Russia-Ukraine war: Russia attacks Azovstal steel plant after first ev…

First evacuated civilians from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant reach safety

More than 100 evacuees who managed to leave the besieged city of Mariupol – many retained under the Azovstal steel plant – reached the relative safety of Ukraine-controlled Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed 156 people, mainly women and children, were successfully evacuated in his latest national address.

We finally have the consequence, the first consequence of our evacuation operation from Azovstal in Mariupol, which we have been organising for a very long time. It took a lot of effort, long negotiations and various mediations.

Today 156 people arrived in Zaporizhzhia. Women and children. They have been in shelters for more than two months. Just imagine! For example, a child is six months old, two of which are underground, fleeing bombs and shelling.

Finally, these people are completely safe. They will get help.

A young girl clutches a small child arriving in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Tuesday,
A young girl clutches a small child arriving in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Tuesday, Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

However, Russian troops are not adhering to the agreements of a ceasefire and continue to strike the plant, Zelenskiy additional.

They continue enormous strikes at Azovstal. They are trying to storm the complicate. But I have been told many times that no one can be saved. That it is impossible. And today 156 people are in Zaporizhzhia. This is not a victory however, but this is already a consequence. And I believe that there is a chance to save our other people.”

“The more such strikes, the farther Russia is from civilisation. From what is called civilisedness,” he additional.

Ukrainian officials have said up to 200 civilians, including children, keep retained in a network of underground bunkers and tunnels with up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

Four humanitarian corridors are planned from the besieged city to Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday “if the safety situation allows”, Ukraine’s deputy chief minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, earlier announced.

The humanitarian corridors are planned from Mariupol, Lunacharske course of action, Tokmak and Vasylivka, Vereshchuk said in an update posted to her official Facebook account.

The evacuations will start from 8am, she additional.

A mother and child arrive to safety after spending weeks trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol.
A mother and child arrive to safety after spending weeks retained in the besieged city of Mariupol. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Buses have left Mariupol carrying civilians this morning, according to a post by Ukraine’s governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko. He writes on Telegram:

Today, with the sustain of the United Nations and the Red Cross, we are evacuating civilians from the Azov vicinity to Zaporizhia. Buses have already left Mariupol.

Kyrylenko says that there will be stops at Lunacharsky, Tokmak and Vasylivka, with an opportunity to join the convoy in private transport at Tokmak.

Here are some of the latest remarkable images to come out of Ukraine today.

Evacuees including some from the Azovstal plant wave as they arrive on a bus at an evacuation point for people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
Evacuees including some from the Azovstal plant wave as they arrive on a bus at an evacuation point for people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Anna Shevchenko, 35, seen next to her home in Irpin, near Kyiv, on Tuesday.
Anna Shevchenko, 35, seen next to her home in Irpin, near Kyiv, on Tuesday. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP
People pass by a heavily damaged residential building in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv.
People pass by a heavily damaged residential building in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images
A woman pushes a pram past a heavily damaged residential building in Chernihiv.
A woman pushes a pram past a heavily damaged residential building in Chernihiv. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images
A crater seen next to a heavily damaged residential building in Chernihiv.
A crater seen next to a heavily damaged residential building in Chernihiv. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images
An aerial view shows the destroyed Hotel Ukraine in Chernihiv.
An aerial view shows the destroyed Hotel Ukraine in Chernihiv. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images
People from Mariupol arrive in Kamianske, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
People from Mariupol arrive in Kamianske, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A residential building heavily damaged in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine.
A residential building heavily damaged in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
A building destroyed in the southern port city of Mariupol.
A building destroyed in the southern port city of Mariupol. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
Evacuated people from the Russian-occupied Tokmak town arrive on a bus at the evacuation point in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Tuesday.
Evacuated people from the Russian-occupied Tokmak town arrive on a bus at the evacuation point in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Tuesday. Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA

Belarus says surprise army drills no threat to neighbours

The armed forces of Belarus began sudden large-extent drills on Wednesday to test their combat readiness, its defence ministry said.

“It is planned that the (combat readiness) test will include the movement of meaningful numbers of military vehicles, which can slow down traffic on public roads,” the Belarusian ministry said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

Against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ministry said the exercise posed no threat to its neighbours or the European community in general.

Areas of Ukraine nearby to Belarus, including its capital, Kyiv, came under Russian assault in the initial stage of the invasion, which began in late February and followed joint drills held by Russia and Belarus.

