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Russia says some Ukrainian units pulling out of Sievierodonetsk

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Russia’s army said Saturday that some Ukrainian military units were withdrawing from the key city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.

“Some units of the Ukrainian army, having suffered critical losses during fighting for Sievierodonetsk, are pulling out toward Lysychansk,” Sievierodonetsk’s twin city, which sits just across a river, the defense ministry said in a statement.

It added however that some Ukrainian fighters remained in the city.

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“The Ukrainian authorities, having realized that it was impossible to resist further and to hold on to the industrial zone of Sievierodonetsk, ordered a mixed tactical unit to mine the tanks containing nitrate and nitric acid in the Azot factory,” it said.

Russia’s army said this group still in the city included “survivors” of the 79th Air Assault Brigade and members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces.

It claimed the Ukrainian army sought to contaminate the area and “delay” the Russian military operation.

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