What Happened Today (May 4): NPR

The PCK oil refinery, which is mostly owned by Russian energy company Rosneft and processes oil coming from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline, is in Schwedt, Germany.

Hannibal Hanschke / Getty Images


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Hannibal Hanschke / Getty Images


The PCK oil refinery, which is mostly owned by Russian energy company Rosneft and processes oil coming from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline, is in Schwedt, Germany.

Hannibal Hanschke / Getty Images

As Wednesday draws to a close in Kiev and Moscow, here are the key developments from the day:

The European Union has proposed to cut itself off from Russian oil. The ban would hit a pillar of the Russian economy by phasing out imports of Russian crude oil to Europe within six months, and refined oil by the end of the year. Russia is the EU’s largest oil supplier and Germany warned the move could lead to a rise in oil prices. Hungary and Slovakia want exemptions from the oil ban, and the Czech Republic has pushed for a longer phase-in. The European Commission has also decided to unlink Russia’s largest bank from the international SWIFT system.

The fighting continues at the Azovstal factory, the last guard post of Ukrainian troops in the strategic coastal town of Mariupol. The Russian army has claimed to have taken the city, but Ukrainian troops and civilians remain in the massive bunkers and tunnels beneath the steel mill. Rescuers are working to evacuate more people from the facility. Dozens who recently escaped the weeks-long siege describe the situation inside.

Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure target the flow of weapons and other supplies. The Russian army claimed its missiles had knocked out six Ukrainian train stations used to ship Western weapons to Ukrainian troops in the east of the country. The Kremlin has long complained about the West supplying weapons to Ukraine, citing that as one of its justifications for launching what it still calls a “special operation” to demilitarize Ukraine.

The Pentagon said Russian attacks on railways and electricity infrastructure have had “no appreciable impact” on the ability of the US and its allies to deliver aid. Russia fires about 40 to 50 missiles a day at Ukraine, according to a senior US defense official. The attacks target the frontline Donbas region to the east and near Mariupol, with some also targeting major hubs such as Lviv to the west and the capital Kiev.

in-depth

Ukrainian doctors describe giving birth to babies as Russia shells the hospital.

How cooking oil prices affect the global economy: NPR’s Planet Money delves into the impact of the war on sunflower and palm oil exports.

Residents of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine are struggling with the city running out of food and gas. Listen to their stories.

As the White House tries to ramp up aid to Ukraine, a retired colonel weighs the rise of Javelin missiles.

previous developments

You can read more daily summaries here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find NPR’s full coverage here. Also listen and subscribe to NPRs State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

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