Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine

Ukraine Russia CrisisKYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to strengthen his control of southern Ukraine by giving residents of two regions a fast path to Russian citizenship.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to bolster Russia’s army, which is fighting an intense battle for Ukraine’s east. Putin visited a Moscow military hospital on Wednesday and met with some soldiers wounded in Ukraine.

Three months into the war, Russian rockets pounded towns in the industrial Donbas region. Ukraine’s foreign minister said the situation there was “extremely bad.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated that he’d be willing to negotiate with Putin directly but said Moscow needs to retreat to the positions it held before the Feb. 24 invasion.

Categories: National News