Ukraine has announced that Russian troops are withdrawing from Kharkov

This photo, provided by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Thursday, shows a devastated pontoon crossing on both banks of the Donetsk River by dozens of destroyed or damaged Russian armored vehicles after their pontoon bridges were blown up in eastern Ukraine.

Armed Forces of Ukraine through the AP

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Armed Forces of Ukraine through the AP

This photo, provided by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Thursday, shows a devastated pontoon crossing on both banks of the Donetsk River by dozens of destroyed or damaged Russian armored vehicles after their pontoon bridges were blown up in eastern Ukraine.

Armed Forces of Ukraine through the AP

KIEV, Ukraine – Russian troops are withdrawing from Ukraine’s second largest city after weeks of heavy bombardment, the Ukrainian military said on Saturday as Kiev and Moscow clashed over the country’s eastern industrial center.

The Ukrainian General Staff said the Russians were retreating from the northeastern city of Kharkov, focusing on guarding supply routes while launching artillery, artillery and air strikes in the eastern Donetsk region to “exhaust Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications.”

Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov stated that Ukraine “is entering a new, long-term phase of the war.”

While the country’s attorney general was prosecuting a Russian soldier for war crimes, the first of dozens to be charged, President Vladimir Zelensky said the Ukrainians were doing their “maximum” to oust the invaders, adding that the outcome of the war would depend on him. support from Europe and other allies.

“Today, no one can predict how much this war will cost,” Zelensky said in a video message late Friday night.

Russia’s attack on the Donbas, a mining-industrial region that has been partially controlled by Moscow-backed separatists since 2014, seems to be moving back and forth without any major progress.

Failing to capture the Ukrainian capital, Ki, the Russian military decided to concentrate on the Donbas, but its troops were struggling to gain a foothold. Prior to the war, Ukraine had the highest level of military training in the region to repel Russian-backed rebels.

During its invasion, Russia captured some villages and towns. On Friday, the Ukrainian military chief of the Donbass region of Luhansk announced that Russian troops had almost complete control of the town of Rubizhne, which had a pre-war population of about 55,000.

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had also made progress, retaking six Ukrainian towns or villages in the past day.

Western officials say Ukraine has pushed back Russian forces around Kharkov. The predominantly Russian-speaking city was Russia’s main military target in the early stages of the war, when Moscow still hoped to capture and retain major Ukrainian cities.

The Washington-based Institute for War Studies says Ukraine “seems to have won the battle of Kharkov.” It said that “Ukrainian forces did not allow Russian troops to surround them, let alone occupy Kharkov, and then expelled them from the outskirts of the city.”

The governor of the region Oleh Sinegubov said in a note in the Telegram appendix that there had been no shelling in Kharkov over the past day.

He said Ukraine had launched a counterattack near Izumi, a town 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Kharkov, which has been under effective Russian control since at least early April.

Fighting erupted on the Donetsk River near the city of Serodonetsk, where Ukraine launched a counterattack but was unable to stop Russia’s advance, said Oleh Zhdanov, an independent Ukrainian military analyst.

“The fate of most of the Ukrainian army is being decided. “There are about 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers there,” he said.

The police officer at the Lisicansk of the Russian Forces checks the location in Lisicansk, Lisicansk, Ukraine on Friday.

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The police officer at the Lisicansk of the Russian Forces checks the location in Lisicansk, Lisicansk, Ukraine on Friday.

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However, Russian forces suffered heavy casualties during the Ukrainian offensive, which destroyed the pontoon bridge they used on the same river, in the largest city in eastern Ukraine, Bilohorivka, say Ukrainian-British officials as a sign of Moscow. to fight to save an unsuccessful war.

The Ukrainian Airborne Command has released photos and videos showing a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over the Donetsk River in Siversky, with at least 73 Russian military vehicles destroyed or damaged nearby.

The Pentagon said Russia had lost “significant armored personnel carriers” to at least one battalion tactical unit during the attack. The Russian battalion tactical group consists of about 1000 soldiers. It says the risky crossing of the river is a sign of “pressure on Russian commanders to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine.”

Zelensky said in a night video address to the people that the Ukrainians were doing everything they could to oust the Russians, but “today no one can predict how much this war will cost.”

“Unfortunately, this will depend not only on our people, who are already giving their best,” he said. “It will depend on our partners, European countries, the whole free world.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has started a war in Ukraine with the aim of preventing NATO expansion in Eastern Europe. But the invasion of Ukraine worries other countries beside Russia that they may be next.

This week, the President and Prime Minister of Finland announced that they want the Nordic country to aspire to join NATO. Swedish officials may step back in a matter of days. Nordic countries’ possible bid to join Western military bloc was called into question when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country To the idea of ​​”not having a good opinion”.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is scheduled to meet with his NATO counterparts, including the Turkish Foreign Minister, in Germany this weekend.

In the devastated southern port of Mariupol, Ukrainian fighter jets locked in a steel plant collided with Russian attacks on the city’s last stronghold of resistance. Svyatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, said his troops would endure “as long as they could” despite a shortage of weapons, food, water and medicine.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk told the country’s Suspilne news agency on Saturday that Ukrainian authorities were in talks to evacuate 60 seriously injured servicemen from the steel plant. He said Russia had not agreed to evacuate all the hundreds of wounded fighters at the plant, which numbered in the hundreds.

The assistant mayor of Mariupol said between 150,000 and 170,000 civilians remained in the city, which had a pre-war population of more than 400,000. In a Telegram post, Petro Andryushchenko said that the residents were “hostages” in the occupying Russian troops, “having almost no chance to escape to Ukraine.”

In Kiev, Ukrainian soldiers dressed in white protective suits loaded the bodies of Russian soldiers on the refrigerated carriages of the train. The bodies were wrapped in white body bags, laid several layers deep.

Colonel Vladimir Lyamzin, who oversaw the operation, said several hundred bodies were being stored on the capital’s trains and several other spare trains. He said that Ukraine is ready to hand over the bodies to Russia, but so far there is no agreement to do so.

Journalists were packed in the small courtroom of Ki’s court on Friday The trial of a captured Russian soldier The man accused of killing a Ukrainian civilian in the early days of the war is the first of dozens of war crimes cases that Ukraine’s attorney general has said his office is pursuing.

Shishimarin could face up to life in prison if he was found guilty of shooting the 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head with a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window on February 28, four days after breaking into a village in the northern Sumy region.

A member of the tank unit Shishimarin, who was captured by Ukrainian forces, confessed that in a video released by the Security Service of Ukraine, he shot a civilian, saying that he had been instructed to do so.

The trial, which is set to resume on Wednesday, will be closely monitored by international observers to ensure its fairness.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova has announced that she is preparing war crimes cases against 41 Russian soldiers, including the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the killing of civilians and the rape and robbery.

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