Ukraine fights to hold eastern bastions as US First Lady visits

Severodonetsk, in eastern Ukraine, was once a bustling industrial city of 100,000 inhabitants, but is now virtually deserted

Ukrainian troops on Sunday braced themselves to defend their last bastion in the ruined port city of Mariupol, desperate to deny Russia a symbolic victory on the eve of Moscow’s Victory Day celebrations.

The complex – the last pocket of the Ukrainian resistance in the port city – has acquired symbolic value.

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