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Ukraine: Russia continues attack on Azovstal steel plant — live updates

Deutsche Welle 5/5/2022 Deutsche Welle
Hundreds of civilians are holed up in Azovstal, along with the last of the city's resistance. © Alexander Ermochenko/REUTERS Hundreds of civilians are holed up in Azovstal, along with the last of the city's resistance.

The Ukrainian army is reporting renewed attacks from Russian forces on the Azovstal steel plant. Russia has also carried out simulated nuclear drills in its Baltic exclave. Follow DW for the latest. Russian president's deputy chief of staff visited Mariupol 300 more were evacuated from Mariupol and nearby to Zaporizhzhia Russia conducted simulated drills of nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea Air raid sirens ring overnight in multiple Ukrainian cities

This article was last updated at 06:55 UTC/GMT

Russian forces continue assault on Azovstal mill: Ukraine says

Ukraine has reported fresh Russian attacks on the Azovstal steel plant in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

"With the support of the air force, the enemy renewed its attack with the aim of taking control of the factory site," the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a situation report early on Thursday.

Russia had earlier announced a daily ceasefire limited to several daytime hours to allow the civilians seeking refuge in the plant to get to safety.

Five civilians killed by shelling in Luhansk region, says governor

Five civilians have been killed by Russian shelling in Ukraine's Luhansk region in the last 24 hours, Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Thursday.

Gaidai said the shelling was centered around Sievierodonetsk and Popasna, Hirske and Lysychansk.

Japan: Difficult to immediately follow Russia oil embargo

Japan has said that it would face "difficulty" immediately following a move by the European Union to sever Russian oil imports over the war in Ukraine.

"Given Japan has its limit on resources, we would face some difficulty to keep in step immediately," Japan's minister of economy, trade, and industry, Koichi Hagiuda, told the media on Thursday.

Hagiuda made the comments while on a trip to Washington and following a proposal by the European Union's executive outlining the toughest set of sanctions yet against Russia, which includes a crucial embargo on crude oil.

US intelligence providing info on Russian generals to Ukraine - report

The New York Times reports Ukraine is receiving intelligence from the United States on the whereabouts of Russian generals, which the Ukrainians are using to launch lethal attacks.

US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson, however, said in a statement that battlefield intelligence was not provided to the Ukrainians "with the intent to kill Russian generals."

Multiple sources reportedly told the newspaper that the US was not involved in the strike at a location in eastern Ukraine where Russian General Valery Gerasimov was present.

On Tuesday, US General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel, "There's a significant amount of intelligence flowing to Ukraine from the United States."

Over 600,000 Ukrainian refugees currently in Germany

Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees said more than 600,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country have arrived in Germany since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Of the total number, roughly 40% of those Ukrainian refugees are minors.

It is unknown how many from that number registered and returned or went on to another country without deregistering.

According to German federal police, the number of new arrivals has dropped considerably, and many have returned to Ukraine with the war shifting to the east of the country.

UN: 300 civilians from Mariupol and nearby towns evacuated

The UN said more than 300 civilians from the besieged southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol had made it out and been evacuated to the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia.

The evacuation Tuesday was the second such successful operation in as many days to bring civilians out of Mariupol and nearby areas as Russian shelling and attacks continued.

Kremlin official visits Mariupol

Sergey Kiriyenko, the deputy chief of staff in Russian President Vladimir Putin's office, visited the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which is nearly entirely occupied by Russian forces.

Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin announced the visit in a Telegram post.

Kiriyenko is a former Russian prime minister. His current portfolio includes domestic politics.

Russia carries out simulated nuclear drills

In the patch of Baltic territory belonging to Russia known as Kaliningrad, Russian forces practiced carrying out nuclear-capable missile strikes.

Russia's defense ministry said in a statement that its forces conducted single and multiple strikes at targets imitating launchers of missile systems, airfields, protected infrastructure, military equipment, and command posts of a mock enemy.

Additional combat units also practiced "actions in conditions of radiation and chemical contamination."

More than 100 service members were involved in the drill.

