MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry said it used air-launched missiles to destroy a Ukrainian military base where foreign fighters were allegedly trained.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday the training center was in the Zhytomyr region of central Ukraine, about 125 kilometers (75 miles) west of Kyiv.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the Russian claims. Russia calls foreign fighters who joined Ukrainian troops during the war “mercenaries”.

Konashenkov said Russian missiles also destroyed an ammunition depot and an anti-aircraft system elsewhere in Ukraine.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

– War rap: In Ukraine, an angry voice for a furious generation

– Destroyed buildings in Mariupol produce a “caravan of death”

– Russia and Turkey support their grain export plan; doubtful Ukraine

– UN report: War in Ukraine increases suffering of millions

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

KYIV, Ukraine – The governor of Luhansk province in eastern Ukraine said Russian forces were employing “scorched earth tactics” against the city of Sievierodonetsk, hitting it with rockets, rockets, artillery and mortars.

Serhiy Haidai also told The Associated Press on Thursday that neighboring Lysychansk was under “day and night shelling.” The Russians are trying to storm the key road linking Lysychansk to the town of Bakhmut but failed to take control of it, he said.

Haidai says Ukraine “still remains able to deliver humanitarian supplies to the region through a relatively safe route.”

Eastern Ukraine has been at the center of Russian attacks for more than two months.

Haidai said there had been two attacks on a chemical plant and “fierce battles” continued in Sievierodonetsk.

“Street battles are being fought with varying success in city blocks,” the governor said. “The Ukrainian army is fighting for every street and every house.”

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PARIS – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia’s invasion of his country is a threat to the environment and could lead to dangerous pollution in the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea.

Zelenskyy made the comments during a ministerial meeting of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. He used the platform to impress on ministers the need to wean states off Russian natural gas in favor of green energy.

The Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov border Ukraine and Russia. The Black Sea also borders Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Turkey.

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BERLIN — Poland’s president has sharply criticized the phone calls French and German leaders have had with Vladimir Putin, saying the conversations only serve to legitimize the Russian leader.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have spoken to Putin several times since Russia invaded Ukraine, both separately and together, to try to pressure him to end the war.

Polish President Andrzej Duda reportedly told German newspaper Bild on Thursday that he was “astonished” by the calls.

Duda argued that they come to nothing and “only legitimize a person responsible for the crimes that the Russian army is committing in Ukraine”.

Bild quoted Duda as adding: “Did anyone talk like that with Adolf Hitler during WWII? Did someone say Adolf Hitler had to save face? … I have not heard such voices.

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