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Latest on Ukraine: U.S. aid stumbles and Slovakia elects a pro-Russia leader

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (center left) and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell visit a monument to fallen defenders of Ukraine in Kyiv, Monday. Borrell and EU foreign ministers have gathered in Kyiv in a display of support for Ukraine's fight against Russia's invasion.
Press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine via AP
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (center left) and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell visit a monument to fallen defenders of Ukraine in Kyiv, Monday. Borrell and EU foreign ministers have gathered in Kyiv in a display of support for Ukraine's fight against Russia's invasion.

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

What to watch

Ukraine's government is reacting cautiously, so far, to aU.S. stopgap spending measure that leaves out further aid for Ukraine. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday Kyiv is in contact with U.S. Democrats and Republicans in Congress and is confident funding will continue. President Biden is pressing Republicans to back new Ukraine aid legislation separate from the spending stopgap. In a show of support to Ukraine, European Union foreign ministers met for a rare gathering in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Poland's Warsaw Security Forum is on Tuesday and Wednesday.

What happened last week

Evan Gershkovich appeared in public at a Moscow court last Tuesday. The American Wall Street Journal reporter has been detained in Russia for six months. The court rejected his appeal against a decision to extend his pretrial detention.

Ukraine claimed to have killed a commander of the Russian navy's Black Sea Fleet, but the Kremlin and affiliated news outlets later released footage of Adm. Viktor Sokolov saying he is still alive.

NATO's secretary-general made an unannounced visit to Kyiv last Thursday, saying Ukraine has been "gradually gaining ground" in its counteroffensive against Russian forces and calling on alliance members to supply more air defense systems. That followed a visit Wednesday by the British defense secretary, who expressed the United Kingdom's commitment to continue its military support.

Canada's Parliament caused an uproar for honoring a Ukrainian Nazi veteran from World War II, after an address there by visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ninety-eight-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, who fought for the First Ukrainian Division under Nazi command, drew a standing ovation from Canadian lawmakers and a grinning Zelenskyy raised his fist in acknowledgment. Russia pounced on the incident; the Kremlin has long claimed without evidence that Ukraine's government harbors Nazis. Canada's House of Commons speaker resigned last Tuesday for inviting Hunka, whom he had introduced as a Ukrainian and Canadian "hero." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later made a public apology.

Russia popped up again in the second Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday. Candidate Nikki Haley said "a win for Russia is a win for China." And candidate Chris Christie said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "If we give him any of Ukraine, next will be Poland." The Ukraine war was a sticking point in the first Republican primary debate in August. Former President Donald Trump sat out both debates.

U.S. Congress dropped aid for Ukraine in a stopgap spending measure to temporarily fund the federal government until Nov. 17. The government had been headed for a shutdown if Congress could not approve a new spending bill. On Saturday, the House approved a bill that left out about $6 billion for Ukraine that had approval in the Senate.

A party led by a pro-Russian figure won the most votes in Slovakia's parliamentary elections, which could shift policies in a country that's a member of NATO and the European Union. It could also bring back to office former Prime Minister Robert Fico, who wants to cut military support to Ukraine and instead seek a deal for Russia and Ukraine to end the war.

September saw the highest number of Russia's Shahed drone attacks in Ukraine in a single month, Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said. He said Russia used more than 500 drones against Ukraine in September, passing a previous high of 413 in May.


NPR interviews Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Poland's dangerous eastern border takes center stage in upcoming elections

Anger grows over Ukraine's largest Orthodox church, aligned with Moscow despite war

Slovakia's elections could have big implications for Europe and war in Ukraine

The unclear fate of a top Russian commander

Russian appeals court upholds opposition leader Alexei Navalny's 19-year prison term

Zelenskyy's U.S. visit comes as Republican opposition to Ukraine aid grows

As Ukraine's war drags on and a D.C. shutdown looms, Zelenskyy makes his case for aid

On the State of Ukraine podcast: What are the impacts of Ukrainian attacks on the Russian navy? Will Ukraine lose an ally in a consequential election in Slovakia? And the impact of cluster munitions on civilian deaths

On Here & Now: Six months since Russia detained Evan Gershkovich; rising price of oil could help Russia; and Russian media broadcasts Tucker Carlson on Ukraine

On IA: A U.N. report details systemic human rights abuses in Ukraine

Special report

Russia's war in Ukraine is changing the world: See our 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.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


International Desk