Fresh attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol were underway on Wednesday," />

Ukraine war: Mariupol evacuations resume as Russian strikes kill more civilians in east

Filed under: All News,more news,RECENT POSTS |

Fresh attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol were underway on Wednesday, the day after more than 100 arrived to Ukrainian-held territory and relative safety.

The European Commission has proposed a new raft of sanctions against Moscow, including a ban on Russian oil imports.


In this photo taken from video smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, May 3, 2022

In this photo taken from video smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, May 3, 2022   –   Copyright  AP Photo

Fresh attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol were underway on Wednesday, the day after more than 100 arrived to Ukrainian-held territory and relative safety.

The European Commission has proposed a new raft of sanctions against Moscow, including a ban on Russian oil imports.

Follow the latest updates in our live blog below, and watch Euronews TV coverage in the video player above.


Wednesday’s key points:

  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled a proposal to impose an EU-wide ban on Russian oil imports, in a speech to the European Parliament.

  • The plan, to be put to EU27 governments, is opposed Hungary and Slovakia, highly dependent on Russian oil. Budapest says it regrets the lack of an energy security “guarantee”.

  • Evacuations from Mariupol resumed on Wednesday, the regional governor said. Earlier, President Zelenskyy confirmed that 156 civilians evacuated from the city had arrived in Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia.

  • The huge Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where hundreds more civilians are still believed trapped, came under renewed assault from Russian forces on Tuesday.

  • Moscow has said Western arms shipments to Ukraine are legitimate targets. Its attacks on Tuesday included strikes on key infrastructure such as railways and power plants. Ukraine says there were dozens of casualties.

  • Towns and cities hit on Tuesday included Lviv, Vinnytsia and Kirovograd in central Ukraine, and Odesa in the south.

  • Russia claims “Israeli mercenaries” are fighting in Ukraine alongside the Azov regiment, further fueling a diplomatic row between the two countries.

  • An AP investigation estimates that 600 people died in a Russian strike on a Mariupol theatre in March.


Germany welcomes EU’s Russian oil sanctions but forecasts disruption

Germany could face “disruptions” in its oil supplies, the German economy minister warned on Wednesday, although he welcomed the European Commission’s proposal to phase out EU imports of Russian oil.

“We cannot guarantee in this situation that there will be no disruptions” to oil supplies in Germany, Robert Habeck told a press conference in Meseberg, north of Berlin.

He said that the PCK refinery in Schwedt, in the eastern state of Brandenburg, which belongs to the Russian conglomerate Rosneft, could be particularly affected. It supplies about 90% of the oil consumed in Berlin and the surrounding region, including Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER).

However, Mr Habeck, who is also vice-chancellor, assured that Germany would be able “to withstand the oil embargo as a nation” as the country has drastically reduced its oil dependence on Russia in recent weeks.

The dependence of Europe’s largest economy on Russian oil imports has fallen in recent weeks to 12%, down from 35%.

However, the Economy Minister warned that as a result, prices could “also rise significantly over a period of 180 days”.

Berlin already announced several weeks ago that it wanted to do without Russian oil and coal completely by the end of the year.


Western arms shipments are legitimate targets, says Russia

The Russian defence minister has warned that Moscow will see any Western transports carrying weapons into Ukraine as legitimate targets.

Sergei Shoigu’s statement Wednesday comes as the US and other Western allies have increased shipments of weapons to Ukraine. Speaking at a meeting with top military officials, Shoigu denounced the West for “stuffing Ukraine with weapons.”

“Any NATO transports carrying weapons or resources for the Ukrainian military that arrives in the country’s territory will be seen by us as a legitimate target to be destroyed,” he said.

The Russian military has repeatedly reported strikes on Ukrainian depots containing Western weapons. Striking Western transports delivering them would mark a significant escalation in the conflict.

In Tuesday’s phone call with France’s President Macron, Vladimir Putin called on the West to stop arming Ukraine.

Such a call is likely to fall on deaf ears given Western resolve to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian military’s campaign to bulldoze its way across the country, destroying towns and cities and killing and terrorising civilians in the process.

(AP with Euronews)


Kremlin denies assault of Mariupol steel mill, saying Putin ‘called it off’

The Kremlin has said it is not assaulting the Azovstal steelworks in the strategic port city, reaffirming that Russia’s president gave orders to “call it off” in April.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “the order was given (April 21) publicly by the commander-in-chief (Vladimir Putin) to call off any assault.”

He added that Russian forces were besieging the site, which is the last pocket of resistance in the city, and only intervening to “very quickly halt attempts” by Ukrainian fighters to reach “firing positions.”

Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday Russia’s army was carrying out a “powerful assault” on Azovstal territory, with tanks and infantry.

Civilians have been trapped in the sprawling Soviet-era complex for weeks, as Ukrainian fighters continue to hold out against Russia, which now largely controls the city.


‘This is one big mass grave’ – dead counted from Mariupol theatre airstrike

Several hundred people died in the Russian airstrike on the Mariupol theatre in March, evidence from an AP investigation suggests.

Drawing on the accounts of survivors, rescuers and people familiar with the shelter, the Associated Press estimated that 600 people died in the attack – nearly double the figure put forward by the city’s government.

“All the people are still under the rubble, because the rubble is still there — no one dug them up,” said Oksana Syomina, who survived the attack. “This is one big mass grave.”

The theatre strike on March 16 is the deadliest single attack on civilians in the Ukraine war to date.

Many men, women and children were sheltering in the building, which served as the city’s main bomb shelter when Russian missiles rained down.



Mariupol evacuees: ‘You can’t imagine how scary it is’

Civilians evacuated from the bombed-out steel plant in Mariupol have been telling of the horror under constant Russian attack.

President Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that 156 civilians evacuated from the city had arrived in Zaporizhzhia.

More on their testimony in our article and video report here:

‘You can’t imagine how scary it is’: Evacuees on life in Mariupol

Civilians taken to Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia have been telling of life in the bunkers of a large Mariupol steel works as it came under Russian assault.


Hungary ‘regrets’ no energy security guarantee in EU sanctions plan

The proposal for a gradual EU embargo on Russian oil does not offer any “guarantees” for Hungary’s energy security. That was the reaction from Budapest on Wednesday after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s announcement.

“We do not see a plan on how to make a successful transition on the basis of the current proposals and what would guarantee Hungary’s energy security,” the government press service told AFP.

The Commission’s proposed embargo envisages a gradual phasing-out of all Russian oil imports over the next few months.

During consultations, Hungary and Slovakia raised concerns about the ban’s negative consequences for their national economies.

The two countries, which are highly dependent on Russian oil, have pushed to be granted an extra year to complete the phase-out.

(Euronews with AFP)


‘Israeli mercenaries’ fighting with Azov Regiment, says Russia

“Israeli mercenaries” are fighting in Ukraine alongside the Azov regiment, which Moscow calls “Nazi”, Russian diplomats said on Wednesday, after an outburst about Hitler’s alleged “Jewish blood” sparked a fierce row.

“I’m going to say something that Israeli politicians probably don’t want to hear, but maybe they will be interested. In Ukraine, Israeli mercenaries are alongside Azov militants,” Russian diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Radio Sputnik.

Founded in 2014 by far-right militants before being integrated into the regular forces, the Ukrainian Azov regiment has emerged as one of the fiercest opponents of the Russian forces that have been conducting a military offensive against Ukraine since February 24.

Its members, along with other Ukrainian fighters, have refused to lay down their arms in the besieged port of Mariupol (south-east), where the last defenders of the city are entrenched in the Azovstal metallurgical factory, which Moscow’s forces launched an assault on Tuesday.

Many Ukrainians see the Azovstal members as heroes, but Russia portrays them as “fascists” and “Nazis” committing abuses.

By claiming that Israelis are fighting on its side, Moscow continues to fuel a controversy that arose after the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, said Sunday that Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood”, a theory denied by historians.

The comments drew the ire of Israel, which called them “scandalous, unforgivable” and a “horrible historical error”.

On Tuesday evening, the Russian foreign ministry fanned the flames of the row by accusing Israel of “supporting the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish.



More civilians leave Mariupol as evacuations continue

A convoy of buses left Mariupol on Wednesday in a new attempt by Ukraine, the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate civilians from the southern Ukrainian city, the regional governor said.

The convoy was heading for the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

He did not say how many buses were in the convoy or whether any more civilians had been evacuated from a vast steel works in Mariupol where the city’s last defenders are holding out against Russian forces that have occupied Mariupol.



‘Scores of civilians killed and wounded’ in eastern attacks

Ukrainian authorities say that scores of civilians have been killed and wounded in the latest attacks in the country’s east.

Donetsk regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said that 21 civilians were killed and another 27 were wounded in Russian attacks Tuesday.

He said in a statement on a messaging app early Wednesday that it marked the highest number of civilian victims in the region since April 8 when a Russian missile attack on a railway station in the city of Kramatorsk killed at least 59 people.

In the neighboring Luhansk region, Gov. Serhiy Haidai said at least two civilians were killed in Russian shelling during the last 24 hours and two others were wounded.

The Russian military has intensified attacks in eastern Ukraine as part of its offensive in the region. (AP)

For a summary of Tuesday’s developments in the war, click here.