Six weeks into Russia’s siege of the strategic port of Mariupol, the Ukrainian troops who put up a fierce fight have begun to surrender, according to Moscow.
Here are the 10 latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war:
- Russia’s defence ministry today said that 1,026 Ukraine soldiers, including 162 officers, have laid down their arms in Mariupol. Ukraine’s defence ministry spokesman said he had no information on such a surrender.
- Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said that more than 100,000 people are still stuck in the city, awaiting evacuation. He said earlier that some 21,000 civilian residents had been killed during the siege.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to Estonia’s parliament that Russia was using phosphorous bombs in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of using terror tactics against civilians. He did not provide evidence.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin reappeared after a rare public silence to say the invasion was a “noble” cause and that peace talks had reached a dead end.
- Putin says the country’s offensive is proceeding “calmly” and according to plan, with the goal of “minimising losses”.
- For the first time, US President Joe Biden accused Russian forces of committing genocide in Ukraine. “Yes, I called it genocide. It’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be a Ukrainian,” Biden told reporters.
- At least seven people were killed and 22 wounded by shelling in Ukraine’s northeastern region of Kharkiv over the past 24 hours, Governor Oleh Synegubov said.
- The mayor of the town of Bucha, where dozens of bodies were found after Russia’s withdrawal from northern Ukraine, says more than 400 people have been found dead so far and 25 women have reported being raped.
- Over 870,000 Ukrainians who fled abroad since the start of the war have returned to the country, Ukraine’s border force says.
- Zelensky has offered to swap pro-Kremlin tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, who has been close to Putin for years and who was arrested after escaping from house arrest, for Ukrainians captured by Russia.