Ukrainian forces are suffering heavy losses amid heavy fighting in the country’s east, while Western leaders have vowed to answer the country’s call for more heavy weapons.
Here is the latest on the Russian invasion:
Worsening of the situation in eastern Ukraine: The defense of the Ukrainian army in the eastern Lugansk region is becoming more difficult, the head of the Lugansk military administration said on Wednesday morning. “It is getting more difficult, but our army is holding the enemy from three directions at once,” Serhiy Hayday said via Telegram.
Conflict at the central point: Western military and intelligence officials believe Russia’s war in Ukraine is at a critical stage that could determine the long-term outcome of the conflict, according to multiple sources familiar with US and Western intelligence. Ukraine’s military is burning Soviet-era munitions that fit older systems as the country pleads with the West to send in more heavy weaponry and Russia builds up a significant artillery lead around two strategically important cities in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine suffers “painful” losses: Fierce fighting continues in Severodonetsk and the Kharkiv region, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a video address on Tuesday. In Severodonetsk “losses, unfortunately, are painful,” Zelensky said. “But we have to hold on.” He went on to say that it is vital that the Ukrainian army remains in Donbas.
Russia claims that NATO weapons were destroyed: The Russian Defense Ministry says it destroyed a weapons depot provided by NATO nations in the western Lviv region of Ukraine on Tuesday. “Long-range, high-precision Kalibr missiles near Zolochev, Lvov region, have destroyed a stockpile of ammunition for foreign weapons transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries, including M777 155mm howitzers,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday. Wednesday.
NATO promises more weapons: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the alliance will continue to support Ukraine, providing a military support package that would help the Ukrainian military transition from Soviet-era artillery to more modern weapons. “We are extremely focused on stepping up, providing more support, more advanced weapons…because we support them in their just fight against the brutal Russian invasion,” Stoltenberg said in Brussels ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
Ukrainian children experiencing widespread displacement: Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been forced from their homes, according to Afshan Khan, UNICEF regional director.
Macron predicts negotiations with Russia: “It is the reality of things” that Ukraine and Europe “will have to negotiate” with Russia over the Ukraine war at some point, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday. “The only desirable end to the conflict is a Ukrainian military victory or talks at some point because the fighting has stopped, so at some point we must talk,” he said while visiting French troops in eastern Romania.
Pope Francis keeps attention on Ukraine: The Pontiff called on people not to forget about the war in Ukraine as the conflict continues. “Let’s not get used to living as if war were something far away,” he said.
Russian plan to reopen bombed Mariupol theater: Russia plans to reopen the Mariupol Drama Theater this fall, the place where hundreds of people are believed to have died after a Russian bombardment on March 16, according to an aide to the city’s Ukrainian mayor. “Dances on the bones, a performance in the graveyard,” he said. “There is no such depth of bottom of inhumanity that the occupiers have not struck.”