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Russians, Ukrainians fight chunk by chunk inside eastern city

Russians, Ukrainians fight chunk by chunk inside eastern city

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops pushed farther into a answer eastern Ukrainian city with every one other accompanied by fought road by road accompanied by Kyiv's forces Monday inside a battle the mayor said has left-hand the city inside ruins with every one other accompanied by driven tens of thousands of people from their homes.

Military analysts painted the fight for Sievierodonetsk while small portion of a contest opposed to hour dated for the Kremlin. The city is answer to Russian efforts to complete the capture of the eastern manufacturing neighbourhood of the Donbas fast — earlier to additional Western arms come to bolster Ukraine's defense.

Weapons from the West have by that hour dated helped Kyiv's forces thwart a Russian go forward on the first city inside the early weeks of the war. That lack of success forced Moscow to withdraw, regroup, with every one other accompanied by pursue the additional restricted impartial of seizing the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists by that hour dated held swaths of territory with every one other accompanied by have been fighting Ukrainian troops for eight years.

"The Kremlin has reckoned that it can't pay for to waste hour dated with every one other accompanied by should use the last chance to expand the separatist-controlled territory since the coming of Western weapons inside Ukraine could build it impossible," Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said.

But inside a potential setback for Ukraine, President Joe Biden appeared to dismiss reports that the U.S. was considering sending long-range rocket systems to the country.

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The Russian focus on Sievierodonetsk has by that hour dated left-hand the city "completely ruined," Mayor Oleksandr Striuk said. Artillery barrages have destroyed critical infrastructure with every one other accompanied by damaged 90% of the buildings, with every one other accompanied by ability with every one other accompanied by communications have been mostly gash to a city that was on one occasion place of residence to 100,000 people.

"The number of victims is rising every one hour, nevertheless we are unable to count the deceased with every one other accompanied by the wounded amid the road fighting," Striuk told The Associated Press inside a phone interview, adding that Moscow's troops state-of-the-art a few additional blocks in the direction of the city center.

He said that only concerning 12,000 to 13,000 residents remain, sheltering inside basements with every one other accompanied by bunkers to get away the Russian bombardment — a circumstances that recalls the siege of Mariupol that trapped residents with every one other accompanied by led to some of the worst suffering of the war.

Striuk estimated that 1,500 civilians have died inside his city since the war began, from Russian attacks while well while from the dire conditions, including a lack of medicine or medical treatment. More than 20,000 are feared deceased inside Mariupol.

A 32-year-old French journalist, Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, died Monday near Sievierodonetsk when he was hit by shrapnel from shelling while covering Ukrainians evacuating the area, according to his employer, French broadcaster BFM TV.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said Russian forces reinforced their positions on the northeastern with every one other accompanied by southeastern outskirts of Sievierodonetsk, 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of the Russian border inside an area that is the last compartment of Ukrainian management jurisdiction inside Luhansk.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said the Russians were too pushing in the direction of nearby Lysychansk. In addition to the journalist, set of two civilians were killed with every one other accompanied by another five were wounded inside the latest Russian shelling, he said.

The Russian go forward inside Sievierodonetsk with every one other accompanied by Lysychansk on either side of the strategically important Siverskiy Donetsk River is small portion of an all-out push, Zhdanov said.

The strength of the latest fighting with every one other accompanied by the fact that Russia has poured troops inside from their a lengthy way the orient have go nearer while a astonishment to the Ukrainians, who are trying to clasp not here until additional weapons tin arrive, Zhdanov said.

"The Ukrainian armed force can't pay for losing while numerous soldiers while the Russians," Zhdanov said. "The Ukrainians hope that Russia will sprint not here of steam soon."

The Russians are taking advantage of the slow conveyance of additional weapons with every one other accompanied by build up for difficulties its forces had early inside the war, said Mykola Sunhurovskyi, a military expert at the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center believe tank.

"Russia clearly has been trying to lay clasp of revenge for its past failures inside Ukraine with every one other accompanied by attain at least some of its goals," Sunhurovskyi said.

On Monday, Biden told reporters external outside the White House that there are no indeed plans for the U.S. to dispatch long-range rocket systems to Ukraine, amid reports that the go is actuality considered.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia's Security Council, said that was a "reasonable" decision.

He said that "otherwise, if our cities go nearer under attack, the Russian armed forces would fulfill their threat with every one other accompanied by strike the centers where such criminal decisions are made."

Medvedev added that "some of them aren't inside Kyiv."

Russian pressure too continued inside the south on Monday. Defense Ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said an artillery strike on a shipyard inside the southern port of Mykolaiv destroyed Ukrainian armored vehicles parked there.

In the Kherson region, the Russia-installed deputy head of the geographical administration, Kirill Stremousov, told Russia's Tass condition report agency that cereal from last year's harvest is actuality delivered to Russian buyers, adding that "obviously there is a a large amount of cereal here." Ukraine has accused Russia of looting cereal from territories its forces hold, with every one other accompanied by the U.S. has alleged Moscow is jeopardizing worldwide food supplies by preventing Ukraine from exporting its harvest.

Russia, meanwhile, has pressed the West to lift sanctions opposed to it while it seeks to shift the clasp in charge of for the growing food crisis — which has led to skyrocketing prices inside Africa.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged France not to succumb to such "blackmail" at a gathering Monday accompanied by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

Zelenskyy has urged the European Union to inside fact ramp up its sanctions opposed to Russia, mainly on its lucrative vitality sector. He was place to address a gathering of EU leaders that is wrestling accompanied by whether to mark Russian lubricant inside a new place of sanctions.


Karmanau reported from Lviv. AP journalists around the world contributed to this report.


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