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US Army Using Lessons from Ukraine War to Aid Own Training 

In the dusty California desert, U.S. Army trainers are already using lessons learned from Russia’s war against Ukraine as they prepare soldiers for future fights against a major adversary such as Russia or China.

The role-players in this month’s exercise at the National Training Center speak Russian. The enemy force that controls the fictional town of Ujen is using a steady stream of social media posts to make false accusations against the American brigade preparing to attack.

In the coming weeks, the planned training scenario for the next brigade coming in will focus on how to battle an enemy willing to destroy a city with rocket and missile fire in order to conquer it.

If the images seem familiar, they are; similar scenes are playing out on televisions and websites worldwide right now as Russian forces pound Ukrainian cities with airstrikes, killing scores of civilians. The information war on social media has showcased impassioned nightly speeches by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as well as Russian efforts to accuse Ukraine’s forces of faking mass killings in towns such as Bucha — massacres that the West blames on Moscow’s troops.

Equipment to communication

“I think right now the whole Army is really looking at what’s happening in Ukraine and trying to learn lessons,” said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. Those lessons, she said, range from Russia’s equipment and logistics troubles to communications and use of the internet.

“The Russia-Ukraine experience is a very powerful illustration for our Army of how important the information domain is going to be,” said Wormuth, who spent two days at the training center in the Mojave Desert watching an Army brigade wage war against the fictional “Denovian” forces.

“We’ve been talking about that for about five years. But really seeing it and seeing the way Zelenskyy has been incredibly powerful. … This is a world war that the actual world can see and watch in real time. ”

At the center, the commander, Brigadier General Curt Taylor, and his staff have ripped pages out of the Russian playbook to ensure that U.S. soldiers are ready to fight and win against a sophisticated near-peer enemy.

It’s a common tool. For example, his base and the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana both shifted to counterinsurgency training during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And the military services have focused other training on how to fight in cold weather — mimicking conditions in Russia or North Korea. But these latest changes have happened quickly in the early months after Russia invaded Ukraine.

On the attack

About 4,500 soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, are out in the vast desert training area at Fort Irwin, where they will spend two weeks fighting the NTC’s resident 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which acts as the enemy military. Soldiers from the regiment — known as Blackhorse — are arrayed in and around Ujen, which also includes role-players acting as the locals.

As the sun was rising earlier this past week, Army Col. Ian Palmer, the brigade commander, stood on Crash Hill, on the outskirts of the town, preparing his soldiers to launch an attack. Lines of tanks spread out in the distance. Heavy winds the night before hampered his progress, so the attack was a bit behind.

He said the exercise is using more drones by the friendly and enemy forces, both for surveillance and attacks. So his forces are trying to use camouflage and tuck into the terrain to stay out of sight.

“You know if you can be seen, you can be shot, wherever you are,” he said.

Down in the makeshift town, the opposition forces are confident they can hold off Palmer’s brigade despite the size difference. The Denovians only have about 1,350 forces, but they are throwing everything they have at the brigade, from jamming and other electronic warfare to insurgency attacks and propaganda.

The role of social media

The role-players have their phones ready to film and post quickly to social media.

The Denovian forces want to portray the unit in the worst possible light, said Taylor, and constantly twist the narrative on social media so Palmer’s troops realize they are in a battle for the truth.

That’s a challenge, he said, because “when I’ve got a bunch of casualties and I’m getting overrun on my left flank and my supply trains aren’t where they need to be and I can’t find the bulldozers, it’s hard to think about something that someone said about me on Twitter.”

The training goal, Taylor said, is teaching the brigades that come in how to fuse all elements of their combat power into a coordinated assault.

“Everyone can play an instrument, but it’s about making music — bringing it all together in a synchronized fashion. And what you saw today was the artillery was doing the artillery thing, the aviation was doing the aviation thing and the maneuver guys were doing the maneuver thing. But part of the delay in their assault on the town was they couldn’t synchronize those three,” he said.

Assessing the failures

Again, they can look to Ukraine to see how Russia failed to do that in the early weeks of the war. U.S. leaders repeatedly noted that in Russia’s initial multipronged assault in Ukraine, commanders consistently failed to provide the airstrikes and support their ground troops needed to move into key cities such as Kyiv.

That failure led to Russian troops bombing the cities from the outskirts, hitting hospitals, apartment buildings and other structures, and killing civilians.

