Russia pours in more troops and presses attack in the east

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is attacking cities and towns in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland and pouring more forces into the country.

Russia Ukraine War

A Ukrainian soldier walks past a Russian tank after recent battles at the village of Moshchun close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

It intensified assaults along a front hundreds of miles long Tuesday in what officials on both sides described as a new phase of the war.

After a Russian push to overrun the capital failed, the Kremlin declared that its main goal was the capture of the eastern Donbas region.

Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces there for eight years.

If successful, that offensive would give President Vladimir Putin a vital piece of Ukraine and a badly needed victory in the now 7-week-old war.

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