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Ukraine Crisis

Civilians evacuated from Ukraine’s Mariupol

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Around 100 Ukrainian civilians were being evacuated from a ruined steelworks in the city of Mariupol

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says, after the United Nations had confirmed a “safe passage operation” was in progress there.

Around 50 Ukrainian civilians reached the relative safety of a temporary camp in Russian-held territory on Sunday after being evacuated from a ruined steelworks in Mariupol, where the United Nations said a “safe passage operation” was in progress.

A convoy of vehicles with Ukrainian number plates, Russian forces and vehicles with United Nations symbols arrived in the village of Bezimenne, located in the Donetsk region, around 20 miles from Mariupol.

The city is under Russian control but some fighters and civilians remain holed up in the Azovstal works – a vast Soviet-era plant designed with a labyrinth of bunkers and tunnels to withstand attack.

It is one of the first major signs of an evacuation agreement to ease the ordeal of the most destructive siege in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Sunday that 46 civilians had left the area around the steel plant the previous day.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged continued support for Ukraine when she met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in an unannounced visit to Kyiv.

“We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom that we are on a frontier of freedom and then your fight is a fight for everyone. So, our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”

Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday it had carried out a missile strike on a military airfield near the port city of Odesa, destroying a stock of Western-supplied weapons.

It released video showing a missile being launched, which it said was used to carry out the strikes.

On Saturday, Ukraine said Russian missiles had knocked out a newly constructed runway at Odesa’s main airport. President Zelenskiy pledged in an overnight address to rebuild it.

It was unclear if they were referring to the same incident and Reuters could not immediately verify the reports.

Moscow has turned its focus to Ukraine’s south and east after failing to capture Kyiv in the early weeks of the war.

In the northern city of Irpin – one of the main fighting hotspots before Russian troops pulled back – people gathered to honor their military dead, laying flowers on freshly dug graves.

Ten year old Saveliy Krotkikh’s father Ivan was killed by shelling.

His mother Alla said she was thankful to her husband who she said died defending their city.

Her 21-year old son and her husband’s brother, who were also in the army, were both wounded trying to help rescue her husband.

Tetyana Blyznyuk’s husband also died fighting.

She said he always used to bring her flowers. But today, it was her turn to bring them to him.

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia

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Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.

“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.

In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.

Protests engulf major Russia cities

In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.

Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.

As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.

The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.

In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.

Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.

In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.

In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.

“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.

Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.

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Ukraine Crisis

U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future

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U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch

The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.

Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.

Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.

“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.

When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.

Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.

This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
fighter jets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.

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Ukraine Crisis

Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine

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A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.

The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.

Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.

The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”

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