ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — President Biden spoke at an Alabama factory that built the Javelin missiles used by Ukrainian soldiers against Russian tanks. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed members of the Ukrainian parliament and praised their ‘finest hour’. France’s President Emmanuel Macron pressed Russian Vladimir V. Putin by phone to end his “devastating aggression”. Germany helped Finland and Sweden — Russia’s Nordic neighbors once wary of provoking Putin — move closer to joining NATO.

On Tuesday, Western leaders tried to take advantage of Russia’s apparent lack of battlefield dynamism to show Ukraine support and bolster its resolve and its arsenal.

“You have exploded the myth of Putin’s invincibility and you have written one of the most glorious chapters in the military history and life of your country,” Johnson told Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s lawmakers in a video address. the first by a foreign leader to the Ukrainian parliament.

He announced that Britain would provide Ukraine with a package of about $375 million in additional weapons, including electronic warfare equipment, a radar system and GPS jamming equipment. And he compared Ukraine’s defense to Britain’s resistance to the Nazi attack in World War II. “This is Ukraine’s best hour,” he said.

That display of determination, whether choreographed or coincidental, came as the European Union, often splintered by political and ideological errors, moved towards a unified embargo on Russian oil, as the Pentagon launched the Russian offensive in the Donbas region. in eastern Ukraine as “anemic” and “plodding,” and while British intelligence experts gave scathing new assessments of Russia’s military capabilities.

Still, Russian firepower seemed all too effective for Ukrainian civilians.

In the devastated city of Mariupol, Russian forces renewed shelling of the battered Azovstal steel plant and the 200 civilians still holed up there, even as about 130 evacuees arrived relatively safely in Zaporizhzhia, about 240 miles to the west and spoke with horror in two months. in the bunkers under constant fire.

Russian missiles hit power plants in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, causing some electricity to cut out, the mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, reported on Twitter† At least nine people, including three civilians fetching water, have been killed in Russian attacks in the eastern region of Donetsk, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

Mr. Biden spoke in Alabama about how the “United States alone sent more than 5,500 Javelins to Ukraine,” and how workers at the Lockheed Martin missile factory allowed Ukrainians to defend themselves in a struggle “between autocracy and democracy.” But for all that talk, the war, now in its third month, felt more and more like a protracted battle.

US officials warned that Russia had plans to annex the separatist areas of Donetsk and Luhansk to the east and the Kherson region to the south. The Russians would likely use “fake elections” to claim control, said Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Some analysts wondered why Russia hadn’t attacked Ukraine’s railways and other infrastructure to prevent Western weapons from reaching the front, bombed the symbols of Ukrainian institutions, or hit the West with cyber-attacks. The reason may simply be incompetence. But Mr Putin, far from being chastised, could soon upgrade what he has called Ukraine’s “special military operation” into war, providing justification for expanding the battle and deploying military conscripts.

The West, Putin said in his talk with Macron on Tuesday, should stop supplying weapons to Ukraine because they contributed to “atrocities”. Peace seemed far out of reach, with Mr Putin accusing Ukraine of an “unwillingness” to negotiate seriously, according to a description of the appeal by the Kremlin.

But US military and political leaders, once fearful of forcing Putin into an escalation, have in recent days explicitly set a goal to weaken the Russian military and Putin’s ability to invade other countries.

If some European officials have worried that such language could play into Mr Putin’s propaganda that his invasion of Ukraine is a defensive maneuver against NATO enlargement, provoking Mr Putin no longer seemed such a big deal. concern.

In Brussels, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy said Russian aggression had called into question the “greatest achievement of the European Union: peace within our continent”. He said Russia had violated that peace and fundamental respect for human rights “in Mariupol, in Bucha and in all places where the Russian army unleashed its violence against unarmed civilians.”

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to support NATO membership for Sweden and Finland, who have suggested they want to join.

“They can count on our support,” Mr Scholz said at a joint press conference with Finnish and Swedish leaders.

“There is no turning back,” said Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland. “We now see more clearly where Russia wants to take us: it is a world of spheres of influence where the stronger has the last word.”

Those political claims of strength have been fueled by Russia’s setbacks on the battlefield. Before addressing the Ukrainian parliament, Mr Johnson’s intelligence update by the British Ministry of Defense ruled that “failures in both strategic planning and operational execution” had meant that the Russian military had become “significantly weaker” since the invasion of 1944. February – even after doubling the number of defense budgets from 2005 to 2018.

The report claimed that Russia’s military failures, coupled with international sanctions, would have “a lasting impact” on the ability of Russian forces to recover for some time.

And as Russia struggled to make headway in Ukraine, a series of unexplained explosions and fires in southern Russia continued until Tuesday, with an explosion rocking the city of Belgorod. Russian officials have in some cases blamed Ukrainians for the explosions. The Ukrainian government has a formal policy of not confirming or denying strikes in Russia.

On Monday, a railway bridge in Russia’s Kursk region was destroyed in what the regional governor called sabotage. A series of suspicious fires broke out in different parts of the country. In Moscow, a fire engulfed the sprawling warehouse of a textbook company that had attempted to erase references to “Ukraine” from its pages. Arkady R. Rotenberg, a close friend and former judo partner of Mr. Putin who became a billionaire during his reign, is chairman of the company.

Recently, at least a dozen suspected fires have broken out in Russia, many of them in fuel depots near the border with Ukraine. Some have been deeper into Russia, including at a military research institute near Moscow.

But Ukrainians, and civilians in particular, have been hit hardest by the war.

Russia said its cruise missiles hit a logistics center at a military airport near Odessa. In a statement on Tuesday, the country’s defense ministry said the strike had destroyed hangars that housed Bayraktar TB2 drones, as well as missiles and ammunition from the United States and Europe.

On Tuesday, in a rare but limited victory for diplomacy, a fleet of buses, flanked by white United Nations and Red Cross SUVs, passed through checkpoints and Russian-controlled territory and brought to Ukrainian-controlled territory nearly 130 women and children sheltered for weeks. in the belly of the sprawling steel factory in Mariupol. Once a bustling Ukrainian port, it has fallen into ruins of rubble and corpse-strewn streets from incessant Russian bombing.

But on Tuesday, almost immediately after international negotiators left with evacuees, Russian troops at the steel factory struck buildings where civilians were still sheltering, according to a Telegram statement from the Azov regiment, whose fighters are inside the factory. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said more than 200 civilians were trapped in bunkers under the factory and 100,000 civilians remained in the city.

Aid workers greeted Azovstal evacuees at a shopping complex in Zaporizhzhia and offered tea and snacks after they had been forced to survive on expired Russian rations heated on wood fires.

“I was in Azovstal for two and a half months and they hit us from all sides,” said Olga Savina, an elderly woman, as she got off a white bus. She said the sun burned her eyes after so many days underground.

Michael Schwirtz reported from Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine, and Jason Horowitz from Rome. Reporting contributed by Christopher F. Schuetze from Berlin; Cora Engelbrecht from Krakow, Poland; Mark Landler from London; Zolan Kanno Youngs from Washington; Ivan Nechepurenko from Tbilisi, Georgia; Andrew E. Kramer from Kiev, Ukraine; Jane Arraf from Lviv, Ukraine; Anton Trojanovskic from Istanbul; and Aurelien Breeden from Paris.

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