US President Joe Biden has pledged more advanced missile systems and ammunition to Ukraine that would “enable them to more accurately target key targets on the battlefield,” Biden wrote in a DailyExpertNews op-ed.
Here are the latest developments on the Russian war in Ukraine:
New US missile systems: Following Biden’s opinion, senior US government officials have confirmed that the US will send US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, to Ukraine as part of the country’s 11th package of security assistance. The officials said the HIMARS will be equipped with ammunition that will allow Ukraine to launch missiles over 80 kilometers (49 miles). That is far less than the maximum range of the systems, but far greater than anything Ukraine has sent so far.
Russians control “most of Severodonetsk”: Serhiy Hayday, the head of Luhansk’s regional military administration, said Russian forces now control most of the city of Severodonetsk, but he has rejected suggestions that Ukrainian forces in the area will be surrounded. If Russian forces take control of Severodonetsk, the neighboring city of Lysychansk will be the only urban area of any size in Luhansk to remain under Ukrainian control. Hayday previously said a A Russian airstrike in Severodonetsk had hit a tank of nitric acid at a chemical plant and warned people in the city to stay in shelters.
Ukrainian progress: Ukrainian forces have made progress in the Kherson and Kharkov regions and are holding back Russian troops in Zaporizhzhya, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday. “Our defenders show extreme courage, despite the fact that Russia has a significant advantage in armed forces and weapons,” Zelensky said.
NATO chief visit: Jens Stoltenberg will travel to Washington, DC on Tuesday for a working visit, the alliance said in a statement. Stoltenberg will be in the US capital until Friday and is expected to meet with top US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
US welcomes Ukrainian refugees: According to the Ministry of Homeland Security, more than 23,000 Ukrainians have been allowed to come to the US as part of the Biden administration’s streamlined process for Ukrainian refugees seeking to enter the country. Biden’s government has pledged to host up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
“playing hunger games with the world”: Ukraine is working on a “UN-led naval operation” with partner country navies to ensure a safe trade route for the export of its agricultural products, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. Zelensky previously said 22 million tons of grain, accounting for nearly half of Ukraine’s grain exports, are being held up by Russia’s blockade of major export routes.
Moscow cuts more gas supplies: Danish energy company Ørsted has confirmed that Russian state energy giant Gazprom will stop gas deliveries from June 1 after Ørsted refused to pay for gas in rubles. Finland, Poland and Bulgaria have already been cut off from Russian gas supplies for the same reasons.