As conflicts continue in Ukraine, Russia is urged to conquer the city of Kherson. Pro-Russian officials in Ukraine’s Kherson announced on Wednesday that they will ask Russia to annex the region, as Moscow strives to consolidate its advantages in the increasingly drawn-out and brutal conflict.

As the international shockwaves of the February 24 assault continued, a halt in Russian supplies pouring via Ukraine interrupted gas supply to energy-starved Europe.

The news came as Ukraine announced that it was forcing Russian troops out of Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city in the northeast, despite fierce resistance from the invading forces.

Since failing to conquer Kyiv in the initial weeks of the February 24 invasion, Russia has focused on eastern and southern Ukraine, and US intelligence has warned Putin is prepared for a lengthy conflict.

Kherson, the first major Ukrainian city to fall following Russia’s invasion of its pro-Western neighbor, is located north of Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014 following an internationally condemned referendum.

There will be a “request to declare Kherson region a full subject of the Russian Federation,” according to Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of Kherson’s Moscow-installed civilian and military government.

Stremousov speculated that the authorities will approach Putin directly rather than putting the decision to a referendum. However, the Kremlin responded that Kherson inhabitants must “choose their own fate.”

Kherson is located just north of Crimea and is vital to the country’s water supply. However, Russia looks to be intent on building a land bridge from its own territory to Crimea, with US information indicating that it intends to go all the way over the southern coast to Moldova.

Ukraine’s soldiers were bolstered on the battlefield by the recovery of four villages near Kharkiv, according to Kyiv.

In his nighttime address on Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had “excellent news” from Kharkiv and lauded the “superhuman strength” of Ukrainian defenders.
“Occupiers continue to focus their efforts on stopping the further advance of our soldiers toward the state border of Ukraine,” Ukraine’s military general staff said on Wednesday.

However, Ukraine appears to be making an increasingly desperate attempt to keep the Russian-speaking Donbas region in the east.

“They come in waves,” volunteer fighter Mykola claimed of Russian attempts to advance south past a strategic river near Bilogorivka, a rural settlement.
A cluster munition casing stood straight like a fence pillar nearby, not far from a group of Ukrainian medics rushing a bleeding soldier from the eastern front.
One of the physicians reassured the writhing warrior that the tourniquet just above his knee did not indicate he was likely to lose a limb.
Putin is “preparing for lengthy confrontation,” according to US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, and “still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas.”
The conflict in Ukraine has exacerbated Europe’s increasing energy crisis, with Kyiv pushing for a Russian oil and gas embargo.

Ukraine claimed on Wednesday that Russia had cut off gas supplies through a crucial transit hub in the nation’s east, a day after the Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz announced it was no longer responsible for gas entering the country through Russian-controlled territory.

Germany claimed that as a result, Russian gas inflows had dropped by a quarter compared to the day before, despite receiving additional supplies from Norway and the Netherlands.

Germany is heavily reliant on Russian gas supplies and has rejected an immediate full embargo on Russian gas, however it supports the EU’s demand for a halt on Russian oil.

Ukraine has been pressuring Western countries for increased assistance on all fronts, with the United States being the most recent to respond.
The US House of Representatives approved late Tuesday to send a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, despite President Joe Biden’s warning that Ukraine will likely run out of funding to continue fighting within days.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “With this aid package, America sends a loud message to the world of our unflinching determination to stand with the valiant people of Ukraine until victory is won.”

The US believes it is becoming increasingly probable that Putin will mobilize his entire country, even declaring martial law, and is banking on his tenacity to erode Western support for Ukraine.

Maria Alyokhina, a member of the band Pussy Riot, said she left Russia by impersonating a food delivery courier to avoid the authorities as Russia closes down within.

The important port of Mariupol, where Ukraine claims approximately 1,000 men are held in increasingly dangerous conditions at the Azovstal steelworks, has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

The enormous facility is Ukraine’s last stand of defiance in the ruined city, which Russia now controls nearly entirely.
The Mariupol complex has proven critical to the Ukrainian resistance to the numerically larger Russian force, according to a sister factory of the Azovstal mill in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia.

As molten metal streamed and flared behind him, Zaporizhstal employee Ihor Buhlayev, 20, stated in his hooded silver safety gear, “We can stay in the shelters for a long time.” “I believe it will give us a fighting chance.”

The Eurovision song contest, the world’s largest live music event, which takes place this weekend, has become another rallying point for Ukrainians.
The favorite to win the camp celebration is Ukraine’s rap folk band Kalush Orchestra, who advanced through Tuesday night’s semifinal to guarantee a spot in Saturday’s grand final.

“We’re here to prove that Ukrainian music and culture exist,” stated frontman rapper Oleh Psiuk.

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