Here are the key events so far on Sunday, May 1.
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- Russia carried out missile attacks across southern and eastern Ukraine, and some women and children were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol after sheltering there for more than a week.
- Russia destroyed a new runway at Odesa’s main airport. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised to rebuild it, saying, “Odesa will never forget Russia’s behaviour towards it.” Odesa is Ukraine’s third-most populous city and a key Black Sea port.
- The bodies of three men shot in the head and with their hands tied were found in a pit near Bucha, a town close to Kyiv. There were also traces of torture.
- Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv was hit by Russian shelling although President Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces are making “tactical successes” in the region. One person was killed and five wounded.
- Fourteen Ukrainians, including a pregnant soldier, were freed in the latest prisoner exchange with Russian forces, Ukraine said, without revealing the number of Russians returned to Moscow.
- Ukraine said Russian planes continued to launch air attacks on Mariupol, focusing on the Azovstal steelworks where troops and civilians are sheltering.
- Two buses sent to evacuate residents from the eastern town of Popasna were fired upon, and contact with the organisers was lost. Mayor Nikolai Khanatov said: “We know that [the buses] reached the town and then came under fire from an enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group.”
- Moscow stepped up the assault in Ukraine’s south and the eastern Donbas region.
- US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrat Adam Schiff appeared with Zelenskyy in the capital, Kyiv.
- Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has met Zelenskyy in Kyiv. There were no immediate details about the meeting, but Ankara mediated between Ukraine and Russia in efforts to end the war.
- A Russian reconnaissance plane briefly violated Sweden’s airspace, Swedish defence officials said, as the Scandinavian country ponders a bid for NATO membership after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- French President Emmanuel Macron says France will “intensify” its supply of military and humanitarian support following a conversation with Zelenskyy.
- American President Joe Biden praised journalists covering Ukraine at a time when “a poison is running through our democracy … with disinformation massively on the rise”.
- The United Kingdom’s foreign office said Russia is using a troll factory to spread disinformation about the war on social media and target politicians across a number of countries, including the UK and South Africa.
- Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency, visited Lviv in Ukraine’s west and met people displaced by the war.
- Russia said the risks of nuclear war should be kept to a minimum and any armed conflict between nuclear powers should be prevented.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russian and Ukrainian negotiators talk “almost every day”, however, “progress has not been easy”.
- Ukraine is calling on Germany to supply it with more modern weaponry, just days after the German government approved the direct delivery of anti-aircraft tanks to the Ukrainian military for the first time.
- Ukrainian Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotsky said Russian forces have seized hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain in territory under their control. Ukraine is a major grain producer, and the invasion has pushed up world prices and raised concerns about shortages.
- The UN warned the war in Ukraine is having serious effects on its ability to deliver urgently needed food aid to countries around the world, as much of it is stuck in Ukrainian ports.
- Russian gas producer Gazprom said it was supplying natural gas to Europe via Ukraine in line with requests from European consumers.
Source: News Agencies