A weekly recap and look ahead (Sept. 12) : NPR

A Ukrainian soldier stands on top of an abandoned Russian tank near a village outside Izium, in Kharkiv region, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says its rapid offensive has captured significant land from Russia.

Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images


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Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images


A Ukrainian soldier stands on top of an abandoned Russian tank near a village outside Izium, in Kharkiv region, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says its rapid offensive has captured significant land from Russia.

Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

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

What to watch this week

Ukraine’s counteroffensive is expected to continue, and military analysts will be watching for signs of captured territory, as well as Russian counterattacks and other moves.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet with China’s Xi Jinping and other foreign leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

What happened last week

September 5: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talks with outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and thanked him as a great friend of the Ukrainian people. The following day, Zelenskyy said he was the one first foreign leader to call the new Prime Minister Liz Truss. His office said he accepted his invitation to visit Ukraine soon.

Russia adds 25 Americans to its sanctions list, with Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, in retaliation for Washington’s sanctions against Russian citizens. Moscow has banned prominent figures including US lawmakers, academics and business leaders from entering Russia.

September 6: The International Atomic Energy Agency has listed the damage at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, in its report following an inspection. It warned that military attacks on or from the plant could have catastrophic consequences, even if shelling continues in the area.

September 7: Russia is reportedly buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Koreaaccording to a US intelligence report, which Moscow has denied.

September 8: Secretary of State Antony Blinken makes an unannounced move visit to Kiev. He said the US would provide $2.2 billion in long-term regional security funds to Ukraine and 18 other countries including the Baltic states as well as Greece and Poland. Furthermore, the Pentagon also announced that President Biden authorized $675 million in weapons and military equipment for Ukraine.

Zelenskyy and Putin were both among the foreign leaders who expressed condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

September 9: Ukrainian forces advance on a fast offensive in the northeast of the Kharkiv region. The next day, Ukraine said it had retaken key areas including Izium, while Russia withdrew troops from the town they use as a command and supply hub.

September 10: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits Kyiv to show support for Ukraine. Germany has sent howitzers, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine in recent weeks, and is due to send more as part of a 500 million euro security aid package.

September 11: The owners of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant announce that they are closing the last operating reactor as fighting continues in the area.

In Kharkiv region, Russia hit power plants in Ukraine and other infrastructure, causing a major fire in the western outskirts of Kharkiv and leaving Ukraine’s second-largest city without electricity.

Deep

Traumatized and displaced but determined, Ukrainian children return to school.

Ukrainian forces broke through Russian front lines in the east and retook key towns.

How much will Russia’s war in Ukraine change in a week?

Here is why the risk of a nuclear accident in Ukraine has significantly increased.

The last reactor in Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, has shut down.

Ukrainians are preparing for winter. If Russia hits heating systems, cities will freeze.

Meet the Chechen battalion joining Ukraine to fight Russia — and fellow Chechens.

Special report

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

Early developments

You can read previous recaps here. For context and deeper 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.