Latest Ukraine-Russia War News: Live Updates
Last week, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia warned that Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine had barely begun. Deadly attacks on three fronts this weekend suggest that — after suffering major setbacks early in its war — Moscow’s appetite for the conflict remains undiminished.
In parts of the northeast it has seized, Russia moved to reinforce its control. In the east, it conducted a series of attacks, while further south it was forced to defend its positions.
In the wake of its failure to seize Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, at the start of the war, Russia has used its superior firepower to gain ground in the eastern Donbas region. The final city in Luhansk Province fell to Russian forces this month, and Russia is believed to be taking time to rotate in fresh troops. But its forces have nonetheless escalated strikes on Donetsk Province. At least five urban centers in Donetsk have come under fire since Saturday. Mr. Putin told Russia’s Parliament last week: “We haven’t started anything yet.”
Rescue workers scrambled on Sunday to pull survivors from the wreckage of a five-story residential block in the eastern village of Chasiv Yar, in Donetsk, that was targeted by Russian missiles. Eighteen people were killed and eight people had been rescued.
But President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said in a speech on Saturday that he hopes that an influx of weapons supplied by the West — including $400 million in military aid announced by the Biden administration on Friday — would help redress its disadvantage and “reduce Russian attack capabilities.”
The Institute for the Study of War, a research group based in Washington, said in a report on Monday that “Russian forces are in the midst of a theater-wide operational pause in Ukraine” as it rotates some troops out and brings in fresh ones before an expected attempt to advance, particularly in Donetsk Province. But, it added, that did not mean a pause in shelling.
Mr. Zelensky, mocked the notion in an overnight speech: “Many talked about the alleged ‘operational pause’ in the actions of the occupiers in Donbas and other parts of Ukraine. Thirty-four airstrikes by Russian aircraft over the past day is an answer to all those who came up with this ‘pause.’”
While the war has shattered civilian lives, it has also reconfigured geopolitics, leaving Russia isolated, giving NATO a fresh sense of purpose and prompting the United States and European nations to issue sanctions.
In an effort to expand the coalition willing to punish Moscow, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken urged China’s foreign minister at the end of a Group of 20 summit in Indonesia to join the United States and its partners in NATO and the West to “stand up” against Russia’s war.
While Ukraine is Europe’s largest country, recent fighting has focused on a crescent-shaped slice of the country’s east running from the second-largest city, Kharkiv, in the northeast, through Donbas to southern cities such as Mariupol and Kherson, both of which are now in Russian hands.
Moscow, which seized Crimea in 2014, already controls about one-fifth of Ukraine, and it aims to annex the fresh territory it has seized since the war began. Its forces launched attacks on the Kharkiv region on Saturday.
Russia last week established a civilian administration in the parts of Kharkiv Province that it now controls, unveiling a flag that the state news agency Tass said “symbolizes historical links of the Kharkiv region with the traditions of the Slobozhanshchina region and Russia.”
In the south, in Kherson Province, Ukrainian forces appear to be intensifying their efforts to strike at Russian ammunition and equipment depots as well as at concentrations of Russian soldiers. A huge explosion in the region on Saturday morning sent up a plume of thick smoke as Ukrainian forces continued to pound Russian positions in the area in expectation of a possible offensive to take back occupied territory, officials said.