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War in Ukraine Updates

US provides Ukraine real-time battlefield intelligence, Russia attacks allied weapon shipments, and the fighting for Mariupol's steel plant continues.
War in Ukraine Updates

The US provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, reports The New York Times.

According to The Times, the targeting help, which contributed to the eventual sinking of the flagship, the Moskva, is part of a continuing classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes sharing anticipated Russian troop movements, gleaned from a recent American assessment of Moscow’s battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Intelligence Helped Ukraine Strike Russian Flagship, Officials Say (The New York Times)

Excerpt from The New York Times: The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir Putin of Russia into a wider war. But in recent weeks, the United States has sped heavier weapons to Ukraine and requested an extraordinary $33 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid from Congress, demonstrating how quickly American restraints on support for Ukraine are shifting.
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Meanwhile, Russia is making good on promises to attack U.S. and allied weapons shipment points and fuel depots in Ukraine, launching rockets at five railway facilities used to funnel critical supplies into the country on Monday, writes Politico.

The attacks across western and central Ukraine targeting supply lines and infrastructure come as billions worth of heavy artillery systems, tanks and armored vehicles begin arriving to help Ukraine face off against what is expected to be a full-scale Russian assault in Donbas.

Russia targeting Western weapons shipments in Ukraine as Donbas assault begins (Politico)

Excerpt from Politico: On Monday, the U.S. secretaries of State and Defense huddled with top Ukrainian officials in Kyiv, where they pledged hundreds of millions more in military aid for the coming fight. "We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters in Poland Monday. "It had already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly, and we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability."
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And according to PBS News Hour, heavy fighting raged Thursday at the shattered steel plant in Mariupol as Russian forces attempted to finish off the city’s last-ditch defenders and complete the capture of the strategically vital port.

The bloody battle came amid growing suspicions that President Vladimir Putin wants to present the Russian people with a major battlefield success in time for the Russian holiday "Victory Day" on Monday.

Ukraine repels some attacks as battle in Mariupol steel mill rages on (PBS News Hour)

Excerpt from PBS News Hour: Ten weeks into the devastating war, Ukraine’s military claimed it recaptured some areas in the south and repelled other attacks in the east, further frustrating Putin’s ambitions after his abortive attempt to seize Kyiv. Ukrainian and Russian forces are fighting village by village, as Moscow struggles to gain momentum in the Donbas, the eastern industrial heartland that the Kremlin says is now its chief objective. In the most searing example of how Ukrainian forces have slowed Russia’s progress, Ukrainian fighters were holed up in the tunnels and bunkers under the sprawling Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, the last pocket of resistance in the city.
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