No concerns of Western alliance as Russia advances in eastern Ukraine, Biden says: Live updates

For weeks, Russian troops have picked away at eastern Ukraine, gaining territory little by little. Western countries have sent an influx of weapons to Ukraine, but forces there are still outgunned by Russians in the Donbas region.

Now, some are questioning whether the West’s alliance and strategy in the war are splintering.

French President Emmanuel Macron drew criticism earlier this month when he said the West should not “humiliate” Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently warned of “Ukraine fatigue.”

But President Joe Biden said Tuesday he had no fears that the Western alliance was fracturing.

“No, I’m not afraid,” he told reporters, according to CNN. “But what I do think is there — at some point, this is going to be a bit of a waiting game: what the Russians can sustain and what Europe is going to be prepared to sustain.”

Biden will attend a G7 summit in Germany this week followed by a NATO gathering in Spain.

latest developments

►A Ukrainian photojournalist and a soldier who was accompanying him when they were killed in the first weeks of Russia’s invasion appear to have been “coldly executed” as they were searching Russian-occupied woodlands for the photographer’s missing image-taking drone, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday.

State Department reports second known American fatality

Stephen Zabielski, 52, is the second US citizen known to have died in the war in Ukraine, the State Department confirmed Tuesday.

The State Department did not say exactly when or how he died, but an obituary published in The Recorder newspaper in his hometown of Amsterdam, New York, says he died May 15 “while fighting the war in Village of Dorozhniank, Ukraine.”

Zabielski is survived by his wife and five stepchildren, according to the obituary.

Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, was the first known American killed in Ukraine while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, his family said in early May. Cancel, who was working as a corrections officer in Tennessee, had joined a private military contracting company to fight against Russian forces.

He left behind an infant son and wife.

Ukraine LGBTQ community struggles as war drags on

The official Pride parade in Kyiv was canceled this year after a decade of hard-fought efforts for more acceptance of LGBTQ people.

Before Russia invaded, Ukraine — a largely religious nation with a long history of oppression against sexual and gender expression — had increasingly become a rare bright spot for LGBTQ rights and a sanctuary of sorts for Eastern Europe. Ex-Soviet LGBTQ individuals would travel to experience a gay nightclub scene, especially in larger cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa, where they could feel safer to be open.

Now, what would have been the 10th anniversary of the Equality March in Kyiv this month was relocated to Poland because of the ongoing war.

“We had a lot and I hope we will rebuild it,” said Yuriy Dvizhon, creative director of UKRAINEPRIDE. Read more here.

– Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ukraine live updates: Russian war bit of a waiting game, Biden says

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