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On the same day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a rare trip to the war’s front lines in the southern city of Mykolaiv as Kyiv’s forces there hold off Russian troops trying to move west, toward the port of Odessa.
Ukraine has notched some victories in the south, including a successful strike on a Russian tugboat with at least one U.S.-made Harpoon anti-ship missile, a U.S. defense official confirmed. Officials have said the United States hopes the West’s upcoming surge of military assistance to Ukraine — along with Russia’s increasing isolation on the world stage — will drain President Vladimir Putin’s will to fight. The danger of Russia swallowing its neighbor and trying to reverse other territorial losses is so high that Biden administration officials said they are willing to risk the global economic turmoil that could accompany a protracted war.