Situation remains critical – dozens of civilians rescued

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Of: Julius Fastnacht, Tobias Utz, Nail Akkoyun and Lucas Maier

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Heavy fighting continues in Ukraine. Russia suffers losses. The situation in Mariupol is opaque.

  • The situation around the Azovstal steel plant remains critical: The current situation seems to be getting worse.
  • The Battle of Mariupol progresses: Russian President Vladimir Putin calls on Kyiv to visit Mariupol.
  • Conflicting reports: According to Russia, the sunken flagship “Moskva” was not used at all during the war.
  • You can read all about the conflict in Ukraine in our news ticker. This is continuously updated.

+++ 9:30 p.m.: A total of 50 civilians were evacuated from the Azov steelworks in Mariupol on Friday. “Today we were able to get 50 women, children and elderly people out of the Azov steel plant,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told Telegram. The Russian Defense Ministry also mentioned 50 people who had left the disputed area. The action is expected to continue Saturday morning.

+++ 8 p.m.: A bus carrying 12 civilians was able to leave the Azov steelworks in Mariupol, besieged by Russian troops. The people were taken to the village of Bezimenne, controlled by pro-Russian troops, Reuters news agency reported. A little later, a second bus with 13 people also left for Bezimenne, Reuters reported, referring to information from Russian news agency RIA. Two or three more buses are expected from Mariupol, arrivals center officials said.

Civilians are still locked up in Mariupol. © Alexei Alexandrov/AP/dpa

War in Ukraine: the situation around the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol remains critical

+++ 6:30 p.m.: Relatives of the soldiers trapped at the Azov steelworks have called on the international community to rescue their men. At a press conference in kyiv, seven women asked not only civilians to be allowed to flee. Soldiers should also be given the option to leave the steelworks in a safe place. The women, some in tears, begged to take the trapped men to a third country.

+++ 4 p.m.: The situation around the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol remains critical. Speaking to the BBC about the current situation, Mykhailo Vershynin, a Ukrainian fighter, said it was “getting even worse”. “For two days, Russian troops have been actively storming the factory, using aircraft, artillery and heavy weapons to push back the defenders. There were wounded and many wounded. We couldn’t get the injured out.”

According to Vershynin, two civilians were killed and a dozen injured after a “very violent bombardment”. However, since the Ukrainian and Russian sides publish conflicting information, the statements cannot be independently verified.

Ukrainian War in Mariupol: vehicle fired with anti-tank weapon during evacuation

+++ 3 p.m.: The Azov regiment claimed that during a ceasefire “in the territory of the Azovstal complex” in Mariupol, Russian forces fired an anti-tank weapon at a car trying to help evacuate civilians. This is reported by the American news channel CNN.

On its Telegram channel, the volunteer battalion said: “As a result of the shelling, one fighter was killed and six injured. The enemy continues to violate all security agreements and guarantees for the evacuation of civilians.

Ukraine war: Russia comments on ‘threat’ of nuclear strike

+++ 1:13 p.m.: The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed speculation about the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. There are clear guidelines for such an operation in Russian nuclear doctrine, said ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev, according to the Interfax news agency. “They are not applicable to the achievement of the objectives set within the framework of the special military operation in Ukraine,” he added. Russia calls the war in Ukraine a “special operation”. Russian nuclear doctrine only provides for the use of nuclear weapons if the very existence of the country is threatened.

According to Zaitsev, Russia has repeatedly offered agreements to make nuclear war impossible. The head of diplomacy accused the West of a deliberate escalation with the help of the “fictitious nuclear threat from Russia”. In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West against interference when he ordered war on Ukraine. Otherwise, the countries concerned would suffer “consequences which they have never faced before”. At the same time, the head of the Kremlin put his own nuclear forces on heightened alert.

Russian flagship Moskva did not sink during war in Ukraine, Kremlin says

+++ 11:50 a.m.: According to Moscow, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet “Moskva”, which sank off the coast of Ukraine, was not involved in the military operation against Ukraine. This is what emerges from a response from the military prosecutor’s office to the surviving relatives of a sailor. “The inspection showed that the ship on which ED Shkrebez served did not enter Ukrainian territorial waters and was not included in the list of units and units involved in the special military operation,” he said. stated in the official letter released by the sailor’s father on Friday. Vkontakte social network. The sailor has been missing since the missile cruiser accident in mid-April.

Ukrainian War: Russia suffers losses in the Battle of Mariupol

+++ 10:10 a.m.: According to British intelligence experts, Russian troops in Ukraine suffered heavy casualties when they stormed the Azovstal factory in the badly damaged port city of Mariupol. Russia wants to seize the steelworks, the last stronghold of the defenders of Mariupol, probably for victory celebrations on May 9, the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin wishes symbolic success in Ukraine on the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. But Russia had to pay for this with heavy losses of soldiers, equipment and ammunition.

