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'Influential mediators' involved in talks to save Ukraine's Mariupol defenders

The president of Ukraine says he hopes that the fighters trapped in a Mariupol steel mill can be freed.

According to some estimates, around 2000 Ukrainian soldiers are still trapped under the Azovstal plant. They have been there for several weeks while Russian forces advance further into the southern port.

They represent the last remaining resistance in an area that is almost completely destroyed and have repeatedly refused surrender.

Although their cause seems hopeless, many are hurt and have little to no ammunition.

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that he was working on diplomatic options in order to save the Azovstal military personnel who are still at Azovstal.

“Influential mediators” are involved.

“Influential states.”

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He did not provide any further information.


Other key developments:

* Western officials claim that Russia has not invited foreign leaders to celebrate Victory Day next Tuesday. This day marks the Soviet victory against Nazi Germany in 1945. US President Joe Biden authorized the shipment of $150m more in military aid for Ukraine.

* Russian troops continue fighting – their main focus is in the Donbas region to the south. However, Ukraine claimed that its forces had repelled 11 attacks in the region, something Russia didn’t confirm

* Odesa is one of the cities that have increased patrols and curfews in preparation for Russia’s Victory Day. Officials from Ukraine have warned that Russian aggression could intensify on the patriotic holiday.

* Ukraine claimed that it had made significant progress in Kharkiv’s north-eastern Kharkiv, having retaken five villages and a part of a sixth.

* Russia appointed two ambassadors to Moscow for self-proclaimed separatist republics located in Ukraine’s east, Donetsk People’s Republic (and Luhansk People’s Republic). Spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry said that they were “traitors” who will be likely charged with treason.

Image Situation in Ukraine on Friday, day 72 of war

After dozens of civilians had been evacuated from the steel mill on Friday afternoon, officials from Russia and Ukraine promised to continue the evacuations on Sat.

Mariupol’s mayor stated earlier this week that 200 civilians had been trapped at the plant. This is a small percentage of the 100,000 people who were in Mariupol before the war.

Subscribe to the Ukraine War Diaries Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Spotify, Spotify, Spreaker, and Spotify.

On Friday, Mr Zelenskyy, who spoke earlier in the day at an event hosted London’s Chatham House think tank, said that negotiations are still possible with Russia.

He stated that bridges between the countries were not “destroyed” yet and that arrangements were necessary to “stop the killing”.

Continue reading:

Satellite imagery shows the destruction to Azovstal steelworks during World War II

Analysis – Putin’s plans to destroy the Azovstal steel plant at Mariupol are being thwarted by historical defenses –

He said that these talks would only be possible if Moscow withdraws its troops. He also stated that he was not elected to lead “mini-Ukraine” of any kind.

He said, “They must fall back.”

“In that case we will be in a position where we can start talking about things normal.”

He stated that, “despite the fact they are destroying all of our bridges,” he believed that not all bridges have been destroyed yet.

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