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RUSSIA targeted Ukrainian rail and fuel facilities as part of its latest offensive today after US diplomats met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The string of attacks, using missiles and warplanes, took place far from the front lines of Russia’s eastern offensive in an apparent bid to slow the movement of Ukrainian supplies and disrupt the flow of fuel.
Oleksandr Kamyshin, the head of the state-run Ukrainian Railways, said that five railway facilities in central and western Ukraine were hit early in the day, including a missile attack near the western city of Lviv.
Ukrainian authorities said that at least five people were killed by Russian strikes in the central Vinnytsia region.
Russia also destroyed an oil refinery in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, along with fuel depots there, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
In all, Russian warplanes destroyed 56 Ukrainian targets overnight, he said.
US officials have pledged more military help for Ukraine during a meeting on Sunday, revealing that Washington had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition and more than $300m in financing for Ukraine to buy more supplies.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that the West’s united support for Ukraine and pressure on Moscow are having “real results.”
“When it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding,” he said.
But Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the support was not enough, demanding accelerated weapon deliveries.
Moscow has said that its goal is to capture the mostly Russian-speaking Donbass region in the east, but Russia has yet to mount an all-out ground offensive.
Ukrainian officials say that their troops holed up in a steel plant in the strategic city of Mariupol are tying down Russian forces and apparently keeping them from being added to the offensive elsewhere in the Donbass.
Over the weekend, Russian forces launched new air strikes on the plant in a bid to dislodge the estimated 2,000 fighters.
Some 1,000 civilians were also sheltering in the steelworks, and the Russian military pledged to open a humanitarian corridor today for them to leave.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Ukraine does not consider the route safe and that Russia had breached agreements on similar evacuation routes before.
She called on the United Nations to oversee an evacuation.
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