Russia's war on Ukraine latest: Moscow unleashes strings of large air raids on Kyiv
(Reuters) - With a long-promised Ukrainian counteroffensive looming to recapture territory taken by Russia in 15th months of fighting, Moscow launched a series of attacks on Kyiv over the weekend targeting military infrastructure and supplies.
* Russia launched air attacks on Kyiv in the early hours of Monday using drones and cruise missiles. Ukrainian officials said defence forces shot down more than 40 targets.
* Russia unleashed what Ukrainian officials said was the largest drone attack on Kyiv since the start of the war on Sunday, killing one and injuring several people.
* In an indication of the importance of the drone battle, Ukraine has stepped up attacks deep inside Russia, including on its oil infrastructure.
* Ukraine indicated over the weekend its forces were ready to launch a long-promised counteroffensive.
* Russian troops have temporarily eased attacks in and around the besieged eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut to regroup and strengthen their capabilities, Ukraine has said.
* The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on Monday that Russia continues its main efforts to fully occupy the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian forces have repelled 19 enemy attacks in those regions in the previous 24 hours.
* Russia's Wagner private militia started handing over its positions in Bakhmut to regular Russian troops on Thursday, with the group's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin saying his units will leave the territory by June 1.
* Wagner leader Prigozhin said he was convinced that senior Kremlin officials had banned reporting about him on state media, cautioning that such a misleading approach would lead to a backlash from the Russian people within months.
* President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered stronger border security to ensure "fast" Russian military and civilian movement into Ukrainian regions now under Moscow control.
* Reuters could not verify the Russian and Ukrainian battlefield reports.
DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMY
* Western countries left Belarus no choice but to deploy Russian tactical nuclear weapons and had better take heed not to "cross red lines" on key strategic issues, a senior Belarusian official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
* Foreign investors who left Russia after selling their businesses there between March 2022 and March 2023 withdrew about $36 billion from the country, the state RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing analysis of data from the Central Bank.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Stephen Coates and Michael Perry)