Monday, April 18, 2022

Russia and Ukraine Build Forces for Looming Battles in East; US provides about $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine. Here's what's been provided; Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol defy surrender-or-die demand; Zelensky warns the world to ‘prepare’ for Putin to unleash a nuclear attack, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images
Russia and Ukraine Build Forces for Looming Battles in East
Russia’s expanding military deployments in and around eastern Ukraine in recent days are setting the stage for a new phase of Moscow’s offensive—one that is likely to be very different from the kind of fighting that has characterized the past two months.
This time, the two countries’ militaries will be operating on open terrain well-suited for massed forces and armored thrusts. Russian forces will also be fighting in closer proximity to their bases in western Russia, giving them shorter supply lines, and on territory their commanders know better.
In the initial weeks of the war, Ukraine managed to thwart a Russian push toward Kyiv and in other parts of the country’s north by using small units armed with antitank weapons to ambush unprepared Russian columns. The battles to come are likely to be more conventional fights.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this past week that Russian forces “are changing their strategy. They are strengthening their forces to push even harder” in the east.
“You could almost say it’s a whole new war now,” said retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, who predicts “a classic steel-on-steel, heavy firepower offensive” fight.
Western officials and military experts say that a major Russian goal is to try to cut off some of Ukraine’s best forces, which are positioned opposite the Russian-occupied areas of the Donbas region in southeastern Ukraine. --->READ MORE HERE
US provides about $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine. Here's what's been provided:
More than 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems. About 5,500 Javelin missiles. More than 7,000 small arms. And 50 million rounds of ammunition.
Vowing to "stand with Ukraine," President Joe Biden and his administration have committed nearly $2.6 billion in U.S. military aid to Ukraine since Russia's invasion Feb. 24, supplying a range of weapons for Ukraine's defense against Russian aggression.
The latest round, $800 million, was authorized Wednesday.. Since August, nearly $2.8B has been specifically allocated for military assistance but that the White House said the total amount of aid is closer to $3.2B. That would include money from a $13.6 budget bill Biden signed in March that contained money to arm Ukrainians.
There's also been indirect assistance to allies such as a Patriot missile system the United States repositioned to Slovakia after its government agreed to supply an S-300 air defense system to Ukraine.
"We won’t be able to advertise every piece of security we give because our allies and partners are supplying to Ukraine through us," Biden said last week, "but advanced weapons and ammunition are flowing in every single day." --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol defy surrender-or-die demand+++++

+++++Zelensky warns the world to ‘prepare’ for Putin to unleash a nuclear attack+++++

Ukrainian Forces in Mariupol Rebuff Russian Ultimatum to Surrender

Ukrainian prime minister says forces in Mariupol have not surrendered -ABC

Zelensky calls on Biden to visit Ukraine: ‘Come here to see’

After More Than a Month of Fighting, Much of Mariupol Lies in Ruins

EU Countries Begin to Ban Russian Ships From National Ports

‘This land is in blood’: A Ukraine village digs up the dead

Ukraine's deputy PM says Ukraine, Russia fail to agree on evacuation convoys

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