BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 05: A participant wears a t-shirt that celebrates the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island who refused to surrender to Russian naval forces during a protest gathering to demand Europe keep its promises towards supporting Ukraine on June 05, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 100 people, mostly Ukrainians living in Berlin, protested too to demand that Germany deliver its promised heavy weaponry to Ukraine in support of Ukraine's current armed struggle against the ongoing Russian invasion. Russia's current war against Ukraine, which many had expected to conclude within weeks of its February 24 launch, recently surpassed 100 days and is now concentrated in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russia has pulled back its forces from a Black Sea island where they have faced relentless Ukrainian attacks, but is keeping up its push to encircle the last bulwark of Ukraine’s resistance in the eastern province of Luhansk. Russia’s Defense Ministry said it withdrew its forces from Snake Island off Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa in what it described as a “goodwill gesture.” Ukraine’s military said the Russians have fled the island in two speedboats following a barrage of Ukrainian artillery and missile strikes. In central Ukraine, funerals were to be held Thursday for some of the 18 people confirmed killed by Monday’s Russian missile strike on a busy shopping mall in Kremenchuk.