Ukrainian Officials Thank the US for Its Latest Military Aid to Help Stop Russia's Onslaught

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainian officials on Wednesday expressed thanks for a fresh batch of U.S. military aid that threw Kyiv's armed forces a lifeline in their more than two-year war with Russia, even though the vital new supplies aren't expected to have an immediate impact on the battlefield.

Ukrainian troops have faced acute shortages of shells and air defense systems as political quarrels in Washington held up the aid for months, allowing the Kremlin's forces to edge forward in some parts of eastern Ukraine by sheer weight of troop numbers and firepower in what has largely become a war of attrition.

The U.S. decision came as the Kremlin's army extended its bombardment of the Kharkiv region and Ukrainian long-range drones struck more fuel and energy facilities inside Russia.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the U.S. Senate for approving the $61 billion aid package late Tuesday.

"Ukraine's long-range capabilities, artillery and air defense are extremely important tools for the quick restoration of a just peace," Zelenskyy said on the social platform X, referring to the aid Kyiv expects to receive in the coming weeks and months.

Two Russian S-300 missiles struck Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city near the northeastern border with Russia, during the night, and another two hit the Kharkiv region town of Zolochiv, local officials said. They reported no casualties.

Another missile hit the southern city of Odesa, injuring one woman, Mayor Hennadii Trukhanov said.

Ukrainian drones, meanwhile, targeted Russian infrastructure, setting ablaze two energy facilities in the western Smolensk region. Regional head Vasily Anokhin said the attack struck "civilian fuel and energy facilities" but provided no further details.

Russia's defense ministry said that eight drones were shot down overnight in the Belgorod, Smolensk, Kursk and Voronezh regions.