US to ship $775 million aid package of arms, drones to Ukraine

The United States will ship another package of arms to Ukraine, including long-range artillery ammunition used to devastating effect on Russian forces, according to a senior defense official.

The $775 million aid package includes ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which has been employed masterfully by Ukrainian forces, said the official,

who spoke on condition of anonymity under guidelines set by the Pentagon. The rockets with a range of more than 40 miles have been used to destroy Russian command posts,

ammunition depots and logistics hubs.The Russian military advance, begun in February, has ground to halt. Ukrainian attacks are weakening Russian positions but have yet to retake territory,

The military aid package includes drones,conventional artillery ammunition & Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to protect Ukrainian troops from Russian roadside bombs, the official said

The United States has provided $12.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine since 2014, more than $10 billion of it in the last year.About 1,100 people in two villages in Russia's Belgorod region

on Ukraine’s northeastern border were evacuated late Thursday after a fire at a munitions depot. There were no casualties, the Belgorod region’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said Friday.

A Russian cargo ship Ukraine claims holds stolen wheat from territory seized by Russia appears to have reached Tartus, a Syrian port, according to satellite images analyzed by the Associated Press.

Another ship recently docked in Syria with Ukrainian corn that was legally purchased as part of a United Nations effort to combat a global food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

A key Russian natural gas pipeline will shut down for three days of maintenance at the end of this month, the state-owned energy company Gazprom announced Friday.The shutdown raises economic pressure

on Germany and other European countries that depend on the fuel to power industry, generate electricity and heat homes.

No breakthroughs appear to have come out of Thursday's meeting among Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,

as the conflict with Russia approaches the six-month mark with no end in sight. Amid the tense international climate created by the war, Russia deployed warplanes carrying state-of-the-art

hypersonic missiles to its Kaliningrad region, which is surrounded by two NATO countries, Poland and Lithuania.

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