When the next brigade arrives at the training center, Taylor said it will face an enemy on board with doing just that.

“We will be very focused on how to fight against an adversary that is willing to destroy infrastructure because that’s how we think our adversaries will fight,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to be prepared for urban combat where we have an adversary that is indiscriminately firing artillery.”

Wormuth, the Army secretary, said seeing the training also underscored other lessons the U.S. is taking from the war in Ukraine.

“As we’re watching what’s happening to the Russians now, it’s informative for us to think about what is right, from a modernization standpoint,” she said, noting that some U.S. tanks are very heavy and the terrain in Europe is muddier, not like the hard-packed sand of the desert.

The Army, she said, has to determine “what’s the right balance between the mobility of a tank, the survivability of a tank and the lethality of a tank? If you want to make it more mobile, you make it lighter, but that makes it less survivable. And so you have to decide where you’re going to take risks.”

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Зеленський: готується проект меморіального комплексу про зруйнований міст між Ірпінем і Києвом

Президент України Володимир Зеленський повідомив, що нині готується проект меморіального комплексу, який розповість історію зруйнованого мосту між Ірпінем і Києвом.

«Обговорили питання меморалізації того, що українці пережили під час цієї війни. Обговорили, як зберегти частинки цього досвіду, щоб він завжди нагадував усім поколінням наших людей і від якої жорстокої, безглуздої навали Україна змогла відбитись. Готується проект меморіального комплексу, який розповість історію зруйнованого мосту, що з’єднував Ірпінь і Київ. Історію людей, які рятувалися цим мостом та цією дорогою від російських загарбників», – розповів у зверненні президент.

Цей міст було зруйновано в перші дні після початку повномасштабного військового вторгнення Росії в Україну.

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Британія: атаки Москви на інфраструктуру в Україні перешкоджають поставкам гуманітарної допомоги

Наприклад, руйнування річкових переходів у Чернігові – у місті залишився лише один пішохідний міст

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Абрамович, ймовірно, був у Києві задля відновлення переговорів – ЗМІ

Він, як пояснювали в ОП, виступає «посередником» між делегаціями Росії та України

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Russia Says All Urban Areas of Mariupol Cleared of Ukrainian Forces

The Russian defense ministry on Saturday announced it had cleared the entire urban area of Mariupol of Ukrainian forces and said only a few fighters remained in the Azovstal steelworks, the scene of repeated clashes.

In an online post, the ministry said that as of April 16, Ukrainian forces in the besieged port city had lost more than 4,000 people, RIA, the state-owned news agency added.

Russian forces have been trying for several weeks to take the port, which is on the Sea of Azov, a body of water to the northeast of the Black Sea.

“The entire urban area of Mariupol has been completely cleared … remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blockaded on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant,” the ministry said.

“Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender.”

There was no immediate reaction from Kyiv to the statement by the Russian ministry, which also said 1,464 Ukrainian servicemen had surrendered so far.

Moscow said the total number of what it called “irretrievable losses” suffered by Ukraine totaled 23,367 people but did not provide any evidence and did not say whether this included only those who had died or who had also been injured.

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Ukraine and Russia: What You Need to Know Right Now

Russia’s warplanes bombed Lviv and its missiles struck Kyiv as Moscow followed through on a threat to launch more long-range attacks on Ukrainian cities after the sinking of its Black Sea Fleet flagship.


  • Russia destroyed production buildings of an armored vehicle plant in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and a military repair facility in the city of Mykolaiv, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia’s defense ministry as saying.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN on Friday that between 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have died so far in the war and another 10,000 have been injured.


  • Russia’s foreign ministry said it had barred entry to the country for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and 10 other British government members and politicians.

  • Ukraine is working with NATO member Turkey as much as possible for more support over Russia’s invasion and understands – even though it is not happy with the reality of Ankara’s parallel ties to Moscow, a Ukrainian diplomat said.

  • Russia warned the United States of “unpredictable consequences” if the West continues its “irresponsible militarization of Ukraine,” The Washington Post said on Friday.


Business and economy

  • Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP) may fall between 30% and 50% this year, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said in televised comments.

  • Ukraine’s richest man has pledged to help rebuild the besieged city of Mariupol, a place close to his heart, where he owns two vast steelworks that he says will once again compete globally.

  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and top finance officials will attend next week’s IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington and meet G7 and other officials, sources said on Friday, the first such in-person opportunity of the war.


