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The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:
3:02 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry says Russia’s air forces, the 45,000-member VDV, has been “heavily involved in several notable tactical failures” in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The VDV has been employed on missions better suited to heavier armoured infantry and has sustained heavy casualties during the campaign,” the update says. “Its mixed performance likely reflects a strategic mismanagement of this capability and Russia’s failure to secure air superiority.”
It goes on to say that the VDV’s “misemployment” demonstrates that Russia has “an unbalanced overall force” and says that Russian complacency has led to significant losses in Russia’s elite units.
2:15 a.m.: Reuters reported that the leader of Russian-backed separatists in the breakaway Donetsk region called on Thursday for the military operation in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine to be accelerated, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said Kyiv had blocked water supplies to key cities in the north of the region and called for military action to be stepped up.
1:30 a.m.: British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to give a speech Thursday in which she plans to call on allies to continue support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.
In a speech to Bosnia and Herzegovina armed forces at Sarajevo’s Army Hall, The Guardian shared excerpts from prepared remarks. “Russia’s aggression cannot be appeased. It must be met with strength. We must not allow a prolonged and increasingly painful conflict to develop in Ukraine,” the newspaper reported.
Earlier, Truss announced plans for $100 million of U.K.-backed investment in the Western Balkans by 2025 to counter Russian efforts in the region, VOA’s national security correspondent Jeff Seldin reported.
2:03 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, says that Russian forces are dealing with an increasing scarcity of high-precision weapons. “The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) noted that up to 60% of Russia’s high-precision stockpile has already been exhausted,” the Institute said in a recent update. Additionally, it said, Russia is trying to force Ukrainians in occupied areas to cooperate with “occupation organs” and is trying to get Ukrainians into the Russian army.
1 a.m.: Russian troops continue to attack eastern Ukraine, reports The Guardian. Ukrainian military, says the report, say 40 towns in the Donbas region are under fire.
12:02 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that Russia has promised to allow foreign ships to leave ports in the Black Sea. A defense ministry official says 70 foreign vessels from 16 countries are currently in six ports in the Black Sea.
Some information in this report came from Reuters.