Russians pull out of Kharkiv, batter Ukraine's east:

Ukraine is entering a new-long-term-war stage, according to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov . President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainians were doing their best to drive out the invaders .

KYIV, Ukraine (Kyiv): Following weeks of heavy bombardment, Russian troops are withdrawing from Ukraine's second-largest city, according to the Ukrainian military, as Kyiv and Moscow's forces engaged in a tense battle for the country's eastern industrial heartland.According to Ukraine's general staff, the Russians were withdrawing from Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, and focusing on guarding supply routes, as well as launching mortar, rockets, and airstrikes in the eastern Donetsk province in order to deplete Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications.Ukraine is entering a new-long-term-war stage, according to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainians were doing their best to drive out the invaders and that the success of the war would depend on assistance from Europe and other allies as the country's top prosecutor tried to bring a Russian soldier on trial for war crimes, the first of many dozens awaiting trial.

Russia's offensive in the Donbas, a mining and industrial area that Moscow-backed separatists have partially controlled since 2014, seemed to be turning into a back-and-forth slog with no notable breakthroughs either way.After failing to capture Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, the Russian army shifted to the Donbass, but its forces have failed to gain and sustain ground.Ukraine had its most highly equipped troops in the area before the war to keep the Russian-backed rebels at bay.During Russia's invasion, it has captured many villages and towns.

Ukraine's forces also made strides, capturing six Ukrainian towns and villages in the last day, according to Zelenskyy.According to western officials, Ukraine had pushed Russian forces back around Kharkiv.In the early stages of the war, the largely Russian-speaking city was a Russian key military goal, as Moscow was still attempting to capture and hold major Ukrainian cities.According to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, Ukraine appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv.

According to a Telegram message app post, regional governor Oleh Sinegubov said that no shelling attacks on Kharkiv had occurred in the day before.Ukraine launched a counteroffensive near Izyum, a city 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Kharkiv that has been under british rule since at least the beginning of April, according to him.According to Oleh Zhdanov, an independent Ukrainian military analyst, fighting was fierce on the Siversky Donets River near the city of Severodonetsk, where Ukraine has launched counterattacks but failed to stop Russia's advance.According to him, the fate of a substantial portion of Ukraine's army is being decided.

But Ukrainian and British officials said Russian forces suffered significant losses in a Ukrainian assault that destroyed a pontoon bridge they were using to cross the same river as the largest in eastern Ukraine in the town of Bilohorivka, marking another sign of Moscows struggle to salvage a war gone wrong.Ukrainian airborne forces posted pictures and video of a shattered Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River, which was later identified as a wreckage of at least 73 Russian military vehicles.Russia lost key armoured maneuver parts of at least one battalion tactical group in the strike, according to Britain's Defence Ministry.About 1,000 troops are housed in a Russian battalion tactical unit.

In his nightly video message to the nation, Zelenskyy said that Ukrainians were doing everything possible to drive out the Russians, but that no one today knows how long this war will last.This will, of course, be dependent on our people, who are already providing their best, he said.It will depend on our partners, European countries, and the entire free world.Russian President Vladimir Putin began a war in Ukraine in an attempt to stop NATO's expansion in Eastern Europe.

Finland's president and prime minister declared this week that they wanted the Nordic country to apply for NATO status.Officials in Sweden may intervene within days.When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country is not a favorable nation for joining the Western military alliance, the Nordic nations' plans for membership were put into question.This weekend in Germany, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to speak with his NATO counterparts, including Turkish Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko.

Despite shortages of ammunition, food, water, and medicine, Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of Ukraine's Azov Regiment, said his troops will keep out as long as they can.Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister, told the country's Suspilne news agency on Saturday that Ukrainian authorities are negotiating the evacuation of 60 critically wounded troops from the steelworks.Russia had not agreed to the evacuation of all wounded fighters at the plant, which number in the hundreds, according to her.According to a mayor's aide, Mariupols mayor expects to see between 150,000 and 170,000 civilians in the city, which has a population of more than 400,000 as a result of the war.

Ukrainian soldiers clad in white protective gear loaded Russian soldiers' bodies onto refrigerated train cars in Kyiv.The bodies were wrapped in white body bags and stacked several layers high.Hundreds of bodies were being stored on the trains in the capital and elsewhere, according to Col. Volodymyr Lyamzin, who supervised the operation.Ukraine was willing to hand the bodies to Russia, he said, but there was no deal to do so so far.

If found guilty of firing a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window in a village in the northeastern Sumy region on February 28, four days before the assault, Shyshimarin could face life in prison.Shyshimarin, a member of a tank unit that was seized by Ukrainian forces, admitted to shooting the civilian in a video posted by the Ukrainian Security Service, claiming he was commanded to do so.International observers will closely monitor the case, which starts on Wednesday, to ensure that it is fair.General Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine's Ukrainian prosecutor, said she is preparing war crimes lawsuits against 41 Russian troops for crimes such as bombing civilian buildings, killing civilians, rape and looting.