Mourning the dead


  • The handmade sign on the gate warns “The cemetery is mined. Danger,” but residents of the formerly occupied town of Trostyanets in northern Ukraine still come to visit the fresh graves of family killed in the war.



  • “The situation in Mariupol is difficult and hard. Fighting is happening right now. The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city,” said defense ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, at a briefing on Friday.
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У Запоріжжі збили дві російські ракети, одна людина постраждала

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Обстріляли центр Лисичанська, війська РФ зірвали евакуацію – Гайдай

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Поставка Німеччиною важкої зброї Україні не означатиме участі у війні – міністр юстиції


Міністр юстиції Німеччини каже, що поставка танків та іншого важкого озброєння в Україну – за міжнародним правом – не означатиме вступу його країни у війну проти Росії.

Міністр юстиції Марко Бушманн заявив в інтерв’ю газеті Welt am Sonntag, опублікованому 16 квітня, що міжнародне право не маркує доставку зброї як вступ у війну.

Тому, якщо Україна «реалізує своє законне право на самооборону, підтримка її постачанням зброї не може призвести до того, що (ми) стаємо учасником війни», – сказав Бушманн.

Водночас міністр фінансів Крістіан Лінднер оголосив, що Німеччина збільшить фонд військової підтримки зарубіжних країн до 2 мільярдів євро. За його словами, «ці кошти значною мірою підуть на користь Україні».

Багато німецьких політиків і громадян обговорювали, наскільки серйозно країна має бути залучена до військової допомоги Києву.

Західні країни на чолі зі Сполученими Штатами посилюють поставки зброї українським військам.

Натомість Німеччина надала Україні гуманітарну допомогу на сотні мільйонів доларів. Канцлер країни Олаф Шольц поки не зробив остаточної публічної заяви щодо можливості відправки в Україну важкого озброєння, такого як танки, гелікоптери та літаки, навіть попри заклики до такої допомоги.

Влада Німеччини після початку російського вторгнення змінила на жорсткішу свою політику щодо Москви, зокрема, стала постачати Україні зброю. Але кілька країн ЄС, як і раніше, критикують Німеччину за недостатню, на їхню думку, жорсткість щодо Росії.

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Moscow Bars Entry to Russia for Britain’s Johnson, Truss, Wallace

Russia’s foreign ministry said Saturday it had barred entry to the country for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and 10 other British government members and politicians.

The move was taken “in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the British Government, in particular the imposition of sanctions against senior Russian officials,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it would expand the list soon.

The Kremlin has described Johnson, who has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest backers, as “the most active participant in the race to be anti-Russian.”

A week ago, Johnson visited Kyiv where he and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised each other for their cooperation since the Russian invasion, which Moscow calls a “special operation.”

“The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government’s reprehensible actions in Ukraine and calling for the Kremlin to stop the war,” a British government spokesperson said in response to Moscow’s decision to bar Johnson and other British politicians.

“We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine,” the spokesperson added.

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US States Scale Back Food Stamp Benefits Even as Prices Soar

Month by month, more of the roughly 40 million Americans who get help buying groceries through the federal food stamp program are seeing their benefits plunge even as the nation struggles with the biggest increase in food costs in decades.

The payments to low-income individuals and families are dropping as governors end COVID-19 disaster declarations and opt out of an ongoing federal program that made their states eligible for dramatic increases in SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture began offering the increased benefit in April 2020 in response to surging unemployment after the COVID-19 pandemic swept over the country.

The result is that depending on the politics of a state, individuals and families in need find themselves eligible for significantly different levels of help buying food.

Nebraska took the most aggressive action anywhere in the country, ending the emergency benefits four months into the pandemic in July 2020 in a move Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts said was necessary to “show the rest of the country how to get back to normal.”

Since then, nearly a dozen states with Republican leadership have taken similar action, with Iowa this month being the most recent place to slash the benefits. Benefits also will be cut in Wyoming and Kentucky in the next month. Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Tennessee have also scaled back the benefits.


Republican leaders argue that the extra benefits were intended to only temporarily help people forced out of work by the pandemic. Now that the virus has eased, they maintain, there is no longer a need to offer the higher payments at a time when businesses in most states are struggling to find enough workers.

But the extra benefits also help out families in need at a time of skyrocketing prices for food. Recipients receive at least $95 per month under the program, but some individuals and families typically eligible for only small benefits can get hundreds of dollars in extra payments each month.

