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The commander of Ukraine’s troops there told The Washington Post that his soldiers would not lay down their arms and would continue to “complete our military tasks as long as we receive them.” The southern port city is key to Moscow’s strategy in eastern Ukraine, and capturing it would give Russia a coveted land corridor linking the annexed Crimean Peninsula to the Donbas region.
Early Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Moscow would seek the “complete liberation” of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east. Luhansk’s regional governor said that the eastern city of Kreminna is now “under the control” of Russian forces, which could allow them to advance toward Kramatorsk, capital of the Donbas region.