Russia Ukraine War Crisis Live Updates: Russia pressed on with its offensive in eastern Ukraine on Thursday after NATO branded Moscow the biggest “direct threat” to Western security and agreed on plans to modernise Kyiv’s beleaguered armed forces. At a summit on Wednesday dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the geopolitical upheaval it has caused, NATO invited Sweden and Finland to join and pledged a seven-fold increase from 2023 in combat forces on high alert along its eastern flank.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy once again told NATO that Ukrainian forces needed more weapons and money, and faster, to erode Russia’s huge edge in artillery and missile firepower, and said Moscow’s ambitions did not stop at Ukraine.
As the 30 national NATO leaders were meeting in Madrid, Russian forces intensified attacks in Ukraine, including missile strikes and shelling on the southern Mykolaiv region close to front lines and the Black Sea. The mayor of Mykolaiv city said a Russian missile had killed at least five people in a residential building there, while Moscow said its forces had hit what it called a training base for foreign mercenaries in the region. Attacks on the northeastern city of Kharkiv continued, Ukraine’s military said, with shelling from tanks, mortars and missiles.
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