Here are the key events so far on Sunday, May 2.
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- Some 100 civilians evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol were due to arrive in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia.
- Russia’s defence ministry said it had carried out a missile strike on a military airfield near the port city of Odesa, destroying a runway and a hangar containing Western-supplied weapons and ammunition.
- Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow’s upcoming Victory Day celebrations on May 9 will have no bearing on the pace of its operations in Ukraine.
- In Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, Governor Oleh Synehubov warned residents in the north and east of the city of Kharkiv to remain in their shelters due to heavy Russian shelling.
- Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, urged people to evacuate while it was still possible.
- Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukraine’s forces of shelling a school, kindergarten and cemetery in villages in the occupied southern Kherson region, the Russian RIA news agency said. There was no immediate response from Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s military said Russia is redeploying some forces from Mariupol to the eastern Luhansk region as Moscow presses ahead with its refocused offensive in the Donbas.
- More than one-quarter of the 120 battalion tactical groups Russia committed at the start of the war in Ukraine are likely now ineffective for combat, the UK’s defence ministry said.
- Following a surprise visit to Kyiv, US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to send the message that Washington stands firmly with Kyiv as it battles Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “diabolic invasion”.
- Britain’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 Britain and South Africa.
- Russia is committed to working to prevent a nuclear war from ever beginning, Lavrov said in an Italian television interview. “Western media misrepresent Russian threats,” Lavrov said, speaking in Russian through an Italian interpreter.
- Finland will almost certainly apply for membership in NATO, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish television.
- Denmark and Sweden summoned Russia’s ambassadors after a Russian spy plane violated the airspace of both countries, their governments say.
- Some 219 children have died in Ukraine and 405 have been wounded since Russia launched its full-scale offensive on February 24, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine has reported.
- The highest number of children affected by the war was is in the Donetsk region (139), followed by Kyiv (115), Kharkiv (95) and Chernihiv (68), the office said on the Telegram app.
Business and economy
- US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he would add provisions to a $33bn Ukraine aid package to allow Washington to seize Russian oligarchs’ assets and send money from their sales directly to Ukraine.
- Russia should confiscate property owned by Westerners in response to a proposal by US President Joe Biden to transfer the frozen assets of Russia’s elite to Ukraine, Russia’s most senior lawmaker said.
- The European Union is leaning towards a ban on imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, two EU diplomats said after talks between the European Commission and EU member states this weekend.
- EU energy ministers were set to hold emergency talks on Monday, as the bloc strives for a united response to Moscow’s demand that European buyers pay for Russian gas in roubles or face their supply being cut off.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies