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Russia’s eastern offensive has begun, Ukraine says, as strikes rock Lviv

Five missiles struck Lviv, Ukraine, on April 18, killing at least seven and injuring at least 11 people. (Video: Erin Patrick O'Connor, Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)

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Russia appears to have launched its long-anticipated large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine, officials said Monday, after Moscow stepped up missiles attacks, including one on the western city of Lviv that killed at least seven — the city’s first fatalities since the war began.

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Moscow has for weeks been amassing troops and supplies in preparation for its renewed assault on the Donbas region, which became the Kremlin’s primary focus after its forces failed to capture Kyiv during the first phase of the invasion. “It can now be stated that the Russian troops have begun the battle for Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “A very large part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive.”

Here’s what to know

  • U.S. immigration officials detained more than 5,000 migrants from Ukraine at the nation’s land, sea and air borders in March, with a significant increase in those seeking refuge at the U.S-Mexico boundary.
  • The Pentagon says Russian forces are learning from their frustrated assault on Kyiv as they shift to Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of earlier mistakes.
  • Ukrainian forces in the strategic city of Mariupol continued to hold out against a Russian siege that is now largely focused on a steel plant that most of the resistance is using as a base.
  • Washington Post reporters observed evidence of lethal darts rarely seen in modern conflict used by Russian forces near Kyiv.
  • The sinking of the Russian warship Moskva is causing tension back home, where some families are reporting sailors dead or missing despite a defense ministry claim that the whole crew had been evacuated.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.

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