Ukraine: Russians withdraw from around Kharkiv, batter east


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine says Russian forces are withdrawing from around Ukraine’s second-largest city after bombarding it for weeks.

Officials say Moscow’s troops are pulling back from Kharkiv in the northeast while launching mortar, artillery and airstrikes in the eastern province of Donetsk.

According to Ukraine’s defense minister, the country is “entering a new, long-term phase of the war” after more than 11 weeks of fighting. Kyiv and Moscow are in a grinding battle for Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland. President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukrainians are doing their “maximum” to drive out the invaders.

Also Saturday, a U.S. Senate delegation led by Republican leader Mitch McConnell met with Zelenskyy in Ukraine’s capital.


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