Key Ukrainian city’s capture complete, Russia says

Russian forces have finalized their capture of the key Ukrainian city of Avdiivka after taking full control of the city’s large coke plant, officials said on Monday.

The Russian defense ministry announced it had taken full control of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine pulled its forces out of Avdiivka on Saturday as Russian troops advanced. This came days after the White House warned Russian forces were closing in on Avdiivka as U.S. lawmakers struggled to reach an agreement on approving more funding for Ukraine, which is nearing its two-year mark of fighting with Russia.

Avdiivka became a key battleground over the past few months as part of a larger Russian strategy to take the rest of the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The capture of the city could help Russia launch more offensives toward the rest of Donetsk.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily video address Sunday that Ukraine is “doing everything possible and impossible” to win the war, emphasizing the need for help from its allies to succeed.

“But for Ukraine to achieve this success — to protect its land, its people, and our common truth, everyone in the free world — Ukraine must not remain alone. Support is important. Solidarity — is important. Only together, in unity, can we win in this war,” he said.

U.S. lawmakers have not been able to agree on securing more funding for Ukraine as the White House urges Congress to do so. The Senate passed bipartisan legislation last week that included about $60 billion in funding for Ukraine, but Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) rejected the legislation.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the House unveiled a bill that contained $47 billion for Ukraine, but the measure has an uphill battle in both chambers as lawmakers tied the aid for Ukraine to strict border security provisions.

The Associated Press contributed.

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