On Sunday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense blamed Washington for the Ukrainian missile strike on occupied Crimea earlier in the day that reportedly killed five people and injured more than 100, calling it a “terror attack.”

Debris from four intercepted missiles and cluster munitions from a fifth launched by Ukraine rained down on the beaches of the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, AFP reported.

In early reports, Kremlin-appointed occupational governor Mikhail Razvozhayev claimed on social media that two children and one adult had died. (The updated tally was three children and two adults.) A Russian health ministry official told Russian state media that 124 people were injured, including 27 children.

“Such actions will not be left without a response,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

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Razvozhayev said Ukraine launched five missiles, with four of them blown up by air defenses and the fifth exploding over the city, with shrapnel falling on northern beaches and setting fire to a house and a forest area.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said Washington and Kyiv bore “responsibility for a deliberate missile strike on peaceful residents,” claiming that they were American-made ATACMS missiles, armed with cluster warheads, adding that “all flight missions for US ATACMS are entered by US specialists based on the US satellite reconnaissance data.”

Zelensky Discusses Peace, Prisoners With Senior Vatican Official
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Zelensky Discusses Peace, Prisoners With Senior Vatican Official

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The day before, Russia had launched air strikes on Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, killing two people and injuring some 50 others. Also, it attacked Kyiv with cruise missiles launched from the Sea of Azov, injuring two and destroying residences. The Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down two of the three Kalibr missiles bearing down on the capital.

Conservative party in Germany says unemployed Ukrainian refugees there have to go

The Chairman of the Bavarian opposition center-right Christian Social Union party in the German parliament has called for the expulsion of unemployed Ukrainian refugees. 

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“After more than two years after the outbreak of the war, the principle should now be applied: get a job in Germany or return to the safe areas of western Ukraine,” Alexander Dobrindtsaid in an interview published Sunday in the Berlin-based tabloid, Bild.

“We need stronger cooperation commitments for asylum seekers when it comes to employment. There should be a job offer, and this should be part of the integration service,” Dobrindt said. 

His comments came as reports surfaced that only about 33,000 Ukrainian job seekers had applied through the “Jobturbo” program aimed at helping them apply for employment, which was about one-sixth of the government’s target number.

Dirk Wiese, second-in-command of the ruling Social Democrats party in parliamentary, told Bild that the CSU should be ashamed of such demands and “remove the letter ‘C’ from its name, which stands for ‘Christian,’ for once and for all.” 

“Putin continues to bomb targets across Ukraine. Now Dobrindt also wants to send back women and children who may have already lost their parents at the front,” he said. 

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On the other hand, Wiese had made recent overtures toward stiffening Germany’s stance on immigration overall.

On Saturday, Ukrainska Pravda reported, that some politicians in Germany called for the cancellation of standard unemployment benefits for Ukrainian refugees, the Bürgergeld, or “money for citizens” program.

An increase in combat engagements in Donetsk suggests that the Russian summer offensive has begun, think tank posits

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) over the weekend put forth the proposal that, because Russian army has intensified attacks in southeastern Donetsk region and at the same time reduced the tempo of their invasion of the northeastern Kharkiv region, this strategy may indicate that Moscow is making preparations over the summer to resume their offensive in the Donbas.

The Washington-based war analysts noted that there has been an increase in the the intensity of attacks in the Toretsk-Horlivka area since last week, and also saw an uptick over the weekend. Prior to that, Moscow’s troops had been relatively quiet on these original frontlines over the winter and spring.

According to the ISW, “the purpose of the Russian offensive in Kharkiv region was to constrain Ukrainian troops and equipment on the northern border to allow Russian forces to resume offensive operations in other parts of the front, particularly in Donetsk region.”

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The analysts also noted that Russian forces are building up momentum in the Chasiv Yar area and “may soon intensify attacks in the area if the Russian commanders determine the coming weeks to be a favorable time to launch an offensive” before the Defense Forces redeploy back to Donetsk.”

“Ukrainian sources have warned that Russia will launch a summer offensive, likely to be centered in eastern Ukraine, after conducting offensive operations in the north to stretch Ukraine's limited resources, and the recent increase in attacks in the Donetsk region may indicate preparations for such a summer offensive, assuming it has not already been launched,” ISW analysts wrote.

Ukrainian leadership, from President Volodymyr Zelensky down to Lieutenant Andriy Kovalenko, head of the National Security and Defense Council’s Disinformation Countermeasures Center, long have voiced their suspicions that Moscow would resume its southern offensive by June.

This is not to say that the Kharkiv offensive has slowed down completely. The ISW reported that Ukrainian forces “counterattacked north and northeast of Kharkiv on Sunday amid continued Russian offensive operations in the area.”

 Russian bloggers claimed that Moscow’s forces repelled Ukrainian counterattacks near Hlyboke (north of Kharkiv) and within Vovchansk. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that fighting is ongoing near and within Vovchansk and that Russian forces struck Lyptsi (to the northwest of the Kharkiv region) with 23 glide bombs on Sunday.

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