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Russia’s war on Ukraine latest news: Moscow pulls troops back from key city

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Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his troops to withdraw from the west bank of the Dnipro River near the strategic southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, a significant setback for Moscow and potential turning point in the war.

FIGHTING, CONFLICT

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* Russian General Sergei Surovikin, in overall command of the war, reported to Shoigu that it was no longer possible to keep Kherson city supplied and that his forces should move to the left, or eastern, bank of the Dnipro River.

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* The main bridge on a road out of Kherson was blown up. Reuters was able to verify the location of online images that showed the span of the Darivka bridge collapsed into the water of a tributary of the Dnipro River, though not how the bridge had been destroyed or by whom.

* One of Russia’s most prominent officials in Ukraine was killed in a car crash, a further blow to Moscow in the southern Kherson region amid an impending withdrawal of Russian forces.

* Russian artillery hit more than 30 settlements in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, and in Zaporizhzhia region the Russian-installed authorities were forcing residents to accept Russian passports after seizing their Ukrainian documents, a Ukrainian military statement said.

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Reuters was not able to verify the Ukrainian reports.

DIPLOMACY

* U.S. President Joe Biden said he expects U.S. aid to Ukraineto continue without interruption despite skepticism expressed by Republicans who appear poised to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

* Top U.N. officials will meet a senior Russian delegation in Geneva on Friday to discuss extending a Ukraine Black Sea grain export deal and efforts to smooth shipments of Russian food and fertilizers to global markets, the United Nations said.

* NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the “encouraging” news from Kherson.

* A leading ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin met Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on a trip to deepen trade and security cooperation, as Moscow looks to shore up its economy and bolster its war effort in Ukraine.

ECONOMY

Ukraine’s Economy Minister Yulia Syvrydenko said Russia’s destruction of civilian infrastructure would widen the expected contraction of gross domestic production to 39% from an earlier forecast that envisaged a 35% drop.

(Compiled by Cynthia Osterman)

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