The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Russian forces ordered to intensify attacks across Ukraine

A university building in Mykolaiv was hit in a Russian missile strike on Friday. (Wojciech Grzedzinski for The Washington Post)
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Russia’s defense minister on Saturday ordered his forces to intensify attacks “in all operational sectors” of Ukraine, days after President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia had not “started in earnest yet” its efforts as the war approaches its five-month mark. Up to 150 civilians have died because of Russian airstrikes in the past two weeks, the Pentagon estimates.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has told his country to be on alert for airstrikes as Russia has stepped up attacks beyond the front lines. About 70 percent of Russian strikes have targeted nonmilitary infrastructure, said a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On Saturday, regional governors said Russian missile strikes in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk killed five people, and four others were hospitalized.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Saturday that the United States had intelligence that Russian officials visited an airfield in Iran twice recently to examine drones they are considering acquiring for the war. The White House released satellite imagery it said showed “attack-capable” unmanned aerial vehicles in flight while a Russian delegation transport plane was at the airfield. Iran had dismissed as “baseless” accusations Friday that it was planning to supply Russia with hundreds of drones.

Here’s what else to know

  • A U.S. Air Force veteran living in Ukraine has been detained by pro-Russian separatists, his brother said, becoming at least the third American to be captured in Ukraine since the war began.
  • Russia has sentenced prominent opposition activist Andrei Pivovarov to four years in prison for leading what the court held to be an outlawed and “undesirable” political organization.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.