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700,000 soldiers defending Ukraine now, Zelenskyy says, as battles rage in the Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a school damaged during a battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the village of Vilkhivka near Kharkiv on 20 May 2022
A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a school damaged during a battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the village of Vilkhivka near Kharkiv on 20 May 2022 Copyright AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
Copyright AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Meanwhile, Moscow claimed victory in Mariupol after months of siege and the destruction of over 90% of the southern port city.

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Some 700,000 Ukrainian soldiers are now actively participating in defending the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a televised interview on Saturday. 

In comparison, Russia deployed anywhere between 100,000 to 190,000 troops when it launched its invasion on 24 February, with the exact numbers of currently active units unclear.

Meanwhile, the Moscow forces continued their assault in the east after claiming victory in Mariupol on Friday as the last Ukrainian defenders holed up in Azovstal laid down their arms.

Read more about the day's developments in our live blog below.

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