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

What to watch

China's defense minister, Gen. Li Shangfu, is visiting Russia this week and hailing the countries' military cooperation.

Russian activist Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced in Moscow to 25 years in prison for his criticism of Russia's war in Ukraine on Monday. Washington and London are demanding his release, as his legal team prepares to appeal the decision.

Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter jailed in Russia, is expected to appear in court Tuesday.

Family and followers of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are awaiting updates on his condition after his associates sounded the alarm last week about his health.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is on a Latin America tour, visiting Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. Next week, he goes to New York to chair debates at the U.N. Security Council, where Russia holds the rotating presidency.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin is in Washington this week, discussing aid oversight and war crimes investigations.

The European Union is expected to discuss recent unilateral actions by Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to ban grain imports from Ukraine.

What happened last week

The U.S. deemed Evan Gershkovich was "wrongfully detained" in Russia, a formal determination that means the State Department will form a team to work to secure the Wall Street Journal reporter's release. Gershkovich's family also spoke out in a video interview.

Russia toughened up its military draft rules, banning conscripts from leaving the country and increasing penalties for draftees who fail to report for service.

The battle for Bakhmut heated up again, as Russian troops and Wagner Group mercenaries ramped up their assault on the eastern Ukrainian town, according to British Defense Ministry intelligence. It said Ukraine's defenses held in the town's western districts but Ukrainian troops made orderly withdrawals from some positions they conceded. Russia also bombed the eastern Ukrainian town of Sloviansk, hitting a residential area and killing over a dozen civilians. And in the Russian border city of Belgorod, a thermal power plant caught fire in an apparent drone attack.

Ukraine celebrated Orthodox Easter for the second time since Russia launched its large-scale invasion last year. On this occasion, Ukrainians also celebrated a "big Easter POW swap," a presidential adviser said, noting 130 Ukrainian soldiers were released.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited China, issuing a joint statement with Chinese leader Xi Jinping saying they seek a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine. Lula sent his foreign adviser to Russia earlier this month to speak with Putin about the potential for talks. Now Russia's foreign minister will visit Brasília.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visited Washington, meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and others. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke via video link to a conference of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Earlier, a bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

A graphic video purportedly showing the decapitation of Ukrainian soldiers circulated on social media, drawing strong condemnation from Ukrainian leaders and the United Nations human rights mission in Ukraine.

Hungary, Poland and Slovakia banned grain imports from Ukraine, citing the need to protect their farms from an influx of supply that lowers prices.

Brittney Griner is working on a memoir about her prison time in Russia. Since the basketball player's release from a Russian penal colony and return home in December, she has also signed to play the next season with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.


Putin signs a tough new military draft law, banning conscripts from fleeing Russia.

How the war in Ukraine has forever changed the children in one kindergarten class.

The religious battle at a Kyiv monastery.

Russia's foreign minister visits Brazil on a swing through Latin America.

War separates two best friends from Ukraine.

On The NPR Politics Podcast: Leaked docs reveal Ukraine's vulnerabilities, and U.S. intel on allies.

How will the Ukraine document investigation work? A former DOJ "leak czar" explains.

Ukraine military says U.S. leak shows it needs more ammunition.

In New York, a nonprofit helps Ukrainian refugees make a home.

Landmines in Ukraine crop fields put farmers' lives at risk.

Hostage envoy says the U.S. can bring home two Americans detained in Russia.

The EU wants to sanction diamonds from Russia.

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.

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