The entire program would come to a halt if the federal government decides to end its public health emergency, though the Biden administration so far hasn’t signaled an intention to do so.

For Tara Kramer, 45, of Des Moines, the decision by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to end the emergency payments starting April 1 meant her monthly SNAP benefit plunged from $250 in March to $20 in April. Kramer, who has a genetic disorder that can cause intense pain, said the extra money enabled her to buy healthier food that made her feel better and help her to live a more active life.

“My heart sank,” Kramer said. “All the memories from before the emergency allotment came rushing back.”

Alex Murphy, a spokesman for Reynolds, noted the extra benefits were always intended to help people who lost jobs because of the pandemic and said, “we have to return to pre-pandemic life.” Murphy pointed out that Iowa has over 86,000 job openings listed on a state unemployment website.

But Kramer said she’s not able to work and that even getting out of her apartment can be a struggle at times.

Vince Hall, who oversees public policy for the nationwide food bank network Feeding America, said ending the extra benefits ignores the reality that even as the pandemic wanes there hasn’t been a decline in demand at food banks.

Wages have been increasing in the United States and the national unemployment rate in March dropped to 3.6%, but those gains have been offset by an 8.5% increase in inflation compared to a year ago. Food is among items rising the fastest, leaving many families unable to buy enough groceries.

“The COVID pandemic is giving way to a hunger pandemic,” Hall said. “We’re in a real, real struggle.”

Feeding America, which represents 200 food banks, reports that demand for food has increased just as these organizations are seeing individual donations dwindle and food costs rise. The organization estimates the nation’s food banks will spend 40% more to buy food in the fiscal year ending June 2022 as in the previous year.

For people like Annie Ballan, 51, of Omaha, Nebraska, the decision by Ricketts to stop participating in the program reduced the SNAP payments she and her son receive from nearly $500 a month to $41. Both have health problems and can’t work.

“From the middle of the month to the end of the month, people have no food,” Ballan said, her voice rising in anger. “This is all the governor’s fault. He says he loves Nebraskans, that Nebraskans are wonderful, but he’s cut off our food.”

The demand on food banks will only grow as more states reduce their SNAP payments, which typically provide nine meals for every one meal offered by food banks, Hall said.

Valerie Andrews, 59, of St. Charles, Missouri, said the SNAP benefits that she and her husband rely on fell from $430 a month to $219 when Missouri ended the extra payments in August 2021. Andrews, who is disabled, said she tries to budget carefully and gets food regularly from a food pantry but it’s difficult.

“We’re barely making it from paycheck to paycheck,” she said. “It gets pretty rough most of the time.”

Officials at food banks and pantries said they will do their best to meet increased demand but there is no way they can fully offset the drop in SNAP benefits.

Matt Unger, director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council network of food pantries in Iowa’s capital city, noted the pantry’s cost for a 5-ounce can of chicken has jumped from 54 cents in March 2019 to a current price of $1.05.

“Costs are just going through the roof,” he said.

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Report: Majority of Black Americans Say Race Shapes Identity

A majority of Black Americans say being Black is central to how they think about themselves and shape their identities, even as many have diverse experiences and come from various backgrounds, according to a new report by Pew Research Center. About three-quarters of Black people said so despite where they come from, their economic status or educational backgrounds.

Overall, 14% say being Black is only somewhat important to their identity and 9% say it has little to no impact, highlighting the diversity of thought among Black Americans, which include U.S.-born Black people and Black immigrants, and different ethnicities, political party affiliations and ages.

Pew Research Center released its report on Black identity on Thursday, and the results pinpoint the critical role race plays in shaping identity in the U.S.

“What our data suggests to me is that being Black is important to all Black people, according to our findings, regardless of the intersections of their identity,” said Kiana Cox, research associate and co-author of the report. A “majority of Black people, 76%, said that being Black was really important to them.”

Cox, who has worked with Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., for about four years, said they wanted to make sure they had a large enough sample to “get this kind of nuance within racial and ethnic groups, but also to understand sort of life and society as Black people understand it.”

Shelly Eversley, a professor at The City University of New York, said the 76% of survey respondents who consider their Blackness important to their identity was still less than she would expect it to be because “race informs every asset of Black life.”

