Ukraine live briefing: U.S. approves new round of military aid for Ukraine

Windows were blown out of a Moscow skyscraper in what the Kremlin said was a drone strike on Monday. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

The Pentagon on Tuesday announced $400 million in additional security assistance to Ukraine, a package that will include Stryker combat vehicles and small Hornet drones, along with a replenishment of artillery ammunition. The United States has given Ukraine more than $100 billion in aid during the war.

Russia said it had the “right to take tough retaliatory measures” after it said it foiled two drone attacks in Moscow on Monday, which broke windows on the 17th and 18th floors of a skyscraper but caused no casualties.

Ukrainian authorities continue to warn residents of the strikes in Odessa, a southern port city that has come under sustained Russian attacks in recent days, killing at least one person and injuring many, including children. Airstrikes have damaged 146 residential buildings in the city, according to Ukrainian forces. At least 28 historic buildings in the center of Odessa, an area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were also damaged.

Here’s the latest on the war and its effects around the world.

The Russian legislature raised the country’s maximum conscription age to 30 in the legislation approved on Tuesday in the lower house. The age range of the previous project was 18 to 27 years. The changes will be enacted on January 1, according to an official Telegram channel.

Ukraine’s defense minister said his country will continue to launch attacks against Crimea and the Crimean bridgealso known as the Kerch Bridge, which connects the peninsula with Russia. “All these targets are official targets because it will reduce their ability to fight us [and] it will help save the lives of Ukrainians,” Oleksii Reznikov told CNN. Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Experts found land mines on the outskirts of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during a visit. this week, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The mines were detected in a buffer zone between the site’s internal and external perimeter barriers, but their presence is nevertheless “inconsistent with IAEA safety standards and nuclear safety guidelines,” it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit China in October during the Belt and Road Forum, a summit on Eurasian cooperation, Russian media reported on Tuesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, visited Moscow in March.

Russia is more likely to target civilian infrastructure in Odessa now that it has pulled out of the grain deal. British Ministry of Defence said Tuesday. The agreement allowed the export of grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. The Kremlin now “probably feels less constrained politically” and has carried out a “large number” of raids in the area in the past week, the ministry said.

No talks are taking place to resume the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Russia’s renewed naval blockade of Ukrainian ports has raised new concerns about wheat prices and world hunger. The Kremlin said reviving the grain deal was currently “impossible” but that Putin would do so if Moscow’s interests were met.

One child killed and six others injured after Russian forces fired cluster munitions at a reservoir in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian state media said. Photos published by Ukrinform showed a patch of bloody grass at the edge of a reservoir beach where it said residents had gathered on Monday.

Putin has signed a law banning people from gender affirmation procedures. The bill was passed unanimously by both houses of Parliament and prevents transgender people from becoming foster or adoptive parents. The move is Russia’s latest attempt to crack down on the LGBTQ+ community, advocates say.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke by phone on Tuesday. The pair discussed Russia’s attacks in Odessa and Ukraine’s desire to strengthen its air defense, Zelensky saidand added: “We must defend Odessa.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen condemned Russia’s strikes on Ukraine’s grain export and storage infrastructure. publication that Europe would continue to support Ukraine amid Russia’s “merciless” war and that the European Union had paid Ukraine an additional 1.5 billion euros (about $1.6 billion) in aid. Last week, the United States and European countries announced billions of dollars in recovery aid to Kiev.

Lithuania approved a military aid plan for Ukraine that promises about $221 million over three years. It will cover lethal and non-lethal aid, military training and repair of military equipment in Lithuania.

American Agence France-Presse video journalist Dylan Collins, 35, was injured in a drone attack near Bakhmut Monday. He is being treated in a hospital and is conscious and talking to his colleagues, the French international press said in a tweet In May, AFP journalist and video coordinator Arman Soldin was killed in a rocket attack in eastern Ukraine.

Russia to participate in discussions on grain and fertilizer exports at this week’s Russia-Africa summit, state media RIA Novosti reported, after the country fueled food insecurity concerns by pulling out of the Black Sea Cereals Initiative this month.

Ukraine remains defiant as Russia hits Odessa and its grain facilities: The southern port city has come under nightly missile attacks for at least six days after Putin canceled the Black Sea grain deal. The strikes caused significant damage to Odessa’s historic Transfiguration Cathedral, write John Hudson and Anastacia Galouchka, but its priest has made his message clear: If the cathedral survived Joseph Stalin, it can also survive Vladimir Putin.

“You can damage a church, you can kill a man, but you cannot destroy the faith,” said Myroslav Vdodovych, the high priest.

Ukraine has responded defiantly, launching drone strikes on buildings in Moscow and a munitions depot in Crimea as cleanup crews and parishioners cleared debris from cathedral floors.

Alex Horton contributed to this report.

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