ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine stopped the flow of Russian natural gas through a hub that feeds European homes and industry.
In response to the move, a pro-Kremlin official in a southern region seized by Russian troops said it would ask Moscow to annex it.
The remarks could be another sign of Russia’s broader plan for Ukraine as it tries to salvage an invasion that has so far gone awry.
After his forces failed to quickly overrun the capital, President Vladimir Putin shifted his focus to the country’s eastern heartland of the Donbas. But one of his commanders has suggested that Moscow’s plans are broader, saying it also hopes to take control of the country’s south.
An official installed by Moscow in Kherson said authorities there want to make the area a “proper region” of Russia.
The U.S. strengthened its commitment on Tuesday. The House approved a fresh $40 billion aid package.
The bill, which received bipartisan support, would give Ukraine military and economic assistance, help regional allies, and replenish weapons the Pentagon has shipped overseas. It would also provide $5 billion to address global food shortages caused by the war's crippling of Ukraine's normally robust crop production.