As the Russia-Ukraine war approaches its 160th day, the shelling and raids continue to intensify from both sides.

Mykolaiv, located near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, has likely suffered the most missile strikes in the five months since the Russian invasion began. City Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said that over a dozen bombings occurred throughout the city on Sunday, resulting in two deaths and at least three injuries. Oleksiy Vadatursky, Ukraine’s grain tycoon, and his wife were also killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said that it would be sending new military assistance packages to Ukraine, valued at approximately $550 million, to replenish the latter’s used ammunitions and further bolster offensive operations.

“To meet its evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

It will also include more ammo for high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), which have proven to be effective on the battlefield, most notably in Ukraine’s recent long-range missile strike on the Antonivskyi bridge.

The assault has shelled Russian forces’ critical supply routes across the Dnipro River, successfully isolating the Russian-controlled bases in the Kherson region from the rest of its territory. Despite ongoing repairs at the bridge as well as setting up pontoons, the damage to the main span has definitely caused a slowdown in Russia’s resupply missions, especially in far-flung Russian-controlled areas.

See below for the latest defense intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

The Kherson offensive has led to an estimated 75,000 Russian troops either killed or wounded and gave Ukraine back dozens of its Russian-occupied territories. But setting up Ukrainian base camps in these areas remains challenging.

More military supplies from the West

Aside from the additional aid from the United States, Germany will also be sending three of its MARS II MLRS, its version of the US-made M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System.

The MLRS MARS II has a range of up to 70 kilometers, depending on the ammunition used, and is designed to destroy troops and equipment as well as air defense, command posts, and communications, as well as to lay minefields.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced via Twitter the arrival of the new West-supplied artilleries on Monday.

So far, Ukraine has received German Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers and will soon be receiving five Gepard anti-aircraft systems as announced by German defense minister Christina Lambrecht last week.

In addition, Reznikov expressed his gratitude to his Italian counterpart Lorenzo Guerini for sending “new military aid packages,” including military vehicles, supplies, and equipment. The specific list of units is, however, classified.

Previously in May, Ukraine received over 155 mm FH70 towed howitzers from Italy.

Russia’s ‘nuclear shield’

At the height of Ukraine’s offensive strikes, Russia seems to be changing its defense strategy and is now hiding behind Kyiv’s largest nuclear power plant, a US official said on Monday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Moscow’s obvious relocation to nuclear power plants, setting up military bases, and executing attacks on Ukrainian troops around the hazardous area.

“Of course, the Ukrainians cannot fire back lest there be a terrible accident involving the nuclear plant,” Blinken told reporters after nuclear nonproliferation talks (NPT) at the United Nations in New York. He added that Russia has now gone beyond the “human shield” to the “nuclear shield.”

Russia, meanwhile, strongly rejected the accusations, saying “We repeatedly stated that actions of our armed forces in no way undermine Ukraine’s nuclear security or impede the routine operation of the NPP (nuclear power plant),”

It explained that the sole purpose of taking over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was to “prevent Ukrainian nationalist formations and foreign mercenaries from making use of the current situation in Ukraine in order to carry out a nuclear provocation with most unpredictable consequences.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also commented in a letter to participants of the NPT.

“We proceed from the fact that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and indivisible security for all members of the world community,” the Kremlin leader said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for five months now since commencing on February 24, which was introduced by the Kremlin leader as a “special military operation.”