All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.
Russia fired cruise and ballistic missiles and Shahed-type drones at targets across Ukraine on Wednesday morning, killing at least three civilians and injuring 10 others, including a pregnant woman.
According to Ukrainian authorities, the attacks targeted at least three major cities – including the capital Kyiv, where the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, was discussing plans for military aid and financial support.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces said they intercepted 44 drones and missiles out of 64 that were launched in the morning attack.
Ukraine desperately needs Western help to counter Russia’s offensive as it struggles with ammunition and personnel shortages, but as the war nears its two-year anniversary, some of long-term foreign funding that has kept the war effort going is in doubt.
Ukraine aid and border bill collapses in US senate
The Pentagon is urging Congress to pass a budget and supplemental for Ukraine despite the latest collapse of a deal that would have out in new security measures at the Mexican border and provided money to fund Ukraine’s defence against Russia.
This comes after Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says that a deal to pair border policy changes with €55.7 billion in aid for Ukraine is dead.
President Joe Biden blamed the situation on public lobbying from former President Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, and told Congress to “show some spine”.
The bill was facing almost certain defeat as Senate Republicans signalled their opposition, leaving Biden with no clear way to advance aid for Ukraine.
With no money allocated, the Pentagon is so far sending no more arms shipments to Kyiv as the war reaches a critical juncture.
Ukraine prepares special drone military unit
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has decreed the creation of a separate branch of Ukraine’s armed forces devoted to drones. He has pledged Ukraine will produce over a million in 2024.
It comes as Ukrainian special forces claim to have blown up a drilling platform in the Black Sea that Russia was using to increase the range of its drones.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has released footage of its own drones launched in Donetsk region.
Both sides are relying heavily on unmanned weapons in cold winter weather and in the face of high troop attrition rates, particularly on the Russian side.