 22-fold decrease in social media interactions (likes, comments, shares) on news articles published about Ukraine between the first week of the war and the most recent week: from 109 million to 4.8 million.
- That trend is reflected in the volume of online media coverage, which has steadily decreased from 520k articles in the first week, down to 70k most recently.
- Over a 6-week span in April and May, there was about 6x more interest in stories about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard than about Ukraine, per NewsWhip's data.
State of play: Ukraine is still lobbying for help in its war effort, and it's still being provided, though not as quickly as Zelensky would like.