“Understanding the way race informs daily life is protection for a lot of Black people,” said Eversley, who has taught about race for 20 years and is interim chair for the Department of Black and Latinx Studies. She was not a participant in the report.

She said being Black is something you are aware of at a young age. Black children are often disciplined harder at school and other places, and their parents tend to have conversations with them about the dangers of racism when they are still young, she added.

The report also points to how the importance that people place on being Black fosters a sense of connectedness among communities, Cox said.

People who say that being Black is an important part of their personal identity were more likely to express a sense of connection with Black people in their local communities, in the U.S. and around the world than those who said Blackness is relatively less important.

There are 47 million Black people in the U.S., about 14% of the population, according to the 2020 census. Most Black adults in the U.S. where born in the country, but an increasing portion of the population is comprised of immigrants, about 12%. Of the Black immigrant population, 90% were born in the Caribbean or Africa.

Cox also said she was shocked to learn that place — or where people grew up and were living — played a large role in identity and how people shaped their values and what they viewed as important issues.

Black Americans cited violence and crime, along with economic issues such as poverty and homelessness as the most important issues to address in their communities, according to the report. The most important local issues named across subgroups of Black Americans does vary but often violence and crime, economic issues and housing issues rank among the top three.

Overall, 17% of Black Americans said the most important issue is violence or crime — a category that includes drug activity, theft and vandalism, among other offenses. Eleven percent cited economic issues as the most important, 7% cited housing and 6% cited COVID-19 and public health. Nearly half of Black adults said local leaders are most responsible for addressing these important issues.

A separate poll conducted in March by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed an overwhelming majority of adults say more progress is needed in achieving equal treatment for Black people in dealings with police and the criminal justice system. That’s two years after protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a racial reckoning across the country.

When asking about community issues, the survey used an open-ended question, so “the answer of what Black Americans think is important is a little more multilayered than just violence or crime,” Cox said, noting that there is so much more that goes into that category than police violence.

The report also showed that about half of Black people who say being Black is crucial to personal identity feel very or extremely informed about the history of Black people in the U.S. Of that group, about half say they learned that history from family and friends. A large majority, regardless of how Blackness shapes their personal identities, say they have spoken to their families about their own history.

“The clarity in which family as a source of history for both U.S. Black history, like the kind of history we expect to learn in school, and ancestral history, what we learn about our family histories, was very interesting. It came through so strongly,” Cox said. “What that is telling us, is it confirms what scholars and historians have told us about the strength of family for Black Americans, especially in terms of greater knowledge.”

The survey of 6,513 U.S. adults, including 3,912 Black Americans, was conducted Oct. 4-17, 2021. It uses a sample drawn from Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel and Ipsos KnowledgePanel, which are designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for Black respondents is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

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New Explosions Hit Ukraine Cities

Explosions were heard in Kyiv and the western city of Lviv early on Saturday and the mayor of the Ukrainian capital said rescuers and medics were working at the site of a blast on the outskirts of the city.

There were no immediate details of casualties or damage.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in seven weeks of war with Russia and about 10,000 injured, but there was no count of civilian casualties.

He told CNN on Friday 19,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the war. Moscow said last month that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded.

Reuters could not independently verify either side’s numbers.

Russia pledged on Friday to launch more strikes on Kyiv and said it had used cruise missiles to strike the Vizar factory on the edge of Kyiv, which it said made and repaired missiles, including anti-ship missiles.

The attack followed Thursday’s sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of Moscow’s Black Sea fleet.

Ukraine said one of its missiles had caused the Moskva to sink, a powerful symbol of its resistance to a better-armed foe. Moscow said the ship sank while being towed in stormy seas after a fire caused by an explosion of ammunition and that more than 500 sailors were evacuated.

The United States believes the Moskva was hit by two Ukrainian missiles and that there were Russian casualties, although numbers were unclear, a senior U.S. official said.

None of the assessments could be independently verified.

Ukraine’s military said on Saturday the presence of Russian warships in the Black Sea, armed with sea-launched missiles, suggests that an increased possibility that Russia would use them to strike Ukraine’s defense industry and logistics infrastructure.

It said also that Russia’s navy was active in the Sea of Azov to block the port of Mariupol, where ground fighting has intensified as Ukraine said it was trying to break Russia’s siege.

Home to 400,000 people before Russia’s invasion, Mariupol has been reduced to rubble. Thousands of civilians have died and tens of thousands remain trapped.

