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Russia tries to take Ukraine's 2nd largest city; see latest war updates

Russia continues its push into northeastern Ukraine since making several advances in the region over the past week after launching a surprise cross-border attack.

These are Moscow's most significant gains since Kiev forces recaptured the Kharkiv region in 2022.

On Tuesday, at least 21 civilians, including two 12-year-old girls and an 8-year-old boy, were injured in Russian attacks in the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest, authorities said.

More than 7,500 people were evacuated from the region. In the neighboring Sumy region, authorities also ordered a “voluntary withdrawal” from several towns where attacks have increased, according to the military administration.

Here are the latest updates on the war in Ukraine:

More defense systems are needed

Meeting in Kiev on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Ukraine urgently needs more air defenses.

This call was echoed on the same day by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who urged European countries to do more to help Ukraine gain access to these systems.

Some US equipment is already in Ukraine

Blinken said some of the long-awaited U.S. military assistance has already begun arriving in Ukraine after months of delays.

Russian assets frozen to help Ukraine

Blinken reiterated that the US intends to use frozen Russian assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine, and that the US is working with other G7 countries to do the same.

More pressure on Donetsk

While attention is focused on Kharkiv, Russia's forces continue to exploit Ukraine's weaknesses elsewhere, particularly along a front line west of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk.

Zelensky sought to reassure Ukrainians that Kharkiv's defense will not lead to defensive gaps elsewhere.

Power grid under pressure

Ukraine's state power grid operator said emergency power cuts are being introduced following a series of Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure.

Moscow stepped up efforts to paralyze Ukraine's energy system last month.

Putin will meet Xi

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping in China this week.

Before the visit, Putin praised China for its 12-point plan calling for an end to hostilities in Ukraine and criticized Ukraine's “Western patrons” for “doggedly working to 'punish' Russia, isolate and weaken it.” .

More Ukraine aid from EU leaders

The leaders of European Union countries approved a plan that foresees a regular flow of payments as part of a financial package worth up to 54 billion dollars.

And French President Emmanuel Macron told Zelensky that France will send more military aid to Ukraine “in the coming days and weeks.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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