Russia could encircle last Ukrainian holdout in days

Russia could encircle last Ukrainian holdout in days

The last Ukrainian-held city in Luhansk is teetering on the brink.

The governor of Luhansk said that Moscow s forces could encircle the key city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine and cut it off within days. Ukraine has poured troops and resources into holding the city, its last holdout in Luhansk. Captured Sievierodonetsk would give President Vladimir Putin a key victory in his bid to control the Donbas region, which includes Luhansk. Civilians in Lysychansk, a neighboring city, are leaving. Ukrainian troops in the east are suffering heavy casualties - at least 100 soldiers are dying each day and running short on ammunition. Moscow said it had destroyed American and European antitank and antimissile systems in a military warehouse in western Ukraine, and is pressing the U.S. and other Western allies for longer-range weapons. At a regional security forum in Singapore, the defense minister, Gen. Wei Fenghe, said that China sought peaceful unification with Taiwan. He added that no one should underestimate the resolve and capabilities of China armed forces and that China would resolutely destroy any schemes for Taiwan independence. Wei made a statement on the day after meeting with the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd Austin. After he spoke to assembled leaders at the forum, Austin warned China against what he called provocative and destabilizing military activities near Taiwan. Officials and experts disagree about the imminent military clash over Taiwan. Most believe that the danger is rising as China moves closer to amassing the equipment and skills needed to invade the island. Details: Austin said the Biden administration did not support Taiwan independence and remained committed to a one China principle, which acknowledges but does not endorse Beijing's position on Taiwan. Wei indicated that Chinese leaders did not believe such reassurances.

That was it for today's briefing.