US sends more rocket launchers to Ukraine – Deltaplex News

(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in neighboring Ukraine began Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus in the north and Russia in the east. Ukrainian troops offered “fierce resistance”, according to US officials.

The Russian military has since launched a large-scale ground offensive in the disputed Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Crimean peninsula annexed to Moscow.

Here’s how the news evolves. All times Eastern:

08 July, 15:27
US announces new $400 million aid package for Ukraine, including more HIMARS

The Biden administration on Friday announced a new $400 million military assistance package for Ukraine, which includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.

Ukraine will now have a total of 12 of these precision rocket launcher systems, which were “particularly important and effective in helping Ukraine deal with the Russian artillery battle in Donbass”, it said. a senior defense official told reporters on Friday.

The rockets have a range of 43 miles. The official said Ukraine struck Russian targets far behind enemy lines, but did not use them to strike inside Russia.

The new aid package also includes 1,000 new “higher precision” artillery pieces. The name of the system has not been shared for security reasons, the official said.

The new aid package is the 15th use of presidential withdrawal authority to donate existing US military stockpiles to Ukraine.

-Luis Martinez of ABC News

July 07, 09:26
Moscow sees nukes only as a deterrent, Russian official says

Russia sees nuclear weapons only as a deterrent, according to Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council.

“Russia sees nuclear weapons only as a deterrent,” Matviyenko said Thursday at a press conference.

The official noted that Russia has “clearly and strictly prescribed exceptional cases where [nuclear weapons] can only be used in response to – God forbid that never happens – a nuclear attack.

“We behave like a civilized country, and we do it openly,” Matviyenko added.

– ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yulia Drozd, Max Uzol and Fidel Pavlenko

July 07, 08:16
Russia claims no new ground for first time since invasion began

Russia claimed no territorial gains in Ukraine on Wednesday for the first time since its invasion began in late February, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest report.

The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed territorial gains every day since the start of the war, but has not done so since completing the encirclement of the eastern city of Lysychansk on July 3, the ISW said. .

The Washington-based think tank said the lull in Russian ground force movements supports its assessment that Russian forces “have largely entered an operational pause”.

However, the suspension of operations does not equate to a full ceasefire, as Russian troops have still carried out a number of unsuccessful attacks on all frontlines, the experts added.

Russian troops are instead trying to set the conditions for a larger offensive as they rebuild their combat power, according to the ISW report.

Russia has already increased its Black Sea fleet off the coast of Ukraine, local media reported on Wednesday. The Russian naval presence has increased by several missile carriers, as well as submarines and an amphibious assault ship.

Ukrainian officials on Wednesday refuted Russian claims that Russian troops destroyed two US-supplied HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy added that Western-supplied artillery “started to work very powerfully” and at full capacity.

“Finally, there is a feeling that the Western artillery, the weapons that we received from our partners, have started to work very powerfully,” Zelenskyy said in his Wednesday evening speech. “His accuracy is exactly what we need,” the president added.

Zelenskyy said Western weapons carried out strikes on depots and areas of logistical importance for Russian troops. “And this significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army,” Zelenskyy noted, adding that Russian casualties “will only increase every week, as will the difficulty of supply.” [Russian troops].”

Ukrainian forces celebrated another symbolic victory on Thursday by raising their national flag on Snake Island, a recaptured Black Sea island 90 miles south of the Ukrainian port of Odessa that has become a symbol of defiance against Moscow, according to reports. local information.

Footage released by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry on Thursday showed three Ukrainian soldiers hoisting the blue and yellow national flag on a field on Snake Island next to the remains of a flattened building.

But Russia responded quickly to the flag-raising ceremony. He said one of his fighter jets hit Snake Island shortly afterwards and destroyed part of the Ukrainian detachment there.

Russia abandoned Snake Island in late June in what it said was a goodwill gesture, sparking Ukrainian hopes of unblocking local ports closed by Russia.

– ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yulia Drozd, Max Uzol and Fidel Pavlenko

Jul 06, 10:02
Blinken urges G20 to pressure Russia for grain deliveries

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to call on G20 countries to pressure Russia to support the UN initiative to unblock Ukraine’s sea lanes and allow grain exports, according to local media.

“G20 countries should hold Russia accountable and insist that it supports ongoing UN efforts to reopen sea lanes for grain delivery,” said Ramin Toloui, assistant secretary of state for economic affairs. and commercial.

Toloui referred to a UN campaign aimed at accelerating Ukrainian and Russian crop and fertilizer exports to world markets.

About 22 million tonnes of grain remain stuck in Ukrainian ports due to the threat of Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday.

Ukraine is in active negotiations with Turkey and the UN to resolve the grain export impasse, Zelenskyy added.

Blinken is also expected to once again warn China against supporting Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

“[The upcoming G20 summit] will be another opportunity… to share our expectations of what we expect China to do and not do in the context of Ukraine,” said the top US diplomat for East Asia. East, Daniel Kristenbrink.

– ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yuriy Zaliznyak, Max Uzol and Nataliia Kushnir

Jul 06, 08:42
Russia aims to seize territory far beyond Donbass, Putin ally suggests

Russia’s main goal in its invasion of Ukraine remains regime change in Kyiv and the dismantling of Ukrainian sovereignty, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev suggested in a speech on Tuesday.

Patrushev said that the Russian “military operation” in Ukraine will continue until Russia achieves its goals of protecting civilians from “genocide”, “denazification” and demilitarization of Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Russian official added that Ukraine must remain permanently neutral between Russia and NATO. Petrushev’s remarks almost mirrored the goals announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the start of the war to justify the military invasion.

Patrushev, a close ally of Putin, repeated the Russian president’s stated ambitions despite Russia’s military setbacks in Ukraine and previous hints of a reduction in war aims in the wake of those defeats, the ISW pointed out.

Patrushev’s explicit restatement of Putin’s original goals “strongly indicates” that Russia does not view its recent territorial gains in the Lugansk region as sufficient, SIE experts said.

Russia “has significant territorial aspirations beyond Donbass” and “is preparing for a protracted war with the intention of taking much larger portions of Ukraine,” the observers added.

Patrushev’s comments dampened hopes for a “compromise ceasefire or even a peace based on limited additional Russian territorial gains”, the experts concluded.

– ABC News’ Edward Szekeres, Yuriy Zaliznyak, Max Uzol and Nataliia Kushnir

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