President Joe Biden will embark on a multi-day trip to Europe starting Wednesday to meet with allies about the ongoing response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including military assistance for Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia.

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said Biden is working on long-term efforts to boost defenses in Eastern Europe and reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian energy.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, Russian ground forces remain largely stalled and the Russian military has lost more than 10% of the combat force that President Vladimir Putin sent to invade Ukraine, said a senior Pentagon official — who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe intelligence assessments.

Despite the military setbacks, the invasion has caused sprawling humanitarian challenges. Millions of refugees have fled the fighting, mostly by crossing the border into Poland, and the war has jeopardized Ukraine’s wheat and barley harvests, increasing the possibility of rising hunger in impoverished areas around the globe.

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Latest developments

►In a nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 100,000 civilians remained in the port city of Mariupol, which also came under naval attack after weeks of air and land strikes. 

►The United Nations on Wednesday will now face three resolutions on the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine after Russia decided to call for a vote on its Security Council resolution which makes no mention of Russian aggression against its smaller neighbor.

►Romania’s defense ministry said late Tuesday that the country’s air force intercepted and escorted a civilian Turkish Airline flight that was traveling from Moscow to Istanbul after a bomb scare had been received by aviation traffic authorities.

Ukraine says Russia seized relief workers in Mariupol convoy

Ukrainian leaders accused Russia of seizing 15 rescue workers and drivers from a humanitarian convoy trying to get desperately needed food and other supplies into the bloodied port city of Mariupol, which also came under naval attack after weeks of air and land strikes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy estimated that 100,000 civilians remained in Mariupol, scene of some of the war’s worst devastation, as Russia presses a nearly month-old offensive by bombarding cities and towns. Those made it out described a shattered city.