By OLEKSANDR STASHEVSKYI and DAVID KEYTON
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) Russian troops are withdrawing from around Ukraines second-largest city after bombarding it for weeks, the Ukrainian military said Saturday, as Kyiv and Moscows forces engaged in a grinding battle for the countrys eastern industrial heartland.
Ukraines general staff said the Russians were pulling back from the northeastern city of Kharkiv and focusing on guarding supply routes, while launching mortar, artillery and airstrikes in the eastern Donetsk province in order to deplete Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Ukraine was entering a new – long-term – phase of the war.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainians were doing their maximum to drive out the invaders and that the outcome of the war would depend on support from Europe and other allies.
Ukrainian National Guard soldiers inspect a basement during a reconnaissance mission in a recently retaken village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, east Ukraine, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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