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Russia-Ukraine War At A Glance: What We Know On Day 538 Of The Invasion

Russia launched three waves of drones and missiles against the southern Ukraine port city of Odesa, officials said on Monday, though the Ukrainian air force said it intercepted all the airborne weapons. Falling debris from the interceptions of 15 Shahed drones and eight Kalibr missiles damaged a residential building, a supermarket and a dormitory of an educational facility in the city, Odesa governor Oleh Kiper said. Two employees of the supermarket were hospitalised, Kiper said. Video showed a huge blaze at the store during the night and, the next day, the large building’s charred and mangled wreckage.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, visited troops at brigade headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian frontline region of Donetsk on Monday, his website said. Zelenskiy reportedly visited brigades involved in attacks on the section of the frontline facing Soledar, the Russian-held town north of Bakhmut.

US ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy met jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on Monday, a state department spokesperson said, her third such visit since his detention in March on espionage charges that he denies.

“Ambassador Tracy said that Evan continues to appear in good health and remains strong, despite his circumstances,” the spokesperson said, adding that it was Washington’s expectation that Moscow would provide continued consular access. Russia has alleged Gershkovich was caught trying to obtain military secrets while on a trip to the Russian city of Ekaterinburg, but has provided no details supporting that assertion. The Wall Street Journal also denies the allegations.

The United States said on Monday it will send Ukraine new security assistance valued at $200m, including air defence munitions, artillery rounds, and additional mine-clearing equipment. The assistance will also include anti-armour capabilities, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said in a statement. Two US officials told Reuters last Monday that Washington would begin to hand out $6.2bn of funds discovered after a Pentagon accounting error that overvalued billions of dollars of Ukraine aid.

The rouble has fallen to its weakest point in almost 17 months as a collapse in export revenues and growing military spending increase pressure on Russia’s economy. The currency, which has been steadily losing value in a long fall since the beginning of the year, slid past the psychologically important level of 100 to the dollar on Monday morning.

Zelenskiy promised justice after Russian shelling killed seven people – including a 22-day-old infant – and wounded at least 22 others in Kherson on Sunday. Local officials in the southern region, part of which Kyiv liberated last year, declared Monday as a day of mourning.

Christian Lindner, German’s finance minister, said his country stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine, as he arrived in Kyiv for his first visit since the start of the war. Lindner said he would hold “very concrete” talks with Ukrainian officials on how the German finance ministry can support Ukraine now and in the future.

The Ukrainian military said on Monday it had pushed Russian forces out of pockets of territory along frontlines in the east and south of the country, building on a gruelling counteroffensive launched two months ago.

Mykhailo Fedorov, the minister of digital transformation of Ukraine, said that Russia lost 116 units of equipment, including 33 armoured vehicles, 29 trucks and 20 tanks last week. In a tweet, he said: “This hardware will no longer kill Ukrainians. My gratitude to the warriors who work for our victory 24/7.”

The Dutch defence ministry said it scrambled two F-16s early on Monday when two Russian bombers were tracked flying toward Dutch airspace as Russia launched an overnight attacks against Odesa, Ukraine.

Britain said its Typhoon fighter jets intercepted two Russian maritime patrol bomber aircraft in international airspace north of Scotland on Monday, within Nato’s northern air policing area.

Twenty-two Russian diplomats flew out of the Moldovan capital of Chisinau on Monday, leaving behind a skeleton staff as relations between the two countries deteriorated after Moldova last month ordered Moscow to withdraw most of its delegation. In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said: “This unfriendly step of official Chisinau will undoubtedly have consequences for Russian-Moldovan relations.”

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