Russia takes majority control of key Ukrainian city; Moscow calls U.S. weapons package ‘direct confrontation’

Russian forces now control most of the eastern city of Sieverodonetsk, an important strategic target and the last Ukrainian holdout in the Luhansk region of the Donbas.

Moscow has roundly criticized the Biden Administration’s new $700 million military aid package for Ukraine, which includes longer-range weapons.

Meanwhile, oil prices have dipped on reports that Saudi Arabia may be willing to increase its crude production if Russia’s supply is hit by EU sanctions.

Russia now occupies 20% of Ukraine’s territory: Zelenskyy

Russia currently occupies about 20% of Ukraine’s territory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address to Luxembourg’s parliament.

“We have to defend ourselves against almost the entire Russian army. All combat-ready Russian military formations are involved in this aggression,” he said.

The front lines of the fighting extended across more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of land, Zelenskyy added.

Russian forces have been making steady gains in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called an “unconditional priority” for Moscow. Ukrainian officials describe the territory as almost entirely destroyed by Russian bombing and shelling.


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