‘Seemed like goodbye’: Mariupol defenders make their stand

(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian fighters at Mariupol’s pulverized steel plant are holding out against Russian troops in an increasingly desperate effort to keep Moscow from taking the strategic port city.

The wife of one of the fighters said the troops would not surrender and her husband told her “words of goodbye.”

Thursday’s bloody battle came amid growing suspicions that President Vladimir Putin wants to present the Russian people with a major battlefield success in time for Victory Day on Monday, which marks the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany.

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s military claimed it recaptured some areas in the south and repelled other Russian attacks in the east.

The Russians say they destroyed dozens of Ukrainian military targets.

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