Ukraine has so far challenged a Russian ultimatum to surrender Sievierodonetsk, with Moscow in control of 80 percent of the city, the focal point of Russia’s advances in the east. Russia has demanded that Ukrainian forces stop its “senseless resistance and lay down arms” since Wednesday morning and has accused Kyiv of disrupting plans to open a humanitarian corridor so that civilians can flee.
Thousands of civilians, including women, children and the elderly, are trapped in Sievierodonetsk with a dwindling supply of food, clean water, sanitation and electricity. An emergency situation is developing in the bunkers under the Azot chemical plant in the city, a UN spokesman said. Some 500 civilians believed to be trapped alongside soldiers inside Azot were preparing to flee the city by a possible humanitarian corridor.
The United States will provide an additional $ 1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine for its fight in the eastern Donbas, Joe Biden has confirmed. The support package included 18 additional shells with tactical vehicles to tow them, 36,000 155mm ammunition cartridges for the shells and two Harpoon coastal defense systems, the defense department said.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged the EU to tighten sanctions on Russia and warned that Moscow’s forces could attack other countries. In a speech to the Czech parliament, the president of Ukraine said that the invasion of Moscow “is the first step that the Russian leadership needs to open the way to other countries, to the conquest of other peoples.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the Allies will continue to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons and long-range systems, with an agreement on a new package of assistance to Kyiv scheduled for the Madrid summit in late this month. The agreement would help Ukraine move from old Soviet-era weapons to “more modern NATO standard equipment,” he said. Stoltenberg was speaking before a meeting in Brussels of NATO and other defense ministers to discuss and coordinate aid for Ukraine.
At the meeting in Brussels, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that Ukraine was facing a “crucial moment on the battlefield” in Sievierodonetsk, with Russian forces using long-range weapons to try to overwhelm the Ukrainian positions. Austin urged the United States and its allies not to “lose strength” and “intensify our shared commitment to self-defense of Ukraine.”
Xi Jinping has assured Vladimir Putin of China’s support for Russian “sovereignty and security,” prompting Washington to warn Beijing that it risks ending up “on the wrong side of history.” China is “ready to continue to offer mutual support [to Russia] on issues related to fundamental interests and major concerns such as sovereignty and security, “state-run CCTV told Xi during a call with Putin. A spokesman for the US State Department responded:” China he claims to be neutral, but his behavior makes it clear that he is still investing in close ties with Russia. “
Turkey has said it is ready to host a meeting with the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine to organize grain exports across the Black Sea, saying safe routes could be formed without the need to clean up mines in Ukrainian ports. Ankara Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said it would “take a while” to clear Ukrainian ports. “Because the location of the mines is known, certain safe lines would be established in three ports,” he said. “The ships, with the guidance of the Ukrainian search and rescue ships as provided in the plan, could come and go safely in the ports without the need to clean the mines.”
Polish Agriculture Minister Henryk Kowalczyk said the construction of grain silos on the Polish-Ukrainian border to channel crops to global markets would take three to four months. Kowalczyk’s remarks came after Joe Biden proposed building temporary silos along the border with Ukraine to help export more grain and tackle a global food crisis.
Two U.S. veterans from Alabama who have been fighting alongside Ukraine for days have not been heard from, members of the state congressional delegation said. John Kirby, a White House spokesman for national security, said: “We will do everything we can to control it and see what we can learn about it.”
Europe’s unity for war in Ukraine is in jeopardy as public attention shifts from the battlefield to the cost of living concerns, according to polls in 10 European countries. The poll found that support for Ukraine remained high, but concerns have shifted to the wider impacts of the conflict, with the difference between voters who want a quick end to the conflict and those who want to punish Russia.