An aerial view of Bakhmut, the site of heavy battles with Russian troops in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday.

An aerial view of Bakhmut, the site of heavy battles with Russian troops in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday. / AP

Updated March 27, 2023 at 1:59 PM ET

Here's a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week.

What to watch

The United Nations Security Council is due to convene for an emergency meeting, called by Ukraine, after Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed plans to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Russia takes over the U.N. Security Council's rotating presidency in April.

The United States hosts the Summit for Democracy this week, including a virtual gathering featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Hungary's parliament has just ratified Finland's application to join NATO. Now that leaves Turkey, whose president said it would start the process to ratify Finland's bid. But both NATO members have left Sweden's application still pending.

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, plans to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine to assess the security situation at Europe's largest nuclear station.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov holds talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Wednesday. Lavrov is also due to talk with the foreign minister of another of Russia's friends, Nicaragua, on Thursday.

Ukraine has been pushing for phone talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week.

What happened last week

China's Xi paid a three-day visit to Russia. Putin said the Chinese government's peace plan could form the "basis" of an eventual deal "when the West and Ukraine are ready."

Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, a Kremlin-ally wedged between the two warring countries that has served as a launch pad for Russian attacks on Ukraine.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a surprise visit to Ukraine, hours after Xi arrived in Russia.

International Monetary Fund staff agreed with Ukraine on a $15.6 billion financing package. If the IMF's board signs off, it would be Ukraine's biggest loan since Russia invaded a year ago.

Russian drone strikes hit the Kyiv region, including an educational facility, killing at least four people and injuring 20. Russia later struck a humanitarian support center in Kostiantynivka, killing at least three displaced women.

Ukraine said Russian cruise missiles were destroyed in a strike in Crimea, but did not claim responsibility for the attack. The Russian-installed head of the city of Dzhankoi reported drone attacks there.

The situation in Bakhmut could be becoming stabilized, Ukrainian army chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny said on the Telegram social app, speaking about a city Russia has fought to take control of for months as it tries to capture the whole of eastern Ukraine's Donbas region.


The leaders of China and Russia have finished talks. Here are some takeaways.

A scrappy newscast in Kyiv aimed at Russians counters Putin's propaganda machine.

On the border with Belarus, Ukrainian troops prep for a long war — and the front line.

The IMF's $15.6 billion loan to Ukraine will be its first to a country at war.

Russian drone strikes in Ukraine kill at least 4, wound another 20.

A shrinking reservoir signals Ukraine and Russia are waging a dangerous water war.

China sees itself as a mediator in the Russia-Ukraine war, but many nations disagree.

Special report

Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world: See our updated report on 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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