Meanwhile, it was hoped on Friday that civilians would again be evacuated from the steelworks. According to Ukrainian reports, around 200 civilians are still waiting there for a chance to get to safety. In two previous evacuations, organized by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, around 500 people from Mariupol and surrounding areas were taken to Zaporizhia, in Ukrainian-held territory.

Ukrainian War: Ukrainian forces launch a counter-offensive

Update for Friday, May 6, 6:30 a.m.: According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Russian military has used missiles against various targets in its war against Ukraine since 2014. Selenskyj announced this in his daily video address on Friday evening. Moreover, since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army on February 24, 2,682 airstrikes have already been recorded. “Each of these operations means the death of our people, the destruction of our infrastructure.”

Ukraine launches counter-offensives – Putin calls on Kyiv to surrender to Mariupol

+++ 10:30 p.m.: The Russian Air Force destroyed 45 military targets in Ukraine on Thursday, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow. Among other things, Ukrainian army positions and an ammunition depot in the Luhansk region were hit, ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. An artillery piece near the village of Sarozhne and a multiple rocket launcher system near Mykolaiv were also targeted by rockets. Russian artillery fire hit 152 Ukrainian positions and 38 artillery gun positions. This information cannot be independently verified.

War in Ukraine: soldiers in Mariupol accuse Russia of violating the ceasefire

+++ 6:15 p.m.: Ukrainian fighters have accused Russian troops of violating an agreed ceasefire to evacuate civilians from Azovstal steelworks in the port city of Mariupol. “Once again the Russians have broken the promise of a ceasefire and have not allowed the evacuation of civilians who continue to hide in the basements of the factory,” the deputy commander said. of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, Svyatoslav Palamar, in a video message posted on Telegram.

War in Ukraine: Russia changes strategy

+++ 3:45 p.m.: Russia seems to be changing its military strategy in the Donbass. Meanwhile, video footage released by US television channel CNN shows the extent of the destruction in Ukraine.

Ukrainian War: Ukraine launches counter-offensives

+++ 3 p.m.: Contrary to what presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych claims, Ukraine has launched counter-offensives. According to a report, this mainly affects the city of Kharkiv and the Russian-occupied city of Izyum. Valeriy Zalushny, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Army, confirmed the military actions to the Kyiv Independent news portal. He adds that heavy fighting continues near the towns of Popasna, Kreminna and Torske in the Luhansk region. Information cannot be independently verified.

Ukrainian War: Russian Navy bombs Mariupol steelworks

+++ 2:15 p.m.: The Mariupol steelworks, besieged for weeks, was the target of fire from the Russian air force on Thursday evening. Now Russia is probably also attacking with the navy. Russian media Nexta, based in Warsaw, reports on Twitter that the steel plant is “fired by naval artillery”. The situation in the Azovstal steelworks is critical. This information cannot be independently verified.

Ukrainian War: Russia bombs targets in Donbass

+++ 10:00 a.m.: Russia again bombed targets in the Donbass. On Telegram, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the military administration of the Donetsk region, reported on Thursday morning that there were deaths and injuries in Kramatorsk: “After a rocket attack in Kramatorsk, 25 people were injured , 9 apartment buildings, the school and objects of civil infrastructure were damaged, ”says Kyrylenko. According to the head of the Donetsk military administration, the towns of Chasiv Yar, Mariinka and Avdiivka were also bombed. At least one person died in Chasiv Yar, according to Kyrylenko on Telegram.

Ukrainian War: Russian Air Force Attacks Mariupol Steel Plant

+++ 09:00: The Russian Air Force launched new attacks on the Mariupol steelworks on Thursday evening. “There are continuous shellings and attacks, even at night with the adjustment of drone fire. In some areas, the fighting is already going beyond the factory fence,” a Ukrainian official told the American television channel CNN. Residential areas in the region therefore had to be “emergency evacuated without warning”, he said.

War in Ukraine: Zelensky appeals to the UN for the Mariupol steel plant

Update for Thursday, May 5, 6:45 a.m.: With a Russian ceasefire in sight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the UN to save the lives of the wounded trapped in the Azov steelworks in Mariupol and help evacuate them. “The lives of those who are still there are in danger. Everyone is important to us,” Zelenskyy said in a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday.

First report for Tuesday, May 3, 9:15 a.m.: A scandal erupted in international airspace off the island of Rügen: German Air Force Eurofighters pushed back a Russian military plane. (jf/tu/lm with dpa/AFP)

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