(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military last month launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, attempting to capture the strategic port city of Mariupol and to secure a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
May 05, 4:39 am
Russian shelling on residential areas of Kramatorsk injures 25, officials say
At least 25 civilians were injured by Russian shelling on residential areas and the central part of Kramatorsk on Wednesday night, according to the local city council.
Six of the wounded required hospitalization, and at least nine homes, a school as well as various civilian infrastructure sustained damaged, the Kramatorsk City Council said in a statement via Telegram.
Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko confirmed in a statement via Facebook that a kindergarten was seriously damaged.
Kramatorsk is a city in eastern Ukraine’s war-torn Donetsk Oblast.
May 05, 3:50 am
Over 300 civilians evacuated from Mariupol, surrounding areas
More than 300 civilians have been evacuated from the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and surrounding areas, officials said late Wednesday.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it facilitated the safe passage of the civilians in coordination with the United Nations and both sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The evacuees arrived Wednesday in Zaporizhzhia, a Ukrainian government-controlled city about 140 miles northwest of Mariupol.
“We are relieved that more lives have been spared,” Pascal Hundt, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Ukraine, said in a statement Wednesday night. “We welcome the renewed efforts of the parties with regards to safe passage operations. They remain crucial and urgent in light of the immense suffering of the civilians.”
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk confirmed that 344 people were evacuated to Zaporizhzhia from the Mariupol area, Manhush, Berdyansk, Tokmak and Vasylivka.
The evacuation did not include civilians trapped inside the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant, the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.
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