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Ukraine war update: The battle for Donbas could be a turning point

European and U.S. support for Ukraine may not be sufficient to hold Donbas region

SHARE Ukraine war update: The battle for Donbas could be a turning point

Ukrainian tanks move in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Monday, May 30, 2022. Day after day, Russia is pounding the Donbas region of Ukraine with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress to seize the industrial heartland of its neighbor.

Francisco Seco, Associated Press

Over 100 days into the war, Ukraine battles for the Donbas region while its international allies send more aid. The conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians and fighters dead, and millions displaced from the violence.

On the ground

  • Russians claim they destroyed a depot housing NATO-supplied weapons in the Lviv region, but Ukraine has not confirmed this, reports PBS.
  • Al Jazeera reports all bridges connecting Severodonetsk to Ukrainian resources were destroyed on Tuesday. While that will aid Russia’s assault on the critical region, it will make further invasion difficult.
  • Civilians and Ukrainian fighters trapped in the Azot chemical plant in Severondonetsk are one of the last resistance forces in the eastern Donbas region. A mass evacuation is now “simply not possible,” according to ABC.
  • The battle for Donbas could turn the tide in either direction, per Al Jazeera.

International action


  • Wednesday, the U.S. State Department released an additional $1 billion in fresh aid and $225 million for humanitarian assistance, bringing the total U.S. security assistance to over $5.6 billion since February.
  • The Associated Press reports two U.S. veterans went missing near Kharkiv.


  • Pope Francis made statements denouncing the war but controversially cast some blame on NATO for “barking at the gates of Russia,” per CNN.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis met in Kyiv, promising more aid, The Associated Press reported.
  • Amnesty International released a report detailing Russian war crimes in Kharkiv.
  • Ukraine will learn if it has been accepted into the European Union by the end of the month, ahead of countries who have been waiting for decades, according to The Associated Press.

In Russia

  • Al Jazeera reports Russia is demanding a halt to NATO expansion and that Ukraine and other former Soviet nations be barred from joining.
  • Vocal war critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been moved to a maximum-security prison by the Russian government, reports AP.
  • The Washington Post details an increase in military recruitment in Russia, to avoid using a draft.
  • Russian anti-war volunteers are active despite potential consequences, per the Moscow Times.