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The week in Ukraine: Russia loses ground, and the U.S. sends more aid (Sept. 12)

A Ukrainian soldier stands atop an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izium, in the Kharkiv region, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine said its swift offensive took significant ground back from Russia.
Juan Barreto
AFP via Getty Images
A Ukrainian soldier stands atop an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izium, in the Kharkiv region, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine said its swift offensive took significant ground back from Russia.

Updated September 13, 2022 at 11:40 AM ET

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 watch for signs of recaptured territory, as well as Russian counterattacks and other moves.

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

What happened last week

Sept. 5: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke 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 first foreign leader to call new Prime Minister Liz Truss. Her office said she accepted his invitation to visit Ukraine soon.

Russia added 25 Americans to its sanctions list, including Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, in retaliation for Washington's sanctions against Russian citizens. Moscow banned the celebrities along with U.S. lawmakers, academics and business leaders from entering Russia.

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

Sept. 7: Russia is allegedly buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea, according to a U.S. intelligence report, which Moscow denies.

Sept. 8: Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Kyiv. He said the U.S. will provide $2.2 billion in long-term regional security funds to Ukraine and 18 other countries including Baltic states as well as Greece and Poland. On top of that, the Pentagon also announced President Biden had authorized $675 million in arms and military equipment for Ukraine.

Zelenskyy and Putin were both among the foreign leaders to express condolences upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Sept. 9: Ukrainian forces advanced in a swift offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region. By the next day, Ukraine said it had recaptured key areas including Izium, as Russia withdrew troops from the town they were reported to be using as a command and supply hub.

Sept. 10: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock paid a surprise visit to 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.

Sept. 11: Owners of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant announced they were shutting down the last working reactor as fighting continued in the area.

In the Kharkiv region, Russia hit Ukrainian power plants and other infrastructure, sparking a big fire on Kharkiv's western outskirts and leaving Ukraine's second-largest city without electricity.


Traumatized and displaced but determined, kids in Ukraine head back to school.

Ukrainian forces break through Russia's front lines in the east and retake key towns.

How much did Russia's war with Ukraine change in a single weekend?

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

The last reactor at Zaporizhzhia, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, has stopped.

Ukrainians prep 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 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.

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