The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Russia begins ‘battle for Donbas,’ gives Mariupol holdouts new deadline to surrender

At least one person was killed in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on April 19, as fighting intensified in the east. (Video: Associated Press, Photo: Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press)

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Russia declared Tuesday that the “next phase” of the war in Ukraine was underway, kicking off a major assault on key areas in the east in what senior Defense Department officials said was probably a “prelude” to a larger offensive. As Russia pounded the east with artillery and airstrikes, it gave Ukrainian holdouts in Mariupol a new deadline to surrender.

The commander of Ukraine’s troops there told The Washington Post that his soldiers would not lay down their arms and would continue to “complete our military tasks as long as we receive them.” The southern port city is key to Moscow’s strategy in eastern Ukraine, and capturing it would give Russia a coveted land corridor linking the annexed Crimean Peninsula to the Donbas region.

Here’s what to know

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Here's what to know:

President Biden will announce another roughly $800 million in military aid for Ukraine in the coming days, said an official familiar with the decision. The new package will be about the same size as the one approved last week.
Ukraine has received an influx of fighter aircraft and related parts from other nations to help fuel its efforts to fight off the Russian invasion, the Pentagon said.
The State Department called deadly Russian airstrikes that hit the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Monday part of Moscow’s “campaign of terror.”
Reporters from The Post visited four front-line positions along Ukraine’s eastern front near the borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
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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.

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