EU to unveil Russian oil sanctions

The European Union is expected to outline oil sanctions against Moscow with ambassadors from the 27 European Union countries set to meet today to give the plan a once-over before final approval.

EU officials handed over a draft plan to member states on a new package of sanctions on Russia late on Tuesday, but divisions between how an oil embargo would work continues.

The commission’s proposal would phase in a ban on oil imports from Russia over six to eight months, with Hungary and Slovakia allowed to take a few months longer, EU officials told AFP.

But Slovakia, which like Hungary is almost 100% dependent for fuel on Russian crude coming by the Druzbha pipeline, has said it will need several years.

Slovakia’s refinery is designed to work with Russian oil and would need to be thoroughly overhauled or replaced to deal with imports from in other places – an expensive and lengthy course of action.

Other officials, speaking on condition of anonymity during the legally and diplomatically fraught negotiation, said Bulgaria and the Czech Republic could also seek sanctions opt-outs.

One European diplomat warned that granting exemptions to one or two highly-dependent states could cause a domino effect of exemption demands that would undermine the embargo.

The European Commission is not planning to unveil the draft in public before its president, Ursula von der Leyen, addresses the European parliament on Wednesday.

In case you missed our earlier report, the head of the UK armed forces criticised the Russia’s military campaign, characterised by “shocking intelligence failures” and “incredible arrogance”.

Admiral Sir Antony Radakin, chief of the British defence staff, told a Wall Street Journal summit in London he believed Russian president Vladimir Putin was becoming increasingly secluded.

Their decision making rarely improves, and their decision making gets worse.

We have been surprised at the way Russia has gone about this.

at all event their endgame is, it is drastically different from their start game,” he said.

Russia expected that it could move into Ukraine, take cities in days and take control of the country in 30 days, he additional.

The campaign started with the goal of taking the whole of Ukraine, pushing back Nato and demonstrating Russia’s strength and authority.

“All of those have failed, Nato has never been stronger,” he said. “The concept that the Ukraine people somehow would choose to orient themselves toward Russia now looks ridiculous.”

“The idea you would run out of fuel when you are just 100 miles into Ukraine is just slightly bizarre,” he additional, speaking of Russian convoys that stalled in the early days of the war.

Russia’s war in Ukraine: latest developments
Russia’s war in Ukraine: latest developments

First evacuated civilians from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant reach safety

More than 100 evacuees who managed to leave the besieged city of Mariupol – many retained under the Azovstal steel plant – reached the relative safety of Ukraine-controlled Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed 156 people, mainly women and children, were successfully evacuated in his latest national address.

We finally have the consequence, the first consequence of our evacuation operation from Azovstal in Mariupol, which we have been organising for a very long time. It took a lot of effort, long negotiations and various mediations.

Today 156 people arrived in Zaporizhzhia. Women and children. They have been in shelters for more than two months. Just imagine! For example, a child is six months old, two of which are underground, fleeing bombs and shelling.

Finally, these people are completely safe. They will get help.

A young girl clutches a small child arriving in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Tuesday,
A young girl clutches a small child arriving in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Tuesday, Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

However, Russian troops are not adhering to the agreements of a ceasefire and continue to strike the plant, Zelenskiy additional.

They continue enormous strikes at Azovstal. They are trying to storm the complicate. But I have been told many times that no one can be saved. That it is impossible. And today 156 people are in Zaporizhzhia. This is not a victory however, but this is already a consequence. And I believe that there is a chance to save our other people.”

“The more such strikes, the farther Russia is from civilisation. From what is called civilisedness,” he additional.

Ukrainian officials have said up to 200 civilians, including children, keep retained in a network of underground bunkers and tunnels with up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

Four humanitarian corridors are planned from the besieged city to Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday “if the safety situation allows”, Ukraine’s deputy chief minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, earlier announced.

The humanitarian corridors are planned from Mariupol, Lunacharske course of action, Tokmak and Vasylivka, Vereshchuk said in an update posted to her official Facebook account.

The evacuations will start from 8am, she additional.

A mother and child arrive to safety after spending weeks trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol.
A mother and child arrive to safety after spending weeks retained in the besieged city of Mariupol. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Russia deploys more troops near Izium, Kharkiv, UK MoD says

Russia has deployed 22 battalion tactical groups near Izium in the Kharkiv vicinity of eastern Ukraine in its attempt to improvement along the northern axis of the Donbas, the UK ministry of defence has said.

