Ukraine war: Putin eyes Donbas, Zelenskyy says won't cede control of Russian-occupied areas | latest updates

  • In another horror coming to light from the ruined city of Mariupol, at least 200 bodies were found in the basement of an apartment building.
A local woman looks at an apartment building damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the town of Vuhledar, in Donetsk region, Ukraine.(REUTERS)
A local woman looks at an apartment building damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the town of Vuhledar, in Donetsk region, Ukraine.(REUTERS)
Published on May 26, 2022 09:31 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

After failing to seize Ukraine's capital Kyiv or its second city Kharkiv, Russia is aiming for Ukraine's eastern Donbas, said reports on Wednesday. According to Ukraine's military, Russian forces have shelled more than 40 towns in the Donbas region, threatening to shut off the last main escape route for civilians trapped in the path of their invasion.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has strongly rebuffed those in the West suggesting Ukraine cede control of areas occupied by Russian forces for the sake of reaching a peace agreement. In his nighly video address to the nation, Zelenskyy said: “Those great geopoliticians who suggest this are disregarding the interests of ordinary Ukrainians – the millions of those who live on the territory that they propose exchanging for an illusion of peace.” Zelenskyy went on to compare those who argue for giving Russia a piece of Ukraine to those who in 1938 ceded territory to Hitler in hopes of preventing World War II.

Here are the top five updates on the Ukraine war:

>Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued an order to allow a fast track to Russian citizenship for people in two southern regions of Ukraine which are largely held by Russian forces. The decree could allow Russia to strengthen its control over the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

>The Russian defense ministry has promised to open a safe corridor to allow foreign ships to leave Black Sea ports. A separate corridor will be open to allow ships to leave Mariupol by sailing from the port on the Sea of Azov port to the Black Sea. The blockade has endangered the world food supply by preventing Ukraine from shipping its agricultural products.

>British defense minister Ben Wallace has dismissed a proposal by Russia to permit food corridors in Ukraine if sanctions are lifted, saying Russia should do the “right thing,” leave Ukraine and free up the grain for the nations that need it.

>Putin has announced a 10% raise to the minimum wage rate and pensions in the coming weeks, a move that comes as the Russian economy faces an unprecedented wave of international sanctions. The bump will bring the minimum wage to about $250 per month and the average pension to $320, according to the Interfax news agency.

>In another horror coming to light from the ruined city of Mariupol, at least 200 bodies were found in the basement of an apartment building on Tuesday. The bodies were said to be decomposing and the stench hung over the neighbourhood, said Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor. He did not say when they were discovered, but the sheer number of victims makes it one of the deadliest known attacks of the war, reports said.

(With agency inputs)

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