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Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive aimed at disrupting Russian supply lines. As of this morning, Russian troops were pushed back to the northeast city of Kharkhiv. They destroyed a pontoon bridge and some Russian vehicles on the Siversky Donets river a few days earlier.
‘Economic discontent’ led to protests in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Annual inflation there reached 58% in April.
Europe and Central Asia
The UK levied new financial sanctions against Putin’s alleged mistress and his ex-wife. Times are also tough for Sovcomflot, Russia’s state-owned shipping behemoth. It was forced to sell roughly one third of its fleet to meet a May 15th deadline for loan repayment to EU and British banks.
Berlin was quite happy about the prospects of NATO expansion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wasn’t. He came around, but with conditions about alleged ‘terrorist activity’ in Sweden. He was referring to longtime thorn in his side, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he’s confident ‘common ground’ and ‘consensus’ are nevertheless attainable. Separately, Erdoğan offered to evacuate fighters from Mariupol by sea.
The Middle East and Africa
Preliminary results from the parliamentary election in Lebanon showed Iran-backed Hezbollah losing seats. The ‘Saudi-aligned’ Lebanese Forces party says it gained seats. An opposition candidate, Elias Jradi, gained a key seat in the South. While voters expressed a desire for change, Lebanon is still months away from a new prime minister and crucial economic reforms.
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The DSR Network Team (Chris Cotnoir, Grant Haver, and Katherine Hill)