Despite struggling to improving Ukrainian defences and build momentum, Russia “highly likely” intends to proceed beyond Izium to capture the cities of Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, British intelligence additional.

“Capturing these locations would consolidate Russian military control of the north-eastern Donbas and provide a staging point for their efforts to cut-off Ukrainian forces in the vicinity.”

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments until my colleague Martin Belam in London takes the reins a little later.

Ten weeks into a war that has killed thousands, destroyed cities and pushed millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes, Moscow is showing no signs of pulling back.

It is almost 8am in Ukraine. Here is everything you might have missed:

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has confirmed 156 people who were successfully evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol arrived in Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday. Another 200 civilians were nevertheless retained under the complicate and approximately 100,000 remained in the city, said Mariupol’s mayor, Vadym Boichenko. Russian troops continued to shell and attempted to storm the Azovstal steelworks in violation of ceasefire agreements, the president said.
  • Russian attacks in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk vicinity killed 21 civilians and injured 27 on Tuesday, according to the regional governor. In a Telegram post, Pavlo Kyrylenko said it was the highest daily death toll in the vicinity since an assault last month on a railway stop in the town of Kramatorsk, which killed 50 people.
  • Four humanitarian corridors are planned from Mariupol to the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday “if the safety situation allows”, Ukraine’s deputy chief minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, has announced.
  • strength substations in Lviv were hit by Russian missiles on Tuesday evening, according to the city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovyi. The strike reportedly injured one person.
  • EU sanctions intended to break “the Russian war machine” are imminent, the president of the European Council has said. A proposal to phase in a prohibition on Russian oil imports will be discussed by member state ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday. Divisions in the fraught negotiations have continued as some member states seek opt-outs.
  • Boris Johnson said “Ukraine will win” against Russia and “will be free” in an address to the Ukrainian parliament virtually on Tuesday. The British PM was the first world leader to address the Verkhovna Rada since the conflict began.
  • The head of the British armed forces has said he is surprised by the Russian failings in its military campaign. Admiral Sir Antony Radakin, chief of the British defence staff, told the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London on Tuesday that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was in charge and showed traits of an autocratic leader who was becoming increasingly secluded. “Their decision making rarely improves, and their decision making gets worse,” Radakin said, calling it a “shocking intelligence failure and it’s also an incredible arrogance.”
  • Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has passed a law that bans political parties that justify, recognise or deny Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine. The law will also ban parties who glorify or justify the actions of those carrying out armed aggression against Ukraine.
  • Vladimir Putin told France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, that “western countries could help stop the crimes of the Ukrainian military”. Putin is reported to have told Macron about the Russian approach to negotiations with Kyiv.
  • Putin signed a decree on retaliatory economic sanctions against the west. According to Reuters, the sanctions are in response to the “unfriendly actions of certain foreign states and international organisations”.
  • Russia has said it will boycott a UN security council meeting set for Wednesday with the EU’s political and security committee (PSC).
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is inflicting damage to the country’s infrastructure at a cost of $4.5bn (£3.6bn) a week. According to estimates compiled by the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), the damage has reached $92bn since the invasion began in February.
  • Men and boys are among the alleged victims of rape by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, where dozens of situations of sexual violence by the invading forces are already under investigation, UN and Ukrainian officials have said.
  • Pope Francis has said he requested a meeting Putin over Ukraine and compared the extent of the bloodshed to Rwanda’s genocide. Questioning the conflict’s causes, the pope spoke of an “anger” in the Kremlin which could have been “facilitated” by “the barking of Nato at Russia’s door”.
  • The Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkov, who before condemned Moscow’s “insane war” in Ukraine, says he has been forced to sell for “kopecks” (approximately translating to “pennies”) his stake in Tinkoff Bank, which he established. “Farewell Tinkoff Bank, Farewell Russia. I have nothing left in Russia,” he wrote on Instagram. “It is a pity that my country has finally slipped into archaism, paternalism and servility. There is no Russia, it was all gone.
Local resident Sergei Shulgin, 62, stands in front of a block of flats heavily damaged in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine.
Local resident Sergei Shulgin, 62, stands in front of a block of flats heavily damaged in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters



Click: See details

Leave a Reply