Ukrainian troops suffer heavy casualties amid fierce fighting in the east of the country, while Western leaders have pledged to heed the country’s call for more heavy weapons.
Here’s the latest on the Russian invasion:
Situation in Eastern Ukraine is deteriorating: The defense of the Ukrainian army in the eastern region of Luhansk is becoming more difficult, the head of the military government of Luhansk said Wednesday morning. “It’s getting harder, but our military is holding the enemy back from three directions at once,” Serhiy Hayday said via Telegram.
Critical point conflict: According to multiple sources familiar with US and other Western intelligence agencies, Western intelligence and military officials believe that the Russian war in Ukraine is at a critical stage that could determine the long-term outcome of the conflict. The Ukrainian military is burning through Soviet-era ammunition that fit into older systems, as the country begs the West to send more heavy weapons and Russia gains a significant artillery advantage around two strategically important cities in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine suffers “painful” losses: Fierce fighting continues in Severodonetsk and the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday. In Severodonetsk, “unfortunately, the losses are painful,” Zelensky said. “But we have to persevere.” He went on to say that it is vital for the Ukrainian military to remain in Donbas.
Russia claims NATO weapons destroyed: Russia’s defense ministry says it destroyed a warehouse of weapons supplied by NATO countries in Ukraine’s western Lviv region on Tuesday. “High-precision long-range Kalibr missiles near Zolochev, Lvov region, have destroyed a warehouse of ammunition for foreign weapons transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries, including 155-mm M777 howitzers,” Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday. .
NATO promises more weapons: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday the alliance will continue to support Ukraine by providing them with a military aid 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 who are widely displaced: According to Afshan Khan, UNICEF regional director, nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been forced to leave their homes.
Macron predicts negotiations with Russia: “The reality of things is” that Ukraine and Europe “will have to negotiate” with Russia over the Ukrainian war at some point, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday. “The only desirable end to the conflict is either a Ukrainian military victory or talks at some point because the fighting has stopped, so at some point we have to talk,” he said during a visit to French troops in eastern Romania.
Pope Francis keeps an eye on Ukraine: The Pope called on people not to forget the war in Ukraine as the conflict continues. “Let’s not get used to living as if war is something far away,” he said.
Russian plan to reopen bombed Mariupol theater: Russia plans to reopen Mariupol’s Drama Theater this fall — the site where hundreds are reported to have died after a Russian bombing on March 16 — according to an adviser to the city’s Ukrainian mayor. “Dancing on the bones, performing in the cemetery,” he said. “There is not such a depth of the bottom of inhumanity that the occupiers have not touched.”