All women, children and elderly people have been evacuated from Mariupol’s besieged steel plant, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has said. Iryna Vereshchuk said the current state of the humanitarian operation in Azovstal had been completed.
Several missiles hit the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa, the regional administration’s spokesperson, Serhiy Bratchuk, said. The strikes hit the city after targets in the surrounding Odesa region had been hit by four missiles earlier in the day, Bratchuk said in televised remarks, without giving further detail about the new strikes.
Two Russian missiles hit locations near the Russian border in Ukraine’s northern Sumy region today, local governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyi said. A border guard was wounded by the strikes on the Myropilske and Khotin municipalities, Zhyvytskyi wrote on Telegram.
The Ukrainian government has said it destroyed another Russian ship. The ministry of defence claimed that Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 had hit the landing craft of the Serna project, tweeting: “The traditional parade of the Russian Black Sea fleet on May 9 this year will be held near Snake Island – at the bottom of the sea.” Associated Press said it had analysed satellite photos showing the aftermath of the strike.
The conflict in Ukraine is taking a “heavy toll” on some of Russia’s most capable units, the UK’s ministry of defence said in its latest intelligence report. At least one T-90M, Russia’s most advanced tank, had been destroyed in fighting, the ministry added. “It will take considerable time and expense for Russia to reconstitute its armed forces following this conflict,” the report said.
The UN security council has issued its first statement on the war in Ukraine, but withheld from using the words “war”, “conflict” or “invasion”. The statement instead “expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine” and voiced “strong support” for the secretary general, António Guterres, in seeking a peaceful solution to the “dispute”.
The World Health Organisation indicated it is gathering evidence for potential war crimes committed by Russia. The WHO emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said the agency has already documented 200 attacks on hospitals and clinics in Ukraine which could violate international law.
Nearly 4 million Russians left the country in the first three months of this year, official statistics published by Russia’s federal security service show. Arrivals to former Soviet countries saw a significant spike after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. It is unclear how many have since returned to their home country.
Former US intelligence officers are advising their successors currently in office to shut up and stop boasting about their role in Ukraine’s military successes. Two stories surfaced in as many days in the American press this week, citing unnamed officials as saying that US intelligence was instrumental in the targeting of Russian generals on the battlefield and in the sinking of the Moskva flagship cruiser on the Black Sea.
Britain has pledged to provide another 1.3bn pounds ($1.60bn) in military support and aid to Ukraine. The new funds will almost double Britain’s previous spending commitments to Ukraine. British prime minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. “Putin’s brutal attack is not only causing untold devastation in Ukraine, it is also threatening peace and security across Europe.”
The latest US military aid package to Ukraine, announced by president Joe Biden on Friday, is worth $150m, the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, confirmed. The latest tranche of assistance includes 25,000 155mm artillery rounds as well as counter-artillery radars, jamming equipment, field equipment and spare parts. It brought Washington’s military assistance to Kyiv since the Russian invasion began to around $3.8bn, Blinken said.
The Group of Seven (G7) leaders will hold a video call on Sunday with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a show of unity the day before Russia marks its Victory Day holiday, the White House said. The talks would focus on the latest developments in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, efforts to bolster the country and ways to demonstrate “continued G7 unity in our collective response, including by imposing severe costs for Putin’s war”, a spokesperson for the White House said.