EU Grants Ukraine Candidate Status

Story Highlights
  • Russians advance on war's front line in eastern Ukraine
  • US senator urges safety review of Russian air carriers
  • Russian attack on Lysychansk but loses key village

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: European Union leaders on Thursday granted Ukraine the coveted status of an official candidate to join their 27-nation club, a bold geopolitical step hailed by Kyiv and the EU itself as a “historic moment”. Although it could take Ukraine more than a decade to eventually join the bloc, the decision to officially accept it as a candidate is a symbol of the EU’s intention to reach deep into the former Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, the United States will send another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including some additional medium-range rocket systems, to help push back Russian progress in the war, officials announced. The latest package includes four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which will double the number they have now.

All four were prepositioned in Europe, and training on those systems has already begun with the Ukrainian troops who will use them, said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman.In other news, Ukraine said Russia’s military has captured two villages in eastern Ukraine and is vying for control of a key highway as it seeks to cut supply lines and encircle frontline Ukrainian troops.

Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian attack on the southern outskirts of Lysychansk, the last fully Ukrainian-controlled city in the region of Luhansk, the area’s governor said on Friday. US Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to probe the safety of Russian airlines

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