Ukraine and Israel leaders speak about Lavrov's antisemitic comments

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

He added the two leaders spoke about Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's antisemitic remarks during a 42-minute presentation on Italian television last Sunday. In his commentary, he suggested Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler was Jewish, of which there is no evidence, and that Jewish people were responsible for the Holocaust.

Russia has since doubled down on its comments.

Zelenskyy addresses Denmark on anniversary of Nazi surrender

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed crowds in the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus by video link and said the war in his country was just as cruel as the one commemorated each year on May 4.

Danes remember the date in 1945, recalling when they heard that German troops had surrendered in Denmark in a radio announcement.

CDU MP: 'Zelenskyy showed trust in Germany'

Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the German parliament for the opposition Christian Democrats (CDU) told DW that when he visited Kyiv with CDU leader Friedrich Merz, "Zelenskyy showed trust in Germany."

Kiesewetter added that "we all believe that now our Chancellor has enough leeway to really further support wholeheartedly Ukraine."

"There are three issues that Ukraine needs. First of all, long distance weapons to keep the Russians apart. Second, strong security guarantees for a future free and liberal society and a free and sovereign Ukraine. And third, what also is needed is a possibility to become a member of the European Union."

"The army is really fighting a brave war and they need any support because we would lose our civilization if we won't support them. And we need to contain Russia," Kiesewetter concluded.

Air raid sirens sound in cities across Ukraine

Across Ukraine in areas near Kyiv, Cherkasy and Dnipro in the central part of the country and the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia air raid sirens rang Wednesday night.

In Dnipro, local authorities said a railroad facility was attacked and social media videos indicated a bridge was also hit.

Air raid sirens have become a daily event for many in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in late February.

JPMorgan Chase CEO: 'The Cold War is back'

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said the Federal Reserve should have moved sooner to raise interest rates to tamp down inflation and stymie a possible recession in an interview with Bloomberg TV Wednesday.

Dimon said, "The Cold War is back," adding, "We need to pump more oil and gas."

His comments come as the European Union considers an oil embargo on Russia by year's end.

Summary of Wednesday's events in Russia's war on Ukraine

Russia's military said it would open humanitarian corridors from the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol Thursday and over the next two days. The announcement comes after Ukraine's ruling parliamentary faction head David Arakhamia said Russian forces have entered Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant.

Arakhamia added that the government had contact with the last group of Ukrainian fighters at the plant after Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said earlier in the day on national television that contact was lost.

The plant is the final holdout for Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol and authorities said hundreds of civilians are also hiding in the underground network of tunnels. City authorities said around 200 civilians and more than 30 children were also still trapped there.

Ukraine's military intelligence said in a statement on social media that Russia is planning to hold a World War II Victory Day parade in Mariupol on May 9.

"The central streets of the city are urgently being cleaned of debris, bodies, and unexploded ordnance," it said, adding, "A large-scale propaganda campaign is underway. Russians will be shown stories about the 'joy' of locals from meeting the occupiers."

The May 9 Victory Day is one of Russia's most important holidays, and there was speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin could make a major announcement in Moscow such as a formal declaration of war on Ukraine.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry says Russia is seeking to increase the tempo of its offensive in the eastern part of the country. Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said Moscow had conducted nearly 50 airstrikes on Tuesday alone.

The UK's Ministry of Defense said that Russia is continuing to strike non-military targets to weaken Ukrainian resolve. Its latest military intelligence update said the targets include residential properties, schools, hospitals, and transport hubs.

The UK also banned Russia from using British accountancy, management consultancy and PR services and slapped further sanctions on pro-Kremlin news outlets and journalists. The UK will also apply individual travel bans on some journalists working for Russia's Channel One.

The EU has set out plans for a sixth round of sanctions against Russia, including a ban on imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. Hungary and Slovakia have already said they wouldn't take part in the oil sanctions and would be given an extra year to find alternative suppliers.

Kyiv said European Union countries blocking a gradual embargo on imports of Russian oil would be complicit in crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.

Sberbank and two other major Russian banks are set to be excluded from the international financial communication system. The sanctions also include an EU ban on three Russian state broadcasters, with the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, calling the TV channels "mouthpieces that amplify Putin's lies and propaganda aggressively."

ar/aw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Copyright 2022 DW.COM, Deutsche Welle. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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