U.S. may send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine; Russia captures more villages in Donbas. Follow our live updates
u.s. may send long range rocket systems to ukraine; russia captures

U.S. may send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine; Russia captures more villages in Donbas. Follow our live updates


Russian forces capture several villages in the Donbas

Russian forces have captured several villages in the Donbas north-west of Popasna, as they make gradual progress in their efforts to surround Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense wrote in its daily intelligence update on Twitter.

“Russia is pressuring the Severodonetsk pocket although Ukraine retains control of multiple defended sectors, denying Russia full control of the Donbas,” it wrote.

The invading forces have also likely brought 50-year-old T-62 tanks out of storage, the U.K. ministry wrote, in order to support troops in the south tasked with occupying parts of southern Ukraine.

“The T-62s will almost certainly be particularly vulnerable to anti-tank weapons and their presence on the battlefield highlights Russia’s shortage of modern, combat-ready equipment,” the post said.

— Natasha Turak

Officials say the U.S. is preparing to approve sending long-range rocket systems to Ukraine

A Multiple Launch Rocket System shoots during an artillery live fire event on March 4, 2020. The U.S. is preparing to enhance military aid to Ukraine by sending advanced, long-range rocket systems that are now the top request from Ukrainian officials, CNN cited multiple officials.

Christof Stache | Afp | Getty Images

The U.S. is preparing to enhance military aid to Ukraine by sending advanced, long-range rocket systems, according to CNN, which cited multiple officials.

The Biden administration is considering sending the systems as part of a larger package of military and security assistance to Ukraine, which could be announced as soon as next week, CNN reported.

Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have requested for the U.S. and its allies to provide them with the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.

Those systems can fire numerous rockets from an extensive distance away — much further than any of the systems Ukraine already has, CNN reported. Ukraine argues it could be a gamechanger in its war against Russia, according to the report.

The Biden administration has been hesitant to send the systems over the National Security Council’s concerns that Ukraine may use the systems to carry out offensive attacks on Russia, said CNN, citing officials.

The officials also added the administration is concerned that sending heavy weaponry to Ukraine might be viewed by Russia as a provocation that could prompt retaliation against the U.S., CNN reported.

— Chelsea Ong

U.S. defense official says Russia is making ‘incremental progress’ in Donbas

A Ukranian serviceman looks into a crater and a destroyed home in the village of Yatskivka, eastern Ukraine on April 16, 2022. Russia is making “incremental progress” in Donbas after little progress was made through its earlier two tactics, a senior U.S. defense official said in a briefing.

Ronaldo Schemidt | Afp | Getty Images

Russia is making “incremental progress” in Donbas after little progress was made through its earlier two tactics, a senior U.S. defense official said at a briefing.

“We assess that Russia has made some incremental gains in its push towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk; not a lot but, but some incremental gains,” he said, referring to two cities in the northern portion of Donetsk Oblast.

The Donbas refers to two eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk — two Russian-backed “People’s Republics”. Russian officials have said their new main objective is the “complete liberation” of the t of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Russia is trying to encircle the Donbas region by pinching off the far-eastern regions of Ukraine, the defense official said. However, no new advances by Russian troops were made in the Donetsk region, the official added.

— Chelsea Ong

White House expects Russia to default on its debt, sees limited effect on global economy

People line up near Euro and U.S. dollars rates to ruble sign board at the entrance to the exchange office on May 25, 2022 in Moscow, Russia. Russia moved closer to a default on Wednesday after the U.S. Treasury let a key sanctions exemption expire.

Konstantin Zavrazhin | Getty Images

The Biden administration expects Russia to default on its sovereign debt, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Moscow “will likely fail to meet its obligation and face default, an enduring sign of their status as a pariah in the global financial system,” she said. Jean-Pierre added that the White House expects “minimal” effect on the global economy because Russia has “already been isolated financially” by a wave of sanctions.

When the U.S. sanctioned the Russian central bank earlier this year, it allowed an exception for Russia to pay its bondholders through U.S. banks. The Treasury Department lifted the carveout this week, raising the prospect of a default.

— Jacob Pramuk

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