“I think we need to be determined and continue to support Ukraine,” said Mr. Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Exactly how long this will go, exactly what the trajectory will be, we don’t know right now. But we know if we don’t continue to support Ukraine, the outcome for the U.S. will be much worse.”
While the fighting lately has focused mainly on a crescent in eastern and southern Ukraine, the White House worries it could easily spiral out of control. A recent missile strike on a shopping center in central Ukraine suggested that Moscow was running low on precision weaponry and increasingly turning to less sophisticated armaments that could hit unintended targets — potentially even across the border, in NATO allies like Poland or Romania. And American officials worry that Mr. Putin may resort to tactical nuclear weapons to break out of the box he faces on the battlefield.
Indeed, the Biden administration has concluded that the Russian leader still wants to widen the war and try again to seize Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. “We think he has effectively the same political goals that we had previously, which is to say that he wants to take most of Ukraine,” Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, said at a conference last week.
Russian missile and rocket strikes have caused more widespread damage in towns and cities across eastern and southern Ukraine, regional officials say.
Four civilians died in a strike on Siversk, a town in Donetsk region, local governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
Civilian areas of Druzhkivka, in the same region, were also hit. A supermarket was destroyed and a large crater appeared nearby.