Russian Attack On Azovstal Plant ‘repelled’ For Now

Russian Attack On Azovstal Plant ‘repelled’ For Now

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4 hr 14 min agoUkrainian commander inside Azovstal plant says Russians violated truce pledge and fierce combat is ongoingFrom CNN’s Julia Kesaieva and Tim Lister

A Ukrainian commander inside the ruins of the Azovstal complex in Mariupol has recorded a video message saying that heavy fighting continues.

“It’s been the third day that the enemy has broken through to the territory of Azovstal. Fierce bloody combat is ongoing,” said Sviatoslav Palamar, the Azov regiment’s deputy commander.  

“The defenders of the city have been fighting alone for 71 days with the overwhelming forces of the enemy and show such endurance and heroism that the country must know what it means to be loyal to the motherland,” Palamar said on Telegram.

He said the Russians had broken their pledge to allow civilians to leave through evacuation corridors Thursday.

“Once again, the Russians violated the promise of a truce and did not allow evacuation for civilians who continue to hide in the basements of the Azovstal plant. I call on the world community to evacuate civilians,” Palamar said. He also made an appeal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying: “I personally appeal to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief to take care of the wounded soldiers who are dying in terrible agony from improper treatment. Give the opportunity to pick up the bodies of soldiers so that Ukrainians can say goodbye to their heroes. Respond appropriately to a critical situation in which the enemy does not adhere to any ethical norms.”

After about 100 civilians were able to leave the plant Sunday, none have emerged since. There are thought to be between 200 and 300 civilians still inside the plant, including 30 children. Since Sunday, it has been bombarded from land, sea and air.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed reports Thursday that the Russian army had broken into the territory of the plant, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to avoid storming of the plant was still in place.

4 hr 42 min agoRussia expels Danish embassy employeesFrom CNN’s Katharina Krebs in London

The Danish Embassy in Moscow, on March 29, 2018 (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)Russia declared seven employees of the Danish embassy in Moscow “persona non grata,” saying diplomats must leave the country within two weeks, according to a statement by the Russian foreign ministry published on Thursday.

“The ambassador was informed that, as a response, seven employees of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in the Russian Federation were declared ‘persona non grata.’ They must leave the country within two weeks. A visa was also denied to a diplomat of the Danish diplomatic mission,” the statement read.

According to the ministry, the reciprocal measure comes after Copenhagen declared 15 employees of the Russian Embassy in Denmark and the Russian Trade Representation in Copenhagen “persona non grata,” as well as the provision of military assistance by the Danish authorities to Kyiv.

The Russian side noted that the “openly anti-Russian policy” of the kingdom causes serious damage to bilateral relations.

The ministry added that the Russian side reserves the right to take additional retaliatory steps to the actions of Copenhagen, which will be reported to the Danish side at a later time.

4 hr 45 min agoRussian attack on Azovstal “repelled,” Ukrainian presidential adviser saysFrom CNN’s Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

This image taken from a video released by the Internal Affairs ministry of the self-proclaimed pro-Russia Donetsk People’s Republic on May 4 shows alleged shelling at the besieged Azovstal complex in Mariupol, Ukraine. (Eye Press/Reuters)Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych spoke about the latest situation in the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, saying Ukrainian forces “repelled” Russian troops at the plant.

He told Ukrainian television that “we can say that yesterday Russian troops entered the territory of Azovstal and were repelled by our defenders.”

He said a lot of contradictory information was circulating, but added: “We can say that there are ongoing combats. All other information is being clarified.” 

“Negotiations with Russia are ongoing [on new evacuation corridors], and all the diplomatic authorities are involved,” he said.There is no sign that any civilians have been able to leave the ruins of the steel complex Thursday despite the Russian Ministry of Defense saying it would open evacuation corridors from the plant today.

CNN’s efforts to reach commanders inside the Azovstal plant have been unsuccessful.

2 hr 47 min ago15 people injured in Mykolaiv region from Russian shellingFrom CNN’s Katharina Krebs

At least 15 people have been injured in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region in the past 24 hours as a result of Russian shelling, Hanna Zamazeeva, the head of the Mykolaiv Regional Council, said in a Telegram post on Thursday.

All the victims were taken to regional hospitals, where they are receiving necessary medical care.

According to Zamazeeva, as of Thursday morning there were 157 civilians in local hospitals who had suffered injuries from Russian attacks in the Mykolaiv region.

4 hr 52 min agoIt’s 3 p.m. in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to knowFrom CNN staff

Russian forces are carrying out intensive attacks on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where some Ukrainian troops are holding out. Meanwhile, the Russians’ offensive in eastern Ukraine has made no progress, according to the Ukrainian armed forces. Russian missile strikes have also hit the city of Kramatorsk for the first time in a month.

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Ukraine says front lines are holding: The Ukrainian armed forces say the Russians have had “no success” with efforts to break through front lines in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions over the past 24 hours. In its operational update for Thursday, the General Staff said: “Lyman, Severodonetsk and Popasna areas. The enemy units are trying to conduct offensive operations; no success.”

“Non-stop shelling” at Azovstal: Intense attacks continued on the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol overnight into Thursday, according to Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol mayor. The Ukrainian armed forces said Russian soldiers were concentrating on wiping out Ukrainian units at the plant. “The Russian occupiers are focusing their efforts on blocking and trying to destroy our units in the Azovstal area,” the military said in its latest update.

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