US President Joe Biden has promised Ukraine more advanced rocket systems and munitions that “would allow them to strike key targets on the battlefield more accurately,” Biden wrote in a New York Times op-ed.
Here are the latest developments on Russia’s war in Ukraine:
New American rocket systems: Following Biden’s op-ed, senior US administration officials confirmed that the US would send US-made high-mobility artillery rocket systems, known as of HIMARS, as part of the country’s 11th security assistance program. Officials said the HIMARS will be equipped with ammunition that will allow Ukraine to launch rockets about 80 kilometers (49 miles). This is far less than the maximum range of the systems, but far more than anything Ukraine has sent to date.
The Russians control “most of Severodonetsk”: Serhiy Hayday, head of the Lugansk regional military administration, said Russian troops now control most of the city of Severodonetsk – but he dismissed suggestions that Ukrainian troops in the area would be surrounded. If Russian forces take control of Severodonetsk, the nearby town of Lysychansk will be the only urban area of any size in Luhansk to remain under Ukrainian control. Hayday said earlier a The Russian airstrike in Severodonetsk had hitting a nitric acid tank at a chemical plant and warned townspeople to stay in shelters.
Ukrainian progress: Ukrainian forces have advanced in Kherson and Kharkiv regions and are holding back Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday. “Our defenders are showing extreme bravery, despite the fact that Russia has a substantial advantage in strength and weapons,” Zelensky said.
Visit of the head of NATO: Jens Stoltenberg is traveling to Washington, DCTuesday for a working visit, the alliance said in a report. Stoltenberg will be in the US capital until Friday and is expected to meet with senior US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The United States welcomes Ukrainian refugees: More than 23,000 Ukrainians have been authorized to come to the United States under the Biden administration’s streamlined process for Ukrainian refugees seeking to enter the country, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The Biden administration has pledged to accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Play “hunger games with the world”: Ukraine is working on a “UN-led naval operation” with partner nation navies to ensure a safe trade route for the export of its agricultural products, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. Zelensky had previously said that 22 million tonnes of grain, representing nearly half of Ukraine’s grain exports, were blocked by Russia’s blockade of major export routes.
Moscow cuts more gas supply: Danish energy company Ørsted confirmed that Russian energy giant Gazprom will cut gas supplies from June 1 after Ørsted refused to pay for the gas in roubles. Finland, Poland and Bulgaria have already been cut off from Russian gas supplies for the same reasons.