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Ukraine Says Strengthening Defenses in Battered Frontline Town

Syrskyi visits troops on the frontline. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Facebook

Ukrainian troops defending the frontline town of Chasiv Yar under relentless Russian attack have received additional drones and weaponry, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi said Sunday.

Syrskyi wrote on Facebook after visiting troops defending the battered town that "measures were taken to significantly strengthen the brigades with ammunition, drones and electronic warfare equipment."

Russia is "concentrating its efforts to break through our defenses west of Bakhmut," Syrskyi said, referring to the destroyed town in the Donetsk region captured by Russia last May.

He said Russia aims to "seize the town of Chasiv Yar," which lies 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Bakhmut.

Chasiv Yar has been heavily destroyed by shelling and Ukraine has said it is now under "constant fire."

Syrskyi said Russia's military leadership has set a deadline to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9, when Russia marks Soviet victory in World War II.

Russia then wants to "create conditions for further advancement" to the large city of Kramatorsk and the surrounding area, Syrskyi warned.

Overnight, Russia shelled the eastern Kharkiv region, killing two people in a village near the border.

Ukraine's Energy Ministry said Russia shelled energy infrastructure in the Kharkiv region, causing power outages and problems with gas supply.

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