Russia tries to tighten its grip on occupied areas of Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine – Russia is poised to tighten its grip on occupied parts of Ukraine as its military campaign to take more territory in the eastern Donbas region comes to a halt in the face of fierce resistance, with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warning that the fighting will intensify.

In Mariupol, Ukraine’s largest city recaptured by Russian forces, Russia has released footage of minesweepers preparing to clear the area around the Azovstal steelworks which had for weeks served as a refuge for hundreds of Ukrainian fighters until their surrender earlier this month. Petr Andriushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boychenko, said that four of the Russian minesweepers were injured after the explosion of a mine on the territory of the plant, including one seriously injured. Russia did not immediately comment on the reports.


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