• AFP-JIJI

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Russian forces edged closer Wednesday to taking the key eastern Ukraine city of Severodonetsk, but Kyiv’s hopes of holding off their invaders were boosted by a U.S. pledge of more advanced rocket systems to help their defense.

The Russians had taken control of 70% of the key industrial hub, with Ukrainian forces withdrawing to prepared positions, Lugansk region governor Sergiy Gaiday said.

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