“The situation in Mariupol is difficult and hard. Fighting is happening right now. The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city,” defense ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a briefing. He said the Russians have not completely captured it.

‘Significant’ victories

Zelenskyy said the military situation in the south and east was “still very difficult,” while praising the work of his armed forces.

“The successes of our military on the battlefield are really significant, historically significant. But they are still not enough to clean our land of the occupiers. We will beat them some more,” he said in a late-night video address, calling again for allies to send heavier weapons and for an international embargo on Russian oil.

Zelenskyy has appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden for the United States to designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” joining North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with their conversation.

A White House spokesperson responded by saying, “We will continue to consider all options to increase the pressure on Putin.”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and top finance officials will attend International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington next week, sources told Reuters.

It will be the first chance for key Ukrainian officials to meet in person with financial officials from advanced economies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Holding out in Mariupol

If Moscow captures Mariupol, it would be the first big city to fall.

Russia’s defense ministry said it had captured the city’s Illich steel works. The report could not be confirmed. Ukrainian defenders are mainly believed to be holding out in Azovstal, another huge steel works.

Both plants are owned by Metinvest, the empire of Ukraine’s richest businessman and backbone of Ukraine’s industrial east – which told Reuters on Friday it would never let its enterprises operate under Russian occupation.

Moscow has used its naval power to blockade Ukrainian ports and threaten a potential amphibious landing along the coast. Without the Moskva, the largest warship sunk during conflict since Argentina’s General Belgrano in the 1982 Falklands war, its ability to menace Ukraine from the sea could be crippled.

Russia initially described its aims in Ukraine as “a special military operation” to disarm its neighbor and defeat nationalists there.

After its invasion force was driven from the outskirts of Kyiv this month, Moscow has said its main war aim is to capture the Donbas, the eastern region partly held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

Kyiv and its Western allies say those are bogus justifications for an unprovoked war of aggression that has driven a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes and led to the deaths of thousands.

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Росія заборонила вʼїзд премʼєр-міністру Великої Британії Борису Джонсону

Велика Британія є однією з найактивніших держав Заходу в питанні підтримки України на тлі агресії Росії

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Українські військові збили російські крилаті ракети, випущені по Львівській області – голова ОВА

Раніше міський голова Києва Віталій Кличко заявив, що українська столиця потрапила під обстріл уранці 16 квітня

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Генштаб ЗСУ оновив дані про втрати військ РФ у війні проти України

За цими даними, загальні бойові втрати противника з 24 лютого до 16 квітня орієнтовно склали близько 20100 осіб

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Two Men Get Lengthy Jail Terms in Foiled Attack Plot in France

A Frenchman and a Moroccan received heavy prison terms on appeal Friday for an attack plot that was foiled after an intelligence agent posing as a jihadi infiltrated their cyber network.

Yassine Bousseria, 42, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for participation in a terrorist conspiracy to prepare terrorist acts, the same term he had been handed by a lower court in February.

The other man, Hicham El-Hanafi, 31, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, also in line with the lower court ruling.

A third person convicted in the case, Frenchman Hicham Makran, was sentenced to 22 years in jail in February and did not appeal.

The three were tried on charges of joining a terror group with a view to carrying out attacks.

An agent from France’s DGSI domestic intelligence service, using the codename Ulysse, had infiltrated communication networks of Islamic State (IS) group in a ruse that led to the arrest of the three.

The case began in 2016. After intelligence indicating the IS group was seeking to obtain weapons for a “violent action” on French soil, the DGSI agent penetrated an encrypted Telegram messaging loop and make contact with an IS “emir” in Syria, nicknamed Sayyaf.

Sayyaf said the jihadis needed munitions including four Kalashnikovs, which Ulysse said he could supply.

In June 2016, Sayyaf sent Ulysse $16,000 in cash.

With this money, Ulysse then told Sayyaf that he had bought weapons and hid them in a forest north of Paris. The surroundings were then equipped with surveillance cameras.

French intelligence then received information that the two French citizens, who had been around the Turkish-Syrian border, had come home.

They were arrested and found to have a USB key encrypted with the coordinates of the arms cache.

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В Україні деокуповано 918 населених пунктів – президент

Водночас Зеленський наголосив, що на півдні і сході України ситуація «ще дуже складна, далека від того, щоб говорити про відновлення»

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Російські війська обстріляли околиці Криворізького району системами залпового вогню – Вілкул