Ukraine War: Mariupol fighters surrender, Kyiv says ‘talks paused’ | Top points

Russia-Ukraine War: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said Finland and Sweden joining NATO would probably make "not much difference" as the two countries had long participated in the alliance's military drills.
FILE - Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol.(AP)
FILE - Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol.(AP)
Published on May 18, 2022 09:17 AM IST
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By | Written by Ishika Yadav

At least 10 people were killed in the shelling of Severodonetsk, the easternmost city still held by Ukrainian forces as the war entered its 84th day on Wednesday. In the west, defence officials in the western city of Lviv say a military infrastructure facility "almost on the border with Poland" is hit in Russian strikes. Six million refugees have fled Ukraine as the Russian invasion will enter its fourth month soon, and another eight million have been internally displaced, according to UN agencies.

Latest developments in Russia-Ukraine War:

1. Ukraine saw a combination of Russian attacks with Russian forces firing missiles at the western Lviv region and the Sumy and Chernihiv regions in the northeast and carrying out airstrikes in the eastern Luhansk region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said these attacks by Russia were an attempt by them “to compensate for a series of failures in the east and south of our country.”

2. In the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, more than 250 Ukrainian fighters surrendered to Russian forces after weeks of desperate resistance. The Ukrainians expressed hope that the fighters would be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war.

The complete capture of Mariupol is Russia's biggest victory since it launched what it calls a "special military operation" on Feb 24.

3. Elsewhere, Ukrainian forces have been advancing at their fastest pace for more than a month, driving Russian forces out of the area around Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city.

4. President Zelensky and his French counterpart spoke on Tuesday and “discussed issues ranging from the evacuation of Ukrainian fighters from Mariupol to Ukraine’s EU membership prospects.” Macron is said to be engaging in heavy diplomatic lifting between the West and Russia since the beginning of the war. He is one of the prominent leaders of the West who has spoken to Putin on several occasions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

5. Peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have stagnated, officials said, with both sides trading blame and Moscow indicating a return to talks may be difficult. “Negotiations are paused…Russia doesn’t understand that the war is not going according to its schedule or plan,”said Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian team.

6. Finland and Sweden will formally submit a joint application to become members of NATO today. The application comes after lawmakers in Finland - which shares a 1,300-kilometre border with Russia - voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the bloc.

7. The European Commission will today unveil a 210 billion euro plan for ending its reliance on Russian fuels by 2027 Reuters reported. The EU will also explore the possibility of using seized assets of Russian oligarchs to fund the reconstruction of Ukraine.

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)


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