Ukraine urges citizens to flee ahead of major offensive as US announces new aid package

Kyiv, Ukraine - Kyiv is urging Ukrainians in Russian-occupied territories to flee in light of an upcoming Ukrainian offensive.

The US Department of Defense has announced a new $2.6 billion military aid package for Ukraine, which includes ammunition for artillery and other weapons systems.
The US Department of Defense has announced a new $2.6 billion military aid package for Ukraine, which includes ammunition for artillery and other weapons systems.  © REUTERS

"I advise Ukrainians in temporarily occupied territories to either go to third countries or prepare," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram, without providing further details.

"You know what to do, take care of yourself and your children," she wrote.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense has announced a new $2.6 billion military aid package for Ukraine, which mainly includes ammunition for artillery pieces and other weapons systems such as the Himars multiple rocket launchers.

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Weapons and ammunition worth $500 million will come from US military stocks, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

In addition, Ukraine will be provided with further ammunition and weapons worth $2.1 billion, which will be procured from industry, it said. These include radar systems for air defense, communications equipment, rocket launchers, and vehicles of various types such as tankers and transport and recovery vehicles.

The new package is the 35th weapons delivery from US stocks to Ukraine since August 2021, according to the Pentagon.

Belarusian soldiers to be trained in use of nuclear-capable system

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (c.) confirmed Russia had delivered its nuclear-capable Iskander missile system to neighboring Belarus.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (c.) confirmed Russia had delivered its nuclear-capable Iskander missile system to neighboring Belarus.  © via REUTERS

Meanwhile, Russia confirmed that it had delivered its nuclear-capable Iskander missile system to neighboring Belarus.

"Some of the Belarusian aircraft of the fighter squadrons have been given the opportunity to strike enemy objects with nuclear weapons," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in Moscow on Tuesday.

He also confirmed that training of Belarusian soldiers in the use of Russian nuclear missiles has begun as planned.

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Training will focus on practical knowledge in the preparation of the missiles, the Belarusian defense ministry said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the crews will study in detail the issues of maintenance and deployment of the Iskander-M tactical nuclear warheads," it added.

Shoigu insisted that supplying Belarus with these weapons was a reaction to western arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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