Ukraine says it will repel Russian aggression as war breaks out in the east

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian officials said Friday that their troops had repulsed a Russian offensive in the east, despite Moscow intensifying its campaign to fight for a position in the region now the epicenter of the war..

The British Defense Ministry said in an assessment that Russian troops needed time to reunite after months of siege on the main port city of Mariupol – but they may not get it. The city and its works, where Ukrainian militants have halted Russian attacks for weeks, have become a symbol of Ukraine’s anti – Stoic resistance and remarkable ability to repel a large force.

On Friday, several soldiers – many of whom are still unclear – are still at the Assoustal plant, following the surrender of more than 1,700 soldiers in recent days..

As the war for the steel plant draws to a close, Russia has already begun withdrawing troops from the site. But according to British estimates, Russian commanders are under pressure to send them quickly to the Donbass.

“That means Russia will rapidly redistribute its forces without adequate preparation, which could pose a risk of further force disintegration,” the ministry said.

Following the failure of his troops to capture the capital in the early days of the war, Donbass is now focusing on President Vladimir Putin.. Pro-Moscow separatists have been fighting with Ukrainian forces in the region for eight years and occupying a significant portion of it before Russia’s February 24 invasion.

But the attempt to capture more land there is progressing slowly. The British Defense Ministry says some senior commanders have been fired in recent weeks as a sign of Russia’s frustration with the speed of the war.

The governor of the region said on Friday that Russian forces had attacked the cities of Lishansk and Severdonetsk in the Luhansk region of Donbass. Twelve people were killed and more than 60 homes were destroyed across the region, Serhi Haidoi said in a telegram post.

But the attack on Chevroletonetsk failed. Both Haidoi and General Staff of the Ukrainian military said Russia had suffered losses and retreated. Their statements could not be verified independently.

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Nevertheless, Russia’s struggles in the East have become an intensifying offensive, and it is causing increasing suffering.

“There is hell, it is not superfluous,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said of the campaign.

“The brutal and completely meaningless bombing of Severodonetsk. Twelve people were killed and dozens injured in a single day,” he said in his nightly video conference Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have opened the first war crimes investigation into the conflict, A Russian soldier accused of killing a Ukrainian citizen in the early days of the war. 21-year-old soldier in the Russian tank unit, Sergeant. Vadim Shishimir, pleaded guilty, but the prosecution presented its evidence in accordance with Ukrainian law.

Shishimir said in court on Thursday that he had shot and killed 62-year-old Alexander Shelibo – and that he had apologized to the widow.

Ukraine’s surprisingly strong opposition has been strengthened by Western weapons and funding – and more aid has been made available this week.

On Thursday, U.S. lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Own aid package of $ 40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Television quoted Germany’s finance minister as saying that a group of seven leading industrial nations was ready to agree to more than $ 18 billion in aid. For security efforts in Ukraine.

Although Mariupol has been a target since the beginning of the invasion and has been under Russian control for some time, a group of Ukrainian militants carried out operations at a vast steel plant – a symbol of the way in which Ukrainian forces have defeated Russian troops. .

Russian state television has released a video claiming that Ukrainian soldiers were injured as they left the hospital from the Azovstal plant.

As Ukrainian prisoners express confidence in the transfer, Russian authorities have threatened to prosecute some Azovstal militants for war crimes.

The far-right appearance of one of the forces defending the plant was captured by the Kremlin as part of an attempt to carry out an invasion of Russia. The war against Nazi influence in Ukraine.

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Reported from McQuillan Lviv. Associated Press journalists Euras Karmanov from Livy, Andrea Rosa from Kharkiv and Amar Madani from Washington and other AP staff from around the world participated.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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