Russian Forced To Join More Military Unit In Eastern Ukrainian…

Efforts continue to try organise the safe evacuation of thousands of civilians who remain in the city of Mariupol, which could include people trapped at the sprawling Azovstal steel plant.

The site, completely surrounded by Russian troops, is the last pocket of refuge for Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. They are sheltering in the plant’s vast network of underground shelters and tunnels while food supplies quickly run out.

Mariupol’s mayor, Vadym Boychenko, disclose this to people there were “on the borderline between life and death”. “[People] are waiting, they are praying for a rescue… It’s difficult to say how many days or hours we have to save their lives.”

Boychenko, who is no longer in the city, said there were about 1,000 civilians at the plant “begging to be evacuated”, and that 600 of them had been injured. Some of them, the mayor said, had been there since the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched on 24 February.

Mariupol has been almost totally destroyed in the war, and the remaining residents have no electricity, water or heating. With the phone network inoperative in most of the city, it is hard to independently verify information or videos that circulate online.

Footage posted by the Azov Battalion, originally a far-right group that was later incorporated into the country’s National Guard, showed women and children in crowded rooms and corridors. In one of them, a girl said he had left her house with her mother and grandmother on 27 February. Since then, she said, they had not seen the sky or the sun.

“People stuck there have almost no chance to save their lives,” the mayor said. “They have no opportunity to breathe fresh air. They entered bomb shelters and are waiting for their lives to be saved.”

Bodies of three men found in a pit near Bucha – Ukrainian police.

The bodies of three men have been found in a pit near Bucha, Ukrainian police have said.

The bodies were found on Friday in the town close to Kyiv that has become synonymous with allegations of Russian war crimes.

“The victims’ hands were tied, cloths were covering their eyes and some were gagged. There are traces of torture on the corpses,” Kyiv regional police said in a statement.

Moscow has denied any crimes were committed in Bucha, which was under the control of the 64th motorised infantry brigade for more than a month at the start of the war.

Ukraine has launched a hunt for 10 Russian soldiers accused of war crimes in Bucha. National Guard says video shows strikes on Russian convoy

Ukraine’s national guard has released footage appearing to show strikes being carried out against a Russian armoured military convoy near Izyum in eastern Ukraine.

The video shows what the Ukraine National Guard said were tanks and armoured personnel carriers being hit.

It seems there’s been a concerted effort to take out Ukraine’s petrol stations.

We are heading west, and the road is dotted with scenes of absolute devastation, sites of missile strikes. A disproportionately high number of them are petrol stations.

We’ve already passed dozens of burned out buildings, their roofs mangled metal, the gas tanks twisted shells. It doesn’t feel random.

There are other buildings that have been targeted, but in general it seems there’s been a concerted effort to take out Ukraine’s petrol stations.

There have also been strikes on refineries and other infrastructure, as well as a sea blockade. The cumulative effect is starting to bite.

It’s something President Zelensky addressed directly when he spoke to the Ukrainian people yesterday. He said they would solve the problem, but admitted “queues and rising prices at gas stations are seen in many regions of our country”.

That too was evident on our drive west. Any petrol station that wasn’t destroyed or shut had a huge line of cars outside.

It’s just another example of the impact it is having on ordinary people, even far from the front lines.

France promises to increase military and humanitarian aid.President Emmanuel Macron says France will step up military and humanitarian support to Ukraine, following a conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky.

Macron also reiterated his “strong concern” over Russia’s bombing of Ukrainian cities and the “unbearable situation” in the southern port city of Mariupol.

The US, France and other allies have provided Kyiv with hundreds of long-range artillery pieces to help it counter Moscow’s offensive in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

The French presidency also says aid to Ukraine amounts to “more than 615 tonnes of equipment, including medical equipment, generators for hospitals, food aid, shelter aid and emergency vehicles”.

Russia repels Ukrainian plane entering its air space – governor
Two shells hit an oil refinery in a region bordering Ukraine when Russian air defence units repelled a Ukrainian warplane attempting to enter Russian airspace, the Bryansk regional governor has said.

Alexander Bogomaz said the blast wave from the incident damaged parts of the oil terminal but there were no casualties.

It was not clear from his post on Telegram whether the blasts were a result of Russian air defence fire or came from missiles fired from the Ukrainian military plane.

Earlier this week, the governors of both Bryansk and the neighbouring Kursk region said that two border checkpoints were shelled “from Ukraine.

 

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