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What happened today (June 17): NPR

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Smoke rises from a burning house in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Friday.

Alexei Alexandrov / AP


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Alexei Alexandrov / AP


Smoke rises from a burning house in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Friday.

Alexei Alexandrov / AP

As Friday closes in Kiev and Moscow, here are the highlights of the day:

Ukraine’s attempt to join the European Union came one step closer as the EU executive arm recommended granting Ukraine official candidate status. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, posted on Twitter“Ukraine has clearly shown its commitment to meeting European values ​​and standards.” EU leaders will receive the recommendation later this month, but membership in the bloc could take years to formalize.

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a harsh critique of the United States, saying the US was to blame for a crisis in global relations, food security, inflation and trade. In his speech at the annual Russia Economic Forum, Putin introduced his country as part of a new global order, ready to challenge an America that has seized on its past status as the only superpower in the world. He also said there was no objection to Ukraine’s bid for EU membership because it is not a military organization.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and offered “major” military exercises and ongoing assistance. This was Johnson’s second visit to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country.

Ukraine won this year the Eurovision song contest, but will not be hosting the competition next year due to the war. The European Broadcasting Union, which hosts Eurovision, proclaimed “with deep regret” that organizing next year’s competition in Ukraine is not a viable option. Britain, this year’s runner-up, is now the potential host of 2023. Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said on Twitter that his country did not agree with the EBU decision and posted a statement saying: “We demand additional negotiations for the organization of Eurovision 2023 in Ukraine.”

In depth

US Ambassador to Ukraine: “It will be a long, fierce and fierce war.”

From Kigoma to Kiev, refugees everywhere deserve quality health care.

What motivates foreigners who have gone to Ukraine to fight against Russia.

Special report

Russia’s war in Ukraine is changing the world: See its rippling effects on all sides of the globe.

Previous developments

You can read more daily reviews here. For more in-depth context and stories, you can find out more about NPR coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR State of Ukraine podcast for day-to-day updates.

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