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5 things to know on Monday

Russia steps up pressure on Donbass region

Russia is continuing on Monday what British officials called a “creeping advance” on Ukraine’s Donbass region. Russian troops blew up bridges and shelled apartments in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last two major towns in Luhansk province still held by Ukraine. If captured, Russian President Vladimir Putin would take control of the disputed area. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had counterattacked Sieverodonetsk, likely blunting Russia’s momentum there. Military analysts say Russia hopes to invade Ukraine’s industrial Donbass region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government since 2014, before any US weapons arrive that could turn the tide. The United States is sending a new security package to Ukraine that will include four advanced medium-range rocket systems and ammunition, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. The Pentagon said it would take at least three weeks to get precision weapons and trained troops to the battlefield.

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