Latest Russia-Ukraine War News: Live Updates - The New York Times

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As the fourth month dawns in the war in Ukraine, to a 75-mile-wide sliver of land in the heart of the eastern Donbas region, where Russia’s concentrated firepower and shortened supply lines are helping its forces make progress toward a handful of key cities. Moscow’s main immediate target remains . Artillery barrages fired by Russian forces approaching from three sides have knocked out water and electrical supplies, driven residents into underground shelters and, in the last 24 hours, killed at least six people, the regional government said on Wednesday. A dozen Ukrainian soldiers from the 95th Air Assault Brigade were temporarily halted just outside the city of Kramatorsk on Wednesday evening, after one of their armored vehicles broke down on the way to the front line. They waited by the roadside, smoking cigarettes, until a crew driving a captured Russian vehicle rolled up beside them, made a U-turn and attached a tow rope. The soldiers still could not get the broken vehicle rolling, however, so they transferred their weapons to another armored vehicle, piled on board, and set off toward the front in the day’s fading light. It’s been nearly a month since the European Union appeared poised to approve a ban on Russian oil, a once unthinkable measure heralded as a potent sign of European unity in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine. Instead, the policy is now stalled, stymied by Hungary’s stubborn refusal to fall behind the rest of the bloc in sidelining the Kremlin. Hopes that the standoff between Hungary and the other 26 members of the bloc could be overcome at a summit in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday are also fading. Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, seeming to relish his position as the E.U.’s spoiler-in-chief, asked earlier this week that the proposed embargo remain off the table because his concerns were not anywhere close to being resolved. BILOHORIVKA, Ukraine — Out on the riverbank, the scene of mayhem unfolded under a baking spring sun: blown-up tanks, the detritus of pontoon bridges, heaps of branches shorn off by explosions and the bodies of Russian soldiers, some half buried in the mud. In the forest, a short walk revealed bits of torn Russian military uniforms hanging from trees, an eerie reminder of the troops who died violently here. Fresh from an election victory last month, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary has declared a “state of emergency” in the country, using the war in Ukraine as a pretext to further entrench his power. Before the announcement on Tuesday, Mr. Orban, a right-wing populist with ties to Russia’s president, had cited the conflict in Ukraine as a justification for the expanded executive emergency powers, which allow him to bypass Hungary’s legislative process and rule by decree. President Vladimir V. Putin visited wounded soldiers on Wednesday and announced a raft of new social welfare measures and military benefits — an apparent effort to show Russians that he was aware times were tough as the war in Ukraine entered its fourth month. The Kremlin released brief clips of Mr. Putin, dressed in a white gown and flanked by Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu, greeting patients at a military hospital in Moscow. It was the president’s first time visiting the wounded since the start of the war, but his words were sparse: “He’ll be proud of his dad,” Mr. Putin told a patient with a 9-month-old son. DAVOS, Switzerland — Europe’s quest to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels is putting up new obstacles to its efforts to be a global climate leader, potentially locking the continent into methane-belching gas for decades to come. To replace Russian piped gas, the largest single source of fuel for electricity generation, Europe is scrambling to secure liquefied natural gas, or L.N.G., from countries as far afield as Angola, Qatar and the United States — and to construct import terminals and pipelines to get that gas where it needs to go. President Vladimir V. Putin signed a decree on Wednesday opening a fast track to obtain citizenship for Ukrainian residents of areas controlled by the Russian military, according to published on an official website, a further step toward annexing territory in southeastern Ukraine that Russia has occupied. The decree extended to residents of the Kherson and Zaporozhzhia regions a faster method for obtaining Russian citizenship that was established in 2019 for residents of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics, two rump states created by the Kremlin and recognized as “independent” right before the February invasion. Aiming to crack down on Russian oligarchs who have held on to their yachts and luxury villas in Europe despite facing sanctions, the on Wednesday to make evading sanctions a criminal offense and to strengthen legal measures to confiscate assets. The proposal comes amid increased discussion of making Russia pay Ukraine for war damage. According to Ukrainian authorities, losses inflicted on the country by Russian aggression now amount to $650 billion. Germany plans to order coal-fired power plants that were due to be shut down to be placed in reserve, as part of a plan to ensure the country can keep the lights on if supplies of natural gas from Russia are abruptly cut. A bill drawn up this week by the economy ministry, led by Robert Habeck, a member of the Greens, envisions maintaining power plants that burn coal and brown coal, or lignite, so they could be fired up on short notice. As the war in Ukraine enters its fourth month, Moscow’s military has narrowed its focus to the Donbas region in the east of the country, concentrating firepower on individual towns and cities and making some gradual gains, analysts said on Wednesday. And for civilians in the cross hairs of Russian forces, that focus has meant sustained bombardment. LONDON — At a church in East London this month, Imogen Moore-Shelley balanced her 6-month-old on her hip as she scrawled an important message on a poster: “Useful information for sponsors.” She then handed her marker to Natalia, a Ukrainian woman who had moved into Ms. Moore-Shelley’s home a week earlier. Natalia then wrote the message in Ukrainian as people filtered into the church for a luncheon bringing together refugees and the Londoners opening their homes to them. Russia’s intense bombardment has killed and wounded many people in the eastern Ukrainian town of Lyman, according to the mayor. Water, gas and electricity supplies are long gone. Escape is impossible because the roads are cut off, the mayor said, and those civilians who remain have taken refuge in their basements or in bomb shelters. In recent weeks, the port city of Mariupol has become a symbol of Ukraine’s suffering, after a protracted siege that left it in ruins and killed thousands. But other, lesser-known places have been pummeled in the conflict, too, and information about them has been hard to obtain because of fierce fighting as Moscow tries to seize territory in Ukraine’s east. WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has accelerated its efforts to reshape Taiwan’s defense systems as it projects a more robust American military presence in the region to try to deter by the Chinese military, current and former U.S. officials say. has made American and Taiwanese officials acutely aware that an autocrat can order an invasion of a neighboring territory at any moment. But it has also shown how a small military can hold out against a seemingly powerful foe. Turkey made a series of security-related demands of Sweden on Tuesday, a day ahead of talks between Turkish officials and delegations from Sweden and Finland in Ankara about Turkey’s opposition to their becoming NATO members. After years of neutrality, both Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO, aiming to fortify their defenses against Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. But approval of their membership bids requires the unanimous consent of current NATO members, and the president of one — Turkey — has voiced strong objections. LONDON — The British government on Tuesday moved closer to giving its blessing to the purchase of Chelsea F.C., one of European soccer’s blue-ribbon teams, by an American-led investment group after deciding it had sufficient assurances that none of the proceeds from the record sale price — $3.1 billion — would flow to the club’s Russian owner. The government’s pending approval, expected as soon as Wednesday, signaled the end of not only the most expensive deal in sports history but possibly the most fraught, cryptic and political, too..