Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to defense officials from more than 40 countries gathered in Germany Tuesday and vowed that the allied countries will "keep moving heaven and earth" to meet Ukraine's security needs.The officials met to discuss stepping up the supply of weapons to Ukraine as it tries to counter a Russian offensive in the country's south and east, the New York Times reports. "This gathering reflects the galvanized world," Austin said. "We’re all here because of Ukraine’s courage, because of the innocent civilians who have been killed," he told Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine's defense minister. In other developments:
- Friendship monument torn down. In central Kyiv, a massive Soviet-era monument to Russian-Ukrainian friendship was torn down Tuesday as a crowd cheered, reports Reuters. The 27-foot-tall monument featured two workers, one Russian and one Ukrainian, standing shoulder to shoulder. The Russian's head was the first part of the monument to come down, the Times reports. "This is our worst enemy, that is why the monument to Russian-Ukrainian friendship doesn't make sense any more," said Serhiy Myrhorodsky, one of the 1982 monument's designers.
- Missile hits Odesa bridge. Heavy fighting continued in the Donbas region Tuesday and Russian missiles hit multiple Ukrainian cities, killing at least nine people, the AP reports. A Russian missile also destroyed a key rail bridge that links the Odesa region to Romania.
- Germany to supply tanks. In what the BBC describes as a major policy shift, Germany has agreed to send 50 anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine. German Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht announced the move before Tuesday's conference with Austin and other ministers, Deutsche Welle reports. She said Germany is also training Ukrainian troops on German soil.
- Tensions rise in Moldova. Tensions are high in Moldova and its breakaway region of Transdniestria, reports Reuters. Authorities in the pro-Russia enclave are blaming Ukraine for a series of attacks, including one that damaged radio masts, while Ukrainian officials are accusing Moscow of trying to drag the region into the war.
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