Russians are withdrawing from around Kharkiv

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine says Russian forces are withdrawing from around Ukraine’s second-largest city after bombarding it for weeks. Ukraine’s general staff said Saturday that Moscow’s troops were pulling back from Kharkiv in the northeast while launching mortar, artillery and air strikes in the eastern Donetsk province.

Ukraine’s defense minister says the country’s is “entering a new, long-term phase of the war” after more than 11 weeks of fighting. Kyiv and Moscow’s forces are engaged in a grinding battle for the country’s eastern industrial heartland. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainians were doing their “maximum” to drive out the Russians. Meanwhile, a U.S. Senate delegation led by Republican leader Mitch McConnell met with Zelenskyy in Ukraine’s capital.