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The latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Russia is resuming the Azovstal offensive, says an adviser to the Ukrainian president

Destroyed office building in Azovstal Iron and Steel Works.

Genghis Kondarov Reuters

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Saturday that Russia had resumed an offensive against Azovstal forces, a steel plant and the last Ukrainian bastion in the besieged city of Mariupol.

“The enemy is trying to strangle the last resistance of Mariupol defenders in the Azovstal region,” Arestovych told Reuters on national television.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to abandon a plan to attack the Azovstal steel plant, where several thousand Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were encamped, and instead decided to continue closing the facility with a blockade.

– Matt Clinch

Evacuations from Mariupol will begin at noon, says the deputy prime minister

According to Reuters, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Saturday that the evacuation from the besieged city of Mariupol would begin at noon local time if everything went according to plan.

“Today we will try to evacuate women, children and the elderly again,” she said in a social media post.

Moldova expresses its deep concern at the comments from the Russian military commander

The Moldovan Foreign Ministry said it had summoned its Moscow ambassador and expressed deep concern over the remarks of Russia’s top military commander.

Russian Major General Rustam Minnekaev claimed without evidence that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been deployed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could conduct false-flagged operations there to justify the invasion.

The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has updated the statement on its website, stating that “these statements are unfounded and run counter to the position of the Russian Federation in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders”.

– Matt Clinch

Zelensky says Ukrainian invasion is “just the beginning”

In his regular night speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Friday’s remarks by a Russian military official.

Russia’s Major General Rustam Minnekaev has previously revealed that Moscow’s goal in the second phase of the invasion is to fully control Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as well as southern Ukraine. However, it was not clear whether the comments reflected Russia’s official policy.

Minnevaev claimed without evidence that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been deployed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could conduct false-flagged operations there to justify the invasion.

Zelenskyj said late Friday night that these comments mean that Russia has ambitions to invade other neighboring countries. “The invasion of Ukraine is just the beginning. Then they want to invade other countries,” he told NBC News.

“Of course we will defend ourselves for as long as it takes to break this ambition of the Russian Federation. But all nations that believe in the victory of life over death like us must fight by our side, they must help.” us, “he added.

“Because it’s us who became the first on this journey. But who’s next? If those who may be next want to stay neutral today so they don’t lose something, it’s actually the most risky bet because you’ll lose everything.” ”

—Matt Clinch and Natasha Turak

Ukrainian officials say another mass grave has been discovered near Mariupol

Ukrainian officials say another mass grave has been discovered near the devastated southern port city of Mariupol.

Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said in a Telegram post that there was “new information about the mass burial of Mariupol’s dead” in Vynohradny, a village about 7 miles east of Mariupol.

Maxar satellite images of another extension of a mass grave near Vynohradny in Ukraine, east of Mariupol.

Maxar | Maxar | Getty Images

“This again confirms that the occupiers arrange for the collection / funeral / cremation of the dead Mariupol in every part of the city,” he said, accusing Russia of trying to “hide the consequences of war crimes.”

US defense contractor Maxar added that high-resolution satellite images of the Mariupol area “reveal the existence of a second cemetery that has expanded in the last month and includes several long trenches that are likely to become new grave sites.”

CNBC and NBC have not been able to independently substantiate these allegations, and Russian officials have not yet answered CNBC’s questions about the allegations.

– Joanna Tan

Russia will continue to bomb until “new methods of warfare” are introduced, says the United Kingdom

Satellite images of buildings in the Maxar flames in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine on April 9, 2022.

Maxar | Getty Images

Russia is likely to “continue to be frustrated” by its inability to quickly overcome Ukraine’s defenses, according to British intelligence.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said he will introduce “new methods of warfare” – a “tacit admission” that the war is not proceeding as intended, the British Ministry of Defense said in a tweet.

The implementation of the new plans in Moscow will take some time, and until then “it will probably continue to rely on bombing as a means of trying to suppress the Ukrainian opposition,” the report said.

– Joanna Tan

Zelensky says the Allies are supplying the weapons Ukraine wanted

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Allies were finally supplying the weapons Kyiv had asked for, adding that the weapons would help save the lives of thousands of people.

– Reuters

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