War in Ukraine: Latest developments

AFP , Tuesday 3 May 2022

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine.

Displaced people in Ukraine
People with children wait after arrival from the Ukrainian city of Tokmak at a center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Monday, May 2, 2022. AP

 

Fresh Mariupol Evacuations Expected 

Fresh evacuations of civilians from war-ravaged Mariupol are set to take place following the initial evacuation of around 100 people from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the southern port city.

Pope Seeks Putin Talks 

Pope Francis says he has requested a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin but has heard nothing back.

The pontiff has told Italy's Corriere Della Sera newspaper he sent a message to Putin in March but "I fear that Putin cannot, and does not, want to have this meeting at this time."

He added: "I'm not going to Kyiv for now ... I have to go to Moscow first, I have to meet Putin first."

Israel Slams Lavrov Hitler Comments 

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid slams his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for alleging Adolf Hitler may have "had Jewish blood" in a bid to discredit Kyiv.

Lavrov's comments -- which invoked a conspiracy theory exploiting a gap in the dictator's ancestry -- see Israel summon Moscow's ambassador for "clarifications" and condemn the "unforgivable and outrageous statement".

Russia Steps Up Fight In Odessa, Eastern Ukraine 

Fighting is raging in the critical port city of Odessa and across Ukraine's east amid a US warning that Moscow is preparing to formally annex eastern regions.

Meanwhile, the European Union has told member states to brace for a complete breakdown in Russian gas supplies as it prepares a new package of sanctions.

EU To Propose New Sanctions On Russia 

The European Commission is set to propose a new package of measures, including an embargo on Russian oil, officials say.

The anti-Russian measures will also target the country's largest bank, Sberbank, which will be excluded from the global banking communications system SWIFT, diplomats said.

Boris Johnson To Address Ukraine Parliament 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will deliver an address to Ukraine's parliament, the first by a foreign leader since Russia invaded on February 24, where he is set to hail the country's resistance as its "finest hour".

He will also announce another 300 million pounds ($376 million, 358 million euros) in military aid for Kyiv, his office says.

'Russia Plans To Annex East' 

Russia is planning imminently to "annex" the two eastern regions of Ukraine battered by its invasion after failing to overthrow the government in Kyiv, a senior US official says.

Their plan is to annex the "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Lugansk People's Republic" to Russia using referenda on the question, says Michael Carpenter, US ambassador to the OSCE.

Teen Killed In Odessa 

A 15-year-old boy is killed in a fresh Russian strike on Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa, the southern city's council says.

A missile hit a residential building that had five people inside, said the statement, adding that a girl had been hospitalized.

Top Russian General Visits Ukraine 

Russia's top general, Valery Gerasimov, visited the Donbas front in the Ukraine war last week, a Pentagon official says, but reports that he was injured in a Ukrainian attack could not be confirmed.

Russian Clubs Banned From Champions League 

Russian clubs have been banned by UEFA from participating in the Champions League and all other European competitions next season, European football's governing body announces.

Bolshoi Scraps Some Performances 

Russia's Bolshoi Theatre announces it is canceling performances directed by Kirill Serebrennikov and Timofey Kulyabin, who have both spoken out against Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.

Finnish Group Scraps Nuclear Plant Deal 

Finnish-led consortium Fennovoima says it has terminated a contract with Russian group Rosatom to build Finland's third nuclear power plant, citing the Ukraine conflict which it says has worsened risks for the project.

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