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Ukraine appears to drive Russians from Kharkiv; Republicans meet Zelenskyy

Patrick J. McDonnell, Jaweed Kaleem and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Photos and video also showed Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Barrasso, R-Wy., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, in the delegation

Immediate action on a bipartisan bill to give Ukraine an additional $40 billion in emergency humanitarian and military aid has been blocked by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who said he wanted to have an inspector general scrutinize the spending.

At the same time fighting continued across Ukraine, where the first war crimes trial of a Russian soldier opened in Kyiv on Friday and Russian blamed Ukrainian shelling for the death of a civilian in a Russian village near the Ukrainian border.

Hot spots continued to include the southern city of Mariupol, Zelenskyy said in an overnight address. Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have been evacuated from the bunkers and tunnels of a sprawling Azovstal steel plant that is Kyiv’s last holdout in the shattered southern port city on the Sea of Azov.

“We do not stop trying to save all our people from Mariupol and Azovstal. Currently, very difficult negotiations are underway on the next stage of the evacuation mission,” Zelenskyy said. The president said “a large” number of individuals remained trapped in the complex, though he did not give a specific count.

In an interview on Sky News on Saturday, Ukrainian military intelligence leader Kyrylo Budanov said he expected battles across the nation to last through the summer and predicted, perhaps prematurely, a Ukrainian win.


“The breaking point will be in the second part of August. Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year,” he said.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov offered a more cautious assessment in a post on Facebook. “We are entering a new, long-term phase of the war,” he said. While he welcomed a growing supply of Western arms flowing into his nation, he said he expected “extremely difficult weeks” ahead, adding, “How many there will be? No one can say for sure.”

The United Nations this week estimated that more than 14 million people have been displaced by the war in Ukraine. The number represents about a third of the nation’s population. The U.N. also reported more than 3,500 civilian deaths, though it said the real number is likely much higher.


(McDonnell reported from Lviv, Ukraine, Kaleem from London and Linthicum from Mexico City.)

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