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Facing deeper isolation by the day over the Ukraine war, Russia seemed to slightly recalibrate its stance Thursday, allowing greater humanitarian access to the devastated port city of Mariupol and apparently retreating from a payment confrontation with European gas customers.

But Western officials said they saw little evidence to support Russia’s claims that it was greatly reducing its military presence around Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and fighting continued unabated in areas around the city on Thursday. In Dnipro, the central city that has become a hub for humanitarian aid to other parts of Ukraine, a Russian attack overnight destroyed an oil terminal, a local official said.

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