On Thursday, Russia launched 32 missiles at Ukraine in an attempt to advance in the East, according to Kyiv. While half of the missiles were shot down, a lower rate than normal, air defenses in the South managed to take out eight Kalibr missiles fired from a ship in the Black Sea. Other missiles hit Northern and Western Ukraine, as well as the Central regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad.
Ukraine believes that Russia is adapting their strategy, including using air balloons for reconnaissance. Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Staff, wrote on Telegram that the Russians have changed their tactics, such as using false targets. Ukraine also reported that the overnight bombardment did not have a major impact on power.
Russia has been intensifying ground attacks across Southern and Eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, and a major new offensive is expected to be seen as the first anniversary of its February 24th invasion nears. Germany reported that 1.1 million people have arrived from Ukraine in 2022, which is higher than the unprecedented migrant influx in 2015-2016.
The current focus of Russia is on encircling and taking the small city of Bakhmut in Donetsk. The capture of Bakhmut would give Russia a stepping stone to advance on two bigger cities in Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. Ukraine and its allies say that taking Bakhmut would be a pyrrhic victory due to the amount of time it has taken and the amount of life lost.
NATO alliance nations are ramping up production and promising more military aid to Ukraine. The US has already committed more than $27.4 billion to Ukraine since the conflict began. Norway has also pledged $7 billion over five years, which is their largest aid programme ever for a single recipient nation.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen was set to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This was the first visit from a senior Israeli official since the war began. Belarus has stated that they would only fight alongside Russia if they were attacked. President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly denied suggestions from Kyiv that it could join in the conflict.