The Ukrainian government said the evacuation of many civilians from the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol was completed on Saturday.
Catch up on the latest developments in the war here — and a look ahead to events on Sunday and Monday.
Azovstal evacuations: Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that “all women, children and elderly people” have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. “This part of the Mariupol humanitarian operation has been completed,” she said. There were no further details on numbers.
As of Saturday morning local time, more than 100 civilians — including children — were thought to be trapped inside the sprawling complex, along with several hundred soldiers, many of them injured.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russian forces continue to blockade the Ukrainian troops inside the plant. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said Friday he’s working on diplomatic options to help evacuate the remaining military in Azovstal.
The self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic said Saturday that a total of 152 people had been evacuated from the city of Mariupol in the eight hours since 8 a.m. local time. It remains unclear whether the total includes any civilians who are trapped at Azovstal.
Odesa strikes: Russia fired six cruise missiles at the southwestern port city of Odesa on Saturday, according to Ukraine’s military. Video from the city shows thick columns of black smoke in several locations.
The United Nations has called to reopen the port to help ease a global food crisis.
Here’s what to be on the lookout for in the coming days:
G7 meeting with Zelensky: On Sunday, US President Joe Biden will meet virtually with the Ukrainian president and his G7 counterparts during a meeting of the G7 forum, deliberately scheduled ahead of Russia’s Victory Day. Sanctions will be on the agenda for the meeting.
Victory Day: On Monday, Russia will commemorate the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II. Western officials have long believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would leverage the symbolic significance and propaganda value of the day to announce either a military achievement in Ukraine, a major escalation of hostilities — or both.
The Kremlin said Friday that May 9 is a “sacred” day for Russians, and it won’t be “overshadowed” by the events unfolding in Ukraine. The Kremlin confirmed that Putin will attend the traditional parade held in Moscow’s Red Square and will make a speech. At the end of the parade, Putin will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.