Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have escalated in recent months, with the Russian military buildup near the Ukrainian border and in the Crimean Peninsula. In April 2021, Russia announced that it would begin withdrawing its troops from the border, but concerns about the situation remain.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to meet in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, but Putin declined the invitation.
the Ukrainian government signed a $1.5 billion agreement with the United States to purchase weapons and military equipment, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent while traveling in Siberia. Navalny was later flown to Germany for treatment, and a German military laboratory confirmed that he had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. Navalny has accused the Russian government of being behind the poisoning, but the Russian government has denied any involvement.
Ukraine and Russia agreed to a prisoner exchange, which saw the release of 35 prisoners from each side. The exchange was seen as a positive step towards easing tensions between the two countries.