Russian forces are withdrawing from Kharkiv, Ukraine says

Apparent retreat comes as wives of soldiers trapped in Mariupol steelworks ask Xi Jinping for help

  • Russia-Ukraine war: latest updates

Russian forces are withdrawing from the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials have claimed, as the wives of soldiers trapped in the besieged port of Mariupol called on the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to save them.

The general staff of Ukraine’s army said on Saturday that after a bloody battle the Russians appeared to be departing their positions around Ukraine’s second biggest city, 31 miles (50km) from the Russian border.

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