Update on the Russia-Ukraine War

From the Wall Street Journal:

Russian forces slowly advanced in their offensive to encircle eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area, as Ukrainian officials said thousands of people have been buried in mass graves in the city of Mariupol, most of which has been seized by Russian troops after nearly two months of combat (▶️Video), reports Yaroslav Trofimov.

Meanwile, Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s Central Military District, said Russia’s territorial goals extend well beyond Donbas, toward Moldova’s Transnistria region, where he said Russian speakers suffer from discrimination.

President Biden said Thursday the U.S. would send more military and economic assistance to Ukraine, ban Russian-affiliated ships from U.S. ports and launch a refugee program for Ukrainians, Tarini Parti, Andrew Restuccia and Michelle Hackman report.

The latest roughly $800 million military package will include heavy artillery weapons, such as 72 155-mm howitzers, 144,000 rounds of artillery and dozens of tactical drones, the Pentagon said. It comes days after Russian forces began a fresh offensive in eastern Ukraine.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. and its allies are constrained in their efforts to reduce Russian energy revenue because of the risks posed to the global economy, while a push to remove Russia from international organizations like the Group of 20 major economies lacks international consensus, report Amara Omeokwe and Andrew Duehren.

  • Ms. Yellen committed to providing an additional $500 million to help Ukraine pay general government expenses, adding to the roughly $500 million the U.S. already provided in nonmilitary aid to Ukraine.
  • Export controls implemented by the U.S. and its allies have cut Russia’s imports of high-tech goods by more than half—and more export restrictions are being readied, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said, reports Yuka Hayashi.

An unknown number of Ukrainian civilians remain trapped inside Mariupol, and efforts to evacuate them through humanitarian corridors have been slow, Vivian Salama reports. Treacherous escapes from the besieged city help to explain why so many people remained for so long: Staying could mean getting killed, but leaving also comes with high risks.

U.S. startups are rushing to supply Ukraine with drones for reconnaissance and gathering intelligence after the country called for a limit on products from China’s DJI, reports Heather Somerville.

Tijuana, Mexico, a city on the U.S.-Mexico border, has become an unexpected gateway for thousands of Ukrainians and Russians fleeing the war in hopes of crossing north to start a new life, reports Santiago Pérez.

  • It is also a big change for residents of Tijuana, who are accustomed to receiving hundreds of thousands of impoverished migrants from Central America or Haiti, but not Eastern European asylum seekers.

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