Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Kyiv rocked by missiles as U.N. chief visits; Russia makes slow progress in east

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Five Russian missiles hit Kyiv as United Nations Secretary General António Guterres wrapped up his Thursday visit to the Ukrainian capital, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. The strike was an apparent show of force by the Kremlin toward the U.N. chief, who met with Zelensky and called the war “an absurdity in the 21st century.” Some normalcy had otherwise returned to Kyiv, where fighting has died down after Russian forces withdrew from its suburbs about a month ago.

Senior U.S. officials are laying the groundwork for a different global security order and a potential protracted conflict in Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told U.S. lawmakers the world had changed dramatically since the Feb. 24 invasion and declared Washington’s support for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership. President Biden the same day asked Congress for another $33 billion to assist Ukraine. American officials have said they want not only to help Ukraine survive but to weaken Russia.

Russian forces in eastern Ukraine are moving forward at a pace of just several kilometers a day and remain hampered by logistical challenges, the Pentagon said. Russian shelling continued in other parts of Donbas, which includes the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, where fighting has been “particularly fierce” around the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, according to Britain. Moscow has also shifted a significant number of troops from Mariupol to other combat zones, according to the Pentagon, though some Ukrainian forces are still holding out in the Black Sea port city despite weeks of bombardment.

Here’s what else to know

  • The United States has assessed that Russian intelligence was behind an attack this month on a Nobel Prize winner and prominent Russian editor who criticized the invasion.
  • Congress passed legislation that refreshes a World War II-era military lend-lease program. The bill, which President Biden must sign to become law, would make it easier to send military equipment to Ukraine.
  • Ukraine is boosting its defenses along the border with Transnistria, a pro-Russian breakaway region of Moldova, after recent unexplained explosions there.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.
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