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Ukrainian forces could pull spine from embattled eastern city

Ukrainian forces could pull spine from embattled eastern city

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces battling Russian troops inside a answer eastern city appeared on the cusp of retreat Wednesday, though the geographical executive insisted they are still fighting "for every one one centimeter" of the city.

The urban battle for Sievierodonetsk testified to the painstaking, inch-by-inch go forward by Russian forces while they near inside on jurisdiction of the entire Luhansk region, one of place of set of two that build up the manufacturing heartland known while the Donbas.

After a bungled try to overrun Kyiv inside the early days of the war, Russia shifted its focus to the neighbourhood of coal mines accompanied by every one one other accompanied by factories. The neighbourhood has been partly controlled by Russia-backed separatists for years, making inside attendance accompanied by lines shorter accompanied by every one one other accompanied by allowing Moscow to tap separatist forces to spine its offensive. But Russia excessively faces Ukraine's most battle-hardened troops, who have been fighting the separatists for eight years there.

The consequence is a slow slog accompanied by both sides exchanging artillery barrages that seemingly inflict heavy losses accompanied by every one one other accompanied by neither appearing to have the understandable momentum.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai acknowledged the difficulties inside Sievierodonetsk on Wednesday, telling The Associated Press "maybe we will have to retreat, nevertheless fair now battles are ongoing inside the city."

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Earlier, on the Telegram messaging app, he said Ukrainian forces were fighting "for every one one centimeter of the city."

He indicated they could pull spine to positions that are easier to defend. The city across the river, Lysychansk, sits on higher ground.

Sievierodonetsk became the administrative earliest city of the neighbourhood following the city of Luhansk was taken by separatists inside 2014. Both it accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Lysychansk are wedged inside the centre of Russian forces to the east, northern accompanied by every one one other accompanied by south, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by are among a few cities accompanied by every one one other accompanied by towns inside Luhansk still holding out.

The Kremlin has claimed its forces clasp almost all of the Luhansk region, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by concerning fifty per cent of of Donetsk neighbourhood that rounds not here the Donbas.

Meanwhile, to the north, Russian shelling of the northern Kharkiv neighbourhood killed five people accompanied by every one one other accompanied by wounded 12 additional over the past 24 hours, geographical executive Oleh Syniehubov said Wednesday.

The Russian military said Wednesday that Moscow used "air-launched, high-precision missiles" to hit an armor repair plant near Kharkiv. There was no indeed indeed confirmation from Ukrainian officials of such a plant actuality hit.

On the diplomatic front, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks Wednesday accompanied by Turkish officials on a scheme that could permit Ukraine to sell overseas its cereal into with every one other accompanied by not here of the Black Sea to worldwide markets amid an escalating worldwide food crisis.

Ukraine is one of the world's largest exporters of wheat, corn accompanied by every one one other accompanied by sunflower oil, nevertheless the war accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a Russian blockade of its ports have halted a a large amount of of that flow, endangering food supplies to numerous developing countries. Many of those ports are now excessively laboriously mined.

An estimated 22 million tons of grains are sitting inside silos inside Ukraine.

Turkey is hoping to talk over terms a firm corridor, maybe overseen by the U.N., for the shipment of Ukrainian cereal — while well while Russian food accompanied by every one one other accompanied by fertilizer.

Before Russia's Feb. 24 invasion, Ukrainian officials said Russia controlled some 7% of the country, including the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed inside 2014, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by areas held by the separatists inside Donetsk accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Luhansk. Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces held 20% of the country.

While Russia has higher-ranking firepower, the Ukrainian defenders are entrenched accompanied by every one one other accompanied by have shown the ability to counterattack.

"The completely heroic defence of the Donbas continues," Zelenskyy said late Tuesday inside his nightly video address.

Speaking earlier to a Financial Times conference, Zelenskyy insisted on Ukraine's need to defeat Russia on the battlefield nevertheless excessively said he is still not shut to tranquillity talks accompanied by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking at a report conference following the talks accompanied by Lavrov, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country is "much additional optimistic" that Russia accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Ukraine tin exist persuaded to return to talks aimed at extremity the war. Talks inside the centre of the place of set of two sides hosted by Turkey earlier inside the debate yielded no indeed indeed progress.

But a former older U.S. intellectual capacity officer said the hour dated isn't right.

"You're not going to obtain to the negotiating bench until neither side feels they have an advantage that they could push," said Andrea Kendall-Taylor of the Washington-based Center for a New American Security.

The Russians "think they will exist intelligent to lay clasp of the whole of the Donbas accompanied by every one one other accompanied by at that hour dated ability use that while the chance to call for negotiations," Kendall-Taylor said at an online seminar organized by Columbia accompanied by every one one other accompanied by New York universities.

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Associated Press journalists Oleksandr Stashevskyi inside Kyiv; Yuras Karmanau inside Lviv; accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Andrew Katell inside New York contributed to this report.

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

Ukrainian forces could pull spine from embattled eastern city

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