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Senate confirms new ambassador to Ukraine; Russia displaying scaled-down ambition, U.S. says

Aerial footage released on May 17 showed people being carried on stretchers through the streets of Mariupol. (Video: Reuters)

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The Senate on Wednesday night confirmed Bridget A. Brink as the next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, less than a month after President Biden nominated Brink, currently America’s top diplomat in Slovakia, to the post. She is the first U.S. ambassador in Ukraine since 2019, and her confirmation comes as the State Department reopened its embassy in Kyiv.

As the war nears the end of its 12th week, Russian forces have made an adjustment that demonstrates diminished ambitions, the Pentagon said Wednesday: Moscow’s troops are now attacking in smaller groups with scaled-back objectives, a response to organizational problems and Ukrainian military resistance.

Here’s what else to know

  • A Russian soldier pleaded guilty Wednesday during the first trial on war crimes charges in the conflict, Ukraine’s public broadcaster reported. Ukraine has brought war-crime charges against two more Russian troops, the general prosecutor’s office said, and their trial is set to begin Thursday.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv reopened Wednesday for the first time since Russia invaded. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said additional safety measures are in place to protect returning staff.
  • With peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv stalled, one of Ukraine’s top negotiators said Wednesday that negotiations with his Russian counterparts are “impossible.”
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.
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Here's what to know:

A Russian soldier pleaded guilty Wednesday during the first trial on war crimes charges in the conflict, Ukraine’s public broadcaster reported. Ukraine has brought war-crime charges against two more Russian troops, the general prosecutor’s office said, and their trial is set to begin Thursday.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv reopened Wednesday for the first time since Russia invaded. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said additional safety measures are in place to protect returning staff.
With peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv stalled, one of Ukraine’s top negotiators said Wednesday that negotiations with his Russian counterparts are “impossible.”
The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.

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War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.

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