The Russian military fired missiles into eastern and southern Ukraine on Saturday, Ukrainian officials said, as women and children were evacuated from the Azovstal factory in the besieged port of Mariupol, where they had been holed up for more than a week.
Unable to capture Kyiv, during an offensive that left behind a field of rubble, killed thousands of people and forced five million Ukrainians to flee abroad, Russia is now focused on eastern and southern Ukraine.
Russian forces captured Kherson in southern Ukraine on April 21 Moscow declared victory in Mariupol Although hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians found refuge in the steelworks of Azovstal.
Angelina Jolie in Lviv with displaced civilians
American actress Angelina Jolie traveled to the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, where she spoke with civilians displaced by the war that Russia started on February 24.
Hollywood star, 46 years old He is the Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner of refugees, which estimates that more than 12.7 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the war, roughly 30% of the population.
Angelina Jolie remarkably went to the station of this city in western Ukraine, where she collected testimonies from the displaced and the volunteers responsible for their care.
Among them are psychiatrists, each of whom “in consultation” sees about fifteen people per day. Volunteers said that most of the civilians gathered at the center were children between the ages of two and ten.
“We’re getting civilians out of the rubble with ropes”
“They must be in shock. I know how trauma can affect children, and I know how relieved they are when they show them how much they mean,” said Angelina Jolie, who took the photos with the children and volunteers.
The United Nations has urged an evacuation deal. A Ukrainian soldier inside the factory announced that about 20 women and children managed to get out.
“We are pulling civilians out of the rubble with ropes – old people, women and children,” said Svyatoslav Balamar.
The soldier said that Russia and Ukraine respected a local ceasefire and that he hoped the evacuees would head to Zaporizhia in the northwest.
Neither Russia nor the United Nations has commented on the evacuations. Ukrainian officials said hundreds of Ukrainians are still at the steel plant.
Odessa targeted by missile fire
Russian missile launched from Crimea Hit the runway at Odessa airportThe governor of Odessa, Maxim Marchenko, said that it is now passable, adding that there are no injuries to denounce.
The Ukrainian military announced that the airport could no longer be used. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged to rebuild the airport, saying in his daily speech that “Odessa (will never) forget Russia’s behavior towards it.”
Moscow has not commented on the strike.
Moscow’s offensive in the south is aimed in part at linking the region with Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, as it seeks to control the entire Donbass region, made up of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces partly controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
In his speech, Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia was “gathering additional forces to carry out new attacks against our army in the east of the country”, and was “trying to increase pressure on Donbass.”
Moscow described the February 24 war as a “special military operation” to disarm and “discredit” Ukraine, defend Russian speakers from persecution and prevent the United States from using the country to threaten Russia.
Ukraine accuses Russian soldiers of committing atrocities in the Kyiv region earlier this month, which Moscow denies.
Peace talks were continuing between the two sides without progress at this stage.
“everything is destroyed”
The United States and its European allies have imposed sanctions on Russia and provided arms and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve a $33 billion (€31.3 billion) aid package for Ukraine, including $20 billion in military aid.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday that his country would continue to “provide Ukrainians with the equipment they need to defend themselves”.
In Dopropilia, a mining city in the Donetsk province, the shock wave of a Russian strike smashed the windows of an apartment building and left a large hole in the yard.
Andrey, a resident who declined to give his surname, told Reuters that his partner, who was in a room across the courtyard at the time of the shock, lost consciousness.
“Thank God,” he said, “the four children were in the kitchen.” Their living room was destroyed.
Residents of the building were trying to salvage what could be salvaged from under the rubble.
Strikes in Russia
“Around 9:20 a.m., this happiness happened to us. Everything is destroyed,” Ole testifies sarcastically.
Russia reported Ukrainian strikes on its territory.
Authorities in the Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine and Belarus, said the anti-aircraft defense thwarted an attack by Ukrainian planes. A Russian oil terminal was hit in the fighting.
In the Kursk region, south of Bryansk, shells were fired from Ukrainian territory towards a Russian checkpoint, Governor Roman Starovit, who reported no casualties or material damage, said.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the strikes, but described the series of bombings in southern Russia on Wednesday as revenge and “karma” that Moscow has accumulated since the invasion began.