Friday, April 22, 2022

Russia Says It Controls Mariupol, but Ukrainian Troops Hold Out in Steel Plant; Biden Boosts UKR Aid, says US will ‘speak softly and carry a large Javelin’; US Begins Training Ukrainians on Howitzers; UKR Found a Surprising Way to Increase Its Jet Count by 20, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Russia Says It Controls Mariupol, but Ukrainian Troops Hold Out in Steel Plant:
Russia said Thursday it had taken control of Mariupol, presenting it as one of its first victories in the conflict after weeks of setbacks, though Ukrainian forces were still blockaded inside a vast steel plant in the city and said they were continuing to launch attacks on Russian positions.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a meeting at the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin that Russian troops were in control of the strategic port city and that the Azovstal plant in the south where Ukrainian forces were holed up had been blocked off.
A spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that almost all of Mariupol was under Russian control, but a fight for the plant continued.
As Washington and its allies race to resupply outgunned Ukrainian troops, President Biden said Thursday that the U.S. would send a further $800 million in military assistance, including heavy artillery, and $500 million in economic aid to Kyiv.
“This package contains very powerful defense tools for our military. In particular, it is artillery, shells, drones. This is what we expected,’’ Mr. Zelensky said in his nightly video address, adding that more weapons are needed.
Mr. Biden also said that the U.S. would ban Russian-affiliated ships from its ports and launch a new refugee-sponsorship program to take in as many as 100,000 Ukrainians who fled their country after Russia’s invasion.
Russia has tightened its grip on Mariupol since the first weeks of the invasion, pushing out pockets of resistance in residential areas. In recent weeks, it has focused on the remaining Ukrainian troops still fighting from the steel plant. There were conflicting reports around how many Ukrainian troops remained at the plant, with Russia saying some 2,000 were there. --->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo
Biden boosts Ukraine aid, says US will ‘speak softly and carry a large Javelin’:
President Biden said Thursday the US is sending another $800 million in military aid to Ukraine, vowing that Washington would “speak softly and carry a large Javelin” — modifying Teddy Roosevelt’s famous slogan to refer to the anti-tank weapons used to devastating effect by Kyiv’s forces.
The Pentagon confirmed the package would include 72 155-millimeter Howitzers, 72 vehicles to tow the Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds. More than 121 tactical drones will also be sent to Ukraine, along with field equipment and spare parts.
Biden said the latest round of aid would assist the Ukrainian military as it fights off a fresh Russian offensive in the east of the country and would include “artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers.”
“We won’t always be able to advertise everything we — that our partners are doing to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom, but to modernize Teddy Roosevelt’s famous advice: Sometimes we will speak softly and carry a large Javelin because we’re sending a lot of those in as well,” the president said.
Moments before his remarks, Biden met privately with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the White House to discuss US assistance to defend the eastern regions of Ukraine after Russian troops pulled back from areas around Kyiv in the north. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

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

+++++US begins training Ukrainians on howitzers+++++

+++++Ukraine found a surprising way to increase its jet count by 20, Pentagon says+++++

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