Ukraine’s troops have been battling intense Russian bombings in the east of the country, in a situation in the Donbass region that President Volodymyr Zelensky has described as “hell.” In his speech that night, Zelensky repeatedly accused Kremlin forces of carrying out massacres, citing Russian bombings of civilian targets in the Chernihiv region and in the town of Severodonetsk.
The Pentagon said Thursday it had noticed “a lot of dynamic activity” or active fighting between the town of Kherson and Mykolaiv, but that there had been no major changes on the battlefield. On the same day, the Senate approved President Biden’s 40 40 billion aid package, which includes new military, humanitarian and financial aid for Ukraine. Biden is ready to sign the package during his visit to East Asia.
A deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, a military unit that helped protect Mariupol and has a very right-wing affiliation, said in a telegram video on Thursday that he was still inside the Azovstal steel plant. The caption of the video denies surrender. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is looking for hundreds of prisoners of war in Russian custody after surrendering through negotiations this week. Moscow and Kyiv give sharply different accounts of the number of Ukrainian troops who gave up their weapons; Statistics could not immediately be independently verified.